Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 April 2018 – Preparing for the Mouse Stress Defense Experiment

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 18, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 April 2018 – Preparing for the Mouse Stress Defense Experiment
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 April 2018 - Preparing for the Mouse Stress Defense Experiment.

Scientists on the ground and in space this week are exploring a wide variety of phenomena affecting humans living in space.
The ongoing life science aboard the International Space Station is designed to improve astronauts’ health in space and benefit people on Earth.

Medicine plays an important role in an astronaut’s health and doctors want to know more about how drug therapies work in space. NASA Flight Engineer Drew Feustel supported the medicine research today and injected human tissue samples with a drug compound for the Metabolic Tracking study. Those samples will be incubated then frozen before returning to Earth to be analyzed. Results may help the pharmaceutical industry design better, cheaper drugs for humans on Earth and in space.

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai is tending to mice today, cleaning their habitats and preparing for a week-long run of the Mouse Stress Defense experiment. The Expedition 55 crew and doctors on Earth are observing the mice to understand the processes leading to muscle and bone loss in microgravity. Researchers are testing therapies that may prevent the physiological signals and stresses in space that lead to a weakened musculoskeletal system.

Other important space research taking place throughout the week will look at how plants grow off Earth possibly sustaining future crews and improving Earth agriculture. The crew will also test the new Miniature Exercise Device-2 for providing a range of motion and resistance exercise while taking up less space aboard the station.

More external cargo operations took place outside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship over the weekend. Robotics controllers remotely operating the Canadarm2 stowed a failed pump flow control sub-assembly (PFCS) in Dragon’s trunk ahead of a May spacewalk. That spacewalk will see two astronauts work outside the station to relocate a series of spare sub-assemblies for functional testing.

On-Orbit Status Report

Metabolic Tracking (MT): Earlier today the crew set up the MT hardware and materials for thawing and inoculation. They then injected the thawed inoculum into multiwell BioCells, and inserted them into a NanoRacks Plate Reader. The crew also took samples from the BioCell B group and placed them into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The Metabolic Tracking investigation evaluates a rapid, low-cost method for assessing the effects of therapeutic compounds in microgravity. The method contributes to development of custom plans for emergency medical treatment for crew members, using primary tissue samples. This investigation also determines the feasibility of developing improved pharmaceuticals in microgravity using a new method to test the metabolic impacts of drug compounds. This could lead to more effective, less expensive drugs.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Biochemical Profile and Repository): A 53S crewmember collected blood and urine samples yesterday and today for his FD120 session of the Biochem Profile investigation. A 54S crewmember collected urine samples today for his FD30 Biochem Profile session. The Biochemical Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples obtained from astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results; which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body.

Mouse Stress Defense: The crew temporarily relocated the Mouse Habitat Cage Units from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to the Glove Box to perform maintenance on the cage units. They replaced waste collecting equipment and odor filters. Microgravity provokes cellular mechanical stresses and perturbs cellular signaling, leading to reduction of muscle and bone density. To overcome these stresses, one of the promising strategies is to activate Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant pathway. Mouse Stress Defense investigates how Nrf2 contributes to effective prevention of space-originated stresses.

Using Brachypodium distachyon to Investigate Monocot Plant Adaptation to Spaceflight (APEX-06): The crew harvested the plants for the APEX-06 investigation today. They took photographs of all 12 science containers and then preserved samples and placed them into a MELFI. The APEX-06 experiment investigates the growth of the common grass species Brachypodium distachyon in the microgravity environment of space. The grasses grow from seedlings aboard the ISS, and are returned as frozen samples to Earth-based labs for detailed analysis and comparison with Earth-based control groups. APEX-06 aims to compare the growth and gene-expression patterns of Brachypodium distachyon with those of the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which has been extensively studied in space and whose behavior in microgravity is better understood.

Advanced Imaging, Folding, and Assembly of Colloidal Molecules (ACE-T-9): Today the crew inserted the ACE-T-9 module inside of the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) auxiliary fluids container. The ACE-T-9 experiment involves the imaging, folding, and assembly of complex colloidal molecules within a fluid medium. This set of experiments prepares for future colloidal studies and also provides insight into the relationship between particle shape, colloidal interaction, and structure. These so-called “colloidal molecules” are vital to the design of new and more stable product mixtures.

AstroPi: Today the crew transferred the AstroPi with the infrared camera to the Node 1 nadir hatch window for execution of student software for the European AstroPi Challenge 2017-2018. AstroPis are augmented Raspberry Pi computers equipped with the mighty Sense Hardware Attached on Top (HAT) that measures the environment inside the ISS, detect how the station moves through space, and pick up the Earth’s magnetic field. One of the AstroPis has an infrared camera and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.

Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutron (RaDI-N): Today the crew retrieved eight RaDI-N detectors from a Node 3 location and handed them over to a Russian crewmember for processing. This Canadian Space Agency (CSA) investigation measures neutron radiation levels while onboard the ISS. Bubble detectors used as neutron monitors are designed to only detect neutrons.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Maintenance: The crew completed a loop scrub on Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) #3004 and #3008 loop, iodination of the ion filters, and water conductivity tests. These activities are nominally performed every 90 days.

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Operations: Yesterday, the Robotics Ground Controllers stowed the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) on Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture 2 (PDGF2). Next they walked the SSRMS off Node 2 onto MBS PDGF3 and unstowed the SPDM. Then, after having rotated the SPDM Enhanced Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU) Temporary Platform (EOTP), they maneuvered SPDM Arm 2 to unstow Robot Micro Conical Tool 2 (RMCT2) from SPDM Tool Holder Assembly 2 (THA2). Earlier today, ground controllers retrieved the Material on ISS Experiment – Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) Transfer Tray (MTT) from the JEM Airlock. The Mobile Transporter (MT) was then moved from worksite 6 (port side) to worksite 2 (stbd side).

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
??-8. Configuration Setup
Body Mass Measurement – BMMD
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection – Operator
EML Gas Valves Opening
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
Mouse Stress Defense Item Gathering
??-8. Closeout Ops
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap
Multi Omics Fecal Sample Operations
???? Reconfiguration in MRM1
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
SEPARATION. ODF Review. Equipment and tool search.
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
Multi Omics Fecal Sample MELFI Insertion
Multi Omics Fecal Stow
Metabolic Tracking Inoculation Preparation
Metabolic Tracking MELFI Metabolic Tracking Group Retrieve
Metabolic Tracking Biocells Inoculation
Mouse Stress Defense Cage Maintenance for Micro-G 2
Metabolic Tracking MELFI Inoculation Bag Retrieve
RFID Embedded RFID Reader Power Cycle
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Post Scrub Cooling Loop Water (H2O) Sample
Metabolic Tracking Plate Reader Insertion/Removal
Comm reconfig for nominal ops
Metabolic Tracking Session Cleanup
Photography of IMV (MRM1-Soyuz 737, MRM1-FGB ??, FGB ??-???1, SM ???-Progress 438)
Photography of IMV (MRM2-Soyuz 738, SM ??? -MRM2, SM ??? -DC1)
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Desiccant Replace
Tightening Fast-Removal Screw Clamps on SM Aft – Progress 438 Interface
Inspection and Cleaning Nikon camera Digital Image Sensor
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
Mouse Stress Defense Cage Maintenance for 1G 2
APEX-06 MELFI Retrieval #2
APEX-06 Payload Harvest
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
EarthKAM Node 1 Shutdown, Disconnect and Stow – Russian
Filling (separation) of ??? (???) for Elektron-VM or ???-??
COL1D2 and COL1D3 AFT side cleanup for ASTROPI
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Conductivity Test
Transfer of the AstroPi IR to the Node1 nadir hatch window.
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-Dosimeter Retrieval And Readout
??? maintenance
Radi-N Detector Retrieval/Readout
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons Hardware Handover
MATRYOSHKA-R. Handover of BUBBLE-dosimeters from USOS
COL1D2 and COL1D3 AFT side restore after ASTROPI
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-Dosimeter Retrieval And Readout
Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System O2 Repress Part 2
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) and Insert Filter (IF) Remove and Replace
Checking ??-2 treadmill carriage position. Photograph position of ??-2 carriage relative to pullout roller by lifting ??-2 curtain. Downlink photo via OCA
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation
SG100 Cloud Computer Payload Remove
Fluids Integrated Rack Doors Open
ACE-T9 Module Installation
Auxiliary Laptop Computer System Virus Definition File Update
APEX-06 Spare Growth Chambers Insertion
Fluids Integrated Rack Doors Close
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Stow Syringes used in H2O Conductivity Test

Completed Task List Activities
Dragon Cargo Operations

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
NORS O2 Repress
EVA Loop Scrub Support
MT Translation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 04/17: US Printer Deploy, Eye Exams, OGS ACTEX R&R, Metabolic Tracking Inoculations, Mouse Stress Defense Ops, Dragon Cargo Ops
Wednesday, 04/18: JSL Firewall Deploy, PCG9 Sampling, CIR Bottle R&R, NORS O2 Transfer, Mouse Stress Defense Ops, Metabolic Sampling
Thursday, 04/19: LAB IMV Valve R&R, Mouse Stress Defense Ops, Miniature Exercise Device Ops, N3 MCA VGA R&R

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – Off
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Standby
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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