Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 April 2019 – Cygnus Spacecraft Docked

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 22, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 April 2019 – Cygnus Spacecraft Docked
April 19, 2019: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. Credit: NASA.

After its capture this morning at 5:28 a.m. EDT, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 7:31 a.m. At the time of installation, Cygnus was flying 255 miles above the Indian Ocean just south of Singapore.
Cygnus will remain at the space station until July 23, when the spacecraft will depart the station, deploy NanoRacks customer CubeSats, then have an extended mission of nine months before it will dispose of several tons of trash during a fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

The spacecraft’s arrival brings close to 7,600 pounds of research and supplies to space station. Highlights of NASA-sponsored research to advance exploration goals and enable future missions to the Moon and Mars include:

Models for growing increasingly complex materials

Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-10 (ACE-T-10) will test gels in a microgravity environment. This research could aid in the development of increasingly complex materials that may serve as the building blocks for a range of applications on Earth including foods, drugs, and electronic devices. The process also may provide an efficient method to build new materials and equipment in space.

Better life science research in a few drops

Although the space station is well equipped for health and life sciences research, the equipment available for cellular and molecular biology still is limited compared to capabilities found in laboratories on Earth. To address this limitation, CSA designed Bio-Analyzer, a new tool the size of a video game console that astronauts on station easily can use to test body fluids such as blood, saliva, and urine, with just a few drops. It returns key analyses, such as blood cell counts, in just two to three hours, eliminating the need to freeze and store samples.

Analyzing aging of the arteries in astronauts

The Vascular Aging investigation uses ultrasounds, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance tests, and wearable sensors to study aging-like changes that occur in many astronauts during their stay on the space station. It’s one of three Canadian experiments exploring the effects of weightlessness on the blood vessels and heart, and the links between these effects and bone health, blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation exposure. Increased understanding of these mechanisms can be used to address vascular aging in both astronauts and the aging Earth population.

Testing immune response in space

Spaceflight is known to have a dramatic influence on an astronaut’s immune response, but there is little research on its effect following an actual challenge to the body’s immune system. The rodent immune system closely parallels that of humans, and Rodent Research-12: Tetanus Antibody Response by B cells in Space (TARBIS) will examine the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production and immune memory. This investigation aims to advance the development of measures to counter these effects and help maintain crew health during future long-duration space missions. On Earth, it could advance research to improve the effectiveness of vaccines and therapies for treating diseases and cancers.

Big buzz for new robot

A fleet of small robots is set to take on big jobs aboard the space station. Building on the success of SPHERES, NASA will test Astrobee, a robotic system comprised of three cube-shaped robots and a docking station for recharging; the first two are aboard Cygnus. The free-flying robots use electric fans for propulsion and cameras and sensors help them navigate their surroundings. The robots also have an arm to grasp station handrails or grab and hold items. Astrobee can operate in automated mode or under remote control from the ground as it assists with routine chores on station, and requires no supervision from the crew. This has the potential to free up astronauts to conduct more research.

On-Orbit Status Report

Medical Proteomics: The crew performed a blood draw session in support of the JAXA Medical Proteomics experiment. Medical Proteomics evaluates changes of proteins in blood serum, bone and skeletal muscles after space flight, and supports identification of osteopenia-related proteins. By combining research results for space mice, astronauts and ground patients, proteins related to osteopenia can be identified using the latest proteome analysis technique. It is anticipated that the use of the marker proteins related to osteopenia will be of benefit in the future for assessing the health of astronauts as well as osteoporosis patients on ground.

SUBSA (Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules) sample exchange: The crew removed the completed InI (Indium Iodide) sample cartridge #7 and inserted sample cartridge #5 to be processed. Both of these are solidification-from-melt samples and require up to 50hrs to be fully processed. The experiment currently running in SUBSA is the Detached Melt and Vapor Growth of InI. InI is ideal for space experiments in the SUBSA Transparent Furnace because it’s non-toxic, has a relatively low melting point of only 365°C, and does not react or stick to the silica crucible. Directional solidification of InI from the melt can be performed at a rate of 5 mm/hr, and growth from the vapor can be performed at ~5 mm/week. This work advances the process of fabricating high-quality InI and other crystals on Earth for use as better and less expensive detectors of nuclear radiation.

Two-Phase flow 2: As a continuation of Two-Phase Flow series of experiments, the crew altered the valve settings of the Two-Phase Flow Experiment Unit. The Two-Phase Flow experiment investigates the heat transfer characteristics of flow boiling in the microgravity environment. This experiment provides a fundamental understanding of the behaviors of bubble formation, liquid-vapor flow in a tube, and how heat is transferred in cooling systems. This investigation also seeks to establish a database of thermodynamic data for microgravity boiling and two-phase flow.

Northrop Grumman 11 (NG-11): The crew successfully captured Cygnus with the Space Station Remote Manipulation System (SSRMS) today at 4:28AM CT. Once captured, they handed off control of the SSRMS to ground Robotics Controllers who then maneuvered the vehicle to the Node 1 Nadir (N1N) Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) interface where it was securely bolted to the ISS. Once the CBM bolting operations were complete, the crew and ground teams worked together to perform Node 1 CBM vestibule pressurization followed by hatch opening and ingress at 11:08 AM CT; NG-11 brings approximately 3426 kg of cargo to ISS.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM): As part of regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, the crew performed a manual Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) flush tank fill. By using a Post-Flight Analysis Bag to capture any pressure relief, also known as the burp, they depressurized the flush water tank and water valve block to protect the dose pump; this pump is critical as it injects the pre-treat required to properly recycle waste urine.

Public Affairs Office (PAO) Live Event: Today Nick Hague participated in a live PAO event with Military Officers Magazine and recorded a downlink message for the “Spot the Station” feature on NASA TV.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers and today’s interview will be used in a future article highlighting Nick’s contributions in space.
As the third brightest object in the night sky, the International Space Station can often be seen with the naked eye when flying over the Earth at dusk or dawn. The “Spot the Station” feature will highlight today’s message and help users search for the ISS when it flies over their location.
Adlink Mini PC Remove and Replace (R&R): Today the crew replaced suspect Adlink Mini PC S/N 1001 with new unit in preparation for the Thermal Amine payload launching on SpaceX-17; the old unit failed its checkout and was stowed for later troubleshooting.

Completed Task List Activities:
EVA Airlock Restow Part II.

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
SSRMS Cygnus Install and CBM Bolt Loading
Cygnus Hatch Open and Ingress Support

Saturday, 4/20:

Cold Stowage transfers
NanoRacks PF1
Rodent Research transfers
Tangolab-1 ops

Cygnus cargo transfer
Cygnus OBT emergency procedure review

Sunday, 4/21:

Standard Measures

Crew off duty

Monday, 4/22:

Fluid Shifts prep
LSG Crew Restraint Install/Remove
Rodent Research MM-1 & 2
Radi-N2 Neutron Field Study
Polar Express Rack Install & Checkout

WWB bus split and WSTA fill
UPA Recycle Tank Fill Part 3

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

Reminder 2F HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
Standard Measures Post-sleep Questionnaire
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection 25 Minutes Subject
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
Robotics Workstation (RWS) Configuration
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency Sample MELFI Insertion
Verifying cover closure on SM windows
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
USOS Window Shutter Close
Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Powerup
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Downlink
Cygnus PCS Command and PROX Link Verification
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
Inventory Management System (IMS) conference
Cygnus R-BAR Approach
ISS Crew and ГОГУ (RSA Flight Control Team) weekly conference
PILOT-T. Preparation for Experiment
Cleaning ВБП1, ВБП2 fans screens
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
Cygnus R-BAR Approach
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Cygnus Capture
Current converter fan (ВПТ) screen cleaning
ISS Experience Node 1 Setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Remote Workstation Monitor HD Video Downlink Deactivation RWS.
JEM Common Gas Support Equipment (CGSE) Lower CO2 Gas Supply Start
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
Adlink Mini PC Swap
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Two-Phase Flow Experiment Equipment Valves Setting
Move 72P US temp stowed CTBs
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
ISS Experience Introduction Recording
ISS Experience Record Conclude
PCS Laptop Relocate
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
PCS Laptop Relocate
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
Atmosphere Purification Unit (БОА) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [СОА]. Configure Electrical Connections
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
СОЖ maintenance
ISS Experience Recording Preparation
Cygnus/Node 1 Pressurization and Leak Check Preparation
Monitoring [ОНА] high-gain antenna positioning for Broad-Band Communication System (ШСС) Test
Node 1 Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Removal
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Sample Exchange
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Historical Documentation Photos
ISS Experience Microphone Don
Cygnus/Node 1 Pressurization and Leak Check
RYASKA. Photography of plant cultivation chambers
Atmosphere Purification Unit (БОА) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [СОА]. Mating Х12 Х11 telemetry connectors
Evacuation of Vozdukh [СОА] (start)
Atmosphere Purification Unit (БОА) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [СОА]
Brine/urine transfer from ЕДВ to Progress 440 [AO] Rodnik H2O tank 2 and flushing H2O Tank 2 connector В2 and H2O Tank 1 connector В1
Evacuation of Vozdukh [СОА] (end)
П-16 Absorber Replacement
Photo TV High Definition (HD) Cygnus Video Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Atmosphere Purification Unit (БОА) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [СОА]. Vozdukh Activation.
Node 1 Nadir to Cygnus Vestibule Outfitting, Part 1
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Atmosphere Purification Unit (БОА) R&R in Vozdukh Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [СОА]. Installation of LIV hardware.
Воздух R&R
Node 1 Nadir to Cygnus Vestibule Outfitting Part 2
БД-2 Exercise, Day 3
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Rotation and Closeout
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Cygnus Ingress
Cygnus (NG-11) Air Sampling using АК-1М sampler prior to Air Duct Installation
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
Cygnus Cargo Photo
ISS Experience Microphone Doff
VELO Exercise, Day 3
БД-2 Exercise, Day 2
ISS Experience Hardware Relocate
ISS Experience Microphone Doff
Rodent Research Habitat Install
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
Restow Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)
Rodent Research Habitat Install
Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Stow
Rodent Research Habitat Install

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