Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2017 – Astronomy Gear Setup

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 20, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2017 – Astronomy Gear Setup
The spectacular aurora borealis, or the “northern lights,” over Canada is sighted from the International Space Station near the highest point of its orbital path. The station’s main solar arrays are seen in the left foreground. This photograph was taken by a member of the Expedition 53 crew aboard the station on Sept. 15, 2017. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 53 crew worked on a variety of astronomy gear today that looks at meteors in Earth orbit and harmful radiation from deep space. The crew also explored how microgravity affects human bones and muscles.
Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked on a camera for the Meteor experiment, ongoing since March 2016, which peers out of a specialized window in the Destiny laboratory module. The camera observes meteors and meteor showers and analyzes the imagery to determine their physical and chemical composition.

Flight Engineer Joe Acaba installed the Fast Neutron Spectrometer in the Unity module today to explore a new technique that measures deep space radiation. The new technology may be used to provide a more accurate assessment of the mixed radiation future crews and spacecraft may be exposed to.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy strapped himself into the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) chair today for a look at his calf muscle and tendons. Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli assisted Ryazanskiy into the MARES chair and Commander Randy Bresnik collected ultrasound imagery of his leg. The data is being collected for the Sarcolab-3 experiment that is observing space-induced chemical and structural changes in muscle fibers.

On-Orbit Status Report

Space Headaches: The daily questionnaire for the ESA Space Headaches investigation was completed by a 52S crewmember. The Space Headaches 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.

Marrow: Today the crew successfully collected the breath and ambient air samples that were not able to be completed yesterday due to an issue with the collection hardware. The Marrow investigation looks at the effect of microgravity on bone marrow. It is believed that microgravity, like long-duration bed rest on Earth, has a negative effect on the bone marrow and the blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Biochemical Profile, Repository): Today a 51S crewmember completed the urine sample collections that began yesterday in support of the Biochemical Profile and Repository experiments. With operator assistance, the subject also conducted blood sample collections and the samples were processed for double spin operations using the Refrigerated Centrifuge prior to being placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

The Biochemical Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples are 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. This 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.
Zero Boil-OFF Tank (ZBOT) Hardware Setup: The crew completed the ZBOT hardware configuration in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Work Volume that began yesterday. Rocket fuel, spacecraft heating and cooling systems, and sensitive scientific instruments rely on very cold cryogenic fluids. Heat from the environment around cryogenic tanks can cause their pressures to rise, which requires dumping or “boiling off” fluid to release the excess pressure, or actively cooling the tanks in some way. ZBOT uses an experimental fluid to test active heat removal and forced jet mixing as alternative means for controlling tank pressure for volatile fluids.

Meteor Grating Configuration: The crew removed and replaced gratings in the Meteor camera located in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) payload volume. The Meteor payload is a visible spectroscopy instrument with the primary purpose of observing meteors in Earth orbit. Meteor uses image analysis to provide information on the physical and chemical properties of the meteoroid dust, such as size, density, and chemical composition. Since the parent comets or asteroids for most of the meteor showers are identified, the study of the meteoroid dust on orbit provides information about the parent comets and asteroids.

Space Test Program – H5 Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5 ICE): The crew photographed four ICE material strips on STP-H5. The harsh radiation and extreme temperatures of space can corrode the paint and coatings that protect spacecraft exteriors, potentially damaging a spacecraft’s hull. Optical coatings are also important for robotic and human navigators, who would rely on specialized markings to capture or repair spacecraft. The STP-H5 ICE investigation studies new coatings for use on spacecraft in low-Earth orbit, determining their stability after 2 years in space.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Configuration for Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME): The crew began configuration activities for the CIR optics bench which supports the ACME investigation. Due to the amount of hardware requiring installation, configuration activities will be conducted over the next two days. The ACME investigation is a set of five independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted in the CIR. ACME’s primary goal is to improved fuel efficiency and reduced pollutant production in practical combustion on Earth. Its secondary goal is to improve spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

Fast Neutron Spectrometer: The crew completed the installation of the Fast Neutron Spectrometer in Node 1. Neutron spectrometers are used to make a wide range of measurements, including studies of a planetary body’s composition and measuring the flux of high-energy neutrons that could be harmful to humans. The Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS) investigation studies a new neutron measurement technique that is better suited for the mixed radiation fields found in deep space. Future manned and exploration missions benefit from clearer, more error-free measurement of the neutron flux present in an environment with multiple types of radiation.

Sarcolab-3: With USOS operator assistance, a Russian subject ingressed the Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System (MARES) chair in the Columbus module and adjusted pads and constraints for the Sarcolab-3 ankle protocol. The operator then collected ultrasound images of the subject’s leg. The subject is continuing the Sarcolab protocol. The data collected for Sarcolab-3 will be compared to pre and post flight measurements to assess the impact of hypothesized microgravity induced muscle loss. Myotendinous and Neuromuscular Adaptation to Long-term Spaceflight (Sarcolab) investigates the adaptation and deterioration of the soleus (calf muscle) where it joins the Achilles tendon, which links it to the heel and carries loads from the entire body. Muscle fiber samples are taken from crew members before and after flight, and analyzed for changes in structural and chemical properties. MRI and ultrasound tests and electrode stimulation are conducted to help assess muscle and tendon changes caused by microgravity exposure.

EVA Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize: Today the crew will continue activities to prepare for the upcoming EVAs. They will resize EMUS to fit the specific crewmembers that will go outside during those upcoming EVAs. The goals of the EVAs include performing an R&R on the SSRMS Latching End Effector (LEE) A, lubrication of the LEEs, and external camera replacement.

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

Marrow Breath And Ambient Air Sample Collection – Subject
DUBRAVA. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
?3 Fan Screen Cleaning in MRM2
Vacuum Cleaning ??1 and ??2 air ducts in MRM2
Replacement of ??1, ??2 Dust Filters and Cleaning ?1, ?2 Fan screens in MRM2
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos web site and social media
URAGAN. Observation and Photography
Replacing filters in FGB ??1, ??2 Dust Collectors
ECON-M. Observation and photography
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Double Spin Collection
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Double Spin Configuration
Virus Definition File Update on Auxiliary Computer System (???) Laptops
Combustion Integrated Rack Hardware Gather
SARCOLAB. Conference
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
COSMOCARD. Preparing for and Starting 24-hr ECG Recording
Combustion Integrated Rack Session Review
MARES Ankle Shaving Preparation
Meteor Install On Board Training
Removal of [??] TV Cameras 1, 2 and ???-302 Light Units in Soyuz 734 [CA].
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Deployment Operations
Zero Boil-OFF Tank Hardware Setup
SARCOLAB (MARES) Ultrasound 2 Powerup
Environmental Health System (EHS) Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
MARES Ultrasound session
Crew time for ISS adaptation and orientation
Ultrasound 2 Guided Data Export
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 2 Adjustment
Fast Neutron Spectrometer Node 1 Install
MARES subject electrodes equipment
MRM1 ????1, ????2 Dust Filter Replacement
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude Stow
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Cyclops ICE Experiment Photos
??? maintenance
PMA1 Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Cone Screen Cleaning
ISS Crew Orientation
METEOR Grating Configuration
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Terminate
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
Combustion Integrated Rack Optics Bench Translation Out
Soyuz 734 Transfers and IMS Ops
Combustion Integrated Rack Optics Bench Configuration 1 for ACME
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Rad Detector Rotate
MARES Power On and Battery Charge
MSG CTB Audit and Clean up
MARES Ankle setting adjustments
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Radiation Area Monitors (RAM) Deployment
MARES Ankle configuration fit check
Space Headaches – Daily Questionnaire
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
IMS Update
MARES Battery Charge control
Photography of Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring Unit [????] position on MRM2 from SM window No.13

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Battery capacity tests
Standard ground commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 09/20: Sarcolab, CIR Bench Config for ACME #2, Emergency Hardware OBT
Thursday, 09/21: Sarcolab, Mouse Habitat Closeout, Node 3 IMV Fan Cleaning
Friday, 09/22: Sarcolab, ELF Sample Refill, Advanced NanoStep, FIR Troubleshooting

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”) – 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

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