Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 March 2018 – Expedition 55-56 Ready for Launch

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 20, 2018
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 March 2018 – Expedition 55-56 Ready for Launch
The Soyuz rocket is rolled out by train to the launch pad, Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Expedition 55 crewmembers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel of NASA and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch at 1:44 p.m. Eastern time (11:44 p.m. Baikonur time) on March 21 and will spend the next five months living and working aboard the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

A pair of U.S. astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut are just two days away from launching on a 50-hour, 34-orbit flight to the International Space Station. Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will flank Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft and blast off Wednesday at 1:44 p.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz rocket that will shoot the new Expedition 55-56 trio to space rolled out to its launch pad early this morning. A train slowly hauled the rocket, as it laid horizontally on its side, from the processing facility to its pad where it was raised vertically for servicing ahead of its launch.

All three crewmates are veteran space-flyers and are due to arrive at their new home Friday when they dock to the Poisk module at 3:41 p.m. NASA TV will broadcast all the launch and docking activities including the hatch opening and crew greeting ceremony live.

Waiting for them onboard the orbital laboratory are Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai and Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov who have been living in space since Dec. 17. The orbiting trio continues to ensure the station is flying in tip-top shape while conducting advanced space science to benefit humans on Earth and in space.

On-Orbit Status Report

Circadian Rhythms: Today, a crewmember began a three day European Space Agency (ESA) Circadian Rhythms experiment by donning the Thermolab Double sensors, which are to be worn for 36 hours. The objective of the experiment is to get a better understanding of any alterations in circadian rhythms in humans during long-term space flights. Such knowledge will not only provide important insights into the adaptations of the human autonomic nervous system in space over time, but also has significant practical implications by helping to improve physical exercise, rest- and work shifts as well as fostering adequate workplace illumination in the sense of occupational healthcare in future space missions.

Veg-03: Today the crew watered the Veg-03 plants and harvested leaves from each plant. The leaves were then preserved and inserted into cold stowage for later return to the Earth. The remainder of the plants were left to grow and sprout new leaves. Veg-03 supports the proof-of concept for the Veggie plant growth chamber and the planting pillows. Future long duration space missions will require a fresh food supply grown in space to supplement crew diets.

Earth Imagery from ISS Target (EIISS): On Sunday, the crew captured images of the Aurora Borealis. EIISS captures a series of videos showcasing targets around the world as seen from the ISS. These videos will be integrated into a product for later release.

Lighting Effects: Upon waking over the weekend and this morning, a 53S subject completed a daily sleep log entry to track his sleep patterns and wakefulness. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. Results from this investigation also have major implications for people on Earth who use electric lights.

Columbus Condensate Water Separator Assembly (CWSA) Maintenance: This morning, the crew inspected and cleaned the Columbus CWSA unit. After the inspection was completed the crew Removed and Replaced (R&R) the CWSA Desiccant Module.

Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement: As part of system health monitoring, the crew used a Velocicalc tool to measure the amount of airflow through selected ventilation inlets and outlets. Today’s measurements were taken in the PMA1, Node1, Node 2, Node 3, and the Cupola.

EVA Tool Gather and Configuration: The crew gathered and configured tools and hardware for US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) 49: N3 Enhanced Wireless Communication (EWC) & Camera Port (CP) 8 and US EVA 50: Pump Flow and Control Subsystem (PFCS) Relocate.

Space Station Robotic Manipulator System (SSRMS) Operations: Friday evening (GMT 075-076), the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and maneuvered Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Arm1 to stow Robot Micro Conical Tool 1 (RMCT1) on SPDM Tool Holder Assembly 1 (THA1). Then SPDM was reconfigured to use Arm2 to stow RMCT2 on SPDM THA2. Finally SSRMS was maneuvered as required to stow SPDM on Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) #2. SSRMS was maneuvered to park positon. MSS performance was nominal.

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

SPLANKH. Setup and Initiate EGEG Recording
Portable air samples with Portable O2 Monitor and CDM
SSIPC Management Conference
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 1 Adjustment
Columbus Condensate Water Separator Assembly inspection and cleaning
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Progress 437 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
CWSA Desiccant Module removal and replacement
Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
SPLANKH. Termination EGEG Recording and Closeout Ops.
Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products (CSA-CP) Extended Maintenance
Auxiliary Laptop Anti-Virus Update
Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Gather [Completed GMT 76/77]
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
Environmental Health System (EHS) Coliform Water Processing
VEG-03 Dual Facility Watering for each Plant Pillow
ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
ISS O2 Repress from Progress 437 (DC1) ???? Section 1 (start)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
ISS O2 Repress from Progress 437 (DC1) ???? Section 1 (terminate)
??? maintenance
Changeout of ????-2? Water Conditioning Unit Purification Columns (?? ???)
Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement Survey
Flush [????-2?] Water Conditioning Unit Purification Columns [?? ???] (start)
Checking ??-2 treadmill carriage position. Photograph position of ??-2 carriage relative to pullout roller by lifting ??-2 curtain. Downlink photo via OCA.
VEG-03E Plant Photo
VEG-03F Science Harvest
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
IMS Update
VEG-03F MELFI Insertion #1
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation
Circadian Rhythms Instrumentation
Portable air samples with Portable O2 Monitor
Completed Task List Activities

Tether relocate [Completed GMT 76]
Wanted Poster for Hefty Bags [Completed GMT 76]
JAXA Report Part 4 [Completed GMT 76]
69P USOS Unpack [Completed GMT 76]
EVA SAFER Checkout [Completed GMT 77]

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
IMV Flow Measurement Support
N3 ITCS Transition to Dual Ops
Standard Commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 03/20: N3 MCA Troubleshooting, CIR Manifold Bottle Replacements, EVA Tool Configuring, EVA Tool Config, C2V2 Checkout for Cygnus
Wednesday, 03/21: 54S launch, JEM Ethernet Extender Internal Installation, OBT Dragon Robotics Review, FIR YAG Laser Replace
Thursday, 03/22: MSS Walkoff Maneuver, EVA Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session

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) – 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.