Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 March 2020 – Unloading the Resupply Spacecraft

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 14, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 March 2020 – Unloading the Resupply Spacecraft
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 March 2020 - Unloading the Resupply Spacecraft.

The Expedition 62 crew started unloading and activating new science experiments, which were delivered Monday aboard the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.
NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir opened Dragon’s hatch shortly after its capture and installation on Monday. The duo quickly retrieved critical research samples and installed science hardware, setting up operations aboard the International Space Station.

Mice are living on the station now after their ride to space aboard Dragon. Morgan placed the rodents in specialized habitats for a JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) investigation exploring how microgravity affects genetic expression. Observations will give doctors insights into the how human body will adapt to longer missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Meir collected a science freezer and commercial research hardware from inside Dragon and began setting up the gear throughout the orbital lab. In the afternoon, she got back to work on ongoing bone research tending to bone cells being observed to understand Earth ailments such as osteoporosis.

Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos collected air samples from inside Dragon shortly after its hatch opening Monday. The veteran cosmonaut focused on Russian life support maintenance Tuesday morning before setting up Earth observation hardware during the afternoon.

On-Orbit Status Report

Mouse Mission-5: The crew completed mouse transfer and related activities to start the mission. The purpose of this mission is to analyze any alterations of the gene expression patterns in several organs and the effects on the germ-cell development of mice exposed to a long-term space environment.

Nanoracks Module-9: The crew performed the first set of operations (“Ops 1”) on the Nanoracks mod-9 tubes including opening of clamps on 3 of the tubes, followed by gently (or vigorously depending on the tube) mixing of the contents by shaking them. Some of the experiments in this group of mixture tubes included the effects of microgravity on the growth of various organisms, as well as the effect of microgravity on the ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to perform double-stranded DNA break repairs. The experiments use NanoRacks MixStix, miniature laboratories activated by space station crew and eventually returned to the student teams on Earth for analysis.

Nanoracks Science Box: In preparation for autonomous operations, the crew installed the NanoRacks Science Box into EXPRESS Rack 6 and connected the appropriate cables. NanoRacks Science Box, also known as Nanoracks Black Box, is a key part of NanoRacks’ next generation International Space Station platforms. This new platform is specially designed to provide near-launch payload turnover of autonomous payloads while providing advanced science capabilities for customers, including use of robotics, new automated MixStix and NanoLab-style research. Black Box is a locker-sized platform that accommodates up to 18U of payloads. Technology Demonstrations on OA-5 NanoRacks-Black Box include NanoRacks-Valley Christian-Microsoft IoT NanoLab, NanoRacks-Edge of Space-Sphero-SPRK, and NanoRacks Automated MixStix.

OsteoOmics: The crew performed a cell culture media exchange on the remaining viable BioCells in habitat 3. Last week, some of the Biocells in multiple habitats were found to be contaminated and were removed. The cause of the contamination is under discussion. Millions of Americans experience bone loss, which results from disease or the reduced effects of gravity that can occur in bed-ridden patients. OsteoOmics tests whether magnetic levitation accurately simulates the free-fall conditions of microgravity by comparing genetic expression osteoblastic cells, a type of bone cell, levitated in a high-field superconducting magnet with cells flown in low-Earth orbit. This information helps scientists determine the molecular and metabolic changes that take place in magnetic levitation and real microgravity.

Space Cells-01: The crew inserted 4 Space Cells-01 Plate Habitats into CGBA-4. Space Cells-01 examines gene expression changes and genetic mutations in hemp and coffee plant cells in microgravity. The cell cultures spend approximately one month on the space station then return to Earth for analysis of their physical structure and gene expression and are compared to preflight parameters. Results could help identify new varieties or chemical expressions in the plants and improve understanding of how plants manage the stress of space travel.


Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Status: Following UPA issues on Sunday which indicated a seizing of the drive train and imminent hard failure of the Pressure Control and Pump Assembly (PCPA), engineering teams met yesterday to develop a forward plan. Their assessment was that the PCPA is near end-of-life and recommended replacement of the unit with an available on-orbit spare.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Maintenance: The crew removed and replaced the piping between the pump separator and the dose pump. During the activity the crew reported some dried contamination at the M-connector at the dose pump which has been noted on previous piping R&R’s. The contamination, suspected to be dried pretreat, was photo documented, cleaned, and the hardware was replaced nominally. Ground teams will review the photos.

SpX-20 Cargo Unload: The crew transferred center stack bags and unpacked 3 Double Coldbags (DCB) into Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI), Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator II (MERLIN) and ambient locations. After they removed the science from the bags, the ice bricks and DCBs were temp stowed.

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Double Walkoff: An SSRMS double walkoff to Mobile Base System (MBS) 1 is in work in preparation for the LEE A snare survey scheduled Wednesday.

Completed Task List Activities:
SSC13 UBA reseat

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload operations support
SpX-20 cargo ops
SSRMS walkoff to MBS1
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, 3/11 (GMT 071)
Cold Stowage transfers
Engineered Heart Tissue
Medium Temp PCG
Mouse Mission-5
Nanoracks Mod-51
Standard Measures

Restow Dragon Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)

Thursday, 3/12 (GMT 072)
Food Acceptability
Locker reconfigurations
MELFI Icebrick insert
Nanoracks Mod-9 ops 2

JOTI config for MISSE transfer tray

Friday, 3/13 (GMT 073)
Food Acceptability
Standard Measures
Phage Evolution

WHC maintenance

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

Transfer Center Stack
SpX-20 (Dragon) Air Sampling using ??-1? sampler prior to Air Duct Installation
Pressurization of Elektron-VM Liquid Unit before Activation
Checkout of Virus Definition File Update on Auxiliary Computer System (???) Laptops and Report
Preventive Maintenance of SM Ventilation Subsystem. Group C
Dragon F1A2 Locker Remove
ER6 Locker Install
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Unpack
Nanoracks Module-9 OBT
Polar and TCU Transfer from Dragon Overview
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Piping R&R
Nanoracks Science Box Installation
Polar and TCU Transfer from Dragon Overview
TERMINATOR. Install and connect Terminator-Nadir PL on window No.7. PL activation.
Polar Express Rack Uninstall and Transfer, JAXA TCU Handover, and Polar and TCU Dragon Install
XF305 Camcorder Setup
JAXA Mouse Mission 5 Pre-feed Animal Transfer
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
OsteoOmics-2 Media Relocate
Changeout of ??1 & ??2 Dust Filters ((???1???_4_424_1, bag 441-13 (00076073R)). Discard deinstalled items. Reflect deltas in the IMS) and Cleaning ?1, ?2 Fan Screens in DC1
Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) Activation
Jaxa Mouse Mission 5 Compact Flash Memory Card 64GB Data Transfer 1
Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Sample Insert
Jaxa Mouse Mission 5 Compact Flash Memory Card 64GB Data Transfer 2
OsteoOmics-2 Media Change
Nanoracks Module-9 HD Video Setup
Nanoracks Module-9 Ops Session 1
Jaxa Mouse Mission 5 Compact Flash Memory Card 64GB Data Transfer 3
Nanoracks Module 9 Imagery Transfer
OsteoOmics-2 MELFI Sample Retrieve

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