Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 July, 2020 – Deploying Two Microsatellites

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 14, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 July, 2020 – Deploying Two Microsatellites
Roscosmos Flight Engineers (from left) Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner practice a simulated emergency evacuation of the International Space Station on a computer inside the Zvezda service module. The duo with Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy (out of frame) spent the afternoon reviewing procedures for quickly entering their Soyuz MS-16 crew ship for a rapid undocking and Earth re-entry. Credit: NASA. (July 9, 2020)

Two NASA astronauts are setting their sights on the final pair of spacewalks to continue upgrading power systems on the International Space Station.
The orbiting lab also deployed a pair of microsatellites today while the rest of the Expedition 63 crew explored how weightlessness affects the human body.

Flight Engineer Bob Behnken will lead the next two spacewalks to install new lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries on the station’s starboard truss structure starting at 7:35 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 16, and Tuesday, July 21. He will be joined by Commander Chris Cassidy for the two six-and-a-half-hour spacewalks that will finalize the swap of aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with the Li-Ion batteries.

The veteran spacewalkers spent a couple of hours today reviewing their spacewalk procedures step-by-step on a computer. They were joined afterward by Flight Engineer Doug Hurley for a conference with spacewalk specialists in Mission Control. Hurley also began charging the batteries that will power the U.S. spacesuits for the duration of Behnken’s and Cassidy’s spacewalk.

A pair of microsatellites were deployed into Earth orbit today outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The Deformable Mirror CubeSat will demonstrate the performance of a tiny but powerful exo-planet telescope. The TechEdSat-10 CubeSat will test returning small payloads safely into Earth’s atmosphere.

On the Russian side of the station, the two cosmonauts focused on human biology as they conducted a hearing test and studied how diet and exercise can fight the negative effects of microgravity.

Cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, on his first space mission, documented his meals and drinks today to help doctors learn how to counteract the loss of bone mass that occurs during long-term spaceflight. He also joined three-time station resident Anatoly Ivanishin attaching sensors to themselves to monitor their cardiovascular system while working out on an exercise bike. The duo wrapped up the day wearing headphones plugged into a computer that exposed the cosmonauts to a variety of frequencies for a hearing test.

On-Orbit Status Report


NanoRacks External Cygnus CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD): The crew took imagery photos of the NRCSD-18 Deploys. Two satellites were deployed: DeMi (Deformable Mirror) and TechEdSat-10 (Technology Educational Satellite-10). The NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer is a stackable, modular, ground loaded launch case. Each NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer accommodates up to eight launch cases and are stacked for each JEM Airlock opening. The NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer meets the growing demand to deploy CubeSat format satellites from the International Space Station for a variety of customers.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): The crew performed the setup and activation of the EarthKam hardware in the Node 1 Nadir Hatch window. EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew’s perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The EarthKAM team then posts these photographs on the Internet for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world.

Urine Transfer System (UTS): The crew performed leak checks as part of the UTS installation. The crew reported no leaks. The UTS is part of a new toilet system that will serve as both a technology demonstration, and a capability to support additional crew members on the ISS. The UTS is used to collect pre-treated urine and connects to the ISS Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) for recycling. The UTS allows operation of both the existing Russian Toilet (ACY) located in the WHC rack and the new Toilet. The UTS consists of valves and controllers which open and close depending on the priority flow path from either the Toilet or WHC. Each toilet can deliver pretreated urine to the UPA or a Russian urine tank (EDV-Y).

Mochii: The crew performed troubleshooting steps of the Mochii Microscope by monitoring and reporting the LED status while the unit was powered up. Mochii is a miniature scanning electron microscope (SEM) with spectroscopy to conduct real-time, on-site imaging and compositional measurements of particles on the International Space Station (ISS). Such particles can cause vehicle and equipment malfunctions and threaten crew health, but currently, samples must be returned to Earth for analysis, leaving crew and vehicle at risk. Mochii also provides a powerful new analysis platform to support novel microgravity science and engineering.


Channel 3B Battery Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparation: The crew continued preparations for the upcoming battery upgrade EVAs by completing several prep tasks including battery charging ops, procedure reviews and a crew conference. The first of two EVAs to replace the aged nickel hydrogen batteries with lithium ion batteries on Channel 3B is scheduled for Thursday, July 16th.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: Crew performed an analysis of the water processing assembly (WPA) using the TOCA. The TOCA unit oxidizes organic carbon species present in the water to carbon dioxide gas and measures the concentration using nondispersive infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the potable water using the TOCA occurs on a weekly basis. The crew also replaced the TOCA Waste Water Bag (WWB) to preclude overfill.

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)9 Cargo Operations: The crew continued to perform HTV9 cargo transfer operations. Ground teams estimate approximately 2.5 hours remain to complete available cargo ops. Total cargo ops time remaining will become better defined as additional disposal chits are processed.

Compound Specific Analyzer: Combustion Products (CSA-CP) Maintenance: The crew completed this routine maintenance to zero calibrate and replace battery packs in all six units. The CSA-CPs are used by the crew to detect evidence of fire and/or a hazardous environment. Maintenance on the CSA-CPs is performed every 60 days.

On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA): Today the crew performed an auditory test as a mid-mission assessment conducted during their stay on the ISS. The assessment measures hearing function while crewmembers are exposed to noise and microgravity during long-duration spaceflight. The exam is performed in conjunction with the crew-worn acoustic monitor surveys also performed today.

Completed Task List Activities:

Photo/TV LAB SD Camcorder Setup
SSLA Light Locate
HTV Cargo Ops (on-going)
EVA Tool Config (on-going)
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Ground Support for JEMRMS Ops
Channel 3B Battery Discharge and SPCH (Prep for EVA #3)
High Beta Angle Configuration and Battery Overcharge Protection
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, 7/14 (GMT 196)

JWRS Inside Check part 4 (JAXA)
MAND print removal and stow (NASA)

EVA Tool Config
HMS Vision Test
Wednesday, 7/15 (GMT 197)

EKAM lens change (NASA)
MAND print removal and stow (NASA)

EVA Tool Audit
Equipment Lock Prep Pt 2
EVA Procedure Review/Conference
Dragon Tablet Sync/Stow
LAB1P6 Gas Trap Plug Installation
Thursday, 7/16 (GMT 198)

No Payload activities

US EVA #67 (Prep and EVA)
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

KORREKTSIYA. Logging Liquid and Food Intake (medicine)
JPM Window Shutter Close
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record
Transfer Operations – Pack and stow items on HTV
Life On The Station Photo and Video
Study of the cardiovascular system condition under graduated VELO exercise
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Session
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Stowage Items Move
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Transfer System (UTS) Installation Part 7
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) LAB Artificial Vision Unit (AVU) Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Swap
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products (CSA-CP) Extended Maintenance
RS1, RS2 inspection and cleaning
Photo TV Battery Charging
Filling EDV from SM Rodnik ?V1 tank
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review & Conference
MPEG-2 video downlink test via KU-band in preparation for Progress 444 docking to the ISS
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
Charging EVA Camera D4 Battery
EarthKAM Node 1 Setup and Activation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
NanoRacks TechEdSat-10 Photography & Video
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Inspection
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Initiation
On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA) with EarQ Software Setup and Test
Mochii LED Check
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
EDV & Brine Transfer Adapter Hydroconnector Clean & Inspect
Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap
KORREKTSIYA. Accelerometry and Data export from Actimeter device to data storage device

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