Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 April 2020 – SpaceX Dragon to Return Next Monday

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 2, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 April 2020 – SpaceX Dragon to Return Next Monday
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 April 2020 - SpaceX Dragon to Return Next Monday.

A U.S. cargo craft is being packed for its return to Earth next week while robotics controllers get ready to install a new European science platform on the International Space Station.
The Expedition 62 crew also continued its ongoing human research activities.

The reusable SpaceX Dragon space freighter is being loaded this week with thousands of pounds of science experiments and station hardware. Robotics controllers will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to remove Dragon from the Harmony module after its hatch is closed early Monday. Dragon will be released back into Earth orbit Monday at 9:52 a.m. EDT for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean a few hours later.

NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan will wrap up the science packing late Sunday. The duo will be transferring live mice, plant cells and other time-critical research samples into Dragon so scientists can understand how genetic expression changes in space.

Human research continued on board the station today as Meir examined and captured imagery of Morgan’s eyes with a fundoscope to learn how space-caused upward fluid shifts affect vision. Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos measured the station’s radiation environment then explored how future crews could pilot spaceships and robotic rovers on planetary expeditions.

Bartolomeo, an external science payload from the European Space Agency (ESA), will soon be installed on the outside of the Columbus laboratory. The complex installation work is being choreographed from the ground as flight controllers remotely command the Canadarm2 and the Dextre fine-tuned robotic hand. The ESA science device will enable the command and control of numerous external investigations on Columbus.

Back on Earth in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 63 crew continued reviewing its mission procedures today then took a break for traditional pre-launch activities. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will launch to the station April 9 aboard the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. After a six-hour ride to their new home in space, the trio will begin a 195-day mission aboard the orbital lab.

On-Orbit Status Report

Fluid Shifts: The crew performed the setup for baselining eye Fundoscope images. Fluid Shifts is a NASA investigation, divided into Dilution Measurements, Baseline Imaging, and Imaging with Chibis. The Chibis hardware is used to perform the Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) part of the experiment. The Fluid Shifts experiment investigates the causes for severe and lasting physical changes to astronaut’s eyes. Because the head-ward fluid shift is a hypothesized contributor to these changes, reversing this fluid shift with a LBNP device is being evaluated as a possible intervention. Results from this study may help to develop preventative measures against lasting changes in vision and prevention of eye damage.

NanoRacks Module-51: The crew performed and photo documented the second Vitamin C flask experiment status check. This completes the operation objectives for Module-51. These sub experiments are the Vitamin-C Flask with syringe, Waxworm flask, Adipic acid and Venom flex plates, Yeast and amylase mixture tubes, and Flask with Flatworms. Inspections of the experiments went well and the hardware was stowed. NanoRacks Mod-51 itself is an aluminum module with a Velcro lid that can accommodate various sub-experiments.

NanoRacks Module-9: The crew performed the operations on the NanoRacks Module-9 tube which involves the mixture of Tube #2, which studies the ability of Quinoa (a type of grain) growth in microgravity. NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-Gemini includes 41 microgravity experiments designed by students in grades 5 through 12 and college. The experiments range from examinations of water filtration and purification to synthetic soil production, rust formation, antibiotic effectiveness, growth and development of micro-aquatic organisms, and growth of plant, fungi, and bacteria. Each was chosen from more than 3,000 entries submitted by more than 23,000 U.S., Canadian, and Brazilian students. The experiments use NanoRacks MixStix, miniature laboratories activated by the ISS crew and are eventually returned to the student teams on Earth for analysis.


Mobil Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Tonight, robotics ground controllers (ROBO) will power up the MSS and maneuver the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to install the newly arrived Bartolomeo Science Platform. Installation is expected to be completed on Thursday morning at ~1:00 am CT. Once installed, ROBO will finish deploying the remaining platform booms Thursday evening at ~9:00 pm CT.

The European external platform ‘Bartolomeo’ is an enhancement of the ISS European Columbus Module and its infrastructure. Designed to meet user requirements from the commercial and institutional sector, Bartolomeo is a new external payload hosting facility on the ram side of Columbus that is mechanically attached to the ram-facing primary and secondary trunnions, and uses the Columbus Parking Position Interface (PAPOS) for electrical and data interfacing.

SpaceX-20 (SpX-20) Dragon Cargo Operations: Today, the crew continued to perform Dragon cargo operations in preparations for Dragon departure on April 6, 2020.

Water Processor Assembly (WPA) Multi-filtration (MF) Bed Sample Collection: Today, the crew performed a Life Support Rack (LSR) hose reconfiguration in preparation for a WPA MF Bed return sample collection. The crew previously experienced an issue with connecting a hose normally used to take MF bed samples; and as a result, ground teams had the crew reconfigure the LSR hoses to free up a like hose to re-attempt return sampling. The hose taken from the LSR was connected to the WPA nominally and the WPA MF Bed SpX-20 return sample was collected.

Systems Operations Data File (SODF) DEPLOY: Today, the crew replaced their Medical Checklists and EVA wrist Cuff Checklists with updated documentation delivered on SpX-20. The retired EVA Cuff Checklists will be returned on SpX-20.

Completed Task List Activities:
SpX-20 Cargo Operations (ongoing)

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Multi Filtration (MF) Sample Support (SPT)
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) SpaceX-20 External Cargo Operations to Install Bartolomeo on Columbus
Secondary Power Systems Remote Power Controller Firmware Update
T2 Ground Power Cycle
SDMS Activation

Look Ahead Plan
Thursday, 4/2 (GMT 093)
Engineered Heart Tissue Media Change and Fixation (NASA)
Food Physiology Briefing (NASA)
MUSES Server Vent Cleaning (NASA)
Mobile SpaceLab Stow (NASA)
Food Acceptability Survey (NASA)
Express locker into Dragon installation (NASA)
VEGGIE PONDS-Germination Cap removal (NASA)

Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Dragon LiOH Filter Bag Installation
Dragon Release and Departure Review OBT
COL1D2/Bay R&O Ops
SSC SP Queso R&O Ops

Friday, 4/3 (GMT 094)
POLAR sample transfer to CS (NASA)

ISS Crew Departure Preparation
Inventory Management System Conference
61S Stowage Operations

Saturday, 4/4 (GMT 093)
MHU-5 Transfer Familiarization (JAXA)
NanoRacks Module-09 Ops 5 (NASA)
PCG10 MELFI insert (NASA)
NR Science Box removal (NASA)
MVP2 Cell-03 removals (NASA)

Dragon Payload Cable Routing
Transfer of POLARS 5, 6 and 8 from Dragon to ISS
Dragon DCB Packing
CUCU Checkout

Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

UF-ATMOSFERA. PL Deactivation
Probiotics Saliva Operations
Probiotics Salive Sample MELFI Insertion
Probiotics Question
Nanoracks adidas Shoes Imagery
Collecting atmospheric condensate samples [???] from [???-?2?] up to Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter (???) to Russian Samplers, terminate
JAXA Mouse Mission Item Gathering
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Life Support Rack Hose Reconfiguration
Collecting condensate water samples [???] up to ???-?2? ???, equipment setup, sampler installation
Water Processor Assembly Multi-filtration Bed Sample Bag Creation
UF-ATMOSFERA. Closeout Ops
JAXA Mouse Mission 5 Transportation Cage Unit Spare Cage Installation
Collecting condensate water samples [???] up to [???-?2?] ???, sampler replacement
Glacier to Polar Sample Transfer
Audio Conference with Retro FM Radio Station Hosts. Video recording of conference
Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4 Status Check and Maintenance
Transfer of thermal jackets [???] from [??] to Soyuz 744 ??
Food Acceptability Survey
Conference with Search and Rescue Team (????)
Water Processor Assembly Multi-filtration Bed Sample Collection
Water Recovery System (WRS) Waste Tank Sample
MATRYOSHKA-R. Monitoring Tritel Readings
Sampling condensate water [???] up to ????-2? ???, removing sampler, equipment disassembly
Nanoracks Module-9 Ops Session 4
Nanoracks Module-51 Status 4
PILOT-T. Experiment Setup
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
ISS Experience Solid State Drive Changeout
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Deploy
Fluid Shifts Fundoscope Baseline Imaging Setup
Fluid Shifts Fundoscope Baseline Imaging Preparation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Fluid Shifts Fundoscope Baseline Imaging Exam and Stow

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