Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 May, 2020 – SpaceX Crew Preps for Launch

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 22, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 May, 2020 – SpaceX Crew Preps for Launch
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 May, 2020 - SpaceX Crew Preps for Launch.

The International Space Station will welcome a pair of different spaceships next week. Japan’s space freighter will arrive first on Monday followed by the first crewed mission from SpaceX on Thursday.
The H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) is in space racing toward the orbiting lab following its launch from Japan on Wednesday. The HTV-9, nicknamed Kounotori, or “white stork”, will arrive at the station Monday packed with over four tons of crew supplies, space experiments and new lithium-ion batteries to upgrade station power systems.

Commander Chris Cassidy will be on deck Monday in the cupola to command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture the Kounotori at 8:15 a.m. EDT. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner will back up Cassidy and monitor the approach and rendezvous of the HTV-9. The duo has been training for a couple of weeks on a computer to get ready for Kounotori’s arrival. NASA TV’s live coverage of the robotic capture and installation will begin at 6:45 a.m. Monday.

The Expedition 63 crew is also preparing to welcome two NASA astronauts next week after they dock to the station inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle. The first Commercial Crew with Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken arrived in Florida Wednesday and is in final preparations for launch on May 27 at 4:33 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center. They will dock the following day at 11:39 a.m. to the Harmony module’s forward-facing International Docking Adapter.

Cassidy has been familiarizing himself this week with the Crew Dragon’s automated rendezvous and docking procedures. He set up a command and control device that will relay communications and telemetry back and forth with the Crew Dragon as it nears the space station next week.

Veteran Russian Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin has been keeping up with his lab maintenance tasks while his crewmates get ready for the Kounotori’s arrival. The three-time station resident serviced computers and life support gear and updated station inventory systems today.

On-Orbit Status Report


Robo-Pro Challenge: The crew performed a checkout out of the Robo-Pro Challenge configuration. The purpose of the checkout was to: 1. Verify Data and voice capability between ISS and participating space centers; 2. Confirm proper target marker locations in the JEM Module using the Astrobee Bumble unit; 3. Allow Bumble to route the expected test program. Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Robo-Pro Challenge), also known as Kibo-RPC, allows students to create programs to control Astrobee, a free-flying robot aboard the ISS. This opportunity provides hands-on experience with science, technology, engineering and mathematics in space and inspires the next generation of explorers. This activity is based on Japan-U.S. cooperation through the Japan-US Open platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3).

RED-EYE: The crew relocated the RED-EYE hardware upon conclusion of the Astrobee operations. The RED-EYE program develops and demonstrates technologies which increase the utility of low-cost microsatellites using the Kaber Micro Satellite Deployer attached to the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM).


H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Cargo Review & Conference: In preparation for HTV9 arrival, the crew reviewed cargo ops products prior to a cargo conference with ground specialists. The conference is an opportunity to discuss a high-level overview of the required cargo transfer associated with the vehicle. HTV capture and berthing is planned for May 25th, with an ISS/HTV rendezvous time of 7:15 am CT.

HTV On-Board Training (OBT): The crew spent their afternoon participating in a robotics OBT session in preparation for HTV9. Today’s session was the second in a series of Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) sessions designed to help the crew maintain their training proficiency. The ROBoT is an on-orbit version of the ground-based Dynamics Skills Trainer (DST) that simulates robotics operations with graphical feedback.

CREW DRAGON Rendezvous Review Computer Based Training (CBT): The crew continued familiarization training today with self-study training of Dragon2 rendezvous operations. SpaceX Demo-2 mission is the first manned demonstration flight to the ISS for the Dragon2 spacecraft. The vehicle is planned to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 27th.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: Crew performed an analysis of the water processing assembly (WPA) using the TOCA. The TOCA unit oxidizes organic carbon species present in the water to carbon dioxide gas and measures the concentration using nondispersive infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the potable water using the TOCA occurs on a weekly basis. The crew replaced the TOCA Waste Water Bag (WWB) just prior to the sample collection to preclude overfill.

Completed Task List Activities:
Station Support Computer (SSC) 1 Shell Swap

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Maneuver to Thruster Enabled Attitude (TEA)
Regen ECLSS Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Total Feed Processed (TFP) Override
CIR System Support
EHDC 4 (N2 Zenith) Troubleshooting
DDCU Reconfiguration for decreasing beta

Look Ahead Plan
Friday, 5/22 (GMT 143)
Astrobee power off (NASA)

Node 2 MTL Pump PPA Replacement
Recycle Tank Drain/Fill Ops
HTV Capture Review

Saturday, 5/23 (GMT 144)
Off Duty

PCS Relocate

Sunday, 5/24 (GMT 145)
Off Duty

Off Duty

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

Astrobee On
Progress 448 [AO] Transfers and IMS Ops
FS1 Laptop Replacement
Robot Programming Challenge Checkout
Life on the Station Photo/Video
Semi-annual BRI maintenance
Testing Inter-modular connectivity (after semi-annual BRI cleaning)
HTV Cargo Operations Review
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
HTV Cargo Operations Conference
Gathering equipment for connecting water/condensate separator pump [??-??] in SM and conducting water separation
Progress 448 [AO] Transfers and IMS Ops
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
EHS Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record
Pille dosimeter readings download
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Red Eye Restow
On-board Training (OBT) HTV Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 2
SpX-CREW DRAGON Rendezvous review CBT1

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