Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 August 2019 – Spacewalk Debrief and Scientific Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 25, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 August 2019 – Spacewalk Debrief and Scientific Research
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 August 2019 - Spacewalk Debrief and Scientific Research.

Russia’s uncrewed Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station following its launch just a few hours after Wednesday’s spacewalk. The Expedition 60 crew is back on a full science schedule today and preparing to send a U.S. cargo craft back to Earth.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan called down to Mission Control today to discuss yesterday’s spacewalk when they installed the station’s second commercial crew vehicle docking port, the International Docking Adapter-3. The duo, including NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch, talked about normal technical issues and task challenges they faced before, during and after the spacewalking job.

Koch spent most of Thursday tending to lab mice living aboard the station. Scientists seek therapeutic insights not possible on Earth by observing the rodents due to their genetic similarity to humans.

Hague spent a portion of his day contributing to experiments designed by middle and high school students researching a variety of space phenomena. Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) continued exploring ways to manufacture safer, more fuel-efficient tires before moving on to more cell differentiation research.

Morgan is preparing the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft for its return to Earth next week. The crew will be packing Dragon over the weekend and into Monday with the results of numerous space experiments for analysis. Robotics controllers will command the Canadarm2 to release Dragon from its grips on Tuesday at 10:42 a.m. EDT. It will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California a few hours later for retrieval by SpaceX personnel.

The first unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft launched yesterday from Kazakhstan about nine hours after Hague and Morgan completed their spacewalk. The Soyuz MS-14 is orbiting Earth today headed toward the station following a successful 2.1a booster test during its ascent. Commander Alexey Ovchinin and Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov will monitor its automated approach and rendezvous when it docks Saturday to the Poisk module at 1:31 a.m. EDT.

On-Orbit Status Report

60 Soyuz (60S) Uncrewed Launch: 60S launched nominally last night from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Roscosmos currently has limited capability to return scientific samples and/or equipment for refurbishment so this uncrewed flight was planned to complete the following test objectives:

To test a modernized guidance, navigation and control system as well as an entry control system
To verify the integration of the Soyuz spacecraft with the Soyuz-2.1a rocket
To aid in the development of an uncrewed vehicle for return of cargo to the ground from the Russian Segment
Docking to the ISS MRM2 port is scheduled for this Saturday.

NutrISS: The crew attached the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Measurement electrodes to the subject’s skin and performed measurements. A questionnaire was also completed and the BIA hardware was stowed. Long duration spaceflight induces relevant changes in body composition and a loss of body mass. In the NutrISS investigation, a periodic assessment of body composition (body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass) during spaceflight aboard the ISS is carried out using a dedicated bio-impedance analysis device to allow for the measurement of long-term energy balance modification over time. On the basis of this data, it is hypothesized that an adjusted diet maintaining a near-neutral energy balance, and/or increasing protein, intake can limit microgravity-induced bone and muscle loss of crew members.

Micro-15: The crew performed the drug injections for Session D operations. The goal of this investigation is to better understand the effects of gravity on the differentiation of mammalian cells using 3-D cultures of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Past flight experiments and ground-based simulations have demonstrated that microgravity influences gene expression, cell proliferation, and differentiation in stem cells but the mechanism behind these observations is not clearly understood. This study investigates how exposure to microgravity fundamentally alters cell regulation and how these changes can affect the timing, progression, and outcomes of cell differentiation.

Goodyear Tire: The crew performed the sample termination operations by injection termination solutions into the three sample bags and stowed. Pushing the Limits of Silica Fillers for Tire Applications (Goodyear Tire) evaluates creation of novel silica forms and structures, or morphologies, using traditional techniques to form silica fillers in microgravity. The space environment may yield results not possible in ground-based environments. Better understanding of silica morphology and the relationship between silica structure and properties may improve the silica design process as well as silica rubber formulation and tire manufacturing and performance on the ground.

NanoRacks Module-9: The crew performed session 4 operations for the activation deactivation and shaking of Module 9 mixture tubes. NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-Gemini includes 41 microgravity experiments designed by students in grades 5 through 12 and college. The experiments range from examinations of water filtration and purification to synthetic soil production, rust formation, antibiotic effectiveness, growth and development of microacquatic organisms, and growth of plant, fungi, and bacteria. Each was chosen from more than 3,000 entries submitted by more than 23,000 U.S., Canadian, and Brazilian students. The experiments use NanoRacks MixStix, miniature laboratories activated by the ISS crew and are eventually returned to the student teams on Earth for analysis.

Rodent Research-17 (RR-17): The crew restocked all four Rodent Habitats and cleaned the access unit. Rodent Research-17 (RR-17) uses young and old 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.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Display and Control Module (DCM) Recessed Poppet with Visible O-Ring: During post EVA operations, while disconnecting the Service and Cooling Umbilical (SCU) from EMU 3006, the crew reported one of the o-rings on the DCM Multiple Connector was visible and the associated poppet was slightly recessed. No leaking water was observed initially or after the suit had been stowed for approximately two hours. Upon review of video downlink, the affected poppet was identified as the “Cooling In” poppet. Today, the crew successfully reseated the o-ring by lubricating and cycling the poppet.

EVA Debrief: Following yesterday’s IDA3 EVA, the crew and ground teams completed a debrief to address process improvement, concerns and/or comments.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payloads ops support
Dragon transfer ops

Look Ahead:
Friday, 8/23 (GMT 235)

Space Moss Sample fixation (JAXA)
ISS Experience in JEM (Space Moss) (NASA)
BioFabrication Facility Media Replace (NASA)
HRF Repository Urine and Blood Collect (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva Collect (NASA)
RR habitat Water refill and Transporter setup(NASA)
Micro-15 Sample Fixation (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)

Dragon LiOH filter bag install
EMU water ops

Saturday, 8/24 (GMT 236)

HRF Repository Urine Collection (NASA)
LSG Front Glove Swap (NASA)
Goodyear Sample Removal and MELFI Insert (NASA)
PhotoBioreactor Nutrient exchange and algae sampling (ESA)

Crew off duty; housekeeping
60S dock

Sunday, 8/25 (GMT 237)

RR-17 Animal Return Transfer and Access unit Clean (NASA)
Standard measures Saliva collect (NASA)
NanoRacks MOD 9 Ops 5 (NASA)
Micro-15 teardown (NASA)
HRF Repository Urine Collect (NASA)

Dragon cargo transfer ops

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

NutrISS Historic Photo Documentation
ISS Crew and RSA Flight Control Team Weekly Conference (S-band)
Inventory Management System (IMS) conference
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
ISS HAM Radio Power Up
Post EVA Examination
Rodent Research Habitat 1 & 2 Restock
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Post-EVA Periodic Health Status Examination – Stow
ISPYTATEL. Experiment Review
NanoRacks Module-9 OBT
NanoRacks Maintenance Work Area Preparation
24-Hour ECG Recording (Termination)
NanoRacks Module-9 HD Video Setup
NanoRacks Module 9 Ops Session 4
24-Hour Blood Pressure Recording (Termination)
NanoRacks Module 9 Imagery Transfer
Glacier Polar Transfer
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Debrief
Magnetic 3D Bioprinter. ???-? #04 Thermostat Installation
Photo/TV Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Camera Disassembly
Rodent Research Habitat 3 & 4 Restock
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
PHOTOBIOREACTOR. Visual Inspection and Photography
Node 3 Fwd Port IMV Valve Close
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation

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