Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 April 2020 – Bartolomeo Science Payload Ready for Operations

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 4, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 April 2020 –  Bartolomeo Science Payload Ready for Operations
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 April 2020 - Bartolomeo Science Payload Ready for Operations.

The International Space Station expanded its research capabilities overnight after robotics controllers installed a new external science platform.
Meanwhile, the Expedition 62 crew is packing cargo for return to Earth while getting ready for its own departure.

Europe’s latest contribution to the orbiting lab, Bartolomeo, was attached to the outside of the Columbus laboratory module early Thursday morning. Robotic engineers remotely commanded the Canadarm2 robotic arm and the Dextre robotic hand and completed the fine-tuned installation work over two days. Bartolomeo, delivered last month aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft, gives private and institutional researchers the ability to command and control science payloads outside the space station.

Commander Oleg Skripochka with NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan are preparing to end their mission in space on April 17. They checked their Sokol launch and entry suits they will wear when they parachute to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-15 crew ship for leaks today. The crew is also gathering personal items for stowage inside the Soyuz spaceship.

Before they leave, the SpaceX Dragon space freighter will return to Earth after being released from the Canadarm2 on Monday at 9:52 a.m. EDT. Meir and Morgan will finish loading over 4,000 pounds of station hardware and research samples, including live mice and plant cells, late Sunday. NASA TV will begin its live coverage of Dragon’s departure on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

The station boosted its orbit again today raising it to the correct altitude enabling the new Expedition 63 crew to launch and dock on April 9 inside the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will take a six-hour ride to their new home in space and begin a 195-day mission aboard the orbital lab.

On-Orbit Status Report

Veggie PONDS Validation: The crew removed the Germination Cap from each Veggie Ponds Module and added water to reservoirs of each module in both facilities. Photos were taken and plant thinning was performed as needed. Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. Future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food. Therefore, understanding how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrating the reliable vegetable production on orbit are important steps toward that goal. Veggie PONDS uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the ISS to cultivate lettuce and mizuna greens which are to be harvested on-orbit, and consumed, with samples returned to Earth for analysis.

Engineered Heart Tissues: The crew performed sample fixations on selected tissue chambers and performed cell culture media exchanges on the remaining tissue chambers. A Human iPSC-based 3D Micro-physiological System for Modeling Cardiac Dysfunction in Microgravity (Engineered Heart Tissues) assesses human cardiac function in microgravity. It uses 3D cultured cardiac muscle tissue that mimics the architecture and function of adult human cardiac muscle. A magnet-based sensor placed underneath the tissue culture chamber allows real-time, non-destructive analysis of the functional performance and maturation of the tissues in space, which is compared with those cultured on Earth.

Mobile SpaceLab: The crew de-installed and stowed the Mobile SpaceLab hardware. This completes the objectives for this experiment. The Mobile SpaceLab is a tissue and cell culturing facility that launches and returns on International Space Station (ISS) resupply vehicles to offer investigators a quick-turnaround, high-throughput platform to perform sophisticated microgravity biology interrogations. The Mobile SpaceLab operates with autonomous microfluidic delivery of multiple reagents as well as automated brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. The Mobile SpaceLab can perform a biology experiment autonomously for up to a month on the ISS without the need for crew operations.

Bartolomeo: The ground robotic teams successfully installed the new Bartolomeo platform on to the Columbus module. Check was completed and the Antenna boom and OSIRIS boom were successfully deployed. The European external platform Bartolomeo is an enhancement of the ISS European Columbus Module and its infrastructure. Designed to meet user requirements from the commercial and institutional sector, Bartolomeo is a new external payload hosting facility on the ram side of Columbus that is mechanically attached to the ram-facing primary and secondary trunnions, and uses the Columbus Parking Position Interface (PAPOS) for electrical and data interfacing.


SpX-20 Preparation for Unberth/Release: Several activities on the plan were in preparation for SpX-20 unberth and release. The crew installed a single stowage locker, transferred the Mobile Spacelab payload onto Dragon and completed Dragon release and departure proficiency training. Currently, SpX-20 is scheduled to unberth on April 6th.

Queso Service Pack: Crew performed configurations changes to the iPads onboard following the Queso Service Pack deploy. As part of the Queso SP, the ISS server was upgraded and split in two requiring the crew to update their connection settings and bookmarks on the iPads.

Completed Task List Activities:
SpX-20 Cargo Operations

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
ISS Soyuz Phasing Reboost via 74P Nadir Progress Mid-Ring Thrusters
Bartolomeo Platform Installation

Look Ahead Plan
Friday, 4/3 (GMT 094)
POLAR sample transfer to CS (NASA)

Crew Off Duty Day

Saturday, 4/4 (GMT 095)
MHU-5 Transfer Familiarization (JAXA)
NanoRacks Module-09 Ops 5 (NASA)
PCG10 MELFI insert (NASA)
NR Science Box removal (NASA)
MVP2 Cell-03 removals (NASA)

COTS UHF Communication Unit (CUCU) Crew Command Panel (CCP) Checkout
Dragon Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) Gather
Robotics Work Station (RWS) Display and Control Panel (DCP) Checkout

Sunday, 4/5 (GMT 096)
No payload activities

Dragon Center Stack Cargo Loading
Dragon Egress and Close Out

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

Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 1 Adjustment
COL1D2 Lower Restraints Check 1
Light Ions Detector Data Acquisition Unit Move [Aborted]
Verify shutter closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
????1, ????2 Dust Filter Replacement and MRM1 Gas-Liquid Heat Exchanger (???) Cleaning
COLUMBUS Bay 2 cleanup [Aborted]
COL1D2 Lower Restraints Check 2 [Aborted]
Mobile Spacelab Stow
COL1D2 Rack Rotation Up [Aborted]
Light Ions Detector Data Acquisition Unit Return [Aborted]
Dragon CTB Transfer
ESA Low NO Analyzer Wanted Poster
Sokol Space Suit leak check
Sokol Suit Dryout, Suits 1 and 2 Setup for Drying
LSG Work Volume Deploy
Orthostatic Stability Evaluation with LBNP
EHT MELFI Sample Retrieval Operation 1
USOS Window Shutter Close
Veggie Ponds Germination Cap Remove
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Stow Operation
Terminate Drying Suits 1,2
Food Acceptability Survey
Dragon Lithium Hydroxide (LiOH) Filter Bag Installation
Start drying the third space suit and setup the first pair of gloves for drying
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Gather
Finish drying the first pair of gloves and start drying the second pair
Terminate Drying the Second Pair of Gloves
Dragon F5A1 Locker Installation
Changeout of ??1-4 dust filter cartridges in SM
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Departure Review
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Unfold
EHT Tissue Chamber Media Change and Fix/Preservation
On Board Training (OBT) Dragon Ground Control Release Self Study
Drying of the third suit – end, start drying the third pair of gloves
iPad Web page Bookmark refresh after Queso SP deployment
EHT MELFI Sample Insertion Operations Session 1
EHT MELFI Sample Insertion Operations Session 2
Drying the 3rd pair of gloves
Stow suits and gloves after drying
Collecting atmospheric condensate samples [???] from [???-?2?] up to Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter (???) to Russian Samplers, terminate
Multiple User System for Earth Sensing Server Vent Cleaning
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
EMERGENCY Cartridge Stow
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
LSG Work Volume Stow
SSC Queso service pack and update iPad bookmarks

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