Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 July 2019 – Dragon Launch on Tap

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 25, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 July 2019 – Dragon Launch on Tap
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 July 2019 - Dragon Launch on Tap.

Forecasters predict a 30% chance of favorable weather today for the liftoff of a U.S. cargo craft at 6:24 p.m. EDT from Florida.
Mission managers are getting ready to launch the SpaceX Dragon loaded with new science experiments and the International Docking Adapter-3.

Dragon is planned to arrive at the orbiting lab Friday at 10 a.m. NASA Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch will be on duty in the cupola to command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon.

Meanwhile on the International Space Station, the expanded Expedition 60 crew stepped up their science activities with virtual reality filming, free-flying robotics tests and RNA sequencing.

New crewmember Drew Morgan of NASA filmed himself today with a 360-degree camera inside the Harmony module. Morgan talked into the camera, as have previous station residents, describing his experience adapting to life in microgravity for the first time. Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set up the camera this morning to record the virtual reality experience for audiences on Earth.

Morgan and Parmitano along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov are still getting up to speed with life on the orbiting laboratory. The crewmates have been in space less than a week and are familiarizing themselves with safety procedures and the station’s galley, crew quarters, medicine cabinet and toilet.

NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch split her time today between robotics and RNA sequencing. She set up the Astrobee robotic helper in the morning testing and calibrating its free-flying motion. In the afternoon, Koch inserted RNA samples from a science freezer into the Biomolecule Sequencer to study how the space environment affects biology.

Flight Engineer Nick Hague inspected the U.S. Destiny laboratory’s large viewing window today. He photographed and checked the window used for Earth observation studies for cracks, scratches and contamination.

Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov focused on configuring the recently arrived Soyuz MS-13 crew ship docked to the Zvezda service module. The veteran station residents also tested an automated rendezvous system ahead of the launch of a new Progress 73 cargo craft planned for July 31.

The High Definition Earth-Viewing (HDEV) experiment on the International Space Station has experienced a loss of data, and ground computers are no longer receiving communications from the payload. A team of engineers is reviewing the available health and status information from HDEV to identify what may have occurred. Additional updates will be published as they become available.

On-Orbit Status Report

SpaceX (SpX)-18 Launch Status: SpX-18 is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 40 today at 5:24 PM CT carrying ~1680 kg of pressurized cargo and ~530 kg of unpressurized cargo to the ISS. The crew will utilize the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to capture Dragon on Friday, July 26 at ~9:00 AM CT.

NutrISS: The crew set up the Bioimpedance Device in preparation for upcoming measurements. Long duration spaceflight induces relevant changes in body composition and a loss of body mass. In this investigation, a periodic assessment of body composition (body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass) during spaceflight aboard the ISS is performed 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.

PK-4 (Plasma Krystall-4): The crew initiated PK-4 Run #1 that will catch particle clouds inside the Plasma chamber. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between the ESA and the Roscosmos, performing research in the field of “Complex Plasmas”: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles.

Astrobee: The crew performed a data collection ops which will be used for calibration and localization for future mobility testing. Astrobee is a series of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots which 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.

Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST): The crew initiated the third run by setting up the Biomolecule Sequencer and loading an RNA sample for a 48 hour sequencing run. The BEST investigation studies the use of sequencing for identification of unknown microbial organisms living on the ISS, and how humans, plants and microbes adapt to living on the ISS.

Lab Forward Port Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Cleaning: The crew performed this regularly scheduled maintenance to inspect and clean the Lab forward port IMV fan and IMV silencers.

Life Support Rack (LSR) Activation: Yesterday, ESA successfully activated LSR and it is currently scrubbing CO2. With the LSR Carbon-Dioxide Concentration Assembly (CCA) in Auto, the Lab Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) was be deactivated. Teams are monitoring performance.

Emergency Roles & Responsibilities Review: With the arrival of the 59S crew, yesterday all six crewmembers participated in this required training. Some of the topics covered were crew accountability during an emergency situations, escape vehicle readiness, ISS Commander responsibilities and safe haven plan.

Completed Task List Activities:
WHC KTO replace
IVIDIL hardware pack for return

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Office 365 upload
59S DAM conference
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Thursday, 7/25 (GMT 206)

VECTION Experiment session (CSA)
NUTRISS Bioelectrical Impedance 1st measurement (ESA)
CBEF IPU Cable connect (JAXA)
LMM Bio-6 sample retrieve (NASA)
RR-17 Habitat installs (NASA)
PK-4 Run 2 and Chamber Gas vlv to NEON (Joint)

Dragon cargo transfer overview
Dragon RoBOT OBT
JEM window inspection
Stbd Solar Array Wing survey

Friday, 7/26 (GMT 207)

BioRock On-board Training (ESA)
JAXA-EPO Item Gather (JAXA)
LMM Bio-6 plate 1 MERLIN insert (NASA)
RR-17 Transfer conference (NASA)
NanoRacks Module 9 On-board Training (NASA)
PK-4 Run 3 and HD exchange (Joint)
ELF Gas Bottle Unit vlv close (JAXA)

Dragon capture/ingress
OBT emergency hardware familiarization

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

Configure USB Cables and charge five Personal CO2 Monitors in prep for ACO activity.
LAB Window Inspection Cleanup
Astrobee Free Flyer Localization and Mobility Ops Part 2
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment. Tagup with specialists as necessary
LAB Window Inspection 1
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops. Tagup with specialists as necessary
LAB Window Inspection Cleanup
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Lab FWD Port Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Fan Cleaning
PK-4 Experiment Run 1/1
Crew conference on Debris Avoidance Maneuver (DAM) with the use of Soyuz 746 thrusters
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Quick Disconnect (QD) Dekey
Hermes Vacuum Valve Open
HRF Centrifuge Tube Removal
Telescience Resource Kit Laptop Open
SEPARATION. Activation of [???-?-??] system. Starting Distillation Cycle 1
Calibrate five Personal CO2 Monitors as part of ACO Activity.
Handover of Increment 60 Crew
Setup and Activation of Crew Onboard Support Kit (????) Equipment for coverage via RGS
ISS-MCC-M TV TV coverage via RGS. Tagup with specialists
TV System Closeout after after RS TV coverage via RGS
PK-4 Experiment Run 1/2
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Intermodular TORU Test with Mated Progress 441 (DC1)
MELFI Ice Brick Transfer
Payloads Network Attached Storage (NAS) Deep Cleaning
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) MWA Preparation
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) MELFI Sample Retrieve
On MCC GO ISS O2 Repress from Progress 441 (DC1) ???? Section 1, initiate
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) Experiment 3 RNA Run
Polar Desiccant Swap
On MCC GO ISS O2 Repress from Progress 441 (DC1) ???? Section 1, terminate
PK-4 Experiment Run 1/3
MERLIN Desiccant Swap
Tool Disposal
SEPARATION. Deactivation of [???-?-??] system. Log-file downlink

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