Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 April, 2020 – Chris Cassidy Takes Command

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 16, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 April, 2020 – Chris Cassidy Takes Command
The "aurora australis" glows beneath the International Space Station as it nears the southern-most point of its orbital trek above the Indian Ocean. Credit: NASA. (Apr. 5, 2020)

Three Expedition 62 crewmembers are getting ready to head home before U.S., Russian and Japanese spaceship traffic ramps up.
Meanwhile, human research activities continue full speed ahead aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy will assume command and control of the orbiting lab today at 4:55 p.m. EDT during the Change of Command ceremony live on NASA TV. Commander Oleg Skripochka will turn the keys over to Cassidy before leaving the station on Thursday at 9:53 p.m. EDT when Expedition 63 officially begins.

Cassidy will stay onboard the station until October with Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. This is third station mission for Cassidy and Ivanishin while Vagner is beginning his first.

Skripochka is returning to Earth with NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan inside the Soyuz MS-15 crew ship. The trio will parachute to landing in Kazakhstan on Friday at 1:16 a.m. (11:16 a.m. Kazakh time). Morgan will have lived in space for 272 days while Meir and Skripochka will have orbited Earth for 205 days.

The crew collected blood, saliva and urine samples today before stowing them in a science freezer. Scientists on the ground will analyze the samples for markers indicating the effects of microgravity on humans. The orbital residents also contributed to nutrition studies today to understand the crew’s appetite for the station’s food menu and the health impacts of their space diet.

The next spaceship to visit the station is planned for April 24 when Russia’s Progress 75 space freighter launches for a docking to the station’s Zvezda service module. The U.S. Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft will finish its station cargo mission on May 11 when the Canadarm2 robotic arm removes it from the Unity module and releases it back into space. Japan is targeting May 20 for the launch of its HTV-9 Kounotori resupply ship when it will begin a five-day trip to the orbital lab.

On-Orbit Status Report

Food Physiology: The crew performed saliva collections in support of the Food Physiology investigation. The Integrated Impact of Diet on Human Immune Response, the Gut Microbiota, and Nutritional Status During Adaptation to Spaceflight (Food Physiology) experiment is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators. These factors are interlinked, but diet is the only one that can be easily and meaningfully altered on Earth or during flight. This investigation aims to document the effect of dietary improvements on human physiology and the ability of those improvements to enhance adaptation to spaceflight.

Myotones (Muscle Tone in Space): The crew reviewed the big picture words, set up the appropriate hardware, performed the skin marking, and the Myotones science session. 7 muscles, 2 tendons and 1 fascia area are were studied. These targets were either known to be affected by atrophy during extended inactivity periods, or they were used as a control. The Myotones investigation observes the biochemical properties of muscles during long-term exposure to the spaceflight environment. Results from this investigation are expected to provide insight into principles of human resting muscle tone, which could lead to the development of new strategies for alternative treatments for rehabilitation both on Earth and for future space missions.

Probiotics: The crew performed sampling and questionnaire activities for the ongoing Probiotics investigation. Some species of harmful bacteria such asSalmonella grow stronger and more virulent in the microgravity environment of space. At the same time, the human immune system is weaker in space, leading to increased health risks. The objective of the Probiotics investigation is to study the impact of continuous consumption of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) on immune function and intestinal microbiota in astronauts in a closed microgravity environment. The results of this investigation may be used to support improvements in crew members’ intestinal microbiota and their immune function on long-duration space missions.


ISS Crew Handover: 61S crew continued handover to 62S crew, including on-orbit practices and lessons learned related to ISS systems and payloads. They also reviewed topics that are not limited to a particular module or scheduled activity as well as those that are usually scheduled as separate activities. This will allow the crew to be on the same page regarding various onboard operations techniques.

Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection: Today, the ISS crew performed the periodic Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection that included inspecting and photographing the Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA), Pre-Breath Masks, and the Quick Don Mask (QDM) and Harness. The PEPS inspection is designed to ensure the ISS emergency equipment is in good working order.

Crew Quarters (CQ) Clean: A USOS crewmember cleaned the Deck Crew Quarters today. During this activity, the crew cleaned behind panels, intake and exhaust ducts, fans and airflow sensors as required.

Completed Task List Activities:
Solid Waste Container Replace
Hypervisor 3 (HV3) Hardware Swap – Part 1
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Deploy
Airlock PCS Shell Swap

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Update
N2 Cabin Repress from NORS
Deck Crew Quarters Cleaning Ground Support

Look Ahead Plan
Wednesday, 4/15 (GMT 106)
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology
Functional Immune
ISS Experience overview
Repository, Standard Measures

Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection
Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Collection/Incubation
Crew Departure Prep
JEM Ethernet Hub Unit Power Cable Reconfiguration

Thursday, 4/16 (GMT 107)
Food Physiology
Functional Immune
ISS Experience
Standard Measures

61S Departure Ops
Emergency Hardware Relocate from SM Aft
JOTI Removal

Friday, 4/17 (GMT 108)
No utilization activities

No systems activities

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

HRF Generic Saliva Collection
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Probiotics Saliva Sample MELFI Insertion
Probiotics Questionnaire
Verification of anti-virus scan results on Auxiliary Computer System (???) laptops
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Jeweler’s Screwdriver Swap
Vacuum Cleaning of ??28-120 Voltage Converter for SM printer (behind panel 231?). Visual inspection of GFCI cable and extension cable.
Recharging Soyuz 744 Samsung Tablet after OBT, end recharge
MRM1-FGB screw clamp tightening
Soyuz 744 hardware stowage for return
Cell Biology Experiment Facility-Left (CBEF-L) Wipe post JAXA Mouse Mission 5
Myotones Big Picture Words reading
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Weekly check of video recording equipment performance on the ISS RS
BIOPLENKA. Retrieval of Bioplenka kit from thermostat, squeezing. Insertion of Bioplenka kit in ???-? at +4 deg ?.
Myotones Kit Gathering for Session 1
LOR. Experiment Session.
Myotones Device Setup with EPM Laptop – Session 1
BIOPLENKA. Removal of ???-? thermostat after the experiment
Myotones Measurements
Teardown of GoPro HERO3 camcorders in Soyuz 745. Transfer video data to hard drive. Flash card clearing. Start charging batteries (6 count).
Glove Box Closeout
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Deck Cleaning
Myotones Device Data Transfer
Recharging Iridium EXTREME 9575 phone in Soyuz 744 – configuration setup, start recharge
Cell Biology Experiment Facility – Left (CBEF-L) 120 to 24VDC Power Cable Removal
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Condition Check After Disinfection
Soyuz 745 Transfers and IMS Ops
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Personal Medication Stow
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Inspection
Iridium EXTREME 9575 phone in Soyuz 744 – status check and stow
Food Acceptability Survey
ISS Crew Orientation
Filling (separation) of ???-?? or ??? (???) for Elektron-VM
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Soyuz 745 HERO3 GoPro camcorder batteries end of charge and stowage.
Handover of Increment 62 Crew
Screen cleaning in Progress 443 Air Heater Fan (???)
Photography of Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring Unit [????] position on MRM2 through SM window No.13 – setup
Recharging Soyuz 744 GoPro HERO3 Batteries – start
Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection
Multi-Use Variable-G Platform-02 Polar Sample Removal and Trash
Photography of Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring Unit [????] position on MRM2 from SM window No.13
Soyuz 744 Stowage Ops for Return
Photography of Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring Unit (????) position on MRM2 through SM window No.13 – Closeout Ops
COLUMBUS Bay 1, 2, 3 restow
ISS Crew departure preparation
Veggie Monitoring Reference Material Review
Descent Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System N2 Repress Part 2
Early Mission Debrief Conference
Glacier Desiccant Swap
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup First Time Performance
Recharging Soyuz 744 GoPro HERO3 Batteries (6) – end

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