Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 August, 2020 – Ongoing Leak Detection Work

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 25, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 August, 2020 – Ongoing Leak Detection Work
Sunrise casts long shadows over a cloudy Philippine Sea as the International Space Station orbited off the coast of the Philippines northeast of Manila. Credit: NASA. (Aug. 19, 2020)

The three Expedition 63 crew members will spend another day inside the Russian segment of the International Space Station.
Mission controllers are continuing their leak detection work today to collect more data.

All of the orbiting lab’s hatches will remain closed until Tuesday morning to give ground specialists additional time to collect data and monitor pressure readings in each module. The rate is still well within segment specifications and presents no danger to the crew or the space station.

The station’s atmosphere is maintained at pressure comfortable for the crew members, and a tiny bit of that air leaks over time, requiring routine repressurization from nitrogen tanks delivered on cargo resupply missions. In September 2019, NASA and its international partners first saw indications of a slight increase above the standard cabin air leak rate. Because of routine station operations like spacewalks and spacecraft arrivals and departures, it took time to gather enough data to characterize those measurements. That rate has slightly increased, so the teams are working a plan to isolate, identify and potentially repair the source.

Meanwhile, the station trio is staying comfortable in the Zvezda service module with access to the Poisk mini-research module, the Progress 76 cargo craft and their?Soyuz MS-16?crew ship. Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner mainly focused on Earth photography Monday. The station’s Russian segment has a variety of windows the crew can look out with advanced camera gear for their Earth observation activities.

On-Orbit Status Report


ISS HAM: The crew participated in an ISS HAM contact with Information and Technologies Branch, Department of Education-Queensland Government, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Some of the questions asked included if the crew ever has any arguments, what it’s like to go on a spacewalk for the first time, and what brought Chris Cassidy from being a Navy SEAL to NASA and spaceflight. ISS Ham Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.


USOS Isolation Operations: The crew remained isolated in the Russian Segment (SM/ MRM2/ Soyuz/ Progress) today. The crew closed several module hatches on GMT 234 to allow the ground team to monitor pressures throughout the weekend. The IMMT opted to extend the leak isolation period to Tuesday morning. Items deferred on today’s timeline will be performed tomorrow after the morning daily planning conference (mDPC). The Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) community has been tracking an increase in nominal atmosphere leakage since October 2019. The motivation for finding the leak is to reduce the amount of consumables required to maintain the ISS pressure.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Glove Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) Repair & Replace (R&R) Developmental Test Objective (DTO): Today the crew performed an R&R of the EMU glove by removing the TMG in the glove and installing a new one. The DTO is part of an effort to determine whether a glove TMG should be R&R’ed on-orbit. Since TMG damage during EVAs is the most common reason gloves are declared no-go, successful completion will save on mass, cost, glove processing, and logistics. A post-flight inspection/verification will be performed following today’s on-orbit R&R.

Completed Task List Activities:

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Caps Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Audit
Story Time Book SNOOPY, First Beagle on the Moon Read
Story Time Book Shoot for the Moon, SNOOPY Read
Three Payload Rack Transfer Big Picture Words Review
EVA On-Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Cleanup
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Ground Support for MT Translate
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, 8/25 (GMT 238)

SCRAM MCA Plug Removal

Isolation Hatch Opening
WHC Reactivation
USOS Isolation Restow
CEVIS Isolator Inspection
Wednesday, 8/26 (GMT 239)

CIR/ACME Bottle Exchange

UPA Software Transition Gather/Setup
UPA Software Transition
Thursday, 8/27 (GMT 240)

CIR/ACME Reconfiguration for BRE-2

ROBoT Proficiency OBT
Post iOS iPAD Config
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

TBU (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat). Thermostat ???-? #07 temperature monitoring and free zone availability in front of inlet and outlet orifices of ???-?
??? ?1 absorption cartridge cycling (start)
Kazbek Fit Check
Photo TV Starboard Radiator Imagery
SM ventilation systems preventive maintenance. Group ?1
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test [ABORTED]
Nikon camera sync with station time
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
URAGAN. Earth photo ops
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit Glove Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment Repair & Replace Developmental Test Objective
Preparation for SM ??-??? ??? valve, MRM2 ??? valves control circuit activation and MRM2 pressure control circuit activation
Laptop FS1 maintenance
Monthly Maintenance of Smart Switch Router (???)
Current converter fan (???) screen cleaning
ROS and USOS volumes combining [ABORTED]
VIZIR. Photo image coordinate referencing system (????-??) Session
DC1+Progress #444 volume opening [ABORTED]
MRM1 volume opening [ABORTED]
Galley Reactivation [ABORTED]
Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Reactivation [ABORTED]
USOS Item Transfer [ABORTED]
USOS Isolation Restow [ABORTED]

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