Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 February 2017 – SPHERES Deployed in Kibo Module

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 15, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 February 2017 – SPHERES Deployed in Kibo Module
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough is seen executing the SPHERES-RINGS experiment aboard the International Space Station. The investigation uses two small, self-contained satellites (SPHERES) fitted with donut-like rings (RINGS) to test wireless power transfer and formation flight using electromagnetic fields. Credit: NASA.

The International Space Station is continuing to receive software updates to improve its spacecraft communications and navigation systems. Meanwhile, the astronauts today are setting up new life science gear and testing the docking ability of tiny internal satellites.
New software is being uplinked and installed on the station this week to increase the communications and control of approaching spacecraft. The crew will also replace portable computer hard drives with new ones after the software transition.

SpaceX is looking to launch its Dragon cargo craft no earlier than Feb. 18 on a two-day trip to deliver crew supplies and new science experiments to the Expedition 50 crew. One study being shipped on Dragon will explore healing and tissue regeneration to fight bone and tissue loss in space. Habitats with telemetry and video were installed for the study and will house rodents being launched aboard Dragon.

A pair of bowling ball-sized satellites, known as SPHERES, were deployed inside the Kibo lab module to test new algorithms and docking techniques. The SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) are used for numerous experiments including today’s study to demonstrate the ability for future spacecraft to autonomously dock and undock.

On-Orbit Status Report

Transition to (X2) R15 Software: As part of the R15 software transition, two of the three Command and Control (C&C) Multiplexer/Demultiplexers (MDMs) were transitioned to updated software today. Updates to the C&C MDMs include:

Visiting Vehicle Support
Implement modified capability for loading patches
Modification to Rapid Depress Auto-Response
Dual Integrated Communications Unit (ICU) Capability
Increase number of Telemetry Format Versions to meet VV Requirements
Improvements to Longeron Shadowing Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR) response
Following the C&C transition to CCS R5 the crew replaced the Portable Computer System (PCS) hard drives with new ones.

Tissue Regeneration-Bone Defect Rodent Research-4 (RR-4) Preparations: The crew continued with RR-4 preparation activities prior to SpaceX-10 (SpX-10) planned arrival on Monday, February 20. This morning the crew completed the habitat installation activities, installing Habitats C and D. Telemetry and video were received from both Habitats. The crew also configured the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Life Science Ancillary Hardware (LSAH) for RR-4 operations. The LSAH provides ability to decontaminate the MSG work volume after execution of any experiment with biological hazards. Both the RR-4 and Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells (MESC) payloads will have their own LSAH configurations within the MSG.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Logistics Installation: The crew completed the RFID Logistics installation this morning, configuring antennas in Node 1. This afternoon, they configured the RFID Logistics Readers and Antennas in the Lab. After each installation, the crew photographed the configuration and downlinked for ground team evaluation. The RFID Logisitics experiment aims to utilize RFID enabled tags on hardware throughout the ISS, and assist in the tracking of the hardware as it is moved around the station.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) Universal Docking Port (UDP): The crew performed the second in a series of test runs for the SPHERES UDP payload. They then loaded the test software and performed the session with ground support staff direction. The objectives of the UDP session are to demonstrate a reliably successful docking through running multiple, repeatable docking maneuvers using both global metrology and docking port cameras; perform joint maneuvers of docked satellites using the thrusters from two satellites to demonstrate controllability; and test an algorithm for docking to a satellite which is tumbling in a slow, known manner. The addition of the Docking Ports is a critical upgrade to the SPHERES facility aboard the ISS. With the new ability to dock and undock, SPHERES provides a test bed to address many of the challenges of combining autonomous spacecraft. Mated spacecraft can assemble complex systems in orbit or combine sensors and actuators for satellite servicing and repurposing missions. The SPHERES-UDP enables testing of complex tasks through optimal and adaptive control, autonomous decision-making processes, and real-time image processing.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Rodent Research Habitat Retrieval
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation Setup
JEM Airlock Press
??0501 Gas Analyzer ?2 readings adjustments Uout= 2.68V.
Prep for cable installation and connection to ???-25, 26.
Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation
Radio Frequency Identification Logistics Hardware Gather
RODENT RESEARCH. Installation of Habitat Module
JEM Airlock Leak Check
BIOCARD. Operator Assistance During the Experiment
Radio Frequency Identification Logistics
Photo of the Crisstal Experiment and Return to Biolab TCU
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Stow Hardware
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment.
Water Resource Management (WRM) Condensate Sample Init
RODENT RESEARCH. Installation of Habitat Module
Intravehicular Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (IV-TEPC) Relocate
Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Deployment Operations
SPHERES Test Session Setup
Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
Water Resource Management (WRM) Condensate Sample Terminate
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
CRYOGEM-03 refrigerator Setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
SPHERES Docking Port Test Run
Rodent Research Node 2 Camcorder Video Setup
Rodent Research Microgravity Science Glovebox LSAH Setup
URAGAN. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
Microbial Sample Collection
Recharging Soyuz 732 Samsung PC Battery (if charge level is below 80%)
Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations – Subject
Audit of Crew Onboard Support Kit (????) Equipment
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
Delta file prep
Radio Frequency Identification Logistics
??? maintenance
X2R15 Portable Computer System (PCS) Connect
Portable Computer System (PCS) Release 18 Deploy Part 2
Multi Omics FOS Preparation
Multi Omics FOS Stow
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops.
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Terminate Soyuz 732 Samsung PC Battery Recharge
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire

Completed Task List Items
Expedition New Earth Video-Radiation
Expedition New Earth Video-Sick Bay

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
X2R15 Software transition – C&C MDMs
N3 MCA Full Calibration
JEM A/L repress and leak check

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 02/15: JOTI RELL Removal, SAM Install, RFID Kit Install, Vision test, Glacier Desiccant, PCS R18 P&I, CUCU Activate
Thursday, 02/16: Google Street View – Cupola, Dragon OBT, Eye Exams
Friday, 02/17: Dragon ROBoT Session, Cubesat Deployer Install

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – Off
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Standby
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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