Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 July 2017 – Ongoing Biochem Profile, Repository and Cardio Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 18, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 July 2017 – Ongoing Biochem Profile, Repository and Cardio Research
In the Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 52-53 prime and backup crewmembers pose for pictures July 17 during a fit check dress rehearsal. In the front row are the prime crewmembers, Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency (left), Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos, center) and Randy Bresnik of NASA (right). In the back row are the backup crew, Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (left), Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos (center) and Mark Vande Hei of NASA (right). Bresnik, Ryazanskiy and Nespoli will launch July 28 on the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft for a five-month mission on the International Space Station. Credit: Andrey Shelepin/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/NASA.
Andrey Shelepin/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/NASA

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 52 astronauts furthered investigative data for NASA’s Human Research Program, collecting in-flight data and blood and urine samples over the weekend.
Today, the crew will take additional samples for the Biochem Profile, Repository and Cardio Ox investigations. An ultrasound was also used for the Cardio Ox study, which seeks to determine whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after spaceflight, and whether this could result in an increased, long-term risk of the hardening of the arteries for space-faring explorers.

Also on tap is the Mag 3D cell culturing experiment. The crew will fixate the BioCells and insert them into the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The orbiting laboratory provides a way to manipulate and culture cells in 2D and 3D in space and on the ground, which can help isolate the effects of gravity in experiments and enable biological research previously deemed unfeasible in space.

The next crew to lift off to the International Space Station has arrived at its launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The experienced space travelers from Roscosmos, NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) are due to blast off inside the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft July 28 for a six-hour ride to the space station’s Rassvet module. Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, with astronauts Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli, are scheduled to live and work in space until mid-December.

On-Orbit Status Report

Body Measures: On Saturday, a crewmember completed the Body Measures Flight Day 244 session with assistance from a trained operator. NASA is collecting in-flight anthropometric data to assess the impact of physical body shape and size changes on suit sizing. Still and video imagery is captured and a tape measure is used to measure segmental length, height, depth, and circumference data for all body segments (chest, waist, hip, arms, legs, etc.) from astronauts before, during and after their flight missions.

Magnetic 3 Dimensional (Mag 3D) Cell Culturing: With assistance from the Payload Developer, on Saturday the crew used a microscope and will use it again today to view Magnetic 3D Biocells. Today they fixated the BioCells and inserted them into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). Cell cultures in space spontaneously grow in three dimensions, which results in characteristics more representative of how cells grow and function in living organisms. But in microgravity, routine manipulation of cell cultures is challenging. This investigation uses magnetized cells and tools to make it easier to handle cells and cultures, and to improve the reproducibility of experiments. This approach also makes it possible to generate two-dimensional cultures as controls, and to determine whether biological events in these monolayer cultures result from gravity or substrate attachment.

Human Research Program (HRP): A crewmember collected Flight Day 240 blood and urine samples over the weekend and today for Biochem Profile, Repository and Cardio Ox investigations. An ultrasound was also performed today for Cardio Ox.

The Biochem 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.
Repository is a storage bank that is used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time under controlled conditions. This archive of bio samples will be used as a resource for future spaceflight related research.
By collecting Cardio Ox ultrasound and ECG data, along with blood and urine samples, scientists are trying to determine whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis in astronauts.
ISS Safety Video Survey: The crew recorded video of the interior volume of the ISS to allow ground teams to assess the current vehicle configuration and identify any safety concern. This survey is performed approximately every 6 months to identify ventilation blockage, flammability hazards, verify emergency egress paths, and confirm access to fire ports and safety equipment.

Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS) Clicking Noise: Over the weekend the crew reported a clicking noise coming from the CEVIS. In 2011, crew reported a similar clicking noise from CEVIS that was determined to be a spring on a rod within the Inertial Vibration Isolation System (IVIS) boxes that makes a clicking noise as it engages with the throw mass (used to stabilize CEVIS during exercise). Further on-orbit troubleshooting indicated that CEVIS is providing expected workload and the clicking noise is intermittent and very likely the same issue that was seen in 2011. CEVIS is GO for exercise and the crew will monitor for any changes in operations. There are no spare IVIS boxes on orbit, however there is a spare ready to be launched if needed.

Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) Electronics Unit (EU) Failure: Today the Brayton Motor of MELFI-1 in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) was powered down as part of a planned activity to power MELFI-1 from its auxiliary power feed for better power balance during the upcoming high beta angle period. When attempts were made to bring the Brayton Motor back up, the commands failed. A retry was attempted along with a power cycle of the rack with no success. The EU was determined to be failed so the crew performed an R&R with no impacts to the science samples in MELFI.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Valve Close
Pressurization of Elektron-VM Liquid Unit before Activation
ECLSS Recycle Tank Leak Check
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
??025? ?56 replacement in ??2? by ???-?? unit in FGB
ARED Maintenance from last inspection
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude Stow
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Cardio Ox Ultrasound Preparation
Cardio Ox Ultrasound Scan – Subject
Cardio Ox Historical Documentation Photography
Cardio Ox Ultrasound Scan – Operator
Cardio Ox CDL Holter Arterial BP Measurement – Subject
Cardio Ox CDL Holter Arterial BP Hardware Doff – Subject
Transfer of brine from USOS and urine from ???-? to 66P (DC1) Rodnik Water Tank 2
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
TOCA Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
USOS Window Shutter Close
Magnetic 3D Cultures MELFI Sample Retrieve
Check that Window Shutters 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 are closed
Magnetic 3D Cultures Microscope Operations
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) Swap
N2 Refill of 66P (DC1) ???? Section 2
External Wireless Communication (EWC) Nadir Antenna Connection
Magnetic 3D Cultures Biocells Fixation
MPEG-2 TV Downlink Test via KU-band prior to Soyuz 736 Docking
FAGEN. Fixation of samples from [MCK] No.4 and setup in SM. Photography. ???-? Thermostat No.4 deactivation
Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Water Container (???) Remove and Replace
Magnetic 3D Cultures MELFI Sample Insertion
Photo/TV Additional Camcorder Setup
Telescience Resource Kit Laptop Setup
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Video Survey of the ISS
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
On MCC GO ELEKTRON purge after deactivation
MELFI Ice Brick Insert
Completed Task List Items

51S Crew Arrival Prep [Completed GMT 196]
ARED Follow-Up Maintenance from last inspection [Completed GMT 197]
Photographs of these FGB locations [Completed GMT 197]
Housekeeping Procedure Print [Completed GMT 197]
USB Jump drive Connect to SSC11 [Completed GMT 197]
Relocating future SpaceX return hardware [Completed GMT 197]
Remove and Replace Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) ???-Y [Completed GMT 198]

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
BioCell Fixation support
SPS Power up
MCE VSEE Server Patch

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 07/18: Rodent Research Operations, Cabin Smoke Detector Cleaning, and ELF Operations
Wednesday, 07/19: Eye Imaging and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Antibody Conjugates Operations
Thursday, 07/20: 66P undock, Antibody Conjugates Operations, JEM Airlock Operations, and Russian EVA Tool Gathering

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