Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 December 2017 – New Crew Settles In

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
December 30, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 December 2017 – New Crew Settles In
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 December 2017 - New Crew Settles In.

The International Space Station’s three newest crew members are beginning their second week familiarizing themselves with the orbital lab’s operations and systems. They and the other three Expedition 54 crew mates are also busy today with cargo operations, space science and station maintenance.
Also, a Russian cargo craft is departing the station tonight after a six-and-a-half month stay docked to the Zvezda service module. The Progress 67 cargo craft will undock from Zvezda tonight at 8:03 p.m. EST then re-enter Earth’s atmosphere to burn up over the south Pacific Ocean.

Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and first-time astronauts Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of JAXA are in their second week in Earth orbit and getting used to life in space. The new space residents, who arrived Dec. 19, have time set aside in their schedules to adjust to life and work in weightlessness.

Two-time station resident Joe Acaba from NASA worked throughout Wednesday gathering items for stowage inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship. Kanai assisted Acaba with the pre-packing duties readying the cargo for return to Earth inside Dragon on Jan. 13.

Tingle strapped himself into an exercise bike this morning breathing into a tube for a study measuring physical exertion in microgravity. In this long-running experiment, doctors are researching ways to ensure astronauts stay fit and healthy in space to maintain mission success.

On-Orbit Status Report

67 Progress (67P) Undock: This evening, 67P is scheduled to undock from the Service Module (SM) aft port at 7:03 PM CST.

Arthrospira-B (Batch Culture) Assembly: Four Arthrospira experiment containers were removed from the Biolab Incubator to exchange the reservoirs inside the Biolab. Following the exchange of the reservoirs, the ECs were reinstalled back onto Biolab Incubator. The Arthrospira B experiment is an important step in making improvements in the area of closed regenerative life support systems in space which will help in making future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit become a reality. The cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp. strain PCC8005 is a candidate for use in spacecraft biological life support systems, for CO2 and nitrate removal, and oxygen and biomass production. However, to ensure the reliability of such a biological life support system it is necessary to characterize the response of Arthrospira sp. PCC8005 to in situ spaceflight conditions.

Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems (STaARS) BioScience-2 Experiment Container (EC) Transfers: After being stowed in the STaARS facility for over 170 hours at 25 degrees Celsius, the crew transferred the STaARS BioScience-2 ECs from the facility into a +4 degrees Celsius Glacier. BioScience-2 encompasses two experiments, Experiment Grimm and Experiment Ulrich, which is performed by three investigation teams, all utilizing the same hardware, but processing different biological samples. The principle aim of Experiment Grimm is to investigate how thyroid carcinoma cells react, when they are exposed to real microgravity. The expected information may help to improve in vitro cancer studies such as antitumor drug or transendothelial migration tests. Experiment Ulrich will investigate microgravity-associated long-term alterations in primary human macrophages, the most important effector cells of the immune system, which are responsible for attacking and killing bacteria and other foreign and pathogenic intruders in the human body. The aim of the experiment is to analyze surface molecules, which are required for recognition of bacteria and cell-cell-communication, and to investigate the cytoskeletal architecture after several days in microgravity.

Amyloid Sample Transfer: The Amyloid samples were retrieved from the +2 degree Celsius Dewar of MELFI, installed in the measurement experiment unit and then attached to the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) where they were incubated for 6 hours. After the incubation was complete, the experiment units were detached from the CBEF and the samples were removed and stowed in the MELFI at -95 degrees Celsius. Amyloid fibril is the protein aggregation that is known to be associated with various diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. To develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to elucidate the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation. In this study, aiming to elucidate the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation, we will prepare the high-quality homogeneous amyloid fibrils using microgravity environment, and bring back the samples to characterize the fibrillation process and intermediate structure by NMR and electron microscopic analyses.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Biochemical Profile, Repository): A 53S subject completed his Flight Day (FD)-15 blood and urine sample collections to support the Biochemical Profile and Repository experiments. The samples were 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.
Microbial Tracking-2: A 52S subject completed body and saliva sample collections in support of the Microbial Tracking-2 investigation. The Microbial Tracking series-2 continues the monitoring of the types of microbes that are present on the International Space Station (ISS). It seeks to catalog and characterize potential disease-causing microorganisms aboard the ISS. Crew samples from pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight times in addition to environmental samples from ISS surface and air locations will be collected to analyze any associations between the microbial content of the samples, as well as potential health effects.

APEX-05 Operations: The crew photographed the spare petri plates that are secured to the Advanced Biology Research Facility (ABRS) photo-grid on the maintenance work area. When plants are grown in the confines of the International Space Station (ISS), they do not seem to get enough air and as a result, exhibit a stress response in their genes and proteins. The Spaceflight-induced Hypoxic/ROS Signaling (APEX-05) experiment grows different wild and mutant varieties of Arabidopsis thaliana, in order to understand how their genetic and molecular stress response systems work in space. The plants grow from seeds in the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the ISS, are frozen, and returned to Earth for detailed laboratory analysis.

Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutron (RaDI-N): After retrieving the RaDI-N hardware from a Russian crewmember, a USOS crewmember deployed eight Space Bubble Detectors around the ISS for the RaDI-N experiment. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) RaDI-N investigation will be conducted by measuring neutron radiation levels while onboard the ISS. RaDI-N uses bubble detectors as neutron monitors which have been designed to only detect neutrons and ignore all other radiation.

Earth Imagery from ISS Target Operations: Using the RED camera, the crew took images of the New Guinea River Inlets. This investigation creates a series of videos, showcasing Earth from space. These videos are taken with cameras on the ISS in 6K hi-resolution and integrated into videos for screensavers for public enjoyment, exploration, and engagement.

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Camera Robot Activation: Today the crew relocated the JEM Camera Robot Target Marker. They also activated the JEM Camera Robot and set the position in the JEM before taking video using the camera.

Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM) Gas Trap Manual Valves Reconfiguration: The crew set the Thermal Control Assembly Low Temperature Loop (TCA L) Gas Trap Manual Valves for Gas Trap operations. They also activated the heater for Gas Trap.

Dragon Cargo Transfer: Today the crew completed the planned Dragon cargo operations. In the coming days, the crew will continue packing and loading the cargo that will be returned on Dragon.

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

Life On The Station Photo and Video
Application of Cyrillic keyboard stickers on RSE1 laptop
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos Web Site and Social Media
SCENARIO. Observations and photography
URAGAN. Observation and photography
ECON-M. Observation and photography
Microbial Tracking-2 Body Sample Collection
Reminder HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
Microbial Tracking-2 Sample MELFI Insert
Microbial Tracking-2 Reminder for Body Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection 30 Minutes – Subject
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection – Operator
Daily Planning Conference
Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems BioScience-2 Experiment Container Transfer into MELFI
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
STaARS BioScience-2 Glacier Sample Insertion
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Crew time for ISS adaptation and orientation
Microbial Tracking-2 Body Sample Collection
Pressurization of Elektron-VM Liquid Unit before Activation
SSIPC Management Conference
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Replacement of LF Data Receiver (??? ??). Tagup with specialists
JEM Camera Robot Activation
JAXA Video Taking Part 3
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Power Up
Microbial Tracking-2 Sample MELFI Insert
Removal of [??] TV Cameras 1, 2 and ???-302 Light Units in Soyuz 737 [CA]
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
MATRYOSHKA-R. Prep and Initialization of Bubble-Dosimeter Detectors
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Arthrosphira EC S/N2 and S/N3 Exchange 1
JEM Camera Robot Deactivation
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons Hardware Handover
MATRYOSHKA-R. Handover of BUBBLE-dosimeters to USOS
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-dosimeter initialization and deployment for exposure
Arthrosphira EC S/N2 and S/N3 Exchange 2
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Amyloid sample Retrieval from MELFI +2 degrees C.
Amyloid Sample Attachment
APEX-05 Spare Petri Plate Photo
Familiarization with Auxiliary Computer System [???]. Tagup with specialists as necessary
Replacement of RSE1 Laptop Shell. Tagup with specialists
JPM Thermal Control Assembly for Low Temperature Loop (TCA L) Gas Trap Manual Valves Reconfiguration
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Education Imagery
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
Scheduled monthly maintenance of Central Post Laptop. Downlink Log-files from Laptop ?.5.2, ???.5-3 and 5-5 via ???- H/O
Scheduled monthly maintenance of Central Post Laptop. Laptop log-file downlink via OCA. Tagup with specialists as necessary
TangoLab-2 Card Cube Remove
ISS Crew Orientation
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
TangoLab-2 MELFI Sample Insertion
Personal CO2 Monitor iPad Data Collect
ELECTRONIC NOSE. Preparation for the Experiment
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment. Tagup with specialists as necessary
ISS HAM Radio and Video Power Down in Columbus
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops. Tagup with specialists as necessary
MELFI 1 Desiccant Remove
MELFI 1 Electronic Unit Swap
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops. Tagup with specialists as necessary
PILOT-T. Photography of the Experiment Ops
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Handover of Increment XX Crew
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male – Subject
JPM Thermal Control Assembly for low temperature loop (TCA L) Gas Trap Manual Valves reconfiguration
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops Tagup with specialists as necessary
Amyloid Sample Detachment First
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
??? Maintenance
Amyloid sample Insertion into MELFI -95 degrees C.
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Analysis T+5
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
Daily Planning Conference

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 12/28: EVA SLE Rotation, IFM N2 Nadir Bolt 1-3 R&R, EVA Safer Swap, Cell Science Validation, APEX-5 Harvest, Marrow Air
Friday, 12/29: Dragon Cargo Ops, CIR Ops, NH3 Chip Replacement, HRF Collections, Synthetic Bone, Crew Handover, BRIC LED, Personal CO2 Sensor Cal, EIISS, Cell Science Validation
Saturday, 12/30: Cell Science Validation, Amyloid Experiment, Crew Off Duty

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) – Reprocess
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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