Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 September 2017

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 26, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 September 2017
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 September 2017.

The three orbiting Expedition 53 crew members explored growing new lung tissue, foods that affect the immune system and microscopic particles suspended in liquids. Another trio of crew members is just a day away from launching to the International Space Station and beginning a five-and-a-half month stay in space.
Over the weekend, the crew wrapped up the Lung Tissue experiment. The study is using the latest bioengineering techniques to grow lung tissue in space and observe how microgravity affects the process.

Another study is looking at which foods can improve the gut environment and immune system while living in space. Scientists on Earth will take a look at microbe and metabolite samples taken from mice living aboard the station to determine the diet’s effectiveness.

A specialized microscope is being worked on inside the Fluids Integrated Rack. The advanced light imaging microscope facility will be used for the upcoming ACE-T6 study that is researching ways to improve the manufacturing process for consumer products. The microscope will be used to peer at tiny particles suspended in liquids, called colloids, which affect the way products separate, clump together and spoil.

Back on Earth, two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are a day away from beginning their Expedition 53-54 mission. Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin will lead the near six-hour flight from Kazakhstan to the station’s Poisk docking compartment with Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei.

On-Orbit Status Report

Lung Tissue Operations and Removal: On Saturday, the crew took samples and fixed media in the Tissue Bags, before inserting them in to a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). After completing the experiment, the crew disassembled the Lung Tissue hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The Lung Tissue investigation uses the microgravity environment of space to test strategies for growing new lung tissue. Using the latest bioengineering techniques, the Lung Tissue experiment cultures different types of lung cells in controlled conditions onboard the ISS. The cells are grown in a specialized framework that supplies them with critical growth factors so that scientists can observe how gravity affects growth and specialization as cells become new lung tissue.

Tropical Cyclone Irma: On Sunday, the crew configured the cameras in the Cupola and took a third set of pictures of Hurricane Irma. This is the first time the Tropical Cyclone investigation has captured three sets of pictures from the same storm. Last week, Hurricane Irma peaked as a Category 5 for three days with maximum sustained wind at 185 miles per hour (mph). The Tropical Cyclone investigation is used to capture images of tropical cyclones and hurricanes that are rated at Category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson scale. A pseudo-stereoscopic method is used to determine the altitudes of the cloud tops near the center (eye) of a cyclone by precisely tracking the apparent positions of cloud features with respect to the Earth and how those positions change over time as an observer (the ISS in this case) passes over the storm. The photographic images will be used to demonstrate that pseudo-spectroscopy can be used to measure the cloud altitudes to sufficient precision so that, when combined with other remote-sensing data, an accurate determination of the intensity of hurricane or cyclone can be made.

Lighting Effects: Over the weekend and this morning, the crew provided sleep log entries for the Lighting Effects investigation. The light bulbs on the ISS are being replaced with a new system designed for improved crew health and wellness. Fluorescent bulbs are being replaced with solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that have adjustable intensity and color. Investigators will determine if the new lights improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. Results from this investigation also have implications for people on Earth who use electric lights.

Multi-Omics-Mouse: Today the crew transferred the Mouse Cage Units with the mice from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to the Glove Box and performed routine maintenance operations by exchanging the waste collecting equipment, odor filters, and food cartridges. Several studies have reported space flight effects on the human immune system, but the relationship between microbiota and immune dysfunction during flight remains unclear. In the Multi-Omics-Mouse investigation, food with and without fructooligosaccharides (FOS) will be used as prebiotics, to determine if they improve the gut environment and immune function. After the flight, researchers will analyze the gut environment (microbiota and metabolites) and immune system of the mice by multi-omics analysis.

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) Light Microscopy Module (LMM) Control Box Replacement: Earlier today, the crew began the 2nd of 6 suites of LMM enhancements to support upcoming ACE-T6 operations. While conducting the FIR LMM Control Box replacement, the crew could not reconnect the power and data cables to complete installation of the new control box. The clocking of the connectors on the new Control Box appeared to be different than those of the Control Box that was removed, which caused the two cables to interfere with one another to the point of precluding connection of either cable. The FIR rack was closed in a safe configuration and the cables remain disconnected. A forward plan is being worked to address the clocking issue. The other enhancements in the suite can be performed independent of this anomaly. The next activity (part 3) is scheduled for Thursday. The Light Microscopy Module (LMM) is a modified commercial, highly flexible, state-of-the-art light imaging microscope facility that provides researchers with powerful diagnostic hardware and software onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS) Electronic Unit Removal: Last week, the crew was scheduled to remove the failed Electronic Unit (EU) from MELFI-1, to return that EU and another previously failed EU on SpX-12. A spare EU was scheduled to be installed in MELFI-1, bringing that facility back to an operational state. However, during the removal, fluid buildup was found on one of the connectors and the activity was suspended pending development of a cleanup procedure. Today the crew collected samples of the buildup before cleaning, removing, and packing the EU for return. The MELFI is a cold storage unit that maintains experiment samples at ultra-cold temperatures until those samples can be returned to the ground for analysis.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

At Home In Space Culture Photo
Combustion Integrated Rack Alignment Guide Removal
Initiate water transfer from CWC-I to ???
Terminate water transfer from CWC-I to ???
ASI Biomission script recording
In Situ message recording
PERSEO message recording
Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) Enhanced Caution and Warning System (ECWS) On-Board Training
Fluids Integrated Rack Hardware Gather
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
Fluids Integrated Rack Hardware Return
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
HRF Continuous Blood Pressure Device Hardware Consolidate and Transfer
Delta file prep
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
LMM Control Box Replacement
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry – Subject
MELFI 1 EU Cleanup and R&R
Multi-Omics-Mouse Cage Maintenance and Fecal Collection for 1G
Multi-Omics-Mouse Cage Maintenance and Fecal Collection for Micro-G
Multi-Omics-Mouse Item Gathering
Multi-Omics-Mouse MELFI Insertion
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos web site and social media
Changeout of Dust Filter ??1-4 Cartridges in SM (???1???_2_224_1 bag 436-26 (00071452R).
Pre-activation Elektron-VM ?? (liquid tank) repress
??? maintenance
External inspection and photography of [???1] acoustic and thermal insulation
Voice check in S/G1 from Baikonur
Download Pille Dosimeter Readings
Taking Oscilloscope measurements of voltage in ISS and in Soyuz# 736 orbital module.
URAGAN. Observation and photography
ECON-M. Observation and photography

Completed Task List Activities
Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS) Isolator Inspection.
T2 Yearly Maintenance Follow-Up
52S Crew Arrival Prep
EMCS CO2 Handle Tape
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
LAB1P1 Z-Panel Connector Hardware Verification
MSG Tapes Trash
Recorded Greeting Request
Rodent Research 9 Habitat 3 & 4 Restock
EMER2 cue card update
Wanted poster for CTB containing BCR/RFID hardware
WHC KTO Replace
Dragon 12 Cargo Ops Packing

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 09/12: Lighting Effects Multi-Omics Mouse, TangoLab-2, NR Mod 9, CSA-CP
Wednesday, 09/13: Lighting Effects, CSA-CP, IV-TEPC relocation, Space Headaches
Thursday, 09/14: Lighting Effects, Spaceborne Computer, TangoLab-1, RR-9

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – On
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
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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