Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 April, 2020 – Space Manufacturing Study

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 28, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 April, 2020 – Space Manufacturing Study
NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy services botany research hardware inside the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory module. The Veggie PONDS research facility in Columbus supports the growing and harvesting of lettuce and mizuna greens to demonstrate reliable vegetable growth during spaceflight. Credit: NASA. (Apr. 22, 2020)

The International Space Station provides an orbiting research platform that benefits not only human health, but also industry and technology.
Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy kicked off a physics study today that explores space manufacturing.

Cassidy began his workday in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module configuring the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) for the Space Fibers physics investigation. The study is using the MSG to test techniques for manufacturing fiber optic cables superior to those produced on Earth.

Gravity degrades the performance of fiber optic cables produced on Earth. Space Fibers may enable the manufacturing and commercialization of cables with greater transparency and higher transmission rates than on Earth.

The NASA commander then spent Monday afternoon on regularly scheduled maintenance for the COLBERT treadmill in the station’s Tranquility module. Cassidy greased the treadmill’s axles, tightened belts and replaced components.

In the Russian segment of the station, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner took the day off after a weekend of cargo activities. The duo welcomed the new Progress 75 cargo craft after its docking early Saturday and started unloading the nearly three tons of food, fuel and supplies.

On-Orbit Status Report


Space Fibers: The crew performed hardware gather and setup in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the Space Fibers Reflight mission. 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.


Treadmill 2 (T2) Annual Maintenance: Today the crew completed the yearly T2 inspection. During this task, the crew inspected the isolators, motor belt, bottom snubbers, treadmill slats and screws, and the bungee shackle key mount witness marks. They also cleaned the bearing house, the closeout panels, and vacuumed the filter screen as well as inside the rack and around the treadmill. This is nominal periodic corrective maintenance. An unmanned activation and checkout was completed after the maintenance.

Acoustic Monitor Recording of T2 Audio: Today the crew also performed an Acoustic Monitor recording of the unmanned activation and checkout protocol that is performed prior to and immediately following the T2 yearly maintenance. Two Acoustic Monitors were used to record audio of the T2 at each tread speed.

Completed Task List Activities:
Columbus D1 Rack Bags filling
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Cleanup
Cleaning up ECOKs and relocating outside of Airlock
Express Rack 6 Locker Removal
iPad FIT Update
IP Concatenation Box LAN Cable 2 Check
Payload MELFI Retrieve
Rodent Research MELFI Sample Locate
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Incubator Controller Valve Close
Unpack USOS items launched on 75P
Glacier 3 Desiccant Swap
Polar 4 Desiccant Swap
SSC2 Shell Swap
Warehouse CTB Locate
ESA AstroPi Blue SD Card Adapter Wanted Poster
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Saver Cable Removal
Mesh Cleaning on 120 TO 28 VDC Converter
EXPRESS Laptop Computer 4 Shell Change

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA) Pump Speed Adjustment
Ground Support for T2 Annual Maint
JEM Robotics Ops

Look Ahead Plan
Tuesday, 4/28 (GMT 119)
J-SSOD-13 Deploy Obs (JAXA)
Slingshot Test (NASA)
CIR ACME controller replace (NASA)

CBM CPA Removal
Acoustic Monitor Setup

Wednesday, 4/29 (GMT 120)
Astrobee Battery change (NASA)
VEGGIE PONDS Facility Clean (NASA)
RED-EYE temp Stow (NASA)

Acoustic Monitor Setup – Static Msrmts
EVA Loops Scrubs – 3004/3008
O-OHA Test

Thursday, 4/30 (GMT 121)
Astrobee Localization and Mobility ops (NASA)
CBEF 2nd cleaning post MHU-5 (JAXA)
Space Fiber Stow (NASA)
Food Physiology (NASA)
VEGGIE PONDS Facility deact (NASA)

JEM CTB Relocate
EHS TOCA Water Sample Analysis
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow

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

Auxiliary Computer System [???] Laptops Antivirus Update
JEM Temporary Stowage
Space Fibers Hardware Gather
Space Fibers Hardware Set Up in MSG Work Volume
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 System (T2) Monthly Inspection
Station Support Computer (SSC) 9 Laptop Relocate
Treadmill 2 (T2) Yearly Maintenance
Photo/TV Treadmill 2 (T2) Activation and Checkout (ACO) Video Setup & Teardown
Station Support Computer (SSC) Relocate
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 (T2) Unmanned Activation and Checkout (ACO)
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer
Physical Exercise Data Downlink via ???
Auxiliary Computer System [???] Laptops Antivirus Scan Preparation

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