Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 November 2019 – Cosmic Particle Detector Repairs

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 16, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 November 2019 – Cosmic Particle Detector Repairs
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 November 2019 - Cosmic Particle Detector Repairs.

The International Space Station’s cosmic particle detector, in operation since 2011, will get its first repair job during a series of spacewalks set to start this Friday. The Expedition 61 crew is gearing up for the spacewalk while ensuring ongoing advanced space research.
Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will lead at least four excursions into the vacuum of space to upgrade the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will assist the commander as they cut and reconnect fluid lines on the AMS’ thermal control system. The AMS captures cosmic particles and measures their electrical charge in its search for antimatter and dark matter.

NASA TV begins its live spacewalk coverage Friday at 5:30 a.m. EST. Parmitano and Morgan will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power at 7:05 a.m. signifying the start of their spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch will support the duo on Friday. Meir will be in charge of the Canadarm2 robotic arm while Koch manages the U.S. spacesuits. All four astronauts gathered today and reviewed robotics procedures for the spacewalk repairs.

Life science and space physics also took up a portion of the crew’s schedule today. Koch checked out hardware on a 3-D bioprinter and watered plants as Meir fed lab mice. Morgan and Parmitano serviced biology and fluids research gear.

In the Russian segment of the station, a pair of cosmonauts packed a resupply ship for its Nov. 29 departure while working science and life support maintenance. Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov researched plasma crystals for an experiment that may inform future spacecraft designs. Oleg Skripochka checked the Zarya module’s power supply system before plumbing work and computer maintenance.

On-Orbit Status Report

BioFabrication Facility (BFF): The crew installed four cleaning syringes into the BFF after the Test Cassette printing process was complete and then removed the cassette. The BFF is dedicated to manufacturing human organs and tissues in space, primarily for use by patients on Earth. Besides printing tissue, the BFF also can help maintain the health of deep space exploration crews by producing food and personalized pharmaceuticals on demand.

PK-4 (Plasma Krystall-4): The crew performed 2nd run for part one of Commissioning #8 operations involving particle cloud trappings inside the PK-4 Chamber. Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4) is a scientific collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of “Complex Plasmas”: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. PK-4 investigates how micro-particles become highly charged in plasma and interact, leading to a self-organized structure of the micro-particles: so-called plasma crystals. Experiments in the facility aim to study Transport Properties, Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Statistical Physics, and Non-linear waves and Instabilities in the plasmas.

Rodent Research-14 (RR-14): The crew performed RR-14 habitat 2 & 4 restocks and cleaned the Access Unit (AU). Rodent Research-14 will focus on Microgravity as a Disruptor Of The 12-hour Circatidal Clock (RR-14), uses mice to test the hypothesis that disruptions in a microgravity environment to the circadian rhythm sleep/wake cycle will affect the body on a cellular and key organ level. The importance of this 12-hour clock has been established as a mechanism that controls stress-responsive pathways. The unique environment of the ISS provides an ideal setting to challenge this. In short, exposing cellular systems in mice to the stress of microgravity provides an opportunity to study the response of the 12-hour body clock from cellular adaptation and its effect(s) on organismal behavior.

Space Biofilms: The crew terminated the Group Activation Packs (GAPs) and then placed the GAPs into cold stowage. The Characterization of Biofilm Formation, Growth, and Gene Expression on Different Materials and Environmental Conditions in Microgravity (Space Biofilms) investigation characterizes the mass, thickness, structure, and associated gene expression of biofilms that form in space by analyzing different microbial species grown on different materials. Biofilm formation can cause equipment malfunction and human illnesses, and could be a serious problem on future long-term human space missions

ACE-T-5 (Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-5): The crew performed the reconfiguration of the LMM AFC (Auxiliary Fluids Container) facility in preparation for the ACE-T5 experiment. Colloids are small particles suspended in a liquid. They can self-assemble into higher order structures of various forms. The Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-5 (ACE-T-5) investigation studies a new class of soft materials that contain two non-mixing liquids separated by a layer of colloids, called bi-continuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels, also known as Bijels. Microgravity experiments with bijels allow detailed examination of their stability and the forces at play during their processing without complications arising from gravity.

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA): Today, the ISS crew continued their preparation for the AMS EVA by completing On board Training (OBT) Robotics training. The training supports the upcoming EVA to replace the Tracker Thermal Control System (TTCS) with an Upgraded Tracker Thermal Control System (UTTPS). Over time, the TTCS cooling pumps have slowly degraded and have experienced a loss of coolant (liquid CO2). The UTTPS will allow the AMS team to continue to collect data to on anti-helium nuclei and dark matter. AMS-02 is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that uses the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe’s origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays.

MISSE-FF (Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility): The ground robotics team completed the final Materials on the International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) MISSE Sample Carriers (MSCs) exchanges with the MISSE-FF. The primary Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) platform provides the ability to test materials, coatings, and components or other larger experiments in the harsh environment of space, which is virtually impossible to do collectively on Earth. Testing in low-Earth orbit (LEO) allows the integrated testing of how materials react to exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), atomic oxygen (AO), ionizing radiation, ultrahigh vacuum (UHV), charged particles, thermal cycles, electromagnetic radiation, and micro-meteoroids in the LEO environment.


Lab P6 Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Snorkel: Engineers on the ground have developed the Snorkel hardware as part of Design Test Objective (DTO) to prevent water carryover from the Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) from entering into the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA). Following 48- hours of endoscope observation, the crew installed CDRA Snorkel in the LAB1P6 CCAA. Next, ground teams will evaluate the performance of the Snorkel hardware.

Space Station Computer: On GMT 312, ground controllers attempted to reload the Popcorn Service Pack (PSP) to SSC-16. After several attempts to run the software script, the ground determined that the hard drive failed. Today, the ISS Crew performed a hard drive swap on SSC-16 (Zbook) to restore it back to nominal operations.

Completed Task List Activities:
FIT APP Update IPad S/N 1001, 1002, 1004, and 1005
P/TV EVA GoPro Set up

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Operations Support

Wednesday, 11/13 (GMT 317):

VEG-04B Harvest and consumption and taste test(NASA)
RADIN- Detector (8) Handover and Deploy (CSA)
NUTRISS-BIA measurements (ESA)
Space Biofilms Sample GAP Term and MELFI insert (NASA)
RSD sample syringe swap (NASA)
MISSE MTT-2 hardware removal and stow (NASA)
JOTI removal (JAXA)
Standard Measures Pre-Sleep (NASA)
PK-4 HD swap (RS Joint)

FGB Acoustic Monitor Survey
Water Balance
Snorkel Cond Wipe

Thursday, 11/14 (GMT 318): Half Off-Duty

BFF Cleaning Test Install #1 and #2 and Syringe swap (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Standard Measures Post-Sleep (NASA)
BEST Sample transfer from Media kit to Tubes (NASA)
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing (NASA)
PK-4 HD swap, Chamber Cleaning and Monitor De-install (RS Joint)

THC IMV Flow Measurement
Snorkel Cond Wipe

Friday, 11/15 (GMT 319): AMS EVA day

VEG-04B chk (NASA)
HERMES Vacuum Vlv Close (NASA)
Space Biofilms Sample GAP Term and MELFI insert (NASA)
PK-4 Harddrive swap, Chamber Gas Exchange and stow (RS Joint)

IMV Flow Measurement
73P IMS Stow

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

Rodent Research Habitat Restock
On MCC GO Regeneration of Micropurification Unit (???) ?1 Cartridge, initiate
Checkout of Virus Definition File Update on Auxiliary Computer System (???) Laptops and Report
??-4 Experiment. Hard drive exchange
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
Kapton tape build
Troubleshooting FGB Power Supply System ??-2 and ???-2 devices using oscilloscope. XF305 Camcorder Setup
Health Check of the Wide Angle Vertical Sight (????) (002945R, ??1??_1_110_111_?????_???? ?????)
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
SAIBO Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Control Equipment 2 Insertion Troubleshooting 3
Fluids Integrated Rack Doors Open
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
Troubleshooting FGB Power Supply System ??-2 and ???-2 devices using infrared camera.
ACE Module Config.
HRF Battery Swap
Scheduled PUMA Test (001497R,???1???_2_219_1, 0,5 ??? 1174 (006623J), container 228-4 (00042306R))
BioFabrication Facility Cleaning Syringe Install
Fluids Integrated Rack Doors Close
Station Support Computer (SSC) 16 Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Swap
Checkout of ??-2 Pilot’s Sight and Comm Interfaces (001498R, ??1??_1_113_1)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from NG-12
Photo/TV Camcorder setup verification
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Ring-Sheared Drop MELFI Sample Retrieve
Food Acceptability Survey
On MCC GO ISS O2 Repress from Progress 442 (DC1) ???? Section 1, initiate
On-board Training (OBT) EVA Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session
On MCC GO ISS O2 repress from Progress 442 (DC1) ???? Section 1, terminate
GREAT START. Video Script Review.
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
??-4. Filling chamber with argon gas
Pumping water from SM H2O thank 1 to ???
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Conference
MATRYOSHKA-R. Monitoring Tritel Readings
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
AMS Clean Cut Training
Extravehicular Mobility Unit Li-Ion Batt Charger Swap
Space Biofilms GAP Termination
Progress 442 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
Space Biofilms MELFI Sample Insertion Operations Session 4
Space Biofilms MELFI Sample Insertion Operations Session 5
Station Support Computer 16 (SSC16) Reload Preparation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
On-board Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Training (ROBoT) Stow
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
LAB1P6 Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Snorkel Installation
Scheduled monthly maintenance of the Central Post laptop. Downlink Log-files via OCA. VEG-04B Plant Check/Watering for each Plant Pillow
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
MRM1-FGB Screw Clamp Tightening
BioFabrication Facility Test Cassette Removal
IMS Delta File Prep
Post-Exercise Hygiene Procedure
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record

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