Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 August 2019 – Ongoing Microgravity Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 14, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 August 2019 – Ongoing Microgravity Research
NASA astronaut Nick Hague works inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module supporting research activities with the Life Sciences Glovebox. Hague is conducting science operations for the Cell Science-02 bone healing and tissue regeneration experiment.. Credit: NASA. (July 30, 2019)

The International Space Station will soon see U.S., Russian and Japanese spaceships arriving and departing over the next several weeks.
Meanwhile, the Expedition 60 crew is staying focused on an upcoming spacewalk while continuing ongoing microgravity research.

Next week’s spacewalkers, NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan, are reviewing their procedures and practicing their maneuvers on a computer today. The duo will exit the station Aug. 21 and install the station’s second commercial crew vehicle docking port, the International Docking Adapter-3, to the Harmony module’s space-facing port.

Morgan wrapped up his day setting up experiments designed by middle and high school students researching a variety of space phenomena. Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency continued exploring stem cell differentiation. Christina Koch of NASA serviced and replaced hardware that fuels experiments inside the Combustion Integrated Rack.

Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov worked during the morning tearing down a Russian atmosphere purification unit. The duo then moved on to cardiopulmonary research before winding down the day with exercise.

The next spacecraft to launch to the orbiting lab will be an unpiloted Soyuz MS-14 crew ship on Aug. 22. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a test of its upgraded 2.1a Soyuz booster. The new Soyuz will automatically dock to the Poisk module two days later where it will stay until Sept. 6.

Russia will launch its next crewed mission Sept. 25 aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft. Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka will lead the six-hour flight to the station with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori.

SpaceX is planning to retrieve its Dragon resupply ship on Aug. 27 when it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean after its release from the Harmony module. Dragon will return to Earth with several thousand pounds of completed science experiments for analysis and station hardware for servicing.

Finally, Japan’s resupply ship, the H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV-8), is scheduled to blast off to the station Sept. 10 (U.S. time) from the Tanegashima Space Center. It will arrive at the station Sept. 14 for a robotic capture and installation to the same Harmony port Dragon will vacate at the end of the month. HTV-8’s scheduled liftoff date comes exactly 10 years after the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched its first HTV cargo freighter to the space station.

On-Ortbit Status Report

Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME): The crew configured the ACME Chamber for s-Flame by partially reinstalling the chamber insert to replace the igniter tip, then reinstalled the chamber insert, replaced the fuel controller, and closed the Front End Cap and rack doors. The ACME experiment series includes five independent studies of gaseous flames. The primary goals of ACME are to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollutant production in routine fuel combustion activities on Earth. Its secondary goal is to improve spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

Bio-Monitor: A crewmember donned the BioMonitor garment and headband and connected the data unit to the bio-monitor application for a 72-hour session. Although the ISS is equipped with health and life sciences research tools, the existing instrumentation for continuous and simultaneous recording of several physiological parameters is lacking. To address this issue, the Bio-Monitor Commissioning activity tests the Bio-Monitor facility; a wearable garment capable of monitoring relevant physiological parameters for up to 48 hours in a non-invasive and non-interfering way. The physiological parameters which can be monitored consist of heart rate, respiration rate, ECG (Electrocardiogram), skin temperature, peripheral blood oxygen saturation, etc.

Micro-15: The crew completed a media change ops session. The goal of this investigation is to better understand the effects of gravity on the differentiation of mammalian cells using 3-D cultures of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Past flight experiments and ground-based simulations have demonstrated that microgravity influences gene expression, cell proliferation, and differentiation in stem cells but the mechanism behind these observations is not clearly understood. This study investigates how exposure to microgravity fundamentally alters cell regulation and how these changes can affect the timing, progression, and outcomes of cell differentiation.

NanoRacks Module-9: The crew performed Ops Session #3 by deactivating and/or shaking designated Mixture Tubes. NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-Gemini (SSEP Mission 13) (NanoRacks-NCESSE-Gemini) includes 41 microgravity experiments designed by students in grades 5 through 12 and college. The experiments range from examinations of water filtration and purification to synthetic soil production, rust formation, antibiotic effectiveness, growth and development of microacquatic organisms, and growth of plant, fungi, and bacteria. Each was chosen from more than 3,000 entries submitted by more than 23,000 U.S., Canadian, and Brazilian students. The experiments use NanoRacks MixStix, miniature laboratories activated by space station crew and eventually returned to the student teams on Earth for analysis.

Mobile Servicing (MSS) Operations: Yesterday, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and set up for Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) Tech Demo operations, which begin tonight and will conclude on Thursday. The results of this series of tests will be used to demonstrate potential satellite refueling techniques for future use.

Emergency On-Board Training (OBT): All six crewmembers reviewed training material in preparation for tomorrow’s Emergency scenarios (depressurization, toxic atmosphere, and fire) OBT session.

International Docking Adapter (IDA)3 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The crew performed the following in preparation for the IDA3 EVA scheduled for August 21:

Verified functionality of EMU glove heaters and the EMU TV is receiving power from the Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA)
Configured Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) software to receive and display real time SSRMS joint angle telemetry from a PCS laptop
Reviewed procedure for 4-hour in-suit and EVA campout pre-breathe protocols
Reviewed EVA procedures

Completed Task List Activities:
WHC-UR/Piping R&R (GMT 224)
Micro-15 media change (GMT 224)
iPad swap for CDR, FE-7

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
RRM3 ops
EVA prep support
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 8/14 (GMT 226)

Lighting Effects – visual GLA test (NASA)
Standard Measures pre-sleep questionnaire (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Bio-Monitor, hardware changeout during a 72hr run (CSA)
Bioculture System Facility packing for return (NASA)
Micro-15 – session C1 (NASA)
CIR Hardware stow (NASA)

OBT emergency sim/conference with ground
EVA prep

Thursday, 8/15 (GMT 227)

Standard Measures post sleep questionnaire and saliva collect(NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
NeuroMapping test (NASA)
Bio-Monitor (CSA)
Goodyear Tire (NASA)
The ISS Experience JEM intro recording (NASA)
Micro-15 D1 exchange session ops (NASA)
LSG glove swap (NASA)
Probiotics hardware Gather(JAXA)
Rodent Research-17 restock (NASA)

EVA loop scrub, LCVG water fill, EMU water ops

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

Dragon Cargo Transfer Operations
Atmosphere Purification Unit (???) Teardown
Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Installation
Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Powered Hardware Checkout
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Unstow
Portable Onboard Computers (POC) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Review
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuration
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Setup
DAN. Experiment Session
Combustion Integrated Rack Hardware Gather
Sampling Condensate Water [???] from ???-?2? before Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter (???). Sampler removal, Disassembly. Sample transfer from [???] container to drink bag, Closeout Ops
Combustion Integrated Rack Doors Open
Combustion Integrated Rack Front End Cap Open
Sampling atmospheric condensate [???] upstream of [???-?2?] Water Purification Column Unit (???), configuration set up, sampler installation (drink bag)
ACME Chamber Insert Configuration
Collecting condensate water samples [???] up to [???-?2?] ???, sampler replacement
FOTOBIOREACTOR. Visual inspection with photography
Hematocrit Equipment setup
HRF Rack 2 Supply Kit Resupply
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Combustion Integrated Rack Front End Cap Close
Combustion Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Practice
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
ISS Emergency OBT Overview
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
Sampling condensate water [???] upstream of [???-?2?] ???, removing sampler, equipment disassembly

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