Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 May 2018 – Dragon Spacecraft Prepares for Return with Important Science Samples

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 2, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 May 2018 – Dragon Spacecraft Prepares for Return with Important Science Samples
The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship was gripped by the Canadarm2 robotic arm on April 27, 2018 in preparation for its detachment from the Harmony module and its release back to Earth for splashdown and retrieval in the Pacific Ocean. The coasts of Spain and Portugal are seen as the International Space Station orbited over the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NASA.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is packed with International Space Station hardware and scientific samples ready for return to Earth on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Expedition 55 crew members continued maintenance of the orbital lab and space research operations.

Dragon’s departure was pushed back from Wednesday after SpaceX personnel observed high sea states in the Pacific Ocean splashdown zone southwest of Long Beach, California. Its remotely controlled release from the Canadarm2 is now scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. EDT with live NASA TV coverage beginning at 9 a.m. Dragon’s splashdown is targeted at about 3 p.m. but will not be seen on NASA TV.

Mice living on the station have been transferred to specialized habitats in Dragon. They will be studied on Earth to observe how their bones and muscles have changed during their stay in microgravity. Other critical biological samples preserved in science freezers, such as plants, insects and human tissue, have also been transferred into Dragon for retrieval and analysis.

The astronauts and cosmonauts living on the space station exercise every day to maintain strong bones and muscles on orbit. One of the workout machines, the Advanced Resistance Exercise Device (ARED), got a tune up today amid the Dragon close out activities. Flight Engineer Drew Feustel greased the ARED’s rails and rollers and inspected its x-axis rotation points.

On-Orbit Status Report

Dragon Preparation for Return: Weather at the prime Recovery Zone will not support Dragon return tomorrow; release has slipped to the backup date of Saturday, 5 May. With guidance from stowage experts, the crew re-configured already transferred Dragon cargo and all assets, to include cold stowage, are in a good configuration. Tomorrow, the crew will relocate payloads and cold stowage from Dragon to ISS as required. Based on the modified timeline, the crew will resume loading activities, and complete preparations for Dragon for unberth, this Friday. Dragon release is now scheduled at 10:40 AM CDT on Saturday.

Mouse Stress Defense: The crew removed the Mouse Habitat Cage Units from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) and transferred the mice to the Transportation Cage Unit for return on the SpaceX-14 vehicle. Microgravity provokes cellular mechanical stresses and perturbs cellular signaling, leading to reduction of muscle and bone density. To overcome these stresses, one of the promising strategies is to activate Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant pathway. Mouse Stress Defense investigates how Nrf2 contributes to effective prevention of space-originated stresses.

Total & Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS): On April 16th, the TSIS payload lost power from the 120-volt power feed on the external EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC-3). Yesterday and today the crew performed testing of the 28V and 120V power feeds and switches. No anomalies were detected. TSIS has been returned to nominal operations and no additional issues have been seen with the 120V power feed.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: Today the crew initiated a Metox canister regeneration cycle in preparation for the upcoming US EVA Pump Flow Control System (PFCS) Relocate, currently planned on May 16th. The Metox canister uses a silver oxide-based sorbent to remove practically all CO2 generated during EVAs. After each EVA, the Metox canister are heated and regenerated, releasing the collected CO2 into the ISS cabin atmosphere. The released CO2 is scrubbed from the ISS atmosphere by the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA). Yesterday’s Metox regeneration initiation was aborted after the Lab CDRA shutdown due to an anomaly.

Advanced Resistance Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Maintenance: Today the crew performed routine maintenance on ARED. This task included inspection of the X-rotation dashpots, cycling of the main arm through full range of motion, and application of grease to the Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (VIS) rails and rollers.

Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event: Today, Feustel participated in a live-to-air PAO event with various Public Schools in Laurel, Montana. The students that participated in today’s event are part of the HUNCH (High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware) program. HUNCH shows high school students the many ways they can put their talents to work for NASA, beyond the role of astronaut. The program provides students a hands-on experience with the space agency — building NASA-designed parts for use by agency personnel.

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

Fruit Fly Lab-03 Hardware Return
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops
Mouse Stress Defense Item Gathering
Preventive Maintenance of SM Ventilation Subsystem. Group ?2
Installation of additional fans to improve thermal conditions of SM Electric Power Supply 800? storage batteries
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Mouse Stress Defense Post-mission Animal Transfer
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
InvitroBone-2 Transfers from ExPRESS Rack to Dragon capsule
Polar Express Rack Uninstall, Transfer, And Dragon Install with InvitroBone
Polar Express Rack Uninstall, and Transfer, JAXA TCU Handover, and Polar and TCU Dragon Install
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Pack
Probiotics Fecal Sample Operations
Probiotics Fecal Sample MELFI Insertion
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
??? maintenance
FAZOPEREKHOD. Preparation steps and starting the experiment
Crew to cut ziptie for Cargo 2 power cable and route for access
InvitroBone-1 Transfer from ExPRESS Rack to Dragon capsule
Polar Express Rack Uninstall, Transfer, And Dragon Install with InvitroBone
Video Recording of Greetings
Double Coldbag Transfer to Dragon
Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Robotics Work Station (RWS) Display and Control Panel (DCP) Powerup and Checkout
SM, DC1, MRM2, MRM1, FGB, Power Supply Panels ???-26, ???-31 Plug-in Audit
Transfer Center Stack to Dragon [Aborted]
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Maintenance
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
FAZOPEREKHOD. Preparation steps and starting the experiment
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
Dragon Egress in Preparation for Departure [Aborted]
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation
Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Rotation, Installation, and Closeout [Aborted]

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
N3 ITCS Dual Mode Transition
Dragon Departure Preparation [Aborted]
LAB MCA Full Calibration
N3 CDRA Activation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 05/02: Dragon Cargo Ops, EVA Procedure Review, EVA Airlock Config, ACE T-7 Ops, Veggie PONDS Ops, Lighting Effects, ASIM Checkout Ops, EHS Air and Surface Samples
Thursday, 05/03: JEM ZSR Photo Survey, Mini Exercise Device Ops, Dragon Double Cold Bag Unpack, EMU On-Obit Fit Checks
Friday, 05/04: ETVCG Assembly, Dragon Double Cold Bag Repack, Dragon Center Stack Transfer, Dragon Egress and Closeout

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

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