Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September 2017

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 26, 2017
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September 2017
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September 2017.

The Expedition 53 crew is getting ready for a trio of spacewalks next month while helping scientists understand what living in space does to the human body.
NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei trained for a spacewalk emergency today wearing virtual reality gear. The spacewalkers practiced maneuvering specialized jet packs attached to their spacesuits in the unlikely event they become untethered from the station.

The duo will go on a pair of spacewalks on Oct. 5 and 10. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will join Bresnik Oct. 18 for the third and final spacewalk. The three spacewalkers will replace and lubricate one of two end effectors on the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. They will also replace a pair of cameras located on the station’s truss structure.

More muscle and bone research continued today as cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy joined Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli for the Sarcolab-3 study. The research observes leg muscle and tendon changes caused by microgravity using an ultrasound scan and other sensors during an exercise session. Bresnik collected his breath sample to help document any bone marrow and blood cell changes his body may be experiencing in space.

On-Orbit Status Report

Sarcolab-3: After successfully completing three days of the ankle configuration exercises, today USOS and Russian subjects conducted the knee protocol for Sarcolab-3. The subjects ingressed the Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System (MARES) chair, installed the knee Electromyography (EMG) electrodes and began the knee exercise protocol, while an operator collected ultrasound images of the subject’s right leg. 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 crewmembers 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.

Payload On-Orbit Still Shots for Utilization and Maintenance (POSSUM) Payload Photo: The crew took digital photos of all payload racks in the US Lab, JEM Pressurized Module (JPM), and Columbus module to document configuration changes.

Fine Motor Skills (FMS): A crewmember completed a FMS session which was executed on a touchscreen tablet, where the subject performs a series of interactive tasks. The investigation studies how fine motor skills are affected by long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after returning to Earth gravity. The goal of FMS is to answer how fine motor performance in microgravity trend/vary over the duration of a six-month and year-long space mission; how fine motor performance on orbit compare with that of a closely matched participant on Earth; and how performance trend/vary before and after gravitational transitions, including the periods of early flight adaptation, and very early/near immediate post-flight periods.

Tropical Cyclone Maria: The crew setup and configured camera settings, before capturing images of Hurricane Maria to support the Tropical Cyclone investigation. The Tropical Cyclone investigation is used to capture images of tropical cyclones and hurricanes that are rated at Category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson scale. A pseudo-stereoscopic method is used to determine the altitudes of the cloud tops near the center (eye) of a cyclone by precisely tracking the apparent positions of cloud features with respect to the Earth and how those positions change over time as an observer (the ISS in this case) passes over the storm. The photographic images will be used to demonstrate that pseudo-spectroscopy can be used to measure the cloud altitudes to sufficient precision so that, when combined with other remote-sensing data, an accurate determination of the intensity of hurricane or cyclone can be made.

Marrow: Today a 51S crewmember completed breath and ambient air sample collections for the Marrow investigation, which 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.

Rodent Research 9 (RR-9): Today the crew completed an audit of the Rodent Research -9 hardware and supplies. The RR-9 investigation was successfully completed and returned on SpaceX-12 last week. The RR-9 experiment studies how microgravity affects the immune systems, muscles and bones of rodents during extended stays aboard the ISS. After approximately 30 days aboard the ISS, the mice will be returned to Earth where scientists on the ground will study how their time in space has affected various tissues, including brain, muscle, heart, joint, the eyes and the immune system.

Multi-Omics-Mouse Closeout The crew performed Multi-Omics closeout activities by removing the Mouse Habitat Units from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF), cleaning and taking photos of the glove box, and reconfiguring the video cables between the Video Compression and Recording Unit 2 (VRU2) and the CBEF.

Manufacturing Device (MD) Operations: The crew removed and replaced the MD feedstock canister, extruder, and print tray. The Manufacturing Device – Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) enables the production of components on the ISS for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the AMF that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. The AMF is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.

N3 Aft Port Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Fan Inlet Cleaning: The crew cleaned this location to remove Foreign Object Debris (FOD) from IMV fan inlets and silencers.

Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) Training: In preparation for the upcoming EVAs in October, two US crewmembers were scheduled to perform virtual reality (VR) training simulating emergency recovery using SAFER. In the event a crew member becomes untethered while conducting an EVA, SAFER can be used to safely maneuver for recovery. During the first session, there were some configuration issues, but once the configuration issues were resolved there were still some issues with executing the session. Both of today’s sessions were deferred until the ground specialists can further review.

Advance Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Upper Rack Cable Kinked: Today, the crew reported a reoccurrence of the ARED Upper Rack cable kinking. No cable damage was reported. The crew straightened the cable and took imagery for ground review. This is the second instance of this cable kinking this week. There are spare cables on-orbit.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.

Marrow Breath And Ambient Air Sample Collection – Subject
SARCOLAB-3 day 3 reminder
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test – Subject
???-?2? Line 1 Recovery. Tagup with specialists as necessary
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) or ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
MARES Knee Shaving Preparation
ISS Crew Orientation
Tropical Cyclone Operations Review
Multi-Omics-Mouse Closeout
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 2 (VCA2) Adjustment
Tropical Cyclone Untended Operations
EMG electrodes installation and Sarcolab knee protocol execution
MARES subject electrodes equipment assistance
Glove Box Closeout
Filling (separation) of ??? (???) for Elektron or ???-??
Crew time for ISS adaptation and orientation
??? Maintenance
Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) Interface Unit Removal
MARES knee setting adjustments
On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA) with EarQ Software Setup and Test
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Wipe Post Multi-Omics-Mouse 1
MARES Knee configuration fit check
USB Camera Relocation
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check Data Record
Combustion Integrated Rack Hardware Return
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
Manufacturing Device Feedstock Canister, Extruder And Print Tray Exchange
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) and Video Compression and Recording Unit 2 (VRU2) Cable Reconfiguration 2
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Stow Operation
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement Survey Part 1
ESA Weekly crew conference
DUBRAVA. Observation and Photography using [???] hardware.
In-flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 3 Aft Port Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Fan Cleaning
Rodent Research Inventory Audit
Photo/TV RED Camera firmware update
Functional check of FGB ???-10/3 ?16 and ?17 based on connector 3?.
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Sample Transfer On-bord Training
JEM Common Gas Support Equipment (CGSE) Gas Supply Stop
Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) [Aborted]
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement Survey Part 2
EVA Worksite Interface Adapter Prep
Tropical Cyclone Hardware Closeout
EVA Systems book and cue card updates
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Setup
EPM Laptop relocation for files downlink preparation
Payload On-Orbit Still Shots for Utilization and Maintenance (POSSUM) Payload Photo
EPM Laptop relocation to MARES

Completed Task List Activities
PMM Endcone Cleanup
AC Vac Extension Cord Assembly and Use
Transfer 52 Soyuz USOS Unpack

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 09/22: Sarcolab, ELF Sample Refill, PEPS Audit, Advanced NanoStep, FIR Troubleshooting
Saturday, 09/23: Housekeeping, Crew Off-Duty
Sunday, 09/24: Crew Off-Duty

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

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.