Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 April 2018 – Being a Space Plumber

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 28, 2018
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 April 2018 – Being a Space Plumber
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 April 2018 - Being a Space Plumber.

The six Expedition 55 crew members are not only space scientists but also space plumbers who periodically work on the International Space Station’s toilet.
Aside from today’s science and bathroom work, the crew also installed computer networking gear and inspected spacewalk equipment.

Drew Feustel, who began his career as an auto mechanic, studied to become a geophysicist and finally trained as a NASA astronaut, became a space plumber this morning. U.S. Navy Captain Scott Tingle of NASA brought Feustel up to speed on maintenance operations inside the bathroom, also known as the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, before updating its software and firmware.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, who is on his second space mission, first as a space shuttle mission specialist and now as a station flight engineer, replaced a failed device inside the Human Research Facility-2 (HRF-2) today. The spare Rack Interface Controller controls various systems inside the HRF-2 which evaluates the physiological, behavioral, and chemical changes that take place in humans living in space.

Next, Feustel moved on to the Protein Crystal Growth-9 experiment with assistance from Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai. The duo photographed and videotaped crystal samples grown for the middle and high school student-based research.

Feustel wrapped up his day installing firewalls, power supplies and cables providing additional computer security aboard the orbital lab. Kanai inspected spacewalk tethers and tools for damage before wearing an arm monitor that will analyze how microgravity has altered his circadian rhythms.

On-Orbit Status Report

Human Research Facility-2 (HRF-2) B-Rack Interface Controller Install: Today the crew installed the new BRIC into the HRF-2 rack to resolve Rack Interface Controller (RIC) issues that started back on March 25th. Following the installation, the ground attempted activation but was not able to establish communication with the High Rate Link Card (HRLC) within the BRIC. A power cycle of the rack and a restart of the bootloader were performed in an attempt to establish communication with the HRLC card, but were unsuccessful. The crew reconnected the HRF1 and HRF2 Portable Computers (PC)s back into the previous configuration to aid in further troubleshooting. Two subsequent reboots of the RIC bootloader recovered the HRLC, and HRF has been recovered to a normal state and software loads are in process. The next planned operations for the HRF2 rack are on May 14th.

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)-9: The crew removed PCG-9 sample bags containing Copper Sulfate from a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) and checked them for crystal growth. Since one of the bags contained no crystal growth the crew reprocessed that bag and returned all of the sample bags to the MELFI for additional growth time. These were the same sample bags that previously had shown no observed crystal growth. If crystals are observed today in the sample bags, they will be photographed and water extracted prior to the samples being returned to the MELFI. The Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest-Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission (CASIS PCG 9) investigation provides student researchers the opportunity to explore crystal growth in the microgravity environment of the ISS. Crystals grown without the influence of gravity have shown to contain fewer imperfections and grow to larger sizes. Middle and high school students compete to grow the most perfect ground-based crystal, as judged by experts in the crystallography field. The students who present the crystals with the fewest imperfections have the opportunity to fly their experiments to the space station.

Circadian Rhythms: Today, a crewmember began a Circadian Rhythms experiment session by configuring the armband monitor and donning the watch and Thermolab double sensors, which will be worn for the next 36 hours. The objective of the experiment is to get a better understanding of any alterations in circadian rhythms in humans during long-term space flights. Such knowledge will not only provide important insights into the adaptations of the human autonomic nervous system in space over time, but also has significant practical implications by helping to improve physical exercise, rest- and work shifts as well as fostering adequate workplace illumination in the sense of occupational healthcare in future space missions.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank [E-K] Remove and Replace (R&R): As part of USOS crew handover, a 53S crewmember familiarized a 54S crewmember with this regularly scheduled maintenance activity. The crew routinely R&Rs the E-K tank as part of nominal WHC preventative maintenance. Each tank contains five liters of pre-treat solution, a mix of acid, chromium oxide, and water, used for toilet flushing and required for nominal WHC operation.

Joint Station LAN (JSL) Firewall Install in NODE 2 (N2): Today the crew installed the second set of hardware JSL firewalls, power supplies, and networking cabling in N2 in preparation for the upcoming JSLv11 transition. These firewalls will provide additional security to ISS computer assets and facilitate smoother integration of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) hardware into the ISS JSL network.

Regen Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) 6.3 Software Update: Today the crew deployed a Space Station Computer (SSC) and prepared the UPA for a ground commanded upload of new software and firmware. Following the update, the UPA was powered-up and controllers updated necessary software parameters. UPA was confirmed operational after the update.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether and Bag Inspection: Today the crew inspected for damaged cords on equipment tethers and tools with integral tethers. They also inspected rivets on all EVA bags required for the upcoming EVAs. Each tether and bag must be inspected prior to EVA use in order to prevent loss of hardware and liberation of Foreign Object Debris (FOD).

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

Hematocrit Test
FAZOPEREKHOD. Preparation steps and starting the experiment
ISL Ethernel Cable swap of the AstroPi Vis in COL
Configuration following Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Activation
24-hour ECG Recording (start)
Powering up of AstroPi Vis in Columbus
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Install
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove &
HRF2 BRIC Retrieve
24-hour Blood Pressure Recording (start)
Cleanup HRF-2 rotation path
Verification of ??-1 Flow Sensor Position
High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
HRF2 Troubleshoot Disconnect
IMS Update
Replacement of ???-? in ???-?2?
Crew Prep for PAO
COL1A4 HRF2 Rack Rotate Down
TV-Conference with the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Ku + S-band)
Retrieval of PCG-9 Hardware from MELFI
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Charge and Stow
Second Inspection of Sample Bags for Crystal Growth – Rerun of GMT 108
HRF2 BRIC Change
Extraction of Liquid from Sample Bags and Association Photos – Rerun of GMT 108 [Deferred]
Interest Photos and Recorded Video for Downlink
ABOUT GAGARIN FROM SPACE. HAM Radio Session with the Artek tour campers
Regen Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) 6.3 Setup
DAN. Experiment Session
Lab Light Connector Capping
COL1A4 HRF2 Rack Rotate Up
Medical Consumables Tracking Battery Change-out
MATRYOSHKA-R. Replacing Personal Hygiene Items (???) in the Bottom Store of the Protective Screen Experimental Hardware (middle left, middle right, and upper) and photography in the starboard crew quarters
Recovery of Condensate Feed Unit (???)
MERLIN Desiccant Swap
Regen Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) 6.3 Initiation
Columbus Bay 4 Restore
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Filling (separation) of ??? (???) for Elektron or ???-??
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Desiccant Replace
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Charge and Stow
Regen Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) 6.3 Teardown
??? Maintenance
US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether Inspection
Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Oxygen ORU Flight Support Equipment (FSE) Removal
US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether and CL Bag Inspection
Joint Station Lan (JSL) Firewall Install in NODE 2
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Charge and Stow
Checking ??-2 treadmill carriage position
Downlink via RSPI of audio files recorded by acoustic logger during Soyuz 738 flight
Circadian Rhythms Instrumentation with Armband
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Charge and Stow

Completed Task List Activities
Vacuum Debris Bag R&R Label Attachment

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
N2 Atmospheric Control System (ACS) nitrogen leak check
UPA 6.3 Software update
PVTCS Pump swaps on all channels
HRF2 RICS Load update commanding [Deferred]

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 04/25: Veggie Ponds Exp, Dragon cargo ops, ETVCG teardown, Mouse Stress Defense
Thursday, 04/26: Node 3 LTL PPA R&R, SM 8.10 TBM and ??? SW loads, WRM water balance, EVA preps (EMU swap, EMU water dump), locker reconfig, Dragon Cargo Ops, Dragon LiOH install, Meteor hard drive swap, Mouse Stress Defense, Circadian Rhythms.
Friday, 04/27: N3 EWCS installation, Dragon cargo ops, N3 MCA Maintenance, CUCU checkout, MISSE MTT removal and stow, JEM camera robot checkout, JEMAL Ops: MISSE-TT Removal 7 JEM active mechanism install, Dust sample collection, Crew Qtrs RAM retrieval, Tango Lab-1 card 1 removal.

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”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Standby
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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