Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 November 2019 – Spacewalk Tomorrow

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 16, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 November 2019 – Spacewalk Tomorrow
ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan. Credit: NASA.

Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station at about 7 a.m. EST Friday, Nov. 15. NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 5:30 a.m.
The two astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station for the first in a series of complex spacewalks to replace a cooling system on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a cosmic ray detector. The upgraded cooling system will support AMS through the lifetime of the space station.

Parmitano and Morgan have spent dozens of hours training specifically for the AMS repair spacewalks. NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will help Parmitano and Morgan suit up for the spacewalks and will maneuver the Canadarm2 robotic arm to help position the spacewalkers around the AMS repair worksite.

These spacewalks are considered the most complex of their kind since the Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. The AMS originally was designed for a three-year mission and, unlike Hubble, was not designed to be serviced once in space. More than 20 unique tools were designed for the intricate repair work, which will include the cutting and splicing of eight cooling tubes to be connected to the new system, and reconnection of a myriad of power and data cables. In addition to the overall complexity, astronauts have never before cut and reconnected fluid lines, like those that are part of the cooling system, during a spacewalk.

On-Orbit Status Report

Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST): The crew transferred cells from the media kit to the media tubes and placed them into cold stowage as part of Experiment 2 part 2 operations. The BEST investigation studies the use of sequencing for identification of unknown microbial organisms living on the ISS, and how humans, plants and microbes adapt to living on the ISS.

BioFabrication Facility (BFF): The crew installed a test print cassette into the BFF and executed a test print. The procedure was repeated with a 2nd test print. Upon completion of the test prints, the crew installed four cleaning syringes into the BFF and later removed the test prints. The BFF is dedicated to manufacturing human organs and tissues in space, primarily for use by patients on Earth. Besides printing tissue, the BFF also can help maintain the health of deep space exploration crews by producing food and personalized pharmaceuticals on demand.

Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4): The crew performed a hard drive swap and initiated three runs as part of session #4 operations. The crew then reconfigured the gas supply valves to initiate a chamber cleaning. The crew also de-installed the PK-4 video monitor laptop. Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4) is a scientific collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of “Complex Plasmas”: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. The micro-particles become highly charged in the plasma and interact strongly with each other, which can lead to a self-organized structure of the micro-particles: so-called plasma crystals. Experiments in the facility aim to study transport properties, thermodynamics, kinetics and statistical physics, and Non-linear waves and instabilities in the plasmas.

TROPICAL CYCLONE: The crew performed the Unattended Imagery setup for Tropical Cyclone photography at Cupola Window #4 in order to capture Fengshen Category 2 Typhoon. The cyclone intensity measurements from the ISS (Tropical Cyclone) investigation demonstrates the feasibility of studying powerful storms from space, which would be a major step toward alerting populations and governments around the world when a dangerous storm is approaching.

Space Biofilms: The crew terminated the Group Activation Packs (GAPs) and then placed the GAPs 12-18 and placed them into cold stowage. The Characterization of Biofilm Formation, Growth, and Gene Expression on Different Materials and Environmental Conditions in Microgravity (Space Biofilms) investigation characterizes the mass, thickness, structure, and associated gene expression of biofilms that form in space by analyzing different microbial species grown on different materials. Biofilm formation can cause equipment malfunction and human illnesses, and could be a serious problem on future long-term human space missions.

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA): Today, the ISS crew continued their preparation for AMS EVA #1 by completing On board Training (OBT) Robotics training. The training supports the upcoming EVA to replace the Tracker Thermal Control System (TTCS) with an Upgraded Tracker Thermal Control System (UTTPS). Over time, the TTCS cooling pumps have slowly degraded and have experienced a loss of coolant (liquid CO2). The UTTPS will allow the AMS team to continue to collect data to on anti-helium nuclei and dark matter. AMS-02 is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that uses the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe’s origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays.


Intra-Modular Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement: Today, the ISS crew setup the Velocicalc hardware to take airflow measurements of the Node 1, Node 2, Node 3, Airlock, Cupola, and US Lab locations. After the IMV air inlets are cleaned, the crew collects airflow velocity measurements in order track the overall IMV system performance.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Fill Inspection: The ISS crew performed a WHC full Flush Tank fill and observed the EK hose and burp bag during the transition phase of the Water Valve Block (WVB) diverting valves at the end of the fill. The crew monitored the hose and bag to assess the performance of the pre-treat dose pump by monitoring for off-nominal indications such as discoloration of pre-treat fluid, excessive pre-treat backflow, and/or debris. The crew also monitored the fill rate of the depressurization burp bag to ensure there is no blockage slowing down flow.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Overnight, robotics controllers commanded the Mobile Transporter (MT) to translate from worksite 6 to worksite 2 and then pre-positioned Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to support the first Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) tomorrow.

Audio Terminal Unit (ATU) Headset Voice Activated Transmit (VOX) Failure: A Crew Communications Headset (CCH) connected to the Columbus Port ATU was unable to be used in Voice Activated Mode (VOX mode) on Space to Ground channel 2, but was functional on channel 3. An initial troubleshooting plan has been developed and will be executed as crew time is available.

Completed Task List Activities:
IPAD UPDT Questions

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Operations Support

Friday, 11/15 (GMT 319): AMS EVA #1

VEG-04B check (NASA)
HERMES Vacuum Valve Close (NASA)
Space Biofilms Sample GAP Term and MELFI insert (NASA)
PK-4 Hard drive swap, Chamber Gas Exchange and stow (RS Joint)
Tropical Cyclone unattended setup and closeout (NASA)

73P IMS Stow
IFM Lab Bypass Duct Removal

Saturday, 11/16 (GMT 320):

VEG-04B check (NASA)

EDAR Start
EMU Water & LLB Recharge
EMU Metox Regen

Sunday, 11/17 (GMT 321):

VEG-04B check (NASA)

Crew Off Duty

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

Food Acceptability Survey
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Pre EVA Examination
PK-4 data hard drives exchange
ARED Cable Rope Tension Check
MRM1 fan (group B) screen cleaning, cleaning behind panels 405, 406
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops.
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) iPad Contingency Procedures preparation
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement Survey
BioFabrication Facility Test Print Without Cells Install
PILOT-T. Preparation for Experiment
BioFabrication Facility MELFI Sample Retrieve
BioFabrication Facility Test Print Without Cells Install
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
BioFabrication Facility Historical Photo 2
PILLE Dosimeter Reading
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
XF305 setup in Columbus.
MPCC EICL shell swap
PILLE ISS sensors gathering and setup prior to USOS EVA
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Station Support Computer (SSC) Relocate
BIOS Setup of the European IP Communication Laptop
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
Progress 442 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
Portable Onboard Computers (POC) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Setup
Activation of the European IP Communication Laptop
Equipment Lock (E-LK) Preparation
PK-4 Experiment Run 4/2
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
BioFabrication Facility Cleaning Syringe Install
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Pre-EVA Periodic Health Status Examination – Stow
PK-4 Experiment Run 4/3
Space Biofilms GAP Termination
On MCC Go Replacement of ??515 (???2?) in SM ????2-12 System.
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Space Biofilms MELFI Sample Insertions
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Progress 442 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) MELFI Sample Insertion into a Box Module
AMS Procedure/video review
Current converter fan (???) screen cleaning
PK-4 Chamber filling with Cleaning gas
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
PK-4 Video Monitor Deactivation
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Flush Tank Full Fill With EK Hose And Burp Bag Inspection
BioFabrication Facility Test Cassette Removal
SEPARATION. Mixing in the [???-?-??] urine circulation loop.
??? Maintenance. Verification of ??-1 Flow Sensor Position
PK-4 Video Monitor Deinstallation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Tropical Cyclone Untended Operations
Test Activation VHF Transmitter of Soyuz 746 Rassvet ??? System.
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Reminder for EVA In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Preparation

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