Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 July 2018 – Microgravity Research for Algae Production

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 13, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 July 2018 – Microgravity Research for Algae Production
NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold is inside the Columbus laboratory module thinning plants for the Plant Habitat-1 experiment that is comparing plants grown in microgravity to those grown on Earth. Credit: NASA.

Expedition 56 crew members are transferring cargo in and out of U.S. and Russian cargo ships today. Two astronauts are also planning to release a U.S. resupply ship on Sunday ending its mission at the International Space Station.
Astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Alexander Gerst were back inside the SpaceX Dragon today unloading science gear and station hardware from inside the space freighter. Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos continued unloading the nearly three tons of crew supplies and station hardware delivered Monday aboard the new Progress 70 cargo craft.

The Cygnus resupply ship will complete its stay at the orbital Sunday at 8:35 a.m. EDT after 52 days attached to the Unity module. Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release Cygnus back into Earth orbit backed up by Auñón-Chancellor of NASA. Cygnus will remain in orbit until July 30 supporting engineering activities before it is deorbited to burn up harmlessly over the Pacific Ocean.

Space research aboard the orbital lab is always ongoing as the crew explored a variety of life science today. The space residents explored how microgravity impacts fertility, algae production and the gastrointestinal system. The crew also completed routine eye checks with an ultrasound device Wednesday morning to maintain good vision during spaceflight.

On-Orbit Status Report

Space Algae: The crew agitated and then installed an additional six Space Algae culture bags in the Veggie facility today. The Space Algae investigation explores the genetic basis for productivity of algae cultivated in space and whether this requires genetic adaptations or not. Algae may perceive microgravity as an abiotic stress, which can trigger production of high value compounds. Investigators plan whole genome sequencing of the space-grown algal populations to identify genes related to growth in spaceflight and testing of algal composition for production of high value compounds.

Atomization: The crew replaced sample syringes for the Atomization investigation today. The Atomization experiment investigates the disintegration processes of a low-speed water jet for various jet issue conditions in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) to validate the new atomization concept by observing the process using a high-speed camera. The knowledge gained can be applied to improve various engines utilizing spray combustion.

Amyloid: Today the crew removed Amyloid samples from a Polar and placed them in the Measurement Experiment Unit, which they attached to a Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to start incubation. Amyloid fibrils prepared in the microgravity environment of the ISS are returned to Earth for analysis through Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and electron microscopy. Amyloid fibrils are the peptide or protein aggregates known to be associated with various diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. It is expected that this study will provide additional insight into the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation.

Micro-11: The crew performed a run for the Micro-11 investigation today. They configured and calibrated the Micro-11 microscope, thawed samples removed from a Glacier, fixed those samples and loaded them into the microscope for imaging. They then inserted the samples into a MELFI. There are a total of thirteen runs for the Micro-11 investigation. Micro-11 examines whether spaceflight alters human sperm, by tracking the swimming patterns of human and bull sperm during spaceflight. This investigation also assesses other aspects of sperm functionality related to male fertility. As a result, Micro-11 provides fundamental data indicating whether successful human reproduction beyond Earth is possible, and whether countermeasures are needed to protect sperm function in space.

Rodent Research-7 (RR-7): Today the crew removed the Habitats from their rack and cleaned the cameras used to film them. The RR-7 investigation examines how the space environment affects the community of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract of mice (also known as the microbiota). It also looks at microgravity’s effects on multiple physiological systems known to be affected by the microbiota, including the gastrointestinal, immune, metabolic, circadian, and sleep systems. These studies should help explain mechanisms underlying interactions between these systems and the role of the microbiota in these interactions.

Food Acceptability: A crewmember completed a Food Acceptability questionnaire today. The Food Acceptability investigation seeks to determine the impact of repetitive consumption of food currently available from the spaceflight food system. Results will be used in developing strategies to improve food system composition to support crew health and performance on long duration missions.

Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) and Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System (RAIDS) Experiment Payload (HREP): Earlier today, robotics ground controllers used the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) to transfer the HREP payload in from JEM Exposed Facility (EFU) location #6 to EFU #13. Later this afternoon, robotics ground controllers will utilize the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to transfer the HREP from EFU #13 to the Dragon trunk.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): The crew installed 8 RFID logistics marker tags in the Node 2 endcone and 10 in PMA-1 today. RFID Logistics aims to utilize RFID enabled tags on hardware throughout the ISS to assist in the tracking of the hardware as it is moved around the ISS.

MagVector 3D: The crew exchanged a MagVector 3D sample today. A total of 12 different samples will be processed on the ISS (1 per day). ESA’s MagVector investigation supports a study of how Earth’s magnetic field interacts with an electrical conductor. Using extremely sensitive magnetic sensors placed around and above a conductor, researchers can gain insight into ways that the magnetic field influences how conductors work. This research is expected to help improve future ISS experiments and electrical experiments, and could also offer insights into how magnetic fields influence electrical conductors in general.

Eye Exams: Today the entire US crew completed routine Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Ultrasound eye exams. OCT is an imaging technique analogous to ultrasound imaging that uses light instead of sound to capture micrometer-resolution, two- and three-dimensional images of tissue; In this case, the objects of interest are the crewmember’s eyes. Eye exams are performed regularly onboard in order to monitor crewmembers eye health. Eyesight is one of the many aspects of the human body that is affected by long-duration stays in a microgravity environment.

Public Affairs Office (PAO) Live Events: Ricky Arnold participated in an educational event this afternoon with students attending Goddard Space Flight Centers Summer Camps. The event served to ignite students’ excitement in science and engineering.

Dragon (SpX-15) Cargo Operations: The crew completed approximately 1.5 hours of cargo operations today. Overall, the crew has completed a total of 22 hours of cargo operations so far this SpX-15 mission. Cargo specialist on the ground estimate the crew will need another 3:00 to complete unloading the vehicle.

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

Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT Setup
Magvector 3D Sensor Array Sample Exchange
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
Amyloid Item Gathering
Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect
XF305 Camcorder Setup
De-installing Progress 439 (DC1) Docking Mechanism
Atomization syringe replacement 2
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – OCT Exam
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Amyloid Sample Retrieval from Polar +2 degrees C.
Amyloid Sample Attachment
ASEPTIC. Hardware Transfer from Progress 439 to MRM1
STRUKTURA. Luch-2 Hardware Transfer from Progress 439
STRUKTURA. Process activation and setup for exposure.
PROBIOVIT. Transfer of Kits from Progress 439 and Setup on panel 327
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
STRUKTURA. Photography
PROBIOVIT. Photography of Probiovit setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT Stow
BIOPOLIMER. Hardware transfer and setup
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Environmental Health System (EHS) Coliform Water Processing
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan Prep
BIOPOLIMER. Photography
Space Algae MWA Preparation
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Space Algae Experiment Install
CONTROL. Switching Indicator-ISS P/L Measuring Modes
Filling (separation) of ЕДВ (КОВ) for Elektron-VM or ЕДВ-СВ
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Post Exam
Made in Space Fiber Optics Troubleshooting
СОЖ maintenance
ISS HAM Video Power Up
Glacier 2 Desiccant Swap
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
Micro-11 Microscope Checkout
Micro-11 Microscope Operations
Micro-11 Glacier Sample Removal 1
MICRO-11 Thaw Operations
Radio Frequency Identification Logistics Marker Tag Installation in Node 2_Endcone and PMA-1.
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Progress 439 (DC1) time-critical, priority, and US cargo transfers and IMS Ops
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Micro-11 MELFI Sample Return Bag Insertion
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
Micro-11 MELFI Sample Return Bag Insertion
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Rodent Research Node 2 Camcorder Video Setup
Rodent Research 7 Camera Cleaning
NeuroMapping Experiment Neurocognitive Test Video – Subject
IMS Update
Bringing ODF up to date using Progress 439-delivered files
ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from SPX-15
SAMS Cable and Sensor Relocation from COL to JEM
Wireless Compose SD Card Data Deletion
Treadmill 2 (T2) Quarterly Maintenance
Manufacturing Device Canister and Extruder Exchange
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Micro-11 Glacier Sample Removal 1

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
JEMRMS Operations (HREP Transfer EFU6 to EFU13)
SSRMS Operations (HREP transfer EFU13 to Dragon trunk)

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 07/12: Dragon stowage, MCR11, LMM, Med Consumables Tracking, Thermolab, MICS, FSL VMU, CubeSat OBT, AngieX Cancer Therapy, JEMAL depress, Aerosol Sampler, Neuromapping, T2 Quarterly
Friday, 07/13: Micro-11 Ops, Cygnus Release OBT, Cygnus Vestibule Demate Config, Eye Exams, NRCSD#14 Deploy, SODF Deploy
Saturday, 07/14: Cygnus/N1 Vestibule depress and leak check, Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty

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

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