Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 April 2018 – Testing the Miniature Exercise Device-2

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 20, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 April 2018 – Testing the Miniature Exercise Device-2
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 April 2018 - Testing the Miniature Exercise Device-2.

A docked Russian cargo craft automatically fired its engines this morning boosting the International Space Station’s altitude a little higher. During the rest of the day, the Expedition 55 crew supported life science and swapped out station hardware.
Russia’s Progress 69 resupply ship docked to the Zvezda service module fired its thrusters boosting the station’s orbit today. The two-minute, six-second burn establishes the correct orbit when three crew members undock and land in June and a two-orbit rendezvous capability for the Progress 70P resupply craft when it launches in July.

NASA crewmates Scott Tingle, Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel became lab assistants today as they collected and stowed their own blood, urine and saliva samples in a science freezer. Two long-running human research experiments, Biochemical Profile and Repository, are basing their results on the analysis of these samples helping scientists understand how microgravity impacts the human body.

Tingle later tested the Miniature Exercise Device-2 for providing a range of motion and resistance exercise while taking up less space aboard the station. Feustel installed new firewall gear in the Harmony module before replacing manifold bottles in the Combustion Integrated Rack. Arnold worked with commercial science hardware then processed samples for a protein crystal growth student experiment.

Mice are being observed on the orbital lab today to understand the physiological signals that lead to muscle and bone loss in space. Norishige Kanai from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency collected blood samples from the mice to be processed, analyzed and stowed in a science freezer. Scientists are studying the effectiveness of a drug therapy to prevent those stresses and signals that cause weakened bones and muscles.

On-Orbit Status Report

Ku Control Unit (KCU) Software Transition: Following yesterday’s swap to KCU2, running the new R4 software, the KCU2 modem card stopped processing Ku forward commands. An eventual power cycle of the entire KCU2 unit recovered KCU2 forward link. Later the KCU2 modem card once again stopped processing Ku forward commands. Ku was transitioned back to ICU 1, which is running ICU R3 software, and we have recovered nominal Ku coverage. Ground teams continue to troubleshoot KCU2 following the transition to R4.

Progress 69P ISS Reboost: This morning the ISS completed a nominal reboost using the 69P thrusters. The purpose of the reboost was to start phasing for 53S landing in June and 70P 2-orbit constraints in July. The reboost time of ignition (TIG) was at 108/10:50:00 GMT (Wednesday, April 18, 05:50:00 AM CDT), with a burn duration of 2 m 06 s.

Human Research Program (Biochemical Profile and Repository): A 53S crewmember collected blood and urine samples for his FD120 sessions of the Biochem Profile, Repository and Cell Free Epigenome investigations. A 54S crewmember collected urine samples for his FD30 sessions of the Biochem Profile and Repository investigations.

The Biochemical Profile investigation 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 used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. The repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions.
The JAXA Cell Free Epigenome investigation tests blood samples collected from astronauts and cellular genes are analyzed. Blood carries molecular signals released from the cells inside the body. The analysis results provide insights to scientists on how human bodies function during space flight.
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)-9: The crew extracted liquid from the eight sample bags used for crystal growth, photographed the bags before and after the extractions, and then inserted the sample bags into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for return on the SpaceX-14 vehicle. The Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest-Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission (CASIS PCG 9) investigation provides student researchers the opportunity to explore crystal growth in the microgravity environment of the ISS. Crystals grown without the influence of gravity have shown to contain fewer imperfections and grow to larger sizes. Middle and high school students compete to grow the most perfect ground-based crystal, as judged by experts in the crystallography field. The students who present the crystals with the fewest imperfections have the opportunity to fly their experiments to the space station.

Mouse Stress Defense: The crew temporarily relocated the Mouse Habitat Cage Units from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to the Glove Box to take blood samples. They then processed the samples in a centrifuge and placed them into a MELFI. 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.

Metabolic Tracking (MT): The crew took BioCell samples today for the MT investigation and then placed them into a 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.

Story Time From Space: A crewmember participated in the Story Time from Space project by reading “You are the First Kid on Mars” while being videotaped. The recording will be downlinked and used for educational purposes. Story Time From Space combines science literacy outreach with simple demonstrations recorded onboard the ISS. Crew members read science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related children’s books on orbit, and complete simple science concept experiments. Video and data collected during the demonstrations are downlinked to the ground and posted in a video library with accompanying educational materials.

Joint Station LAN (JSL) Firewall Install in Lab and NODE 2 (N2): Today the crew installed a hardware JSL firewall, power supply, and networking cabling in the US LAB in preparation for the JSLv11 transition. This transition will provide additional security to ISS computer assets and facilitate smoother integration of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) hardware into the ISS JSL network.

Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Oxygen Repress Termination: Today ground controllers terminated an oxygen repress, initiated on GMT 44, from the NORS system. The crew closed the oxygen isolation valve and removed the oxygen recharge tank for return to the ground. A leak check of the oxygen system confirmed a successful repress.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last night, robotics controllers used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to transfer one MISSE Sample Container (MSC) from the MTT to the MISSE Flight Facility (FF). Tonight, controllers will transfer the final three MSCs.

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
Check that the Shutters of SM Windows #6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 are Closed.
Food Acceptability Questionnaire – Subject
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Educational Imagery Recording
USOS Window Shutter Close
Installing Updates on RSS1 Laptop.
Comm Config to Set Up Communication from MRM1
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
SEPARATION. Installation and Connection of the Heat Exchanger Assembly ([???]).
Mouse Stress Defense Item Gathering and Blood Drawing Preparation
Multi-Use Variable-G Platform MELFI Sample Retrieve
Filling In (Degassing) of EDV (KOV) for Elektron or EDV-SV.
Miniature Exercise Device Surface Pro 3 Charge
SEPARATION. Routing ??? Onboard Measurement System 521??.40?5020-570 Cable.
SEPARATION. Cable Routing and Connection to the Onboard Equipment Control System (????).
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Mouse Stress Defense MELFI Retrieval
SEPARATION. ?? Reservoir Assembly Setup.
Joint Station Lan (JSL) Firewall Install in US LAB
Mouse Stress Defense Blood Drawing
Joint Station Lan (JSL) Firewall Install in NODE 2 [Aborted]
SEPARATION. ?? Distillation Assembly Setup.
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Mouse Blood Centrifuge Processing Start
SEPARATION. Control Panel and New Panel 205 Installation. Connection of Cables to the Control Panel.
Multi Omics Item Gathering
Mouse Stress Defense Blood Drawing Closeout
SODF hardcopy updates
Mouse Blood Centrifuge Processing Stop
Mouse Stress Defense MELFI Insertion
TangoLab-2 Card Exchange
Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System(NORS) Oxygen Transfer Termination
SEPARATION. Mating Telemetry Connectors and Closeout Operations.
Retrieval of PCG-9 Hardware from MELFI
Second Inspection of Sample Bags for Crystal Growth
Extraction of Liquid from Sample Bags and Association Photos
Interest Photos and Recorded Video for Downlink
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
IMS Delta File Prep
Earth Imagery from ISS Nikon Target Operations
24-Hour ECG Recording (end)
SEPARATION. Connection of Replacement EDV Units.
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Setup
24-Hour Arterial Pressure Recording (start)
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Open
Restoration of the Nominal Comm Config
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
Check the Correct Position of ??-1 Sensors
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Photo/TV, Checking Camcorder Settings
Start the Nominal Use of BD-2 Harness Software Control Panel
Mouse Stress Defense Blood Drawing Closeout
Crew retrieves Water Drink Bags from BOB that currently in use at NOD1_S1 and fills the bags with hot water for return and subsequent ground analysis.
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Close
Story Time Book Mars Read
Metabolic Tracking Plate Reader Insertion/Removal
Story Time Historical Photo Documentation
Miniature Exercise Device Procedure Review
Metabolic Tracking Biocells Sampling BioCell B
Miniature Exercise Device Hardware Gather
Start the Nominal Use of BD-2 Harness Software Control Panel
Photo/TV JEM HDSDI Cable Swap [Aborted]
Metabolic Tracking MELFI Sample Bag Insertion
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Stow
GREAT BEGINNINGS. Battery Charging
HRF Columbus HD Video Setup

Completed Task List Activities
NIH & CASIS-D/L Message

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
69P Reboost
MISSE Robotics Operations
HRF-1 Rack Commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 04/19: LAB IMV Valve R&R, Mouse Stress Defense Ops, Miniature Exercise Device Ops, N3 MCA VGA R&R
Friday, 04/20: MSL Furnace Swap, APEX6 Harvest, Mouse Stress Defense, EIISS, PEPS Inspection, MSG VUE Removal
Saturday, 04/21: Housekeeping, EEIISS Target, US LAB Edge Router to BRI Troubleshooting, Mouse Stress Defense Cage Maintenance, Off Duty

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 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Standby
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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