Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 September, 2020

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 19, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 September, 2020
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 September, 2020.

The Expedition 63 crew tended to a variety of science hardware Tuesday servicing the gear and updating software that operates the advanced research devices.
Fitness tests and ongoing lab maintenance rounded out the schedule aboard the International Space Station.

A trio of science facilities supporting physics and biology investigations received hands-on attention throughout the day. Commander Chris Cassidy first connected a laptop computer to the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) and updated the software that runs the extreme temperature research device.

The veteran NASA astronaut also set up the Confocal Space Microscope, which observes cellular and tissue functions using fluorescence and spatial filtering techniques. Cassidy then replaced filters inside the Life Science Glovebox (LSG) which enables two crew members to conduct biology and technology research at the same time.

The ELF, among numerous other research facilities, is housed inside the Columbus lab module from the European Space Agency (ESA). The specialized confocal and wide-field microscope and the LSG reside in JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Kibo lab module. Columbus has been attached to the station since February 2008, while the three-part Kibo was installed over a period between March and July 2008.

Today was cosmonaut Ivan Vagner’s turn to take a fitness test on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill. The once-a-month physical evaluation sends data down to researchers collected from sensors attached to a crew member during the 90-minute exercise. Vagner also studied ways cosmonauts might pilot spacecraft and robots on future planetary missions.

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin deactivated gear that observed Earth’s nighttime atmosphere in near-ultraviolet wavelengths. The three-time station resident then spent the rest of the day inspecting Russian life support gear.

On-Orbit Status Report


ELF (Electro-static Levitation Furnace): The crew configured cables to allow ground teams to initiate a software updates to the ELF Z-book. ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved.

LSG (Life Sciences Glovebox): The crew performed the LSG Rear-Wall Filter Exchange and also prepared the LSG laptop for software updates. LSG is a sealed work area that accommodates life science and technology investigations in a “workbench” type environment. Due to its larger size design, two crew members can work in the LSG simultaneously.

Confocal Space Microscopy: The crew completed the microscope cell chamber holder install and performed the remaining installation steps for the Confocal Space Microscope setup in the JEM. The Confocal Space Microscope (Confocal Microscope) is a JAXA facility that provides fluorescence images of biological samples aboard the International Space Station. Confocal microscopy uses spatial filtering techniques to eliminate out-of-focus light or glare in specimens whose thickness exceeds the immediate plane of focus. With the Confocal Microscope data can be obtained on the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue structure and functions in real-time.

MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox): The crew prepared the MSG laptop for software updates. The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is a rack-level payload facility located in the U.S. Laboratory module on the ISS. MSG provides resources such as power, data, video, heat rejection, vacuum, nitrogen and containment for investigations. The facility is well suited for handling hazardous materials when crew are present. MSG is capable of accommodating both physical science and biological research payloads.


Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL): Today, robotic ground controllers (ROBO) activated the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) and are currently in the process of performing a RELL scan of the Radiator Beam Valve Modules (RBVM) of the S1 truss Heat Rejection System (HRS). The RELL is a mass spectrometer “sniffer” that will assist with the investigation into 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.

Completed Task List Activities:

EXPRESS 11 Locker Relocate

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


Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, 9/16 (GMT 260)

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)
GIS-6 Mini PCR checkout (NASA)
EPM ESEM Exchange (ESA)


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

Friday, 9/18 (GMT 262)

Astrobee ops (NASA)
PBRE Hardware stow (NASA)


T2 Monthly Inspection
JEM CGSE Lower CO2 Gas Supply Stop
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow

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

Auxiliary Computer System [???] laptops anti-virus scan verification and report
??? (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat). Checking ???-? No.07 thermostat temperature and verifying that area near ???-? inlet/outlet vents is unobstructed
LSG work volume deploy
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) SW upload [aborted]
TV conference with the Roscosmos TV show
Microgravity Science Glovebox LLC update
Checking [??] pressure gauge connection to [???] vestibule pressure control valve and adapters.
Microscope holder install for JEM microscope setup 2
EXPRESS 7 locker relocate
LSG rear-wall filter exchange
LSG work volume stow
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) manual fill
LSG LLC software update preparation
MELFI ice brick gather
Checking absorber ?-16 ?02.16-92-01-09 (00074611R, ???1???_2_221_1) for plugs. Inspect and photograph plugs. Downlink photo via OCA.
Inventory audit of maintenance and repair equipment
LSG LLC software update
MATRYOSHKA-R. Synchronization of clocks on Tritel PL interface and detector units
Recycle Tank Drain to EDV Init
Terminating recycle tank drain

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