Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 September, 2020

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 19, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 September, 2020
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 September, 2020

The Expedition 63 crew started the workweek checking out hardware supporting life science, combustion research and ongoing Earth observations.
A Russian cargo craft docked to the International Space Station is also being packed with old gear for disposal toward the end of the year.

The multitude of microgravity research that takes place every day on the orbiting lab, requires regular maintenance and monitoring by the crew or scientists on the ground. The ongoing research supports innovative applications and insights benefitting Earth and space industries.

Today, Commander Chris Cassidy serviced an advanced space microscope and swapped components supporting safe combustion investigations. Cassidy first configured the Light Microscopy Module, part of the Fluids Integrated Rack, which supports basic physics and biology research. Next, the veteran NASA astronaut replaced a burner and igniter tip inside the Combustion Integrated Rack that supports fuel and flame research.

On the Russian side of the space station, two cosmonauts focused on their slate of space research and lab maintenance.

Veteran Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin tested battery temperatures and connections then took a 90-minute fitness test on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill. During the afternoon, Ivanishin changed out dust filters before activating hardware that measures the Earth’s nighttime atmosphere in near-ultraviolet wavelengths.

Cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, five weeks away from ending his first long-term space mission, joined Ivanishin for the morning battery inspections. Afterward, the first-time space flyer packed Russia’s Progress 75 cargo craft, docked to Zvezda’s rear port, with old and discarded station gear for disposal at the beginning of December.

On-Orbit Status Report


Burning Rate Emulator (BRE): The crew reconfigured the ACME hardware in preparation for BRE experiment runs. This includes swapping in Igniter Arm #2. The Burning Rate Emulator (BRE) investigation is conducted in the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) on the International Space Station (ISS), as part of the Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) project. In this fire safety study, the flammability of solid and liquid materials is simulated by burning gaseous fuels under key conditions corresponding to the solid and liquid materials. This technique has been demonstrated for a wide variety of materials in normal-gravity and could provide an efficient way to screen and select fire-resistant materials for use in spacecraft, if the technique is similarly effective in microgravity.

Light Microscopy Module (LMM): The crew removed the ACE-T4 module and configured the LMM for Confocal Target test operations. The Light Microscopy Module (LMM) is a modified commercial, highly flexible, state-of-the-art light imaging microscope facility that provides researchers with powerful diagnostic hardware and software onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The LMM enables novel research of microscopic phenomena in microgravity, with the capability of remotely acquiring and downloading digital images and videos across many levels of magnification. The way that matter is organized and moves on the microscopic level profoundly affects the macroscopic world and an understanding of such processes helps scientists and engineers build more efficient materials and machines both for both the earth and space environments.


Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) Checkouts: Today, robotic ground controllers (ROBO) activated the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) and are currently in the process of performing checkouts of the two RELL units that are stowed in the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS). RELL survey operations are planned for the Radiator Beam Valve Modules (RBVM) of the S1 truss Heat Rejection System (HRS). The RELLs are mass spectrometer “sniffers” that will be used to assist in the investigation of possible External Active Thermal Control System (EATCS) anhydrous ammonia (NH3) leaks. The EATCS coolant loops cool external electrical systems as well as transport heat away from internal water cooling systems that are required keep critical ISS avionics from overheating.

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 replaced the TOCA Waste-Water Bag (WWB) just prior to the sample collection to preclude overfill.

Completed Task List Activities:

Rodent Habitat Locker Relocate
JEM Stowage Consolidation for NG-14
EHS Water Kit Consolidation
JEM Stowage Consolidation
Build and R&R of the WHC ???-?
WHC KTO Replace

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

Robotic External Leak Locator (RELL) checkouts in preparation for the S1 Radiator Beam Valve Module (RBVM) scans.

Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, 9/15 (GMT 259)

ELF S/W cable connect and update (JAXA)
MSG-LLC update (NASA)


WHC Manual Fill
Recycle Tank Drain

Wednesday, 9/16 (GMT 260)

Confocal Microscope checkout (JAXA)
MUSES Server vent clean (NASA)


Crew Quarters 9V Battery R&R
EHS Acoustic Monitor Setup
CMS T2 SD Card Operations

Thursday, 9/17 (GMT 261)

FIR-ACE-Ellipsoid reconfig (NASA)


Recycle Tank Drain
JPM Cabin Smoke Detector Cleaning
UTS Offload & EDV Swap
Recycle Tank Fill
EHS Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements

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

Setup for temperature measurements of battery #5 ????-2 (A305) unit case and connectors.
Temperature measurements of case and connectors of battery #5 ????-2 unit (A305).
TBU (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat) (???). Check for ???-[B] No.07 temperature and un-obstructed area available in front of ???-[B] inlet and outlet ports.
EDV-SV or EDV (KOV) fill (separation) for ELEKTRON-VM
Temperature measurements of case and connectors of battery #5 of ????-2 (A305) unit (in case of ???3 tripping).
Combustion Integrated Rack hardware gather.
ACME MWA preparations.
“Plazma-03” consumables audit.
LMM target configuration.
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis and data record.
Combustion Integrated rack chamber open.
ACME chamber insert configuration.
Inspection and photography of “Tranzit-Korona” ??? antenna in MRM1
Changeout of Dust Filters ??1, ??2 (???1???_4_424_1, bag 435-20 (00071061R)) or ???1_??_208, bag 442-11 (00076766R). Discard the removed items. Update IMS and cleaning [?1], [?2] fan screens in DC1.
UF-ATMOSPHERE. Hardware installation and electrical circuit setup.
Combustion Integrated Rack front end cap close.
UF-ATMOSPHERE. Scientific hardware activation and monitoring.

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