Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 April 2019 – Biomedical and Botany Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 26, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 April 2019 – Biomedical and Botany Research
NASA astronaut Anne McClain begins depressurizing the Japanese Kibo laboratory module’s airlock that contains the Materials ISS Experiment-Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) gear. MISSE-FF contains new materials exposure experiments ready for deployment outside Kibo. The study will help scientists understand how radiation, the vacuum of space and micrometeoroids affect a variety of materials. Credit: NASA.

Vein scans and eye checks were on the schedule today as the Expedition 59 crew continues ongoing biomedical studies.
The International Space Station is also getting ready to host a sixth spacecraft when it arrives next week.

Scientists have been observing the space residents all week as they seek to understand the effects of the upward flow of body fluids in space. Flight Engineer Anne McClain worked on the Fluid Shifts experiment again today attaching body electrodes to NASA astronaut Nick Hague and conducting ultrasound scans of his veins. She also peered into his eyes using optical tomography coherence hardware. Results may help flight surgeons prevent the increased head and eye pressure caused by the upward fluid shifts astronauts report in space.

NASA is also learning how to support longer human missions farther out into space. Feeding crews without expensive cargo missions and fuel-consuming inventories is critical. As a result, the station provides a variety of greenhouse facilities for plant cultivation and research. Christina Koch of NASA set up new botany hardware today to enable the ongoing research and harvesting of lettuce and mizuna in space.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is due to liftoff Tuesday at 4:21 a.m. EDT on its 17th contracted cargo mission to the station. Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques is training to capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives Thursday May 2 at 6:50 a.m. A pair of new experiments it is delivering will explore atmospheric carbon dioxide as well as X-ray frequency communication techniques.

On-Orbit Status Report

MISSE-FF (Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility): Robotics Flight Controllers successfully installed one of the new MISSE Science Carrier (MSC) in the #1 position of the MISSE-FF facility and verified commanding capability. Robotics will continue to install the remaining 3 MSCs that arrived on NG-11. The primary Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) platform provides the ability to test materials, coatings, and components or other larger experiments in the harsh environment of space, which is virtually impossible to do collectively on Earth. Testing in low-Earth orbit (LEO) allows the integrated testing of how materials react to exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), atomic oxygen (AO), ionizing radiation, ultrahigh vacuum (UHV), charged particles, thermal cycles, electromagnetic radiation, and micro-meteoroids in the LEO environment.

Space Fibers: The crew swapped the Space Fibers hardware with the 2nd unit in the Microgravity Science Glovebox. Upon completion of the last run, the hardware was deactivated and stowed. Manufacturing Fiber Optic Cable in Microgravity (Space Fibers) evaluates a method for producing fiber optic cable from a blend of zirconium, barium, lanthanum, sodium and aluminum, called ZBLAN, in space. ZBLAN produces glass one hundred times more transparent than silica-based glass, exceptional for fiber optics. Microgravity suppresses two mechanisms that commonly degrade fiber, and previous studies showed improved properties in fiber drawn in microgravity compared to that fabricated on the ground.

Astrobee: The crew activated the Astrobee Docking station. 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.

The ISS Experience: The crew performed the hardware setup in Node 3 to record an ARED exercise session, then the hardware was relocated to Node 2 and stowed. The ISS Experience creates a virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the ISS. The 8 to 10 minute videos created from footage taken during the six-month investigation cover different aspects of crew life, execution of science aboard the station, and the international partnerships involved. The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

Veggie PONDS Validation: The crew installed the Veggie Ponds clear modules hardware into the Veggie Facility. Water was filled into each module. The unit was powered up and the lighting intervals were set to initiate the experiment. The same steps were performed for the opaque modules for the 2nd Veggie Facility. Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. Future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food. Therefore, understanding how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrating the reliable vegetable production on orbit are important steps toward that goal. Veggie PONDS uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to cultivate lettuce and mizuna greens which are to be harvested on-orbit, and consumed, with samples returned to Earth for analysis.

Thermal Amine Scrubber Installation: The crew installed the Thermal Amine Scrubber which is an upgraded version of the Amine Swingbed and will be used as a long term CO2 scrubber. Thermal Amine launched on NG-11 and provides the capability to operate the Life Support Rack (LSR), one (or no) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly and Thermal Amine during 7 (or fewer) crew instead of two CDRAs continuously. Activation is planned for next week.

ISS Emergency On-Board Training (OBT): The crew utilized a simulator to practice response to an ISS emergency including procedure review, equipment gather and communication with the ground. Scenarios included US and Russian segment fire, rapid depress, and ammonia release.

Northrop Grumman 11 (NG-11) Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew completed Cygnus Cargo Message #2 yesterday afternoon. Approximately 32 hours of cargo operations have been performed. The next cargo message, which will be ready late next week, will direct the crew to begin loading items for disposal for Cygnus unberth in July.

Completed Task List Activities:
Thermal Amine cable retrieval
PCS HD pre-gather

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Ultrasound ops
Dragon ROBoT OBT
SPDM MSC transfer

Look Ahead:
Friday, 04/26 (GMT 116):

Rodent Research-12 Habitat Restock and access unit clean (NASA)
Astrobee Docking Station Deact (NASA)
Fluid Shifts Ops (NASA)
ISS Experience Message (NASA)

OBT ISS Emergency Simulation/results conference with ground teams
Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion (CSA-CP) checkout

Saturday, 04/27 (GMT 117):

No Payload activities

Crew off duty – housekeeping

Sunday, 04/28 (GMT 118):

Veggie PONDS Germination Cap removal (NASA)

Crew off duty

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

ISS Emergency OBT Prep
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
Astrobee Docking Station Power On
Fluid Shifts OCT2 Baseline Setup
ISS Experience Node 3 Setup
RYASKA. Deactivation of LED Panel. Disconnecting Circuitry. Hardware stow
RYASKA. Photography of the hardware teardown on the background
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Fluid Shifts CDL Holter Arterial BP Hardware Don
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System(NORS) Nitrogen Transfer Termination
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Baseline Scan Subject
VIZIR. Transfer of Container with medication from Progress 441
Space Fibers Hardware Exchange
СТТС Reconfiguration in MRM1
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Baseline Scan Operator
VIZIR. Repairing Screen on Smart Drawer Coordinate Referencing System (СКП-УП) P/L
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops
Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System(NORS) Nitrogen Transfer Termination
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Operator Assistance in Preparation for the Experiment
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
Weekly monitoring of video recording equipment performance on the ISS RS
Fluid Shifts CCFP Baseline Test
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Closeout Ops, Operator
Fluid Shifts USOS Operations Historical Documentation Photography
ISS Experience Recording Preparation
Fluid Shifts OCT2 Baseline Exam Operator
Fluid Shifts OCT2 Baseline Exam Subject
Locating equipment and a tagup with specialists prior to ПТАБ-1М replacement with ПТАБ-2 (A304)
Fluid Shifts DPOAE Baseline Test
Fluid Shifts OCT2 Baseline Stow
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Closeout Ops
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Setup
Payload Laptop Terminal 3 (PLT3) Power Cable Connection
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Exam Operator
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Exam Subject
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Hygiene Procedures
Fluid Shifts CDL Holter Arterial BP Hardware Doff Alternate
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Stow
ISS Experience Record Conclude
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
VIP High Definition (HD) LAB EVENT
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
ISS Experience Hardware Relocate
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
CONSTANTA-2. Cassette removal from ТБУ-В and setup on panel for 1-hour warmup
On MCC Go Replacing ИДЭ-3 Smoke Detectors in MRM1 with ИДЭ-4
Progress 441 (DC1) Priority Transfers and IMS Ops
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Rad Detector Relocate
Space Fibers Hardware Stow
VEGGIE Display On-Board Training
Veggie Ponds Hardware Gather
CONSTANTA-2. Preparation and Execution 6
Veggie Ponds MWA Preparation
Veggie Ponds Experiment Initiation
Robotics Onboard Training (ROBoT) Session for Dragon
Wide-Band Communication System (ШСС) Hardware Health Check
Scheduled monthly maintenance of Central Post Laptop. Downlink Log-files via OCA
In-Flight Maintenance Thermal Amine Installation
SM Air Sampling for CO using ИПД Samplers
Veggie Ponds Historical Documentation Photography
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Air sample collection using ИПД sampler for ammonia in SM
Robotics Onboard Training (ROBoT) Session for Dragon
Air sample collection using АК-1М adsorber in SM for Freon
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
Collecting SM and FGB Air Samples Using АК-1М Sampler
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Progress 441 (DC1) Priority Transfers and IMS Ops
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
ISS Experience Hardware Stow

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