Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 June, 2020 – Experiments encompassing fluids, combustion, genetics and vision

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 15, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 June, 2020 – Experiments encompassing fluids, combustion, genetics and vision
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 June, 2020 - Experiments encompassing fluids, combustion, genetics and vision.

The International Space Station is buzzing today with a broad array of research to improve life for humans on and off the Earth.
The five-person Expedition 63 crew has also been preparing for a set of spacewalks as the pace of space science ramps up.

The orbital residents are bringing the orbital lab back up to speed to help scientists harness the benefits of space phenomena. Today, the three NASA astronauts and two Roscosmos cosmonauts juggled a variety of experiments encompassing fluids, combustion, genetics and vision among others.

NASA Flight Engineers Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken spent part of the morning continuing to observe how bubbles behave in microfluid systems. Hurley then started another experiment to look at how tanks of various shapes affect fluids and gases. Both studies have the potential to impact future aerospace and medicine technologies.

The duo also worked on U.S. spacesuits ahead of planned spacewalks to continue upgrading power systems on the outside of the space station. They later split up as Behnken worked on a genetic analyzer that can provide results in just a few hours, much faster than previous research methods. At the end of the day, Hurley joined NASA Commander Chris Cassidy for ultrasound eye scans to examine the cornea, lens and optic nerve.

Cassidy spent a portion his day replacing components in the treadmill located in the Tranquility module. He also began setting up the new Spectrum imager that will use multiple wavelengths to view the cellular and tissue growth of botany samples.

Russian Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin replaced laptop computer batteries then swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to continue safe fuel and flame research. Fellow cosmonaut Ivan Vagner unpacked cargo from the Progress 75 resupply ship and set up a cinematic virtual reality camera to film station activities for audiences on Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report


Capillary Structures: The crew set up and performed the Infill Foam Capillary Structures experiment. The setup allows investigators to observe the wicking of fluid into the foam and out of air passages. The ground team was very happy with the results and report all science objectives and more were completed. Current life-support systems on the ISS require special equipment to separate liquids and gases, including rotating or moving devices that could cause contamination if they break or fail. This investigation studies a new method using structures of specific shapes to manage fluid and gas mixtures. It studies water recycling and carbon dioxide removal, benefiting future efforts to design lightweight, more reliable life support systems for future space missions.

Combustion Integration Rack/Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (CIR/ACME): In support of the on-going s-Flame part 2 investigation, the crew removed a 45% CH4/ 55% He fuel bottle and replaced it with a 20% CH2=CH2/ 80% He fuel bottle. The purpose of s-Flame is to advance our ability to predict the structure and dynamics, including extinction and instabilities, of both soot-free and sooty flames. The results may contribute to the development of lean-burn engines for improved efficiency and reduced pollutant emissions here on Earth. S-Flame is one of five experiments hosted by CIR/ACME which is designed to study gaseous flames.

Electrolysis Measurement (EM): In support of the ongoing EM experiment, the crew performed a series of sample exchanges. The experiment is expected to process 30 total samples over the next several weeks. Electrolytic Gas Evolution Under Microgravity (Electrolysis Measurement) examines the influence of gravity on electrolytic gas evolution, a complex electrochemical process with multiple applications on Earth and in space. For example, electrolysis generates bubbles that can be used to create pressure differentials in microfluidic devices, such as skin patches, used to deliver medications. Microgravity makes it possible to single out bubble growth and study its effect on the process.

ISS Experience: The Russian crew participated in a cosmonaut crew log recording session for ISS Experience. Some of the talking points goals included the differences between the US and Russian segments, the use of different languages in the ISS, and general ideas of what space exploration may be like 100 years from now. The ISS Experience creates a virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the ISS. The 8 to 10 minute videos created from footage taken during the six-month investigation cover different aspects of crew life, execution of science aboard the station, and the international partnerships involved. The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Depressurization: The crew assisted with the JEMAL depressurization. This is a continuation of the operations to robotically transfer and install the iSIM hardware on its external JEM Exposed Facility location planned for later today. The integrated Standard Imager for Microsatellites (iSIM), is a high-resolution optical binocular telescope developed by SATLANTIS. Spatial resolution of up to 1m is possible with iSIM at a price cheaper than traditional imaging systems of comparable performance. The objective of this experiment is to demonstrate the technology, and its functionality, in the low-Earth orbit environment.

Wetlab RNA SmartCycler Laptop Checkout: The crew performed a checkout of the Wetlab RNA smartcycler system with the new Zbook laptop computers. This is the first time for the smartcycler to use the new laptop and this serves as a checkout for science ops currently planned for the fall. Wetlab RNA SmartCycler is a research platform for conducting real-time quantitative gene expression analysis aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The system enables spaceflight genomic studies involving a wide variety of biospecimen types in the unique microgravity environment of space.


Treadmill Maintenance: Today the crew performed the majority of the remaining work to close out T2 maintenance. The ground team will schedule additional crew time on tomorrow’s plan. Forward work includes rack centering, T2 cable installation and rotating the rack back into a nominal configuration. Upon completion, T2 activation and checkout is required before the treadmill is declared operational for use.

S6 Battery Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: Today, the ISS crew was involved with preparation activities for the upcoming EVA to replace the Channel 1B batteries on Friday, June 26. The crew completed a procedure review which also included a systems briefing and tool configuration summary. In addition, the crew completed recharging of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) feedwater tanks with iodinated water from a Contingency Water Container (CWC). Further preparations included initiating charge operations on the EMU Long Life Batteries (LLB).

Ultrasound Exam: Today the crew used the ultrasound device to perform a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) scan. This is a new routine medical requirement that utilizes existing on-orbit eye exam ultrasound hardware for bilateral imaging of the internal jugular, entire subclavian-axillary axis, and lower extremity deep veins. VTE scans utilize a different frequency than the eye exams.

Completed Task List Activities:

WHC KTO Replace
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Ground Support for JEMRMS Ops
Node 3 MCA Full Calibration
LTL Setpoint Adjustment for Node 3 CCAA Dryout
Airlock LTL Flow
Crew Dragon Wakeup Checkout
SSRMS Walkoff to MBS1 and SPDM Unstow
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, 6/11 (GMT 163)

Electrolysis Measurement
EPM Laptop Load
ISS Experience H/W Stow
Manufacturing Device
PL NAS Vent Clean
Spectrum Setup

EMU Resize
HTV Cargo Ops
EVA Battery Ops
IMV Split Atmosphere Ops
Friday, 6/12 (GMT 164)

Spectrum Power Down

Crew Off Duty
Saturday, 6/13 (GMT 165)

No Payload Activities

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

Hematocrit Test
JEM Airlock Depressurization
SCENARIY. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedures Print
Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
ISS repress with O2 from Progress 443 (DC1) СрПК Section 1
On MCC GO: Regeneration of Micropurification unit (БМП) Ф2 cartridge (end)
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Setup
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
ISS Experience Russian Segment Setup
SPECTRUM Procedure Review
Progress 448 (SM Aft) Cargo Transfers and IMS Ops
JEM Airlock Vent
T2 R&R Part 10
JEM Airlock Vent Confirmation
DUBRAVA. Observation and Photography using VSS
HRF Rack 1 Supply Kit Inventory
Capillary Structures Foam Infill Demonstration
ISS Experience Astronaut Log Recording
SM Air Sampling Using АК-1М Sampler
Replacement of CMOS batteries in RS2 and RS1 laptops.
ISS Experience Hardware Relocate
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
Filling (separation) of ЕДВ-СВ or ЕДВ (КОВ) for Elektron-VM
SpaceX Window Overview Inspection
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Contingency Water Container – Iodinated (CWC-I) Degas
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Post Exam
Wet Lab RNA SmartCycler MWA Preparation
Wet Lab RNA SmartCycler ZBook Checkout

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