Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 February 2017

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 1, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 February 2017
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 February 2017.

The Expedition 50 crew began activating new science experiments delivered last week aboard the SpaceX Dragon. The various life science studies will study bones and muscles, stem cells, botany and protein crystals.
Rodents delivered aboard Dragon were placed in their habitats over the weekend for the Rodent Research-4 study. That experiment is observing how bone and tissue regenerate in microgravity.

Stem cells were also unloaded from Dragon and stowed in a science freezer. The crew will research the replication of stem cells which may benefit clinical trials on Earth for new disease treatments. Astronaut Peggy Whitson used a specialized microscope to view the stem cells as the experiment got under way over the weekend.

The crew is also exploring how plants grow in space in order to provide food and oxygen for future long-duration missions. Plant samples were removed from a science freezer and placed in the Veggie facility for growth and observation. The spaceflight environment can change a plant’s genetic expression and growth pattern.

High-quality crystals are being grown on the International Space Station that otherwise couldn’t be grown on Earth due to gravity. The crystal samples are being studied for the Light Microscopy Module Biophysics-1 experiment to help researchers design new disease-fighting drugs.

On-Orbit Status Report

Rodent Research-4 (RR-4) Transfer Operations: Saturday, the crew reported all of the animals were successfully transferred them from the SpX-10 transporters to the four Rodent Research Habitats on the ISS. Sunday, the crew cleaned and stowed the transporters. The Tissue Regeneration-Bone Defect (RR-4) studies what prevents vertebrates such as rodents and humans from regrowing lost bone and tissue, and how the microgravity extraterrestrial condition impacts the process. Results could lead to tissue regeneration efforts in space and a better understanding of limitations of limb regrowth at wound sites.

Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells (MESC) Microscope Operations: The crew continued with MESC operations over the weekend, Saturday, the crew removed the BioCells from Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory-2 (SABL2) and with ground team support imaged the BioCells to capture points of interest to the payload developers. Both crew and ground teams reported seeing 3D cell structures which are not seen in 1G. The imaged BioCells were then returned to SABL2. Sunday, the crew fixed one of two imaging cells, sampled and preserved four BioCells, preserved two BioCells, and inserted seven BioCells into the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for cold stowage. Today, the crew repeated the fixing sampling, preserving and cold stowage insertion for another set of sample BioCells. MESC will aid researches determine the efficiency of using a microgravity environment to accelerate expansion (replication) of stem cells for use in terrestrial clinical trials for treatment of disease.

Advanced Plant Experiments (APEX)-04: Saturday, the crew reviewed procedures then retrieved and transferred the APEX-04 samples from Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) to the Veggie facility. The 27 APEX-04 petri plates were installed to begin the grow-out of the Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Sunday, the crew photographed a petri plate and reported condensation. Ground teams will review the images and determine if a different plate will be used as a representative sample as only one plate is imaged at a time; small disturbances of as little as 20-30 seconds of movement from Veggie to the Maintenance Work Area (MWA) can change the growth of the plants. The APEX-04 (Epigenetic change in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to spaceflight – differential cytosine DNA methylation of plants on the ISS) experiment investigates how spaceflight can affect an organism on a molecular level without altering its outward appearance. Previous research has demonstrated that large numbers of plant genes are expressed differently in space compared to plants on Earth, which can alter how plants grow. This investigation studies the entire genome of thale cress plants grown in space, creating maps of spaceflight-specific changes in certain groups of genes. Results give new insight into plants’ molecular responses to spaceflight, which benefits efforts to grow plants in space for food and oxygen.

Light Microscopy Module (LMM) Biophysics-1: On Sunday, the crew retrieved the LMM Biophysics-1 (The Effect of Macromolecular Transport of Microgravity Protein Crystallization) sample from the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI), allowed it to thaw, and inserted it into the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR). The LMM Biophysics-1 investigation improves understanding of the physical processes that enable high-quality crystals to grow in space, where Earth’s gravity does not interfere with their formation.

JEM Airlock (JEMAL) Depress: The crew depressed the airlock then vented the remaining air prior to the deployment of NanoRack Cubesat Deployer (NRCSD)-10 early next week.

Fine Motor Skills (FMS): The crew performed their FMS sessions this morning. The FMS experiment is executed on a touchscreen tablet, where the crew performs a series of interactive tasks. The investigation studies how fine motor skills are effected 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.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Sunday and overnight, Robotics Ground Controllers unstowed the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) from the Lab Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF). They then maneuvered the SSRMS and SPDM to a translate configuration and translated the Mobile Transporter (MT) from Worksite #6 (WS6) to WS7. Since they were ahead of schedule, the Robotics Ground Controllers also performed part of today’s operations, maneuvering the SSRMS and SPDM as required to use SPDM Arm1 to remove the Optical PAyload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) from EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Logistics Carrier 1 (ELC1). MSS performance was nominal. Monday night Robotic Ground Controllers will extract OPALS from ELC-1 Site 8 and install on SPDM EOTP Side 2.

Treadmill (T)2 Maintenance: The crew completed the 6-month T2 inspection. During this task the crew inspected the treadbelt slats and screws, cleaned the treadmill drive shaft, greased forward and rear axles, vacuumed inside the rack and around the treadmill, and inspected the bungee shackle key mount witness mark. This is nominal periodic corrective maintenance. Following the inspection, there was a checkout session prior to authorizing T2 for nominal use.

Dragon Cargo Operations: Crew completed unloading the Dragon vehicle on Saturday. Instructions for loading cargo for return will be uplinked to the crew later this week.

Lab Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Maintenance: Today the crew reviewed procedures and gathered some of the necessary tools and materials to perform a week’s worth of CDRA maintenance. Over the next three days the crew will remove the old beds from Lab CDRA and replace them with the newer generation beds, like those in Node 3 CDRA. This involves removing Lab CDRA from the LAB1D6 Air Revitalization (AR) Rack, disassembling it by removing all of the valves and ducting to access the beds, R&Ring the beds, reassembling CDRA, and reinstalling it in the Rack.

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

МО-8. H/W set up
Body Mass Measurement
МО-8. Closeout Ops
PRODUTSENT. Activation of [ТБУ-В] thermostat #2 in +29C mode
JEM Airlock Depressurization
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassete-M Upper Cell ## 2-1, 2-2 Condition Reprint and Photography of the Lower Cells.
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
Progress #435 docking mechanism removal
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Maintenance [Deferred]
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test – Subject
Microscope Hardware Unstow
Habitability Walk-through Video – Subject
Sound Level Meter (SLM) Setup and Operations
Lab Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Procedure Review
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment.
PRODUTSENT. Removal from Thermostat ТБУ-В # 04 (+4 °С) and transfer to Thermostat ТБУ-В # 02 (+29 °С)
PRODUTSENT. Photography of Bioekologiya Case stowage in Thermostat ТБУ-В # 02
Treadmill 2 (T2) 6 Month Maintenance
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
Taking Pille dosimeter readings
Collecting SM and FGB Air Samples Using АК-1М Sampler
MICROVIR. Photography of Lower Cell Condition
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
JEM Airlock Vent
COSMOCARD. Preparation. 24-Hour EKG Recording (start)
Sound Level Meter (SLM) Data Transfer
Photo/TV Treadmill 2 (T2) Activation and Checkout (ACO) Video Setup
JEM Airlock Vent Confirmation
Treadmill 2 (T2) Activation and Checkout (ACO)
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells MELFI Kit Retrieve
Micrgravity Expanded Stem Cells Microscope Ops
Water Recovery System (WRS) Waste Water (WW) Tank Drain Initiation
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS) Seat Evaluation
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cell Ice Brick MERLIN Removal
Midday Meal
MICROVIR. Photography of Lower Cell Condition
Water Recovery System (WRS) Waste Water (WW) Tank Drain Termination
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cell Hardware MERLIN Removal
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells Sampling Early Second Session
US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether Inspection
IMS Delta File Prep
Auxiliary Laptop Computer System Virus Definition File Update
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
BIOPLENKA. Activation of Thermostat Cryogem-03 for +37°С
Vozdukh [АВК СОА] valves service activation
MICROVIR. Photography of Lower Cell Condition
СОЖ maintenance
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells MELFI Insertion
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells BioCell Preservation
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Bed Cleaning Gather
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells MELFI Insertion
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells BioCell Preservation
APEX-04 Petri Plate Photo
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells MSG Clean Up
MICROVIR. Photography of Lower Cell Condition. Video Recording Start
Microscope Hardware Temporary Stowage
Microgravity Expanded Stem Cell Ice Brick MERLIN Insertion
BIOPLENKA. Fixation of Constanta No.1-1 cassette biofilm and setup in ТБУ-В No.4. Kconstanta Kit Stow for Incubation in Cryogem-03.
MICROVIR. Photography of Lower Cell Condition. Video Recording End

Completed Task List Items
Dragon Cargo Transfer [Completed Saturday]
Verify Playbook Opens on iPads [Completed Saturday]
Airlock Coarse Screen Cleaning [Completed Saturday]
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow [Completed Saturday]
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain [Completed Saturday]
Rodent Research Vent Photos [Completed Saturday]
Treadmill 2 System (T2) Monthly Inspection [Completed Sunday]
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Icebrick Stow [Completed Sunday]
ESA Active Dosimeter Area Monitoring Mobile Unit Stow [Completed Sunday]
ESA PAO Recorded Message “ADEME Internal Congress” [Completed Sunday]
ESA PAO Recorded Message “Global Teacher Award” [Completed Sunday]
ESA PAO Recorded Message “Bed Rest Experiment MEDES” [Completed Sunday]
ESA PAO Recorded Message “UNICEF Water Day” [Completed Sunday]
FPEF Lamp Retrieve [Completed Sunday]
FSL Facility Core Element locking at the end of scientific operations [Completed Sunday]
JLP Cleanup Part 2 [Completed Sunday]
USB Jumpdrive Connect to SSC11 [Completed Sunday]
Rodent Research Transporter Stow [Completed Sunday]
Storytime Flash Drive Video Transfer [Completed Sunday]
Assemble T-handle pin and bracket for EVA
Zero-G Stowage Rack (ZSR) Inspection

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Battery 1A1 Capacity Test
SSRMS Walkoff
SPDM Unstow
MT Translation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 02/28: CDRA R&R, Biolab Rotor A Repair, MESC, CDRA R&R
Wednesday, 03/01: CDRA R&R, FROST-2, J-Microbe Install, J-Lan Monitor Install, EVA Tether Inspect
Thursday, 03/02: CDRA R&R, EVA Loop Scrub/H2O Conductivity Test, EMU Swap, PM3 H/W Gather, N3 Endcone Cleanout

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Standby
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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