Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 June, 2020 – Preparing for Two Spacewalks

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 15, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 June, 2020 – Preparing for Two Spacewalks
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 June, 2020 - Preparing for Two Spacewalks.

Two spacewalks are set to continue upgrading power systems at the International Space Station at the end of the month.
The Expedition 63 crew is getting ready for the summer excursions while also researching a variety of space phenomena to benefit Earth and space industries.

Two NASA astronauts will exit the orbital lab on June 26 and July 1 to continue replacing batteries that store and distribute power collected from the solar arrays. They will work on the outer portion of the truss structure, or the Starboard-6 truss, disconnecting and removing the old nickel hydrogen batteries. Following that, new lithium-ion batteries will be installed in their place and powered up by mission controllers on the ground.

The two spacewalkers are following up on the battery swap work that begun last year and continued into January. The complex repair job has been taking place on both the starboard and port sides of the station’s truss structure. That is where the basketball court-sized solar arrays are located. The solar arrays slowly rotate around the truss structure and track the sun but are locked into place during the spacewalks.

Station Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken spent the morning resizing U.S. spacesuits before splitting up for a variety of science activities. Cassidy spent the rest of the day configuring the new Spectrum imager that will view the cellular growth of plants in multiple wavelengths. Behnken continued more space bubbles research to promote advanced oxygen and medicine delivery systems.

NASA Flight Engineer Doug Hurley started Thursday on life support maintenance before continuing to unpack Japan’s HTV-9 resupply ship in the afternoon. The two cosmonauts, Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, spread out in the station’s Russian segment focusing on life support maintenance, window inspections and Earth atmospheric studies.

On-Orbit Status Report


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.

Manufacturing Device (ManD): Due to issues with sensors in the existing ManD unit, it was exchanged with a replacement unit. The ground team will need to load updated software and perform checkouts before the unit is ready to print. The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF, aka ManD) enables the production of components on the International Space Station (ISS) for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the AMF that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. The AMF is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.

Spectrum Setup: The crew configured the Spectrum unit, and installed it in EXPRESS rack 6. The functional checkout will occur tomorrow (Friday). Spectrum takes fluorescent images of biological specimens contained within a controlled environment. A high resolution, monochrome camera captures images of fluoresced proteins of plants within Petri plates. Ground crews control the growth lighting, CO2 levels, and ethylene levels within the Spectrum’s research chamber over a typical 12-day growth period while routinely capturing images and telemetering these images back to Earth.


Treadmill (T2) Maintenance: Today the crew performed the remaining closeout steps for T2 maintenance. Upon completion, the crew performed the unmanned activation and checkout (ACO) successfully. However, during the manned ACO, the treadmill did not rotate and the T2 120V primary power LED light was off. Crew was requested to stand down from the unmanned ACO. No further troubleshooting was requested of the crew today as the ground team determines a forward plan. At this time, T2 is still non-operational.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: Today, the ISS crew continued preparation activities for the upcoming S6 Battery EVAs. The crew completed an EMU resizing activity that set-up EMU suits 3004 and 3006 for Chris Cassidy and Doug Hurley. The crew also initiated charge operations on the EMU Long Life Batteries (LLB) and continued charging cycles on the Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA).

Split Atmosphere Operations: Today the ventilation between the Russian and US segments was split to further troubleshoot the source of benzene onboard the ISS. The USOS and RS crew each performed steps to redirect air flow within their segments. The Air Quality Monitor (AQM), previously transferred to the Service Module (SM) this week, acquired additional readings throughout the day. Following the data collection, the crew performed steps to recombine atmospheres. The ground team will utilize the readings from today to develop a forward plan to pinpoint the benzene source.

Completed Task List Activities:

T2 Extender Strap Transfer
EVA Procedure Review (on-going)
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

JEMRMS Ops – Stow EFU Adapter
Station Moding for JEMRMS
Video Support for JEMRMS
Airlock LTL Flow Ops
IMC Split Atmosphere Ground Supt
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, 6/12 (GMT 164)


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

No payload activities

Crew Off Duty
Sunday, 6/14 (GMT 166)

No payload activities

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

Calf Volume Measurement
ISS crew and ???? (RSA Flight Control Management Team) weekly conference (S-band)
Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Split Configuration
TERMINATOR. Terminator-Limb PL Installation
T2 Rack Centering
Progress 4480 (SM Aft) Transfers and IMS Ops
MELFI Overview OBT
T2 Cable Connections
Environmental Health System (EHS) Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange
EPM Laptop Image Creation
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
SM Air Sampling Using ??-1? Sampler
Inspection and photography of ISS RS windows: No.2, No.13, and No.14 in SM
DUBRAVA. Observation and Photography using VSS
Payloads Network Attached Storage (NAS) Vent Cleaning
ISS Experience Hardware Stow
[???] fan and carbon monoxide (CO) sensor replacement in ??2106 gas analyzer
SPECTRUM MWA Preparation
Unmanned ACO Camcorder Set Up
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB)/Metal Oxide (METOX) Ops
T2 Unmanned ACO
??2106 analyzer switchover to Operation mode
Verify ??-1 sensor installation. Photography of faulty flow meters
FGB ??-1? air sampling for Freon
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Atmosphere Purification & Filtration Unit (????-2?) installation and activation in FGB
Manufacturing Device Stow
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Spectrum Hardware Setup
Vacuum Cleaning ??28-120 Voltage Converter for SM printer (behind panel 231?). Visual inspection of GFCI cable and extension cable
Manufacturing Device Locker and Cable Setup
PK4 Experiment Cycle 8 Review
PK-4 Experiment Hard Drive Audit
TERMINATOR. Deinstallation of Terminator-Limb PL
Perform search for missing MBS One Way Valves and swap limited life components.
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
HTV Transfer Operations
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Initiation/Termination
????-2?2 Deinstallation
SM air sampling using ??-1? sampler
Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Split Reintegration Unpacking the HTV-9 Cargo Craft

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