Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 April 2019 – Crew Prepares to Receive New Supplies and New Experiments

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 22, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 April 2019 – Crew Prepares to Receive New Supplies and New Experiments
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 April 2019 - Crew Prepares to Receive New Supplies and New Experiments.

The Cygnus space freighter is on orbit today and refining its approach to the International Space Station following its launch from Virginia Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Expedition 59 crew is juggling a variety of science and maintenance activities today before Friday morning’s space shipment arrives.

Astronaut Anne McClain, with Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques as her back up, will capture Cygnus with the Canadarm2 robotic arm around 5:30 a.m. Friday. Ground controllers will take over afterward and remotely install Cygnus to the Unity module where it will stay until the end of July.

Cygnus is packed with about 7,600 pounds of science, supplies and crew hardware to replenish the orbital lab. Among its science payloads are mice, free-flying robots and a host of other experiments and research gear. The astronauts set up hardware today that will house the rodents and enable research into how the immune system responds to microgravity. The crew will also test the ability of tiny, autonomous robots to provide assistance with routine space chores and lab monitoring.

Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch started Thursday collecting and spinning blood and urine samples for ongoing human research. McClain checked out cables for the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace while Saint-Jacques installed sample plates on a specialized microscope called the Light Microscopy Module.

Commander Oleg Kononenko and fellow cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin worked throughout the day on Russian life support maintenance. Ovchinin also researched enzyme behavior in space and photographed plants for a botany investigation.

On-Orbit Status Report

Crew Half Duty Day: Today was a half duty day for the crew. Following Cygnus berth tomorrow, they will work Saturday to transfer cargo from Cygnus to the ISS.

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)/Light Microscopy Module (LMM)/Biophysics-6 experiment start: As a followup to the discovery of the plate with damaged sample capillary(s) on Monday, today the crew removed another LMM/Biophysics-6 (Bio-6) plate from MELFI and allowed it to thaw. Following a good inspection, it was inserted in the LMM to begin the experiment. LMM/Bio-6, more formally known as Growth Rate Dispersion as a Predictive Indicator for Biological Crystal Samples Where Quality Can Be Improved with Microgravity Growth, studies ground-based predictions of which crystals benefit from crystallization in microgravity, where Earth’s gravity does not interfere with their formation. The plate installed contains samples of Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase (GGPPS) which is a protein produced in osteoporosis, multiple myeloma, and Paget’s disease. Observing crystallized proteins via X-ray crystallography on the ground allows scientists to determine how they are built, which can explain how they work or how other molecules, such as drugs, might interact with them.

Mass Measurement Device (MMD) Setup: The crew gathered the hardware and set up the MMD in the designated module and seat track mounting location. Poweron, thermal stabilization and hardware calibration will be performed to prepare MMD for Rodent Research-12 support. The Mass MMD provides a system to quantify the mass of objects, including live animal specimens, in the microgravity environment aboard the International Space Station. It is capable of measuring mass in the range of 1 to 100 grams with accuracies that exceed 0.1 grams.

Rodent Research-12: The crew performed the Habitat installation and participated in a crew conference to discuss RR-12 and transfers of the mice. The actual mouse transfer from NG-11 to ISS occurs Saturday. RR12 has 2 specific aims: 1) To determine the impact of the spaceflight environment on primary and secondary antibody responses. 2) Establish that adjuvants that function through Tlr9 receptors are effective during spaceflight. Rodent Research-12, Tetanus Antibody Response by B cells in Space (TARBIS), examines the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production and immune memory. Spaceflight is known to have a dramatic influence on immune response, but there is little research on its effect following an actual challenge to the body’s immune system. Using a mouse model makes this possible, as the mouse immune system closely parallels that of humans.

Cygnus Arrival Preparations: In preparation for tomorrow’s planned Cygnus berthing, the crew completed the following:

Installed the Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) at Node 1 Nadir and performed a video system checkout with the ground. This activity is to support Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) mating operations.
Relocated the Portable Computer System (PCS) from the Airlock to the Cupola to provide command redundancy during Cygnus capture operations.

Completed Task List Activities:
Straightened ARED upper stop cable
“Pics In Space” video recording
“Wayfinding” video recording

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Rodent Research preparations
CBCS install/checkout

Friday, 4/19:

ISS Experience
RR Habitat install
Standard Measures
SUBSA sample exchange
Two-phase flow 2

NG-11 berth/ingress/cargo transfer

Saturday, 4/20:

Cold Stowage transfers
Nanoracks platform-1 (install mod 78 and remove mod 77)
Rodent Research-12 transfers
Tangolab-1 card cube ops

Cygnus cargo transfer
Cygnus OBT emergency procedure review

Sunday, 4/21:

Standard Measures

Crew off duty

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

Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency Sample MELFI Retrieval and Insertion
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
LMM MELFI Sample Retrieve
Regenegation of Micropurification unit (???) ?2 cartridge (begin)
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Atmosphere Purification Unit (???) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [???]. Preparing for new ??? installation
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Resistance Measurement
PMM Rack Bay Audit
Atmosphere Purification Unit (???) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [???]. Spare ??? Installation
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open
LMM Biophysics Plate 1 Installation
MTT/MSC Installation Review
Rodent Research Habitat Install
Atmosphere Purification Unit (???) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [???]. Plug-In Assemblies and Units Installation
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
Rodent Research Transfer and MMD Crew Conference
LSG Work Volume Deploy
Mass Measurement Device Hardware Setup
Rodent Research LSG Setup
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Setup
ISS Experience Solid State Drive Changeout
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Setup
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Restow
LSG Work Volume Stow
CONSTANTA-2. Cassette Retrieval from ???-? and Setup on a panel for a 1-hour warmup
KONSTANTA-2. Prepare and execution 4
Atmosphere Purification Unit (???) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [???]. ??? Leak Check
Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Installation and Checkout
Polar Desiccant Swap
PCS Laptop Relocate
Polar Desiccant Swap
PCS Laptop Relocate
Glacier Desiccant Swap
Water Recovery and Management (WRM) Waste Water Bus (WWB) Combine
RYASKA. Photography of plant cultivation chambers
JLP1S1 JEM Blue Stowage Rack Stowage Stowage Audit
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Standard Measures Pre-sleep Questionnaire
On MCC GO Regeneration Micropurification Unit (???) ?2 Absorption Cartridge (end)

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