Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 December 2017 – Three Crew Members Heading Home

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
December 14, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 December 2017 – Three Crew Members Heading Home
Cosmonauts (from left) Sergey Ryazanskiy and Alexander Misurkin trade hugs and farewells. Ryazanskiy is departing the station with astronauts Randy Bresnik of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA in the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft. Credit: NASA.

At 9:02 p.m. EST, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 12:14 a.m. NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 11:45 p.m.

Their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 3:37 a.m. (2:37 p.m. Kazakhstan time) and will conclude a 139-day mission aboard the space station, in which they logged 2,224 orbits of the Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report

51 Soyuz (51S) Undock and Landing Preparations: The crew completed packing the cargo for return on 51S. Randy Bresnik handed over command of the ISS to Alexander Misurkin. Following the Change of Command, the new Commander’s Soyuz crew became prime for emergencies. Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy, and Paolo Nespoli will undock from the ISS at 11:13 pm CST and will land at 2:37am CST tomorrow. Following undock, the ISS will be in 3-crew operations until the arrival of 53S on December 19.

JAXA Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) #13 Retrieval: Two canister bags containing protein samples were removed from the JAXA Freezer-Refrigerator Of STirling cycle 2 (J-FROST2) and handed over to a Russian crewmember for return on the 51S vehicle. The samples have been stowed in J-FROST2 for processing since their arrival on 68P. PCG #13 contains protein samples prepared by Japanese and Russian researchers from universities, national research institutes, and the private sector. The purpose of this activity was to obtain high quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment at 20 degrees C for about 9 weeks. The results obtained by JAXA PCG #13 contribute to the development of drugs for multidrug-resistant bacteria, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy and periodontitis. They will also aid in the development of a blood substitute and biosensor.

Echo Commissioning: The crew retrieved and setup the Echo hardware in the Columbus module to allow ground teams to perform a commissioning session on the main and backup hard disks for the Echo unit. The purpose of the ECHO investigation is to evaluate a tele-operated ultrasound system, equipped with motorized probes to be controlled by flight controllers on the ground. Additionally, this investigation supports the commissioning of the Echo instrument, which is planned for use with the Vascular Echo experiment on ISS in the future.

Lighting Effects Operations: After providing a sleep log entry to support the two-week sleep shift session, a 52S crewmember setup the Visual Performance Test hardware and performed a Numerical Verification Test and a Color Discrimination Test. The crewmember then configured the Light Meter hardware and obtained light meter readings from specified locations before downlinking the data. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections – Functional Immune: Today blood and saliva samples were collected from two 52S crewmembers and a 51S crewmember which concludes a five day Functional Immune session that began over the weekend. The samples support the mid-mission HRP compliment for the 52S crewmembers and the return minus zero day (R-0) compliment for the 51S crewmember. The Functional Immune investigation analyzes blood and saliva samples to determine the changes taking place in crewmembers’ immune systems during flight. The changes in the immune system are also compared with crewmembers’ self-reported health information. Results are expected to provide new insight into the possible health risks of long-duration space travel, including future missions to Mars, asteroids, or other distant destinations.

Fine Motor Skills (FMS): Today a 51S crewmember completed his return minus seven day (R-7) FMS session, which was executed on a touchscreen tablet, where the subject performed a series of interactive tasks. The investigation studies how fine motor skills are affected by long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after returning to Earth gravity. The goal of FMS is to answer how fine motor performance in microgravity trend/vary over the duration of a six-month and year-long space mission; how fine motor performance on orbit compare with that of a closely matched participant on Earth; and how performance trend/vary before and after gravitational transitions, including the periods of early flight adaptation, and very early/near immediate post-flight periods.

Earth Imagery from ISS Target Operations: Using the RED camera, the crew captured images and video footage of the Coast of Namibia, the Nile River, and the Tasmania Bass Strait. This investigtation creates a series of videos, showcasing Earth from space. These videos will be taken with cameras on the ISS in 6K hi-resolution, then integrated into videos for screensavers for public enjoyment, exploration, and engagement.

Space Headaches: The 52S crewmembers completed a weekly questionnaire for the Space Headaches investigation. This experiment collects information that may help in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms and improvement in the well-being and performance of crewmembers in space. Headaches during space flight can negatively affect mental and physical capacities of crewmembers that can influence performance during a space mission.

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cable Arm Rope Replacement: The crew performed a scheduled replacement of the ARED cable rope arm today, with no issues. The new cable arm rope will stretch to its final configuration through several exercise sessions before bar exercises are performed.

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

Functional Immune Historical Documentation Photography
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes – Subject
Life On The Station Photo and Video
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos Web Site and Social Media
URAGAN. Observation and photography
Preventive Maintenance of SM Ventilation Subsystem. Group А
ECON-M. Observation and photography
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry – Subject
VHF2 Comm Test from Soyuz 736 via RGS
Probiotics Capsule Stow
Signing ISS RS Handover Protocol
JAXA Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) Sample Removal
JAXA Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) Sample Handover
KRISTALLIZATOR. Joint Packing, Acceptance of PCG kits, Transfer to Soyuz 736 for Return
KRISTALLIZATOR. Photo of PCG Kits Handover
Echo partial setup
STRUKTURA. Deactivation of Crystallization
STRUKTURA. Photography of Deactivation
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 2 Adjustment
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test – Subject
STRUKTURA. Transfer of Luch-2 bag to Soyuz 736
Soyuz 736 Return Hardware Stowage Ops (including PL Container stowage)
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
Environmental Health System (EHS) Acoustic Monitor Setup
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Attached Phase Operations Review
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Setup
ARED Cable Arm Rope R&R
Environmental Health System (EHS) Acoustic Monitor Survey Data Download
Soyuz 736 Transfer Operations Report
Soyuz 736 [СА] cool down ops prior to descent
Stowage of Echo hardware
Space Headaches – Weekly Questionnaire
Change of Command
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry – Subject
Functional Immune Historical Documentation Photography
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection 15 Minutes – Subject
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Pack Handover
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Stow
Pack Return Hardware in Soyuz 736 and photograph return cargo items in [СА].
Konyugatsiya, Produtsent, Bioplenka, and Microvir P/L transfer to Soyuz 736
BIOPLENKA. Moding thermostat to +37°С setting
Functional Immune Health Assessment Questionnaire – Subject
СОЖ maintenance
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
Crew Medical Officer (CMO) Proficiency Training
Lighting Effects Visual Performance Tests Light Setting – Subject
Delta file prep
Lighting Effects Light Meter Setup Alternate
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Multi Omics Item Gathering
Lighting Effects Light Meter Readings
Photos of the external surface of Soyuz 736 [СА]-БО hatch cover
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Downlink external surface of Soyuz 736 СА-БО hatch cover photo via OCA
Soyuz 736 Transfer Status Report
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Columbus
Lighting Effects Light Meter Stow
Comm Config for Soyuz 736 Undocking and Descent
The following activities will be completed for 51S Undock:
Soyuz 736 Activation
Comm check with Soyuz 736 in RSA2-S/G2
Disconnecting КЛ-153М TV Camera from MRM1 TV System
Setup and Activation of КСПЭ Equipment for Hatch Closure from MRM1 TV coverage in MPEG2
Monitoring shutter closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
Soyuz-MRM1 Hatch Closure.
Closing of transitive hatches ТПК-МИМ1
Soyuz 736- MRM1 Hatch Leak Check
Hatch Closure (ЗПЛ) Video Downlink from MRM1 (if necessary)
Deactivation of КСПЭ Equipment and Closing Applications
Connecting TV Camera КЛ-153М to MRM1 TV System
Soyuz 736 ODF Ops; Undocking and Descent Ops
Monitoring Soyuz Undocking, Soyuz 736 Docking Mechanism Photos via DC1 EV Hatch 2 window
Reconfiguring MRM1-SOYUZ PEV to CLOSED position

Completed Task List Activities
Data Prep Return
IPV Tablet Review
MD Print Removal and Stow
51S Pre-pack
ESA EPO MultiTrop

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
N3 ITCS Transition to dual mode
HRF Rack powerdown
51S Undock support
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 12/14: 51S Landing, Crew off duty
Friday, 12/15: SpaceX-13 Launch, Lighting Effects, MetOx Regen, Earth Imagery from ISS
Saturday, 12/16: Housekeeping, Crew off Duty, HRF Samples, Dragon berth gather

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

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