Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 September 2017 – New Exercise Device Testing

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 26, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 September 2017 – New Exercise Device Testing
NASA astronaut Joe Acaba works inside the cupola as the space station orbits above the Indian Ocean near Australia. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 53 crew members continued testing a new exercise device today while also exploring how their bodies are adapting to living in space. The station residents are also gearing up for three spacewalks planned in October.
Commander Randy Bresnik joined Paolo Nespoli for a workout session on the new Miniature Exercise Device-2 (MED-2). The duo tested the MED-2 for its ability to provide motion and resistance during crew workouts. The device is significantly smaller than previous space exercise systems potentially providing more room on future spacecraft.

Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei installed new lights on his crew quarters to test their ability to improve circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba collected and stowed his blood and urine samples for a pair of experiments observing the physiological changes taking place in space.

Bresnik and Vande Hei are moving ahead with preparations for the first of three spacewalks set to begin Oct. 5. The spacewalkers inspected the tethers that will keep them attached to the station and began setting up their tools. The duo will remove and replace a leading end effector on the tip of the Canadarm2 during the first spacewalk scheduled to last about 6.5 hours.

On-Orbit Status Report

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Biochemical Profile, Repository): Over the weekend a 52S crewmember completed Flight Day (FD) 15 urine sample collections in support of the Biochemical Profile and Repository experiments. Today another 52S crewmember completed their FD-15 urine samples, and with operator assistance, conducted blood sample collections. The blood samples were processed for double spin operations using the Refrigerated Centrifuge prior to being placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

The Biochemical Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples are obtained from astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results, which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body.
Repository is a storage bank used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. This repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions.
Lighting Effects: A 52S crewmember completed a Visual Performance Test by stowing the test hardware in their crew quarters, setting the light to the correct mode, turning all other light sources in the crew quarters off, before performing a Numerical Verification Test and a Color Discrimination Test. The completed tests were photographed and downlinked. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance.

Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2) Exercise Evaluation: 51S crewmembers exercised using MED-2 with body markers and multiple camcorders for ground evaluation. The ISS’s exercise equipment is large and bulky, while the MED-2 aims to demonstrate small robotic actuators can provide motion and resistance for crew workout sessions, reducing the size and weight of exercise equipment for long-duration space missions. The MED-2 investigation is a system to test key technologies needed to develop space based exercise equipment that may provide appropriate countermeasures to the adverse effects of microgravity. This technology is critical for the initial design and development of second and third generation Counter Measure Systems (CMS) hardware that is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing ISS class of CMS hardware and that has significantly greater reliability.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Gas Chromatograph (GC) Installation: The crew installed the GC instrument package to support continued operations of the CIR for the upcoming ACME investigation. During the installation, the crew cleaned and contained a small leak that was noticed from a helium bottle. In an activity unrelated to today’s GC installation package, the crew checked a suspected bad cable connection to see if it was the cause of current Image Processing and Storage Unit (IPSU) data issues. After reporting that the connection appeared to be fully mated, the crew was asked to break and reseat the connector before downlinking photos for ground teams to assess. The CIR is used to perform combustion experiments in microgravity. The CIR can be reconfigured easily on orbit to accommodate a variety of combustion experiments. It consists of an optics bench, a combustion chamber, a fuel and oxidizer management system, environmental management systems, and interfaces for science diagnostics and experiment specific equipment.

Fine Motor Skills (FMS): A 51S crewmember completed a FD 60 FMS session which is executed on a touchscreen tablet, where the subject performs a series of interactive tasks. The investigation studies how fine motor skills are affected by long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after returning to Earth gravity. The goal of FMS is to answer how fine motor performance in microgravity trend/vary over the duration of a six-month and year-long space mission; how fine motor performance on orbit compare with that of a closely matched participant on Earth; and how performance trend/vary before and after gravitational transitions, including the periods of early flight adaptation, and very early/near immediate post-flight periods.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) Node 2 Setup and Activation: The crew setup the payload components for EarthKAM in Node 2 for a week-long imaging session. Sally Ride EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew’s perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the International Space Station. This enables them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The team at Sally Ride EarthKAM then posts these photographs on the Internet for the public and participating classrooms around the world to view.

MagVector: Because the generically used MagVector USB stick was reported broken, the crew retrieved a new USB stick to support the 14th MagVector experiment run that begins later this week. The European Space Agency (ESA) MagVector investigation studies how Earth’s magnetic field interacts with an electrical conductor. Using extremely sensitive magnetic sensors placed around and above a conductor, researchers can gain insight into ways that the magnetic field influences how conductors work. This research not only helps improve future International Space Station experiments and electrical experiments, but it could offer insights into how magnetic fields influence electrical conductors in general, the backbone of our technology.

EVA preparations: Today the crew inspected tethers and modified the Ballscrew Lubrication Tool (BLT) depth gauge. These tasks are required to prepare for the upcoming trio of EVAs in October. The goals of the EVAs include R&R of one SSRMS LEE, lubrication of the LEEs, and R&R of two external cameras.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

CIR GC Instrumentation Package Installation
Combustion Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open/Close
COL cabin restow after MARES deployment
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
EarthKAM Node 2 Setup and Activation-Russian
EVA Ballscrew Lubrication Tool Prep
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Termination
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedures Print
US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether Inspection
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test – Subject
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
IMS update
ISS Crew Handover
Handover of Increment 53 Crew
ISS Crew Orientation
JEM 3.0 CTB Consolidation for OA-8
Lighting Effects Visual Performance Tests Light Setting – Subject
Retrieve new USB Stick for MAGVCTOR; transp. WiseNet EQUPT to COL
Miniature Exercise Device Operations Session
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Setup
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
PAO Preparation
Hygiene Cover and Privacy Curtain Installation Big Picture Review
ARED Photo/TV Reminder
Save personal data to RSK1 prior to software upgrade
RSK1 step-up to 4.3. Specialist conference
Station Support Computer (SSC) Client Power On
[???] (?13) R&R – equipment locate and setup, r/g review.
Downlink exercise data via ???
On MCC Go ??? ?1 absorption cartridge cycling (term)
??? ?1 absorption cartridge cycling init and term
??? maintenance
Review r/g, locate and set up equipment prior to [????5-12] [??-12] R&R.
[????5-12] [??-12] R&R. Specialist conference
VIZIR. ??? ???? battery charge init
VIZIR. ???? battery charging
VIZIR. Charge battery SKPI
51S [???] grid cleaning

Completed Task List Activities
Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) [In Work]
ISSpresso Install
NOD1D2 Restow
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Recorded Greeting Request Downlink Message

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 09/26: HRF Collections, EVA Preps, Veg-03, Lighting Effects, Crew Handover, Biolab Glovebox, Marrow, Circadian Rhythms, Max CEVIS
Wednesday, 09/27: HRF Collections, Crew Handover, WHC UR/IF R&R, Max CEVIS, VEGGIE1, At Home in Space, JEM Camera Checkout
Thursday, 09/28: Max CEVIS, Crew Handover, EVA Preps, Meteor, SLAMMD

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