Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 November 2019 – Cargo Mission Set to Launch

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 6, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 November 2019 – Cargo Mission Set to Launch
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 November 2019 - Cargo Mission Set to Launch.

A U.S. cargo craft is poised to resupply the International Space Station just days after a Japanese space freighter departed the orbiting lab Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Expedition 61 crew today continued an array of microgravity research and spacewalk preparations.

Flight Engineer Christina Koch with back-up support from NASA astronaut Jessica Meir used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release Japan’s HTV-8 cargo spacecraft at 1:21 p.m. EDT today. The cargo craft spent five weeks attached to the orbiting lab following a Sept. 24 launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

HTV-8 delivered some five tons of supplies and experiments to the orbital complex as well as new lithium-ion batteries. The batteries were installed in the electronics system of the far port truss of the complex replacing older nickel-hydrogen batteries and upgrading the station’s power supply.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus resupply ship sits atop an Antares rocket loaded with 8,200 pounds of science experiments and station hardware. Liftoff will take place on Saturday at 9:59 a.m. EDT from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Meir and Koch will be in the cupola Monday morning awaiting the arrival of Cygnus. Meir will command the Canadarm2 to reach out and grapple Cygnus at 4:10 a.m. EST. Koch will back up Meir as astronaut Andrew Morgan of NASA monitors Cygnus’ approach and rendezvous.

Morgan and Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) are also getting up to speed with repair techniques for an external cosmic particle detector. The duo is reviewing procedures to replace the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) thermal control system during a series of spacewalks tentatively planned for this month. The AMS measures the charge, velocity and mass of cosmic rays in its search for evidence of dark matter and anti-matter.

Morgan also watered plants and set up biology hardware that will house rodents shipped aboard Cygnus. Parmitano monitored the free-flying Astrobee robotic assistant testing its autonomous ability to perform tasks inside the space station’s Kibo laboratory module.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka focused on Russian spacecraft work and science in their segment of the space station. The duo charged Soyuz crew ship batteries and packed a Progress cargo craft. Skvortsov then studied how pain adjusts to microgravity while Skripochka moved on to plumbing tasks.

On-Orbit Status Report

AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) EVA preparation: The crew continued preparation for the AMS repair EVAs with procedure reviews and training. The multiple AMS-02 repair EVAs are being performed to recover a series of cooling pumps within the AMS-02 experiment. The first of the EVAs are currently planned to start in roughly 2 weeks. AMS-02 is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that uses the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe’s origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays.

Astrobee: The crew participated in a conference, and then assisted with a series of Astrobee maneuvers with the goal of collecting data inside the JPM for calibration and localization. They also assisted in a series of Astrobee movements for mobility testing. During the testing, Astrobee was able to successfully perform a series of “high performance” maneuvers including a high speed translation through the JEM, several roll/pitch/yaw maneuvers, and docking/undocking itself successfully. Astrobee is a series of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots. The robots are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the ISS. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, could eventually perform crew-monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

Veg-04B: The crew performed a routine plant check. This includes the assessment of individual plant pillows, the addition of water as necessary, photography of the Mizuna plants, and mass measurement of any broken leaves. The research of Veg-04B focuses on the impact of light quality and fertilizer on leafy crop growth for a 56-day grow-out, microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioral health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space. A healthy, nutritious diet is essential for long-duration exploration missions, which means that the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet needs to be supplemented by fresh foods during flight; the Veggie Vegetable Production System (Veggie) has begun testing aboard the space station to help meet this need, and validation tests have demonstrated that leafy greens can be grown in spaceflight.


HTV8 Unberth: Today, both the crew and ground controllers worked together to prepare the HTV8 for unberth. The crew activities included a Node 2 vestibule configuration for demate, followed by the depress of the Node 2 deck vestibule using the Pressurized Management Device (PMD). The crew also utilized the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to maneuver the HTV8 vehicle for release from the ISS. The crew completed release of HTV8 at 12:20 CT and atmospheric reentry over the pacific is planned for Saturday evening.

Cygnus NG-12 Mission Preparation: With the approaching Cygnus NG-12 launch on November 2 from Wallops Launch Facility, the ISS crew continued with their preparations for the NG-12 mission including reviewing timelines, performing robotics On Board Training (OBT) as well as participating in a cargo transfer conference.

Completed Task List Activities:
Camera Calibration Overwrite

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Operations Support
HTV8 grapple and release

Saturday, 11/2 (GMT 306) Crew Off-Duty

Veg-04B plant check

Overlay Camera Calibration
N2N VOK Stow
NORS Repress Terminate
UPA Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
Overlay Camera Calibration

Sunday, 11/3 (GMT 307) Crew Off-Duty

Veg-04B plant check

No activities planned

Monday, 11/4 (GMT 308)

Cold Stowage unpack reviews
Food Acceptability
HRF saliva setup
Rodent Research habitat install
Veg-04B plant check

SSRMS Cygnus Capture
RWS Configuration
Cygnus Ingress
Cygnus Cargo Ops and Transfer

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

ECON-M. Observation and Photography
Reminder Node2 HD Camera On
Standard Measures Post-sleep Questionnaire
ISS Crew and ???? (RSA Flight Control Team) weekly conference
HTV Vestibule Configure for Demate – Part 2
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Equipment Setup Part 1
Inventory Management System (IMS) conference
ALGOMETRIYA. Pressure and Thermal Algometry preparation for and measurement session.
USOS Window Shutter Close
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Equipment Setup Part 2
AMS Procedure/video review
On MCC Go Purging Elektron-VM Liquid Unit (??) after Shutdown
VEG-04B Plant Check/Watering for each Plant Pillow
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuration
Temperature measurements of battery modules No.1-No.8 of ???? case and connectors (before mating circuit connectors).
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Downlink
Recharging Soyuz 746 Samsung PC after OBT, start recharge
N2 Deck MPEV open
Temperature measurements of battery modules No.1-No.8 of ???? case and connectors,assistance
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuration
Progress 424 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
Astrobee Crew Conference
Astrobee Free Flyer Localization and Mobility Ops Part 1
Cygnus Capture Review
Rodent Research Transfer Crew Conference
Temperature measurements of battery modules No.1-No.8 of ???? case and connectors, assistance
Temperature measurements of battery modules No.1-No.8 of ???? case and connectors (when ???3 is triggered).
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 2
SEPARATION. Mixing urine in the urine circulation loop
ISS Experience Hardware Stow
AMS VSB Cover Handling Aid training
Verify cover closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14. Note 12
Recharging Soyuz 746 Samsung PC after OBT, remove from recharge
ALGOMETRIYA. Tenso-algometry measurements.
??? maintenance. Routine maintenance of [??], [??], and [??] valves in SM Rodnik tanks
Food Acceptability Survey
Cygnus Cargo Operations Review
Progress 442 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
Replacement of [?1] pump on Replaceable Pump Panel 4???2 in ???2 Loop.
Cygnus Cargo Operations Conference
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Clears NOD1D2 for NG-12 Arrival
N2 Deck MPEV close
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Teardown
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Food Acceptability Survey
MSS HTV Release Setup
Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Installation and Checkout
HTV Departure Preparations
SSRMS HTV Release and Departure Monitoring
AMS Procedure/video review
IMS Delta File Prep
Evening Preparation Work
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Deactivation
AMS Procedure/video review
Cygnus BPW Review Conference
Daily Planning Conference

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