Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 February 2018 – Three Astronauts Head Home Tuesday

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 26, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 February 2018 – Three Astronauts Head Home Tuesday
(Clockwise from bottom) Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos; NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba; Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov; Astronaut Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; NASA astronaut Scott Tingle. Credit: NASA.

Three Expedition 54 crew members are going into the weekend packing up and preparing to return to Earth on Tuesday. Commander Alexander Misurkin will lead fellow crew members Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei back to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft Tuesday for a landing in south central Kazakhstan at 9:31 p.m. EST.
NASA TV will broadcast live all of the departure activities on Monday and Tuesday. The Change of Command Ceremony begins Monday at 2:40 p.m. when Misurkin hands over station control to cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. The new commander will stay behind with Flight Engineers Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and become Expedition 55 when their crewmates undock the next day.

The departing trio will say farewell Tuesday and close the Soyuz hatch at 2:15 p.m. They will undock from the Poisk module at 6:08 p.m. signifying the start of Expedition 55 and the end of Expedition 54. Next, the Soyuz engines will fire one last time at 8:38 p.m. sending the crew back into Earth’s atmosphere for a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan at 9:31 p.m.

The trio will have spent 168 days in space, orbiting Earth 2,688 times, conducted dozens of science experiments and seen the departure and arrival of eight different space ships. The departing crew members will also go home as experienced spacewalkers. Misurkin and Acaba each conducted one spacewalk and Vande Hei conducted four spacewalks during their five-and-half month stay in space.

On-Orbit Status Report

Lighting Effects: Upon wakeup, the 53S subject provided a sleep log entry and conducted a series of three Cognition tests and provided urine samples over a 24-hour period. The samples will be stowed in the MELFI for freezing until their return and analysis. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. Results from this investigation also have major implications for people on Earth who use electric lights.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Marrow, Biochemical Profile, and Repository): A 53S crewmember completed breath and ambient air sample collections to support the Marrow experiment and provided blood and urine sample collections to support his Flight Day (FD 60) Biochemical Profile and Repository experiments. The samples were placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

Marrow 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.
The Biochemical Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples obtained from astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results, which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body.
Repository is a storage bank used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. This repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions.
Functional Immune: Today two 52S crewmembers began a five day Functional Immune session by collecting saliva samples. These samples support the return minus zero day (R-0) compliment for the 52S crewmembers. The Functional Immune investigation analyzes blood and saliva samples to determine the changes taking place in crewmembers’ immune systems during flight. The changes in the immune system are also compared with crewmembers’ self-reported health information. Results are expected to provide new insight into the possible health risks of long-duration space travel, including future missions to Mars, asteroids, or other distant destinations.

NanoRacks DreamUp Xtronaut Crystal Growth (DreamXCG): The crew continued to track the progression of the DreamXCG formation that was initiated three weeks ago, by taking photo and video images of each pouch to show any visible sugar crystal growth. This investigation teaches students about the effects of microgravity on crystal formations using near-identical flight kits flown and operated aboard the International Space Station (ISS). With access to crew member videos and data on the same experiment, students are able compare crystal formations in space to those in their classrooms. The investigation aims to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields to the next generation of students.

Mobile Procedure Viewer (mobiPV): The crew changed the credential settings for the mobiPV investigation to enable mobiPV free use anywhere on the ISS. MobiPV allows users to view procedures hands-free and aims to improve the efficiency of activity execution by giving crewmembers a wireless set of wearable, portable devices that utilize voice navigation and a direct audio/video link to ground experts. A smartphone is the primary device to interface with procedures. Images provided in procedure steps can be displayed on a Google Glass display

Space Headaches: The crew completed the weekly questionnaire for the ESA Space Headaches investigation. The Space Headaches investigation collects information that may help in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms and improvement in the well-being and performance of crewmembers in space. Headaches during space flight can negatively affect mental and physical capacities of crewmembers that can influence performance during a space mission.

Earth Imagery from ISS Target (EIISS): Using the RED and Nikon camera, the crew captured images of the Australia Desert, and a swath of the Earth from Ireland to Moscow. EIISS is used to support creation of a series of videos showcasing Earth views taken from space. The videos are taken with cameras on the ISS in 6K hi-resolution and are integrated into videos for screensavers for public enjoyment, exploration, and engagement.

EVA Deconfiguration: Today the crew continued operations to reconfigure from last week’s EVA by continuing to charge batteries, auditing tools and Retractable Equipment Tethers (RETs), and conducting water conductivity.

COTS UHF Communications Unit (CUCU) Deactivation: Today the crew deactivated the CUCU system after the completion of the GPS Ancillary Data Version 3 (GAD-V3) testing.

IFM CQ Port Cleaning: This morning, the crew cleaned the port crew quarters.

WHC Piping R&R: Today the crew replaced the Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) piping between the Pump Separator and the Dose Pump.

Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Blower Testing: Ground teams are continuing testing of CDRA blower speed capabilities in order to maximize carbon dioxide removal from the ISS atmosphere. The blower speed has been increased to 149,500 rpm.

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

Functional Immune Historical Documentation Photography
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes –
Marrow Breath And Ambient Air Sample Collection –
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry – Subject
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male –
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Double Spin Collection –
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Double Spin Configuration
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Removal of [???-?] Navigation Module from Progress 438.
CMS Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
IMS Tagup (S-band)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Port Cleaning
Lighting Effects Cognition Test 1 – Subject
Soyuz 734 stowage ops for return. Note 5
COTS UHF Communication Unit (CUCU) Deactivation
RED Camera Setup.
Collecting surface samples from FGB equipment and structures
Earth Imagery from ISS RED Target Operations
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
Extra-Vehicular Activity Tether Audit
Extra-Vehicular Activity Tool Cleanup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Personal Medication Stow
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Restow
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
RED Camera Deactivation.
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
European Modular Cultivation System Gas Valve Open
Extra-Vehicular Activity Gap Spanner Audit
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 9
Lighting Effects Cognition Test 2 – Subject
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Environmental Health System (EHS) Water Sample Analysis 44+/-4 hrs post processing.
CALCIUM. Bioekololgiya Cases: Photography, Processing, and Photo Downlink, Pre-pack for Return
Replacement of three ???-4 Fire Extinguishers in FGB
Node 1 Remote Power Control Module (RPCM) R&R Review/Big Picture Words
MATRYOSHKA-R. Memory Card Replacement
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Conductivity Test
BIODEGRADATSIYA. Sample collection from structure surfaces and photography.
NanoRacks Rock Candy Imagery
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Piping R&R
MATRYOSHKA-R. Data Export from Tritel I/F unit to USB card. Tagup with specialists
MATRYOSHKA-R. Prep for Return of the kit with Tritel Passive Detectors USB-flash card
MATRYOSHKA-R. Removal ISS ??-3 assemblies
CHeCS M-03 Bag Followup
VEG-03 Dual Facility Watering for each Plant Pillow
Health Maintenance System (HMS) items stow
Mobile Procedure Viewer Credentials Change
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Terminate
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
ISS Crew departure preparation
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Earth Imagery from ISS Nikon Target Operations
Space Headaches – Weekly Questionnaire
Lighting Effects Cognition Test 3 – Subject
Stow Syringes used in H2O Conductivity Test
Microbial Tracking-2 Reminder for Saliva Collection

Completed Task List Activities
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) and Video Compression and Recording Unit 2 (VRU2) Cable Reconfiguration 2

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Standard Commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Saturday, 02/24: Ku Cable Swap, EIISS, HRF fluid collections, crew off duty
Sunday, 02/25: VEG-03, HRF fluid collections, crew off duty
Monday, 02/26: JEM A/L VB-RC Measurement, EIISS, Microbial Tracking, Functional Immune, JEM Stowage Reconfig, EVA LLB terminate, RPCM R&R, Lighting Effects, DECLIC ALI

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – On
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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