Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 May 2019 – Station’s Altitude Increased by 4KM (2.5 miles)

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 31, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 May 2019 –  Station’s Altitude Increased by 4KM (2.5 miles)
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 May 2019 - Station’s Altitude Increased by 4KM (2.5 miles).

The Expedition 59 astronauts focused on DNA editing, high-end physics and free-flying robotics aboard the International Space Station today. Two cosmonauts are also ramping up their preparations for next week’s spacewalk.
A docked Russian cargo craft fired its thrusters for 20 minutes today increasing the station’s altitude by about 2.5 miles. The orbital reboost places the station in the correct trajectory for the undocking and landing of three Expedition 59 crewmembers June 24.

The wide range of advanced space research taking place every day on the orbiting lab benefits humans on Earth and in space. Scientists use the results to treat terrestrial ailments and the negative impacts of microgravity more effectively. Engineers also take the data to improve industrial and commercial processes and design safer, more advanced spacecraft and habitats as NASA prepares to go to the Moon in 2024.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague is researching how space radiation damages DNA today using the CRISPR genome-editing tool. The Genes in Space-6 study also uses DNA extraction and sequencing tools to observe how the damaged DNA repairs itself in space. Results may advance the development of treatments for radiation exposure hazards in harsh environments.

Space manufacturing eliminates the detrimental effect of Earth’s gravity and may provide superior results than on the ground. Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA set up hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox to explore the production of high-quality optical fibers on the station. The study seeks to create a high commercial value product benefitting both Earth and space industries.

The Astrobee robotic assistant is being checked out today by Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. He set up the cube-shaped robotic free flyer to map the inside the of Kibo laboratory module and spun it rapidly afterward calibrating its navigation camera. Astrobee is being tested for its ability to perform routine maintenance duties and provide additional lab monitoring capabilities.

Two cosmonauts are ensuring their physical readiness and outfitting a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits ahead of a May 29 spacewalk. Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin each spent over an hour on an exercise bike today measuring their cardiovascular response. Flight surgeons want to make sure the spacewalkers are able to endure the several hours of intense physical exertion. The duo also installed lights and other components onto the spacesuits.

On-Orbit Status Report

JAXA Mouse Mission: The crew performed blood draws and cage water maintenance for the Mouse Mission experiment. The purpose of this mission is to analyze alterations of the gene expression patterns in several organs and the effects on the germ-cell development of mice exposed to a long-term space environment.

Genes in Space-6: The crew performed photography and provided observation notes for the CRISPR yeast growth media plates. Colonies were selected for DNA extraction and amplification using the miniPCR16 DNA analyzer. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage caused by increased exposure to radiation can affect the long-term health of astronauts. The experiment determines the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in the spaceflight environment. The investigation evaluates the entire process in space for the first time by inducing DNA damage in cells and assessing mutation and repair at the molecular level using the miniPCR and the Biomolecule Sequencer tools aboard the space station.

Astrobee: The crew performed Astrobee module mapping in preparation for future free flyer operations. This was a repeat of a previous mapping attempt. Astrobee is a series of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots. The robots are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the ISS. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

Fiber Optic Production (FOP): The crew installed the FOP hardware into the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), changed out the preform and spools and activated the facility in preparation for the next operation run which is initiated from the ground. The investigation creates optical fibers with high commercial value aboard the ISS using a blend of zirconium, barium, lanthanum, sodium, and aluminum called ZBLAN (ZrF4-BaF2-LaF3-AlF3-NaF). It operates in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). Extensive theoretical studies along with a limited number of experimental studies suggest that ZBLAN optical fibers produced in microgravity should exhibit far superior qualities to those produced on Earth. The resulting optical fiber from Fiber Optic Production is expected to help verify these studies and guide further engineering efforts to manufacture high value optical fiber in large volume aboard the ISS.

Laboratory (Lab) Charcoal HEPA Integrated Particle Scrubber (CHIPS) Filter Install: Today the crew removed six existing bacteria filters in the Lab and replaced them with the new CHIPS filters that were delivered on NG-11. By adding charcoal to the filter system, experts hope to scrub volatile siloxanes from the air before they can affect other ISS systems. Installing these filters on ISS is a key objective for NASA’s exploration vehicle programs because data collected after the install will determine how charcoal affects the life of the Water Processor Assembly (WPA) and other downstream hardware. These filters have already been installed in both Node 2 (N2) and Node 3 (N3).

71 Progress (71P) ISS Reboost: At 11:08 AM CT, the ISS performed a 2.56 meter/second reboost, with a duration of 19 minutes and 56 seconds, using 71P thrusters. This reboost, which increased ISS altitude by 4.4 km, was required to start phasing of the ISS orbit in preparation for 57S undock scheduled on June 24.

Completed Task List Activities:
PEPS relocate [Completed GMT 142]
MELFI sample consolidate [Completed GMT 142]
MMD hardware stow [Completed GMT 142]
RR access unit clean [Completed GMT 142]
Sextant OBT [Completed GMT 142]
VO2 Max hardware trash [Completed GMT 142]
WRM WWB combine [Completed GMT 142]
LAB Filter R&R

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
ISS reboost
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Friday, 05/24 (GMT 144)

BioAnalyzer Cell-2 Analysis (CSA)
Mouse Mission Blood Draws (JAXA)
Probiotics fecal ops (JAXA)
MVP Cell-01 Cell -01 replace and photo (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
MicroAlgae ops (NASA)
FOP sample exchange (NASA)
Team Task Switching survey (NASA)
Standard Measures cognition test (NASA)
Sextant Ops (NASA)

Handhold Experiment Platform detach from JEMAL Slide Table
Saturday, 05/25 (GMT 145)

Probiotics Item Gather (JAXA)
Mouse data transfer (JAXA)
Mouse Icebrick stow (JAXA)
MicroAlgae deploy and stow (NASA)

Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 05/26 (GMT 146)

Probiotics Saliva collect and questionnaire (JAXA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
MicroAlgae deploy and stow (NASA)

Crew off duty

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection 25 Minutes Subject
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Deploy
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency Sample MELFI Retrieval and Insertion
JAXA Mouse Mission Blood Drawing Preparation
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
Probiotics Fecal Sample Operations
Checking cover closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
Mouse Blood Drawing Familiarization
Installation of USOS EMU Lights, video camera and REBA on Orlan-MKS
Microgravity Science Glovebox Activation
Probiotics Fecal Sample MELFI Insertion
USOS Endoscope Checkout
JAXA Mouse Mission Item Gathering
JAXA Mouse Mission MELFI Retrieval
Mouse Blood Drawing
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
Genes in Space MWA Preparation
USOS Crewmember verification of Light and video camera installation on ORLAN suits to support Russian EVA
Genes in Space 6 MELFI Sample Retrieve
Genes in Space 6 CRISPR Run Part 3
Fiber Optic Production Hardware Gather
Assessment of Cardiovascular Function on Cycle Ergometer.
Study of cardiovascular system response to measured cycle ergometer load (Operator)
Fiber Optic Production Hardware Setup
Mouse Blood Centrifuge Processing
JAXA Mouse Mission Blood Drawing Closeout
Assessment of Cardiovascular Function on Cycle Ergometer.
Study of cardiovascular system response to measured cycle ergometer load(Operator)
Genes in Space MELFI Insert
Handhold Exp Platform #2 (HXP2) Item Checking and Pre-Gathering.
Closeout after mouse blood processing with HRF Centrifuge.
JAXA Mouse Mission MELFI Insertion
JAXA Mouse Mission Preparation for Watering
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Watering for 1G
JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Watering for Micro-G
JAXA Mouse Mission Watering Closeout.
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Water Recovery Management (WRM) JEM Sample Check
Installation of Orlan-MKS add-on equipment.
Adlink Mini PC SD Card Move
Astrobee OBT Review
Astrobee Crew Conference
Astrobee JEM Mapping Operations
Yakor foot restraint installation for Orlan exit after A/L repress.
Genes in Space 6 CRISPR MiniPCR Stop and Stow
Genes in Space MELFI Insert
Micro Algae Maintenance Work Area Preparation
Micro Algae Culture Bag Photography
SpaceX Water Bottle Demo Setup
SpaceX Crew Potable Water Bottle Demonstration
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Fiber Optic Production Sample Exchange
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Stow

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