Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 August 2017 – Preparing for the Solar Eclipse

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 22, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 August 2017 – Preparing for the Solar Eclipse
The station crew will have three chances to see the solar eclipse from space. The third pass will offer the most coverage with the sun 84% obscured by the moon. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 52 crew wrapped up a busy week on Friday with more science work, cargo unloading and cleanup after a Russian spacewalk on Thursday. They are also busy preparing for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse on Monday with the chance at several unique views of the event.
The crew participated in several studies including Vascular Echo Ultrasound, a Canadian Space Agency investigation that examines changes in blood vessels and the heart while the crew members are in space. They also completed weekly questionnaires for the ESA Space Headaches investigation which collects information that may help in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms and improvement in the well-being and performance of crewmembers in space.

Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy performed cleanup tasks following their Thursday spacewalk which lasted seven hours and 34 minutes. The duo completed a number of tasks including the manual deployment of five nanosatellites from a ladder outside the airlock.

Station crew members will have their cameras outfitted with special filters on Monday for three chances to photograph the solar eclipse from windows aboard the orbiting laboratory. For more information on their opportunities and what they expect to see, visit NASA’s Solar Eclipse website.

On-Orbit Status Report

Rodent Research 9 (RR-9): The crew activated the water lixits and installed food bars in two Animal Habitats for the RR-9 investigation today. They then transferred 20 mice from the Transporter to the habitats after checking the health of the mice. The RR-9 experiment studies how microgravity affects the immune systems, muscles and bones of rodents during extended stays aboard the ISS. After approximately 30 days aboard the ISS, the mice will be returned to Earth where scientists on the ground will study how their time in space has affected various tissues, including brain, muscle, heart, joint, the eyes and the immune system.

ISS Non-invasive Sample Investigation and results Transmission to ground with the Utmost easiness (In Situ): The crew collected a saliva sample and processed it in the bioanalyzer for the In Situ investigation. Crew members on the ISS are continually monitored for health changes, and as part of these measurements, they take saliva samples that are stored and returned to Earth. The In Situ bioanalysis uses a portable device that can check crew members’ saliva on board the ISS, enabling direct real-time analysis. The device’s first uses are to monitor stress levels and appetites among crew members. Humans living in space experience dramatic changes to their health, from weakened bone and muscle to reduced appetites and increased stress levels. The device uses disposable cartridges that check for the presence of the stress hormone cortisol. A miniature analytical device that can detect certain biomarkers using non-invasively collected samples would benefit health care workers on Earth, from emergency medical technicians on call, to small rural clinics in developing countries.

Vascular Echo Ultrasound: A crewmember performed a Vascular Echo resting ultrasound of the neck, thigh and heart and collected blood pressure measurements. This Canadian Space Agency investigation examines changes in blood vessels and the heart while crew members are in space, and then upon their return to Earth. The results could provide insight into potential countermeasures to help maintain crew member health.

Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems (STaARS) Intraterrestrial Fungus (iFUNGUS): The crew stowed a mesh bag containing iFUNGUS cryotubes at ambient air in Node 1. STaARS-iFUNGUS cultures a rare type of fungus in the microgravity environment of space in order to search for new antibiotics. The fungus, Penicillium chrysogenum, comes from deep in the Earth’s subsurface and shows potential as a source for new antibacterial compounds. The iFUNGUS experiment transports frozen samples of fungal spores to the ISS, grows the fungus in different nutrient mixtures over different intervals, refreezes the samples and then returns them to Earth, where scientists examine how they grew and what chemicals they produced. STaARS-iFUNGUS demonstrates how the microgravity environment of space can serve as a laboratory and production facility for new life science discoveries. Discoveries generated by this research can foster further research and production efforts that utilize low gravity conditions to create novel compounds or other products.

Tangolab-1 and -2: During the initial card installation activity yesterday a Payload Card would not seat properly in Tangolab-2. Using procedures developed overnight by ground teams, the crew was able today to successfully install that Payload Card in TangoLab-1. The Payload Developer confirmed good data flow for the Card. This card contains one experiment to study genetic mutations in fruit flies and one to study Carbon Dioxide scrubbing in cactus.

Space Headaches: The 51 Soyuz (51S) USOS crewmembers completed weekly questionnaires for the ESA Space Headaches investigation. The investigation collects information that may help in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms and improvement in the well-being and performance of crewmembers in space. Headaches during space flight can negatively affect mental and physical capacities of crewmembers that can influence performance during a space mission.

Dose Tracker: A crewmember completed a weekly medication tracking entry today in the Dose Tracker application that runs on an iPad. Dose Tracker documents the medication usage of crewmembers before and during their missions by capturing data regarding medication use during spaceflight, including side effect qualities, frequencies and severities. The investigation is expected to provide anecdotal evidence of medication effectiveness during flight and any unusual side effects experienced. It is also expected that specific, near-real-time questioning about symptom relief and side effects will provide the data required to establish whether spaceflight-associated alterations in pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics is occurring during missions.

Dragon On-Board Training (OBT): The crew reviewed SpX-12 Dragon training materials to include emergency response review and emergency hatch closure.

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

KUBIK Functional check
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF1 Configuration Alternate 2
Combustion Integrated Rack Alignment Guide Removal
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection – Operator
CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection 25 Minutes – Subject
CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
CSA Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
CSA Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configure
CSA Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Dose Tracker Data Entry Subject
Exploration script recording
Synthetic biology script recording
Glove Box Cleaning
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – ESA Nutritional Assessment
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-treat Tank R&R Video
IFUNGUS sample removal from temp stow location and stow at specified location
IN SITU Camera Setup
IN SITU Saliva Collect Finish
IN SITU Saliva Collect Operations
INSITU MELFI Sample Retrieve
iPad Air 2 Comm Swing
ISS HAM Radio Power Up
Long Duration Sorbent Testbed Status Check
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry – Subject
Preparing For Upcoming MagVector Science Run
Onboard Training (OBT) Dragon Debrief Conference
On-Board Training (OBT) Dragon Emergency Review
Rodent Research Habitat Stow
Rodent Research Node 2 Camcorder Video Setup
Rodent Research Transfer Review
Rodent Research Transporter 2 Stow
Rodent Research 9 Transfer
Transfer of US EVA Tools to the USOS after RS EVA 43
Tool Stowage post RS EVA [In work]
Space Headaches – Weekly Questionnaire
Surface Tension Containment MWA Assist
Surface Tension Containment MWA Operations
Surface Tension Containment MWA Preparation
TangoLab-1 Card Cube Replace
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Vascular Echo Resting Ultrasound Scan 135 Minutes – Subject
Vascular Echo CDL Holter Arterial BP Measurement – Subject
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Post-EVA Medical Kits Restow
Removal of Portable Repress Tank (???) No. 17 (00056724R) in SM [??] and stowage in Soyuz 735
Removal of US TV cameras, Lights, and REBA power unit from Orlan-MKS No.4 and Orlan-MK No.6
Post-EVA Orlan-MKS No.4 and Orlan-MK No.6 debrief with specialists
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos web site and social media
Filling (separation) of ??? (???) for Elektron or ???-??
Collecting dosimeter readings, Replacement of PILLE flash card

Completed Task List Activities
Return Node 2 Camcorder to nominal location
Stow iPad Air 2 (S/N 1007, 1008; B/C POC23858J, POC23859J) per Stowage Note

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Nominal system commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Saturday, 08/19: RR-9 access unit cleaning, TangoLab 2 installation/checkout, ADSEP cell transfer, Lung Media fixation, NanoRacks Module 9 ops, ADSEP cell transfer, POLAR desiccant pack swap
Sunday, 08/20: Crew off duty, ice brick/double cold bag stow
Monday, 08/21: Crew off duty, Fine Motor Skills, Mouse habitat cage maintenance, HRF ops

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 – 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) – 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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