Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 October 2019 – Brain and Muscle Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 30, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 October 2019 – Brain and Muscle Research
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 October 2019 - Brain and Muscle Research.

Brain and muscle research were on today’s schedule of human research aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 61 crew also ensured the plumbing and air conditioning systems stay in tip-top shape.
The brain is able to optimize its blood flow even if the cardiovascular system cannot maintain an ideal blood pressure. Flight Engineer Jessica Meir explored the brain’s capacity to regulate that blood flow in space today. She used Doppler gear to measure her blood pressure in her finger artery and blood flow velocity in her cerebral artery. Scientists may use the data to help astronauts adjust to microgravity and ease the return to Earth after months or years in space.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan collaborated on the Myotones muscle tone in space study. The duo took turns measuring their arms and legs before scanning them with an ultrasound device. Observations may help doctors improve rehabilitation techniques for astronauts on long-duration missions and sedentary patients on Earth.

Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) put on his plumber’s hat today and replaced hydraulic components in the station’s bathroom located in the Tranquility module. He also deactivated science hardware that was tracking ocean-going vessels.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka stayed focused on the upkeep of the Russian segment of the orbiting lab. The duo charged Soyuz spacecraft batteries and cleaned fans and filters in the air conditioning system in their portion of the space station.

On-Orbit Status Report

ACE-T6 (Advanced Colloids Experiment): The crew reconfigured the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) for the next ACE (Advanced Colloids Experiment) science runs. Colloids are suspensions of microscopic particles in a liquid, and they are found in products ranging from milk to fabric softener. Consumer products often use colloidal gels to distribute specialized ingredients, for instance droplets that soften fabrics, but the gels must serve two opposite purposes: they have to disperse the active ingredient so it can work, yet maintain an even distribution so the product does not spoil. Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-6 (ACE-T6) studies the microscopic behavior of colloids in gels and creams, providing new insight into fundamental interactions that can improve product shelf life.

Cerebral Autoregulation: The crew performed measurements using the Cardiolab Portable Doppler unit and the Blood Pressure device. As the body’s most important organ, the brain needs a strong and reliable blood supply, so the brain is capable of self-regulating blood flow even when the heart and blood vessels cannot maintain an ideal blood pressure. The Cerebral Autoregulation investigation tests whether this self-regulation improves in the microgravity environment of space.

Muscle Tone in Space (Myotones): The crew completed skin markings measurements to support the Myotones experiment. Myotones investigation observes the biochemical properties of muscles during long-term exposure to the spaceflight environment. Results from this investigation are expected to provide insight into principles of human resting muscle tone, which could lead to the development of new strategies for alternative treatments for rehabilitation both on Earth and for future space missions.

Veg-04B: The crew performed a routine plant check, watered the plants as appropriate, and weighed any broken leaves using the Mass Measurement Device. The Pick-and-Eat Salad-Crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System (Veg-0404A, Veg-04B, and Veg-05) investigation is a phased research project to address the need for a continuous fresh-food production system in space. A healthy, nutritious diet is essential for long-duration exploration missions, which means that the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet needs to be supplemented by fresh foods during flight; the Veggie Vegetable Production System (Veggie) has begun testing aboard the space station to help meet this need, and validation tests have demonstrated that leafy greens can be grown in spaceflight. The research of Veg-04B focuses on the impact of light quality and fertilizer on leafy crop growth for a 56-day grow-out, microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioral health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space.

VESSEL ID System: The Crew performed a shutdown, decabling and deinstallation/Stow of the VESSEL ID system. The Vessel ID System investigation demonstrates the ability of a space-based radio receiver to identify ships in the ocean. It also demonstrates the use of a simple device known as the Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR), which can be used during a spacewalk to attach small equipment to external handrails on the ISS. The investigation could provide researchers an additional platform for mounting experiments while demonstrating a new means to identify ships at sea.

LSG (Life Sciences Glovebox): The crew performed a replacement of a failed LSG Work Volume right Fan. The status of the new fan is being assessed by the ground. LSG is a sealed work area that accommodates life science and technology investigations in a “workbench” type environment. Due to its larger size design, two crewmembers can work in the LSG simultaneously.


Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Maintenance: Today the crew performed WHC preventative maintenance to replace Flush Water Components including the water valve block and water lines. In recent weeks, the crew has reported pretreat bad quality light indications on occasion. Today’s preventative maintenance may help relieve those symptoms.

Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) Maintenance: The crew performed preventative maintenance in order to check out SAFER Serial Number 1018 and Test Module seals. They measured regulator pressure under flow and no-flow conditions, performed a leak check, measured the relief valve crack, and reset pressure to satisfy a two-year on-orbit maintenance requirement. SAFER is a small, self-contained, propulsive backpack system worn during spacewalks. If an untethered astronaut were to lose physical contact with the ISS, it would provide free-flying mobility to return to it.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Support Operations
LAB CDRA Activation

Look Ahead:
Saturday, 10/26 (GMT 299) Crew Off Duty

No planned activities

No planned activities

Sunday, 10/27 (GMT 300) Crew Off Duty

VEG-04B Plant check, watering and MMD measurements (NASA)

No planned activities

Monday, 10/28 (GMT 301)

CBEF Laptop setup (JAXA)
AMS EVA Procedure review (NASA)
Standard Measure Fecal collect setup (NASA)
AWP Evaluation (NASA)
VEG-04B H2O and MMD ops (NASA)
Food Acceptability Survey (NASA)
EML Lens switch and Gas Valve setting (Joint)

Cygnus Rendezvous Training
Cygnus C2V2 Checkout

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

Columbus cleanup for Myotones
Myotones Kit Gathering
Echo Unit Setup for Myotones experiment
Myotones Device Setup with EPM Laptop
Myotones Measurements
PROBOY. Penetration Simulator Ops
Myotones Ultrasound scan using ECHO Unit
Recharging Soyuz 746 SM-AGAT-U55 external batteries (2), start
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Myotones Device Data Transfer
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – ESA Nutritional Assessment
Check that the Maritime Awareness Payload is OFF before disconnecting the RF cables for Vessel ID decommissioning.
Vessel ID System Uninstall
Environmental Health System (EHS) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect
ISS Hardware Consolidate
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
Environmental Health System (EHS) Coliform Water Processing
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre Gather
Testing of Nikon MH-26 charger and Nikon batteries.
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Water Valve Block (WVB) Remove and Replace
Echo Unit Stowage
Columbus cabin restore after Myotones experiment
IMS audit of FGB internal lighting system
Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Checkout with Test Module
Applying b/c labels to FGB panels
Waste and Hygiene Compartment Flush Water Depress Line Remove and Replace
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Flush Water Flow Adjustment
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Resupply Stowage Platform (RSP) Stowage Move
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Flush Tank Partial Fill
Recharging Soyuz 746 SM-AGAT-U55 external batteries (2), stop recharge
IMS Delta File Prep
Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Water Valve Block (WVB) Closeout

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