Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 July 2018 – Samples Retrieved from Aerosol Experiment

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 20, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 July 2018 – Samples Retrieved from Aerosol Experiment
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 July 2018 - Samples Retrieved from Aerosol Experiment.

Today, Expedition 56 crewmates balanced work on science investigations in between housekeeping duties aboard the International Space Station.
The crew retrieved samplers as part of the Aerosol Sampling Experiment that had been deployed the day before in Nodes 1 and 3. After connecting them to chargers, they were redeployed for a second round of sampling. The battery-powered samplers pull in air and collect particles through thermophoresis, a process in which different particle types exhibit different responses to the force of a temperature gradient. The collected cabin air particles are later returned to Earth so investigators can study them with powerful microscopes.

The Veggie facility amped up production with an additional six space algae culture bags installed by the astronauts for future studies. The Space Algae investigation will further NASA’s understanding of how plants respond and grow in spaceflight using state-of-the-art omics approaches. Algae may perceive microgravity as a physical stress, which can trigger the production of high-value compounds. Scientists plan to sequence whole genomes of the space-grown algal populations to identify genes related to growth in spaceflight and evaluate how their composition changes in low-Earth orbit.

In addition, the crew continued the organization, packing and loading of items slated for return on SpaceX’s Dragon early next month.

Space enthusiasts should tune in to NASA Television this week as the Saint Louis Science Center and NASA’s Stennis Space Center each host educational downlinks as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station. The Earth-to-space call with the Saint Louis Science Center happens July 18 at 12:20 p.m. EDT and will include summer campers ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Second to 10th graders participating in ASTRO CAMPs in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas will get their turn to engage with station residents about living and working in microgravity the following day, July 19, at 11:30 a.m. with Stennis hosting. Watch the events unfold live on NASA TV or the agency’s website.

On-Orbit Status Report

Electro-static Levitation Furnace (ELF): Today the crew exchanged sample cartridges to prepare for ground-commanded operations in the ELF. The 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.

Rodent Research-7 (RR-7): Today the crew calibrated the Mass Measurement Device that was installed yesterday in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The mice were placed individually into the Container, loaded into the MMD and had three measurements performed on them. Fecal pellets and Food Bar swabs were collected and placed into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). Half of the mice went through this process today and the other half will go through it tomorrow. The RR-7 investigation examines how the space environment affects the community of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract of mice (also known as the microbiota). It also looks at microgravity’s effects on multiple physiological systems known to be affected by the microbiota, including the gastrointestinal, immune, metabolic, circadian, and sleep systems. These studies should help explain mechanisms underlying interactions between these systems and the role of the microbiota in these interactions

Space Algae: The crew agitated and installed an additional six Space Algae culture bags in the Veggie facility today. The Space Algae investigation explores the genetic basis for productivity of algae cultivated in space and whether this requires genetic adaptations or not. Algae may perceive microgravity as an abiotic stress, which can trigger production of high value compounds. Investigators plan whole genome sequencing of the space-grown algal populations to identify genes related to growth in spaceflight and testing of algal composition for production of high value compounds.

Aerosol Samplers: Today the crew retrieved the Active Aerosol Samplers (AASs) that were deployed yesterday in Node 1 and Node 3. They connected them to the sample chargers and then redeployed them for a second run. The battery-powered AASs actively pull in air and collect particles using the principal of thermophoresis. This is accomplished by flowing the sampled air through a large thermal gradient in a narrow channel. During this process, particles are driven to the cold side of the channel, where an electron microscope (EM) grid is held in place by a tiny magnet. When returned to Earth, these grids are easily removed and placed directly in an EM for analysis.

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Operations: Today the crew pressurized the JEMAL, performed a leak check, and then extended the JEMAL slide table into the JEM. They removed the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer-14 (NRCSD-14) from the table and installed the Handhold Experiment Platform Adapter on the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform Assembly (MPEP) that is mounted to the table. This latter operation is in support of the Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) #1 operations planned for next week. The crew then retracted the slide table into the JEMAL and depressurized and vented the airlock.

Columbus Condensate Collection: The crew collected a 500ml sample of the Columbus condensate that will be returned on SpaceX-15. Data from this sample may be used to provide further clarification of the reaction mechanism and primary pathway by which Dimethylsilanediol (DMSD) is generated. Improved understanding will be used to potentially circumvent this pathway, as well as provide valuable information that may be used in the design of future habitats for manned missions.

Onboard Training (OBT) Preparation: Tomorrow, the full crew will participate in an ISS Emergency Simulation session; in preparation for this activity, the crew reviewed the simulator functionality on their iPADs. The crew regularly completes OBT sessions to refresh their familiarity with the various emergency procedures that can result from off-nominal events onboard ISS.

Dragon Cargo Operations: Today the crew continued packing and loading items slated for return on Dragon early next month. Having just started the second cargo message yesterday, ground specialist estimate ~35 hours of work remain to completely pack the vehicle.

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

XF305 Camcorder Setup
??? ?2 Absorbent Cartridge Regen
Aerosol Samplers Battery Charge
JEM Airlock Press
Photograph the Position of ???? Device on MRM2 From SM Window #13 – Preparation
Columbus Condensate Sampling Part1
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Cartridge Exchange
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Photograph the Position of ???? Device on MRM2 From SM Window #13
JEM Airlock Leak Check
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer Removal from the MPEP
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Experiment Session on BD-2 (Individual Strategy Test).
Water Recovery and Management Condensate Pumping Init
HRF Generic Urine Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
VEG-03E MWA Preparation
Space Algae Experiment Install
??? Spacesuit Interface Unit Checkout in DC1.
Water Recovery and Management Condensate Pumping Term
Pressure Check in ??-3? Units in DC1.
Battery Installation on ????-2 in Orlan-MKS #5.
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Backup Orlan-MKS #5 Bladder Leak Check.
??? maintenance
Handhold Exp Platform Adapter installation
ORLAN-MSK #5 and ??? Spacesuit Interface Unit Leak Check. Valves Functionality Check.
FSL soft matter dynamics experiment container feedthrough panel reconfiguration [Aborted]
Vacuum Cleaning of the Ventilation Screens on the FGB Interior Panels (panels 201, 301, 401)
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Aerosol Active Samplers Hardware Installation
JEM Airlock Depressurization
Aerosol Active Samplers Hardware Photography
Micro-11 Glacier Sample Removal 1
Condensate Sampling Check1
Rodent Research Node 2 Camcorder Video Setup
NanoRacks Cubesat Deployer Maintenance Work Area Preparation
Rodent Research 7 Mass Measurement Device Restock
Rodent Research 7 Mass Measurement Device Restock 2A
Comm Assets Setup
NanoRacks CubeSat Quad Deployer Single Deployer Installation
Condensate Sampling Check 2
Transfer of Brine and Urine from EDV to Rodnik ??1 Water Tank in SM Aft Progress #438; ??1 Water Tank B1 Connector Flushing
ORLAN-MKS #5, ??? Spacesuit Interface Unit and Comm Assets Checkout on the basis of the Telemetry.
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Recover Nominal Comm Config
Switching ORLAN-MKS #5 and ??? Spacesuit Interface Unit in the Stow Mode
Switching ORLAN-MKS #4 and ??? Spacesuit Interface Unit in the Stow Mode
Hardware Restow after Orlan-MKS #5 Checkout
IMS Delta File Prep
JEM Airlock Vent
Photograph the Sample ??228 Temperature Sensors installed on the External MRM2 Surface
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Rodent Research 7 Mass Measurement Device Restock 2A
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
JEM Airlock Vent Confirmation
MATRESHKA-R. Tritel Hardware Check.
Columbus ECLSS Condensate Water Sampling part 2
SPLANKH. Experiment Setup
Check the Position of BD-2 Roller.
Pille-MKS Control Panel Setup
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Setup
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
??? ?2 Absorbent Cartridge Regen (end)

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Lab MCA zero calibration

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 07/18: Tangolab, HRF, Rodent Research Ops, OBT ISS EMER Sim/Rvw/Conf, Nano-Mod9, Dragon Cargo Transfer, BEST, MICS, AngieX Cancer, Aerosol Sampler
Thursday, 07/19: Micro11, Aerosol Samplers, BEST, ATED, FSL Install, EMU Water Dump/Fill, MICS, RADI-N, Polar Dessicant Ops
Friday, 07/20: Micro11, AML Sample Detach, N1 Bac Fltr R&R, BEST, Dragon Cargo Transfer, Microbial Tracking, Aerosol Samplers, MSL Gas supply exchange, Plant Habitat

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

Component – Status
Elektron – Off
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 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Idle
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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