Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 October 2020 – Doubling up on Science

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 23, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 October 2020 – Doubling up on Science
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 October 2020 - Doubling up on Science.

Science is doubling up on the International Space Station with the addition of three new space residents. However, they will split up on Oct. 21 before four more astronauts launch to join the Expedition 64 crew in November.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, on her second station mission, is stepping into her role as space scientist today while getting up to speed with life on orbit. She wore virtual reality goggles to explore how her sense of perception is adapting to microgravity. Rubins later serviced a biology research device that can produce up to 2g of artificial gravity.

Rubins’ fellow crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will stay with her in space until April. Ryzhikov, on his second stay aboard the orbiting lab, unpacked cargo from the new Soyuz MS-17 crew ship today. First-time space-flyer Kud-Sverchkov checked out Russian science hardware.

Station Commander Chris Cassidy is nearing the end of his stay onboard the station with crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. The trio have been packing cargo and personal items inside the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that will parachute the crew back to Earth on Oct. 21. Cassidy will hand over command of the station to Ryzhikov on Oct. 20.

All six station residents got together in the middle of the day and reviewed their emergency roles and responsibilities.

Meanwhile, four astronauts are planning to launch to the station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle. The company’s first operational crew mission is targeted to launch no sooner than early-to-mid November. Commander Mike Hopkins of NASA will lead Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi and stay in space until the Spring.

On-Orbit Status Report


Food Physiology: The crew performed the Saliva collection setup. The Integrated Impact of Diet on Human Immune Response, the Gut Microbiota, and Nutritional Status During Adaptation to Spaceflight (Food Physiology) experiment is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators. These factors are interlinked, but diet is the only one that can be easily and meaningfully altered on Earth or during flight. This investigation aims to document the effect of dietary improvements on human physiology and the ability of those improvements to enhance adaptation to spaceflight.

VECTION: The crew deployed the VECTION hardware and performed a session. The crew then stowed all VECTION hardware and prepared the recorded data for download. The objective of the study is to determine to what extent an astronaut’s ability to visually interpret motion, orientation, and distance may be disrupted in a microgravity environment, and how it may adapt, and how it may be changed upon return to Earth. Multiple experimental time points inflight and upon return to Earth allows for the adaptation and recovery process to be investigated.

Dose Distribution Inside the ISS – 3D (DOSIS 3D): The crew retrieved eleven deployed dosimeters (ten Passive Detector Packs and one Triple Detector Pack) and stowed them for return and deployed eleven new dosimeters. This experiment uses active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses inside the ISS and provides documentation of the actual nature and distribution of the radiation fields. A concise three dimensional dose distribution map of all the segments of the ISS will be developed based on this data and data from JAXA and NASA monitoring devices.

Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP): The crew installed new modules into the Multi-use Variable-g Platform. The commercially developed, owned and operated Techshot MVP includes two internal carousels that simultaneously can produce up to 2 g of artificial gravity. MVP is used to conduct research in space with a wide variety of sample types, such as fruit flies, flatworms, plants, fish, cells, protein crystals and many others.

STaARS BioScience-12: The crew stowed the experiment containers in the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) facility. Novel Protein Aggregation/degradation Studies in the Unique ISS Environment Provide Mechanistic Insights Relevant to Biopharmaceutical Development and Degenerative Diseases (STaARS BioScience-12) examines protein folding and aggregation under the unique stresses of space, including microgravity- and cosmic radiation-dependent folding and degradation and the combination of these factors. Biopharmaceuticals play a significant role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases, but a challenge in making them is the instability and degradation of their proteins. This investigation may help develop new strategies to prevent protein degradation and support design of therapeutic biopharmaceuticals.


ISS Medical Accessory Kit (IMAK) Unpack: Today, the crew unpacked the IMAK kits delivered on Northrop Grumman (NG)-14. The unpack included a resupply of seven ISS Medical Kits, two Ammonia Response Medical Kits, and one Vascular Contingency IMAK.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Port Cleaning: In preparation for their return to Earth next week, the 62S crew cleaned the Port CQ today. During this activity, the crew cleaned behind panels, intake and exhaust ducts, fans and airflow sensors as required.

Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review: All six crewmembers participated in this required training. Some of the topics covered were crew accountability during emergency situations, escape vehicle readiness, ISS Commander responsibilities and safe haven plan.

Completed Task List Activities:

63S Unpack
62S Pre-Pack (ongoing)
Cygnus Cargo Ops (ongoing)
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

IFM Port Crew Quarters (CQ) Safing
Video support for robotics activities
PMA 3 shell heater characterization test for Beta -60
OTCM and EOTP Robotic Survey
Look Ahead Plan

Saturday, 10/17 (GMT 291)

Food Physiology-Saliva Collect (NASA)

OBT Soyuz Nominal Drill
Sunday, 10/18 (GMT 292)

Food Physiology-Saliva Collect (NASA)
Urine Setup (JAXA)

ARED Handover Video Review
ARED Crew Handover
PAO Symbolic
Monday, 10/19 (GMT 293)

Phospho-aging Urine Collect & Blood Setup (JAXA)
HRF Saliva Collect (NASA)
Rhodium Sample Removal & Insert (NASA)
CGBA 4 Power Off (NASA)

OBT ISS Emer H/W Fam
EMU Loops Scrubs (3008/3009)
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

CEVIS Crew Handover & Video Review
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Port Cleaning
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
DOSIS 3D Passive Detectors De-Installation from Columbus (10 PDPs and 1 TDP)
Installation of the DOSIS 3D passive detector packs in Columbus and photo documentation
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
Food Acceptability Survey
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from NG-14
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
IMS Tagup (S-band)
ISS Crew Adaptation
Crew Departure Prep
ISS Crew Orientation
MERLIN 2 Desiccant Swap
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Desiccant Replace
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Historical Documentation Photography
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Module Install
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
STaARS MELFI Cryotube Kit Insertion
Soyuz 747 transfers and IMS ops
Vection Experiment Session
CASKAD. Cultivation closeout, photography. Moding Cascade thermostat to +4 deg ?
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassettes-M cells Nos.3-3 and 3-4 contents. Activation of auto photography
??? (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat). Checking ???-? No.07 thermostat temperature and unobstructed area near ???-? inlet/outlet vents
Checking cover closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
ISS crew and ???? (RSA Flight Control Management Team) weekly conference
Deletion of psychological support files on Samsung tablets and Russian iPads prior to Soyuz 745 undocking
MATRYOSHKA-R. Retrieve detectors from Phantom set and data download from Tritel I/F unit to USB flash drive
Air sampling using ??-1? sampler in SM, FGB, and MRM2
Air sample collection using ??-1? sampler in SM for Freon
Air sample collection for CO using Draeger tube air sampler (???) in SM
Air sample collection for ammonia using Draeger tube air sampler (???) in SM
Recharging Soyuz 747 Samsung tablet battery
Recharging Soyuz 747 U55 external batteries (2)
Preventive maintenance of MRM1 Passive Docking Assembly (???) and Soyuz 747 hatch sealing mechanism
Soyuz 745 stowage ops for return
Replacement of ODF

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