Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2019 – Studying Accelerated Aging

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 20, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2019 – Studying Accelerated Aging
The six-member Expedition 60 crew from the United States, Russia and Italy gathers for a portrait inside the International Space Station's Unity module. Clockwise from left, are NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano, NASA astronaut Christina Koch and station commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos. On the wall to the rear of the crew, are stickers representing the insignia of space station crews and space shuttle missions that visited the orbiting lab. Credit: NASA.

Three Expedition 60 crewmembers finalized four days in a row of rodent research aboard the International Space Station this week. Meanwhile, more space science is underway as the orbiting lab residents prepare to swap crews.
Astronauts living in space have shown signs of accelerated aging and scientists are looking to understand why. The crew has spent all week observing mice aboard the station since they show similar physiological changes in microgravity. Scientists are hoping results from the rodent study may provide insights and therapies for aging conditions and muscle diseases to promote healthier humans on Earth and in space.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan conducted the rodent research this week with assistance from ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano. The trio performed the biological research using the Life Sciences Glovebox installed inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module.

Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA set up fluid research hardware inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module throughout Thursday. The new science gear will support the Ring Sheared Drop experiment to understand how fluids flow in the human body and other materials. Observations may lead to a deeper understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and improved production of advanced materials.

Commander Alexey Ovchinin is still gathering items he will pack inside the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft for his return home in a couple of weeks. He and Hague will soar back to Earth inside the Soyuz crew ship and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan on Oct. 3.

Spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori will hitch a ride back to Earth with Hague and Ovchinin after he launches to the station next week. He will join Expedition 61 crewmembers Jessica Meir of NASA and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft when it launches on Wednesday at 9:57 a.m. EDT. The trio will dock to the aft end of the Zvezda service module at 3:45 p.m. the same day.

On-Orbit Status Report

Rodent Research-17 (RR-17): The crew completed Day 4 of Rodent Research operations. RR-17 uses younger and older mice as model organisms to evaluate the physiological, cellular and molecular effects of the spaceflight environment. Some responses to spaceflight in humans and model organisms such as mice resemble accelerated aging. This investigation provides a better understanding of aging-related immune, bone, and muscle disease processes, which may lead to new therapies for use in space and on Earth.

Ring Sheared Drop: The crew completed operations overview and setup of the Ring Sheared Drop operations. The investigation uses microgravity to examine the formation and flow of amyloids in the absence of surface tension and other complications created by the solid walls of a container. Fibrous, extracellular protein deposits found in organs and tissues, amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Results could contribute to better understanding of these diseases as well as to development of advanced materials.

Life Support Rack (LSR): The crew exchanged the three Hydrogen sensors located on the Oxygen Generation Drawer. LSR is a Technology Demonstrator for Closed Loop Air Revitalization. It captures carbon dioxide from cabin air and recovers 50% of its oxygen for use by the astronauts. LSR will operate for a minimum of one year on the ISS to demonstrate the robustness of the technology for future exploration missions.

Node 1 (N1) Preparation for Slime in Space Experiment: The crew installed covers on equipment in N1 in preparation for the Slime in Space experiment next week. The portable breathing apparatus ports, vacuum access port, hatch manual pressure equalization valves, and hatch windows were covered.

Adlink Mini PC: Two Adlink Mini PCs were set up in Node 3 in preparation for the next two Arcturus technology demonstrations, Urine Transfer System (UTS) and Toilet Data System (TDS). Until UTS and TDS come online, one Adlink will be powered off and one will remain running “Tea” to gain hardware shelf life and demonstrate Arcturus telemetry/commanding capability.

Completed Task List Activities:
Glacier 2 to Melfi 2 transfer
Contingency waste water dump filter hardware retrieval
N1 cover verification
JEMAL hardware wanted poster

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payloads ground support

Look Ahead:
Friday, 9/20 (GMT 263)

MSPR Adapter removal and insertion (JAXA)
MSL Removal and Install of Low Gradient Furnace sample Cartridge
Glacier Desiccant Swap (NASA)
ISS Experience NanoRacks Rotational Dynamics Recording (NASA)
NanoRacks Rotational Dynamics Ops (NASA)
Cryo Chiller Cartridge removal and Decontamination (NASA)
Microgravity Crystals Ops (NASA)
BEST Sample Transfer Ops (NASA)
HERMES – Vacuum Vlv Close (NASA)

Crew departure prep

Saturday, 9/21 (GMT 264)

Rodent Research Fixative Swap (NASA)
PL NAS Vent Clean (NASA)

Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 9/22 (GMT 265)

Rodent Research Fixative Swap (NASA)

Crew off duty

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

Probiotics Saliva Operations
Probiotics Saliva Sample MELFI Insertion
Probiotics Question
On MCC GO Current Regulator ??-50-1? (?204) R&R
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
PAO Preparation
Adlink Mini PC Deploy in Node 3
Ring Sheared Drop Payload Overview
On MCC GO Demating ??-50-1? telemetry connectors (?101, X1326) from the onboard cable network (???)
Ring-Sheared Drop Hardware Setup
Cargo items prepack for return and disposal on Soyuz 742
RFID Antenna Label
NanoRacks Rotational Dynamics Battery Charge
Rodent Research 17
Rodent Research Assist
On MCC GO Mating Current Regulator ??-50-1? telemetry connectors (?1326, X101) to Onboard Cable Network (???)
??-50-1? No.4 (?204) R&R, Closeout Ops
CARDIOVECTOR. Experiment Session
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Installation of Closing Tape on Hydrogen Sensor 2 and 3
Rodent Research Centrifuge Setup Configure
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
CARDIOVECTOR. Experiment Session
Rodent Research Assist
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Rodent Research 17
Rodent Research Assist
Reconnecting Kurs-P hardware cables
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Rad Detector Rotate
ISS Crew departure preparation
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Setup and Activation of Crew Onboard Support Kit (????) Equipment for coverage via RGS (On MCC Go: VHF1 or S/G 1 conference )
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Multiple User System for Earth Sensing Server Vent Cleaning
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Test of TV data transfer link via RGS – MCC-M – UAE
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
TV System Closeout after RS TV coverage via RGS
KORREKTSIYA. Recharging Actimeter batteries
Rodent Research Centrifuge Configure
MPEG-2 TV Downlink Test via KU-band prior to Soyuz 744 Docking to the ISS
Pre-pack cargo items for return or disposal via Soyuz 742
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude Final
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Rodent Research Assist-1
RR Cryo Chiller Sample Transfer to MELFI
Ring-Sheared Drop Hardware Setup
Rodent Research Sample Relocation
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean

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