Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 May 2018 – Cygnus Cargo Resupply Mission on Tap

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 18, 2018
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 May 2018 – Cygnus Cargo Resupply Mission on Tap
The Antares rocket from Orbital ATK makes its way to the launch pad at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Antares will launch the Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani.

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft that will resupply the Expedition 55 crew on the International Space Station rolled out to its launch pad Thursday night.
Cygnus is now targeted to blast off atop the Antares rocket Monday at 4:39 a.m. EDT from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA TV will begin its live broadcast of the launch Monday at 4 a.m.

Orbital ATK and NASA managers moved Cygnus’ launch to no earlier than Monday to support further pre-launch inspections and more favorable weather conditions. Monday shows an 80% probability of acceptable weather for launch.

Cygnus is packed with 7,400 pounds of new science experiments, crew supplies and space station hardware. It is scheduled to arrive Thursday at the space station for its robotic capture at 5:20 a.m. NASA TV will cover the approach and rendezvous activities starting at 3:30 a.m.

Three NASA astronauts, Scott Tingle, Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, have trained for weeks to get ready for Cygnus’ arrival on Thursday. Tingle will be operating the Canadarm2 from inside the Cupola and command the robotic arm to grapple Cygnus. Arnold will back him up on the robotics controls and Feustel will monitor Cygnus and it systems during its approach. Robotics engineers on the ground will then remotely install the commercial space freighter on the Earth-facing port of the Unity module later Thursday morning.

One of the new experiments being delivered aboard Cygnus to the orbital laboratory will study atoms frozen to a temperature 10 billion times colder than deep space. The Cold Atom Lab will observe the quantum phenomena possibly leading to advanced spacecraft navigation techniques and quantum sensors that can detect gravitational and magnetic fields.

On-Orbit Status Report

Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) #2: The crew opened the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) inner hatch and extended the Airlock slide table into the JEM. They detached and stowed samples for return to the ground from the Handhold Experiment Platform (HXP). The ExHAM is a cuboid mechanism equipped with a fixture on the upper surface for grappling by the JEM Remote Manipulator System Small Fine Arm, and components on the under surface for attaching the ExHAM to the handrail on the JEM EF.

Team Task Switching: A crewmember completed a Team Task Switching survey today. When crew members are often required to switch their attention between tasks, performance on each of the tasks can be affected. The objective of the Team Task Switching investigation is to gain knowledge about whether or not crew members have difficulty in switching tasks and determine the impacts of these switches, in order to both reduce any negative consequences and improve individual and team motivation and effectiveness.

Cygnus On-board Training: Today, the crewmembers scheduled to capture OA9 (Cygnus) performed a Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) session. ROBoT is an on-orbit version of the ground-based Dynamics Skills Trainer (DST) that simulates robotics operations with graphical feedback. OA9 is currently on track to launch on May 20th and be berthed to ISS on May 24th.

Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Crew Activities: Today the crew performed Post-EVA medical evaluations, airlock reconfigurations, and a water recharge on the Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) used during the EVA. They also conducted an EVA debrief with ground specialists.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Overnight, robotics controllers supported post-EVA operations by unstowing the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) with the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and translating the Mobile Transporter (MT) from Worksite (WS) 6 to WS 8. Today, ground controllers used the MSS to transfer and install of the spare Pump Flow and Control Subsystem (PFCS) to the P6 long spacer. After the PFCS has was transferred, the ground robotics team began a series of follow-on tasks to get the MSS ready for OA-9 capture and berthing on Thursday, May 24.

Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Hardware Checkouts: Once the ground robotics flight controllers completed relocating the spare PFCS to the P6 long spacer, ground controllers were able to regain insight into the PFCS and perform a firmware prefresh. A checkout of the ammonia Flow Control Valve (FCV) is planned for tomorrow. Ground controllers were also able to verify proper functionality of the new Space to Ground Transmitter Receiver Controller (SGTRC) and the Camera Port #13 (CP13) External Television Camera Group (ETVCG).

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
Tension adjustment on ??-2 treadmill belt
Download Pille Dosimeter Readings
Periodic Health Status (PHS) Post EVA Examination
ISS HAM Radio and Video Power Up
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) KU Comm Unit Cable Swap
On MCC GO Purging Elektron-VM Liquid Unit (??) after Shutdown
Cupola Window Shutter 2 Close
??? maintenance
Veggie Ponds Hardware Deactivation
MATRYOSHKA-R. Restart Tritel PL
Microbial Capture Device (MCD) and Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
RS ISS Internal Lights Audit
Study of cardiovascular system under measured physical CYCLE Ergometer load.
Cardiovascular evaluation during graded exercises on cycle ergometer
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 1
Handhold Exp Platform #2 (HXP2) Item Gathering part 1.
JEM Airlock Press
JEM Airlock Leak Check
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Setup
Handhold Exp Platform #2 (HXP2) Sample Detachment 2
PROBOY. RS?1 Laptop Ops.
PROBOY. Penetration Simulator Ops.
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey – Subject
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
PROBOY. Copy and Downlink Data
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Air Lock Deconfiguration
Handhold Exp Platform #2 (HXP2) Sample Stow
PROBOY. Copy and download data to memory card. Start
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Debrief
MOTOCARD. Experiment Session
MOTOCARD. Operator Assistance with the Experiment
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Restow
Handhold Exp Platform #2 (HXP2) Item Checking part 2
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Multi Omics Item Gathering
IMS Update
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Ku-Band String 2 Activation
Lab MCA Full calibration
JEMAL Press Monitor
PFCS Transfer and Checkout
MT Translation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 05/18: JSL Lab & Node 2 router configuration, ER7 Locker Relocate, SABL3 Relocate, BEAM EHS Sample Collect and WTS sensor troubleshooting, JEM A/L depress, WRS resupply tank pumping.
Saturday, 05/19: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off-Duty
Sunday, 05/20: Crew Off-Duty, OA-9 Launch (4:04 am CT)

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”) – On
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

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.