Space Stations

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 March 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 27, 2015
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 March 2015
s haircut time onboard the International Space Station as Expedition 43 Commander and NASA astronaut Terry Virts handles the scissors while ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti holds the vacuum to immediately pull the fine hair strands into the safe container so they don't float away into the station. Hair trims are a regular occurrence during an astronaut's six month tour. Credit: NASA.

A variety of science experiments is taking up the Expedition 43 trio’s schedule today. Back on Earth, a new set of International Space Station crew members is a day away from launching to join the orbiting residents.
Commander Terry Virts opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and replaced components to get ready for upcoming work with the Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, from the European Space Agency, researched the accelerated aging of skin that occurs in space for the Skin-B experiment. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov studied crew mobility in space which may help improve and advance training methods for future crews.

Read more about the FLEX-2 study
Read more about Skin-B
Read more about Motocard

Virts and Cristoforetti also worked to install the Robotics Refueling Mission (RRM)-2 payload inside the Japanese Experiment Module airlock. The RRM-2 investigation is exploring how robotics could be used to fix satellites not designed to be serviced in orbit.

Read more about RRM-2

Soyuz TMA-16M Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are one day away from joining the Expedition 43 crew. They will launch Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 p.m. EDT and dock less than six hours later to the Poisk module.

Read more about live NASA TV launch and docking coverage of the One-Year Crew

On-Orbit Status Report

Node 3 (N3) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Status: Earlier today ground specialist completed fine leak checks of the N3 CDRA beds. Following the leak checks the N3 CDRA shutdown due to Air Selector Valve (ASV) 104 not reaching commanded position. On Tuesday of this week the crew replaced ASV 106 of this same CDRA. Ground controllers attempt to recover ASV 104 with three power cycles was unsuccessful, teams will attempt another power cycle tomorrow. The ppCO2 levels remain low, if ground teams are not able to recover N3 CDRA tomorrow they plan to activate Lab CDRA.

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Reconfiguration: Following yesterday’s removal of the Nanoracks Cubesat Deployer and support hardware, today Virts and Cristoforetti installed the Robotics Refueling Mission (RRM)-2. The RRM On-Orbit Transfer Cage (ROTC), Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot (VIPIR) Vision System, Task Board 3, and Task Board 4 were installed onto the Slide Table. The crew initially had issues fully inserting the slide table. The ground power cycled the table, and the crew removed and reinserted the slide table, and was able to successfully insert the slide table with the ROTC and other hardware installed. The RRM-2 deployment is scheduled for the end of April and science operations which will be executed by ground controllers planned for later in the Increment.

JEM Image Processing Unit (IPU): Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) ground controllers reported yesterday that the IPU failed when a Marangoni image was downlinked following a Dynamic Surf 2 run. Failure investigation and a troubleshooting plans are in work. The IPU is required to continue Marangoni/Dynamic Surf operations and Space Aging (arriving on SpaceX-6).

Columbus Rack Commanding: Ground controllers are currently working an issue commanding to the active NASA racks in the Columbus module (EXPRESS Rack 3, HRF 2). Columbus Control Center (COL-CC) ground controllers are able to command to the ESA racks. Specialists are working on a command capability recovery plan.

Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) Manifold Bottle Replacement: In preparation for next Monday’s FLame Extinguishment Experiment (FLEX)-2 run initiation, Virts replaced the CIR Manifold Bottle #2. Next week’s FLEX-2 experiment will be the last FLEX-2 run for Increments 43/44. Additional runs are scheduled for future increments. The experiment is the second to fly on the ISS which uses small droplets of fuel to study the special spherical characteristics of burning fuel droplets in space. The experiment studies how quickly fuel burns, the conditions required for soot to form, and how mixtures of fuels evaporate before burning. Understanding these processes could lead to the production of a safer spacecraft as well as increased fuel efficiency for engines using liquid fuel on Earth.

Skin-B: Cristoforetti performed Corneometer (measuring the hydration level of the stratus coreum, or outer layer of the skin), Tewameter (skin barrier function measurement), and Visioscan (skin surface topography) measurements in support of the Skin-B experiment. The Skin-B investigation aims to improve the understanding of skin aging which is slow on Earth but greatly accelerated in space. This will also provide insights into the aging process in other (similar) bodily tissues in general. This could help in determining impact on astronauts on future missions to the Moon and Mars where environmental conditions are more challenging.

On Board Training (OBT) Dragon Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT): On Tuesday the crew was able to complete only 1 of 3 planned SpX-6 arrival simulations due to ROBoT software issues. Today Virts and Cristoforetti performed the remaining two simulations. Ground specialists directed the crew to reboot the ROBoT hardware between each run to mitigate issues experienced during the Tuesday session.

N2 Nadir Hatch to Unlatch Hardstop: In preparation for the scheduled arrival of SpX-6 on April 12, Cristoforetti took the N2 nadir hatch latch to the hard stop position. This is to minimize probability/effects of a hatch mechanism jam which would preclude opening hatch during SpX-6 ingress.

Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM) Stowage and Maneuver to Translate Configuration: Today (GMT 085), the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) cameras and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) away from the External Stowage Platform (ESP) 2 park position. Next they reconfigured the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) for stow and stowed it on Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) 2. The Robotics Ground Controllers then released the SPDM and maneuvered the SSRMS to a Mobile Transporter (MT) translate configuration. Finally the Robotics Ground Controllers performed an unloaded Latching End Effector (LEE)-A checkout per Chit 13262 to help characterize its performance post the LEE-A lubrication that was performed during USOS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) 30. MSS performance today was nominal.

UPA WSTA Troubleshooting: Earlier today the crew was able to transfer fluid from the WSTA into an EDV. The crew then transferred fluid from a new EDV to the WSTA. The crew stopped the transfer at 50% and reported that they did not see any flow however the quantity continued to increase. The crew has disconnected the hose and the ground team will continue to troubleshoot the problem.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Audio Conference with Mayak Radio Station Host (S-band)
Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM). OBT, Procedure Overview
RRM. Procedure review
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
RRM. Installation Assistance
RRM. Hardware setup
MOTOCARD. Test hardware.
JEM – Slide Table Retraction
HRF2 – Hardware Unstow and SW Upload
OBT – Dragon Rendezvous and Berthing Procedures Review
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Debrief
HRF2 – Closeout Ops
SKNB – Connecting hardware to the Laptop and performing measurements
CIR – Upper Rack Doors Open
CIR – Troubleshooting and Replacement
CIR – Upper Rack Doors Close
On MCC GO Replacement of ????-1? (?308) ?? Module No.8.
Trashing old hardware, gathering, locating and connecting cables, photography, and stowing IMAX cables in preparation for Fluid Shifts experiment.
Unlatching Node2 Nadir Hatch Hardstop
Crew Medical Officer (CMO) proficiency training
Maintaining Progress 424 (DC1) QD Screw Clamps
??? Maintenance
Wireless Connection of SSC3
??0501 Gas Analyzer ?2 Channel Adjustment
Stem Cell Differentiation (SCD). Review Big Picture Words
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – Nutritional Assessment (ESA)
TOCA Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
Flight Director / ISS Crew Tagup
COGN – Battery Testing
Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

MSS powerup
SPDM maneuver to translate config
42S crew config
MSS powerdown
Three-Day Look Ahead:

Friday, 03/27: 42S launch/dock, ISS Safety Briefing/crew handover, Aniso Tubule sample prep/insertion, Dragon pre-pack
Saturday, 03/28: Crew off duty
Sunday, 03/29: Crew off duty, housekeeping
QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

Component – Status
Elektron – Off
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – Off
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Shutdown
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full up

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