Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 April, 2020 – Three Crew Members Leave Tomorrow

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 16, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 April, 2020 – Three Crew Members Leave Tomorrow
The Expedition 62 crew poses for a portrait aboard the International Space Station's U.S. Destiny laboratory module. Roscosmos Commander Oleg Skripochka, in the middle, is flanked by NASA Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir. Credit: NASA. (Feb. 20, 2020)

NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing to depart the International Space Station Thursday evening in their Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft and return to Earth.
Today the Expedition 62 crew conducted a change of command ceremony in which Skripochka ceremonially handed command of the orbiting laboratory to newly arrived NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy. Expedition 63, a three-person crew of Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, begins when the Soyuz departs the station Thursday.

NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage beginning at 6 p.m. EDT April 16 as the departing crew members say farewell and close the hatches between their Soyuz and the spacecraft at about 6:30 p.m.

NASA coverage will resume at 9:30 p.m. prior to the trio undocking the Soyuz from the aft port of the station’s Zvezda service module at 9:53 p.m. At midnight, NASA TV will return to provide coverage during the deorbit burn at 12:22 a.m. Friday, April 17, that will put the Soyuz on course for a parachute-assisted landing at 1:16 a.m. (11:16 a.m. Kazakhstan time) on the steppe of Kazakhstan, southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan.

On-Orbit Status Report

Functional Immune: Dry saliva collection was performed in support of the Functional Immune investigation. The Functional Immune Alterations, Latent Herpesvirus Reactivation, Physiological Stress and Clinical Incidence Onboard the International Space Station (Functional Immune) investigation analyzes blood and saliva samples to determine the changes taking place in crew members’ immune systems during flight.

ISS Experience: In preparation for capturing an event later this week, the crew reviewed material containing goals of the investigation, guidelines, and an overview of the hardware it uses. The ISS Experience creates a virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the ISS. The 8 to 10 minute videos created from footage taken during the six-month investigation cover different aspects of crew life, execution of science aboard the station, and the international partnerships involved. The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

Repository: The crew performed sample collections in support of the repository investigation. The NASA Biological Specimen Repository (Repository) investigation is a storage bank that is used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. This repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions.


Environmental Health System (EHS) Microbial Air and Surface Sampling: The crew took surface and air samples for microbial analysis using the Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) and Surface Sample Kit (SSK). These samples will be incubated in Petri dishes, giving medical personnel a gauge of microbial growth in the air and on surfaces of the ISS. The EHS monitors the atmosphere for gaseous contaminants from nonmetallic materials off-gassing, combustion products, and propellants, microbial contaminants from crewmembers and Station activities, water quality, acoustics, and radiation levels.

Change of Command Ceremony: Today, the ISS Crew participated in a Change of Command Ceremony during which Expedition 62 Commander Oleg Skripochka handed over command of the ISS to Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy. Oleg Skripochka, Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan will return to Earth Thursday night/Friday morning on 61S. Undocking is scheduled for 8:53 pm CT Thursday evening with the landing in Kazakhstan scheduled early Friday morning at 12:17 am CT.

Completed Task List Activities:
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
LSR Rack Activation Support Commanding

Look Ahead Plan
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 items

No systems activities

Saturday, 4/18 (GMT 109)
Food Physiology
ISS Experience stow
Veggie PONDS

USOS Window Shutter Close

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

HRF Generic Saliva and Urine Collections
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
OMIKi-SPK. Capillary Blood Collection
Functional Immune Saliva Collection Dry Booklet
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Ops
JEM Ethernet Hub Unit Power Cable Reconfiguration
CARDIOVECTOR. Experiment Session and Photos during preparation
Check and maintain comm from Soyuz 744 via RGS (VHF2)
JAXA Mouse Mission 5 Item Consolidation
Maintenance of SM АСП-О Hatch Sealing Mechanism and Soyuz 744 Active Docking Assembly [ACA] Hatch cover
Sanitary-Hygiene Status Monitoring
Magnetic 3D-bioprinter. Experiment Session 2 cleanup ops.
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Collection/Incubation and Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection
Veggie Monitoring Surface Sample Collection Historical Documentation Photography
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Magnetic 3D-bioprinter. Gathering and transfer of Cuvettes No.1 and Cuvettes No.2 kits to Soyuz
Microbial Air Sampling (sample collection) Download
ISS Crew Orientation
Food Acceptability Survey
ISS Experience Payload Review
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
KORREKTSIYA. Actimeter battery charging
Transfer of items for 61S from USOS crew to RSOS crew.
Familiarization with onboard computer network (Auxiliary Computer Systems)
Soyuz 744 Stowage Ops for Return. Note 8
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Soyuz 745 Transfers and IMS Ops
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing & Work Area Prep
Soyuz 744 P/L container transfer operations Report
Food Physiology Fecal Sample Collection (Review, Setup, Stow)
Food Physiology MELFI Sample Insertion
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Setup
Signing ISS RS Handover Protocol
Change of Command
Standard Measures Pre/Post-sleep Questionnaire
Soyuz 744 [СА] cooling down prior to descent

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