Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 January 2020 – Second Spacewalk of the year Complete

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
January 21, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 January 2020 – Second Spacewalk of the year Complete
@Astro_Jessica and @Astro_Christina set their spacesuits to battery power at 6:35 am ET prior to beginning their spacewalk today to continue upgrading station power systems. Credit: NASA TV.

At 1:33 p.m. EST, Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA concluded their third spacewalk together.
During the six hour and 58-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully completed the battery upgrade for one channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays.

Today’s work included removing the last two nickel-hydrogen batteries from this area of the station’s backbone near the port solar array and moving them to an external platform. The batteries will be stored there until they can be disposed of in the next Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft after it delivers tons of supplies to the space station later this year. Meir and Koch also installed the sixth and final new lithium-ion battery, and ground controllers verified the new batteries powered up successfully to provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for station operations.

The spacewalkers concluded their work by paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Meir said he was a personal hero and looking down on planet Earth reminded her of his words: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Koch noted how much is owed to those who worked for civil rights and inclusion and “paved the way for not only us, but so many who have a dream.”

This was the second spacewalk outside the station in 2020. Space station crew members have now conducted 226 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have spent a total of 59 days, 6 hours, and 10 minutes working outside the station. It is the third time all spacewalkers have been women and the 45th spacewalk to include women.

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and space station Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will conduct the next spacewalk Saturday, Jan. 25, to finish installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) new cooling apparatus and lines and verify they are ready for use. Morgan and Parmitano began that work during three spacewalks in November and December 2019.

Today’s spacewalk was the third for Meir, who now has spent a total of 21 hours and 44 minutes spacewalking, and the sixth for Koch for a total of 42 hours and 15 minutes. Koch is third place behind Peggy Whitson and Suni Williams for cumulative time by a female spacewalker and 21st on the all-time spacewalk list for aggregate time.

Koch arrived to the orbiting laboratory in March 2019 and is nearing the end of an extended duration mission. She holds the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman and will return to Earth on Feb. 6. Her extended mission provides researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman to prepare for human missions to the Moon and Mars. Meir arrived in Sept. 2019 and is due to return in April.

On-Orbit Status Report

HERMES: The crew performed the periodic vacuum valve opening for HERMES. These operations maintain the desired vacuum levels for the granular/regolith experiments typically hosted by the HERMES facility. Hermes is a reconfigurable on-orbit facility capable of accommodating up to four user-configurable experiment volumes at a time. The facility provides long duration exposure to microgravity, vacuum (at least 10-3 torr), power, lighting, cameras, customizable experiment tools, downlink of data, access to data storage, autonomous monitoring, acceleration measurements, and ground commanding of the lighting, cameras, and experiments tools.

Probiotics: The crew performed sampling activities for the ongoing Probiotics investigation. Some species of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella grow stronger and more virulent in the microgravity environment of space. At the same time, the human immune system is weaker in space, leading to increased health risks. The objective of the Probiotics investigation is to study the impact of continuous consumption of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) on immune function and intestinal microbiota in astronauts in a closed microgravity environment. The results of this investigation may be used to support improvements in crew members’ intestinal microbiota and their immune function on long-duration space missions.

P6 Channel 4B Battery Extravehicular Activity (EVA) #4 (USOS EVA #63):

Today, EV1 (Jessica Meir) and EV2 (Christina Koch) conducted a 6hr 58min EVA to complete the P6 Channel 4B battery transition from Ni-H2 to Li-Ion. Tasks performed during the EVA:

P6 4B worksite prep
Battery 6 (IEA) to AP E slot 4 (IEA)
Battery C (EP) to slot 6 (IEA)
Battery 5 (IEA) to EP C / AP C To slot 5 (IEA)
P6 4B worksite cleanup
Mobile Servicing System (MSS): Today, Robotic Ground Controllers (ROBO) powered up the MSS and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and HTV8 Exposed Pallet (EP8) from the pre-EVA park position to the P6 channel battery EVA position. Once in position, ROBO removed EP8 payload power in preparation for the planned battery and adapter plate swaps. Following the EVA, ROBO re-applied EP8 payload power, maneuvered the SSRMS and EP8 to the post-EVA park position. Once parked, the MSS was powered down.

Northrop Grumman 12 (NG-12) Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew continued to perform Cygnus cargo operations today. Ground teams estimate ~7.5 hours of cargo operations remain prior to Cygnus departure; currently planned for January 31st.

Completed Task List Activities:
No items were completed off the task list

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
P6 Channel 4B activation and re-integration

Tuesday, 1/21 (GMT 021) Crew post-EVA half off-duty day
AMS EVA procedure review
Food Acceptability
GLACIER sample transfer
Standard Measures

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
US EVA P6 4B Battery EVA 4 Debrief
AMS EVA #4 procedure review and conference
BSA Ops, REBA install, EMU resize, and DOUG review

Wednesday, 1/22 (GMT 022) Crew off-duty day
ISS HAM pass

ISS 59S departure preparations
EVA METOX Regeneration

Thursday, 1/23 (GMT 023)
Actiwatch plus
Cold Atom Lab
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology
Standard Measures
Vascular Aging

ISS 59S departure preparations
EVA METOX Regeneration
Regen ECLSS tank and processing operations

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

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Reminder for EVA In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Preparation
ECON-M. Observations and photo (Task List)
EPO crew message recording
Uragan. Observations and photo (Task list)
EVA COTS UHF Communication Unit (CUCU) Verify off
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Columbus
Calf Volume Measurement
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
USOS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Communication Configuration
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) iPad Contingency Procedures preparation
Checking cover closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14. Note 12
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Preparation
MATRYOSHKA-R. Monitoring Tritel Readings
Visual inspection of 28-120 Voltage Converter (Behind SM Panel 231?). Tagup with specialists
Study of veins in lower extremities. Tagup with specialists
MRM1-FGB Screw Clamp Tightening
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Purge
IDENTIFIKATSIYA. Copy ???-? micro-accelerometer data to laptop
Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) In-Suit Light Exercise Prebreathe
Auxiliary Laptop Computer System Anti-Virus Software Update
Crewlock Depress
Preventive Maintenance of FS1 Laptop (Clean and reboot)
BRI Monthly Maintenance. Tagup with specialists as necessary. Note 13
Crewlock Post Depress
Crewlock Egress
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Worksite Preparation
KORREKTSIYA. Plasma-03 Centrifuge Health Check. Tagup with specialists
PMA1 Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Cone Screen Cleaning
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
ASEPTIC. Sample photo after incubation, data transfer to HD for return. Tagup with specialists as necessary
Commemorative Activity
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Hermes Vacuum Valve Open
Collecting surface samples from FGB equipment and structures
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
EVA Crew Lock Ingress
EVA Glove Photo Setup
Crewlock Pre Repress
Crewlock Repress
Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Post-EVA Activities
Photo/TV Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Camera Disassembly
EVA Glove Photo Downlink
Photo/TV Extravehicular Activity (EVA) GoPro Downlink
USOS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Communication Deconfiguration
PCS Serial Transfer – OFF
Preparing for SW Antivirus Scan on Auxiliary Computer System Laptops
Reminder Standard Measures Body Sampling
Periodic Health Status (PHS) Reminder

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