Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 May 2019 – Russians Prepare for Spacewalk

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 19, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 May 2019 – Russians Prepare for Spacewalk
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 May 2019 - Russians Prepare for Spacewalk.

The Expedition 59 astronauts are moving full speed ahead today with continuous space biology research. Two cosmonauts are also pressing forward with plans to conduct the fourth spacewalk this year at the International Space Station.
NASA Flight Engineers Anne McClain and Christina Koch joined fellow astronaut David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency checking on mice throughout the day Tuesday. Scientists are monitoring the rodents’ immune systems, which are similar to humans, for changes that take place due to microgravity.

Saint-Jacques and NASA astronaut Nick Hague also explored how weightlessness affects different microbiological phenomena. Hague inoculated culture bags inside the Life Sciences Glovebox for research operations to understand why pathogens become more virulent in space. Saint-Jacques checked DNA samples for the Genes In Space-6 experiment that explores how space radiation damages DNA and how the cell repair mechanism works.

Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin are both collecting spacesuit parts and tools, as they get ready for a spacewalk planned for May 29. The duo will spend about six hours outside the station’s Russian segment collecting experiments, cleaning windows and sampling module surfaces. This will be Kononenko’s fifth spacewalk and Ovchinin’s first.

On-Orbit Status Report

Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest-Wisconsin Space Crystals (CASIS PCG-14): Today a jar sample assembly was performed on the Maintenance Work Area (MWA) during which the crew attached the solution and desiccant jars to a membrane interface. The desiccant draws solution vapors through a membrane, resulting in crystals forming at the membrane surface. Crystals are expected to form within about 14 days. The investigation has two goals: to explore closed-system crystallization of inorganic salts from aqueous solutions using evaporation facilitated by a desiccant, and to examine how well a previously optimized thermal-gradient inorganic salt crystallization procedure translates to other systems. Middle and high school students compete to grow the most perfect ground-based crystals, as judged by experts in crystallography, and those with the fewest imperfections fly their experiments aboard the ISS.

Genes in Space-6: The crew performed Genes in Space 6 Freeze and Fly Run Part 1 and recorded a congratulatory message for the four student winners of the 2018 contest. Part 1 involved the crew setting up the miniPCR, preparing samples for the miniPCR, and running the miniPCR. Part 1 looks at ground-prepared DNA samples and the goal is to process and return some of the samples on SpX-17 and use some of the samples in Freeze and Fly Part 2 and Part 3. Genes in Space-6 determines the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in the spaceflight environment. The investigation evaluates the entire process in space for the first time by inducing DNA damage in cells and assessing mutation and repair at the molecular level using the miniPCR and the Biomolecule Sequencer tools aboard the ISS.

Kakuda Imagery: The crew took multiple photos and a video of the Kakuda Space Rice Seed experiment which will return on SpX-17. The Kakuda Space Rice is a JAXA commercial mission designed to attract public attention for local commercial activities to promote the brand equity of the City of Kakuda, located in the Miyagi prefecture. A local farmer grows rice seeds that are, in turn, flown to the ISS aboard a cargo vehicle. The rice seeds are stored internally in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) on the ISS, and later returned to Earth.

Characterizing the Effects of Spaceflight on the Candida albicans Adaptation Responses (Micro-14): Using the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox (MSG), the crew inoculated a new culture bag and preserved the previous, used culture bag. The Micro-14 life science research mission will investigate and evaluate the responses of the C. albicans, a type of yeast, to microgravity conditions and, in particular, to assess changes at the physiological, cellular, and molecular level and to characterize virulence factors.

MSRR/MSL (Materials Science Research Rack/Microgravity Science Laboratory): The intent of the Monday’s activities was to activate the facility and begin the chamber pump-down sequence. Unfortunately, a low pressure indication in the Argon tank was observed (this gas system is used to fill the chamber following the pump-down sequence). A crewmember was asked to check the configuration of valve HV-G1 and it was verified to be in the expected configuration. Ground teams are assessing a forward plan. The MSL is used for basic materials research in the microgravity environment of the ISS. The MSL can accommodate and support diverse experiment modules. Many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday afternoon, robotics teams in Japan removed the Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) payload from Exposed Facility Unit (EFU) 8. CATS was then handed over from the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) to the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM). Houston robotics ground controllers then used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to maneuver and install CATS into the SpX-17 trunk for disposal.

Completed Task List Activities:
Mouse Habitat Unit gel insert
P/TV SpX hardware deploy
Lab, N1, N2 RFID photo audit
Rocketman downlink message
Dragon cargo transfer ops

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 05/15 (GMT 135):

Rodent Research-12 sample gathering

RS EVA tether inspect
Thursday, 05/16 (GMT 136):

FIR/LMM/ACE T-12 module config
Circadian Rhythms
HRF1/HRF2 maintenance
ISS Experience

RS EVA #46 tool gather

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

Material Science Research Rack Troubleshoot
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Heater Reset
ISS Experience Hardware Stow
JAXA Mouse Mission Item Gathering
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Inspection
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Deploy
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Maintenance Familiarization
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
FEP MELFI Retrieve 2
24-hour ECG Recording (start)
ISS O2 Repress from Progress 440 [AO] ???? Section 2 (start)
Micro-14 Inoculation and Preservation-MSG
Filling (separation) of ??? [???] for Elektron or ???-?? (flush water container)
XF305 Camcorder Setup
JAXA Mouse Mission Preparation for Maintenance
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Maintenance for Micro-G
24-hour Blood Pressure Recording (start)
On MCC GO ISS O2 Repress from Progress 440 [AO] ???? Section 2 (terminate)
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Maintenance for Micro-G
Preparation of spacesuit replaceable elements, service and personal gear
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Maintenance for 1G
Water Refill Kit Habitat H2O Fill
Rodent Research Gather-1
JAXA Mosue Mission Cage Exchange Preparation
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Maintenance for 1G
PCG-14 Maintenance Work Area Preparation
Jar Sample Assembly
JAXA Mouse Mission Maintenance Closeout
Genes in Space MWA Preparation
Genes in Space 6 MELFI Sample Retrieve
Genes in Space 6 Freeze and Fly Run Part 1
LSG Work Volume Deploy
Water Resource Management (WRM) Condensate Sample Init
Private Psychological Conference (PPC)
Locating EVA hardware and tools
XF305 Camcorder Setup
1G Space Rice Commercial Video and Photo Taking
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Genes in Space 6 Payload Message Record
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Crew trashes obsolete HRF Force Shoes Hardware
Rodent Research Habitat 3 & 4 Restock
Rodent Research Operations Setup
Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Deployment Operations
Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
Photobioreactor File Download
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Stow Alternate
ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from SpX-17
ISS Experience Solid State Drive Changeout
Disconnection and Stowing of Kubik 6
Private Psychological Conference (PPC)
Mass Measurement Device Hardware Setup
Restore COL1D2 cargo after Kubik execution
Disconnection and Stowing of Kubik 5
Genes in Space 6 MiniPCR Stop and Stow
Water Resource Management (WRM) Condensate Sample Terminate
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Genes in Space MELFI Insert
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Stow
TIMER. Battery Charge

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.