Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 February 2020 – Space Biology Studies

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 29, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 February 2020 – Space Biology Studies
NASA astronaut and Expedition 62 Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan conducts research operations inside the Life Sciences Glovebox, a facility that enables a variety of space biology investigations aboard the International Space Station. Morgan was specifically investigating the differences in bone biology in microgravity versus on Earth for the OsteoOmics-02 experiment. Credit: NASA. (Feb 21, 2020)
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 February 2020 - Space Biology Studies.

The Expedition 62 crew is running a host of human research and space biology studies today aboard the International Space Station.
The orbiting lab is also ramping up for new science being delivered on an upcoming U.S. cargo mission.

A crewmember’s bones and flow of body fluids are affected by the weightless environment of space. Besides daily exercise and diet, scientists are exploring ways to offset the detrimental effects and ensure long-term mission health and success. Insights from the ongoing experiments may also prove beneficial to humans on Earth.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir worked on the OsteoOmics-02 bone research hardware that has been in operation all week and serviced science freezers where biological samples are stowed. She also installed a carbon dioxide controller on an incubator that houses a variety of lifeforms such as microbes, animal cells and tissue cultures.

A common condition caused by living in space is called “puffy face.” A crewmember’s face becomes redder and rounder due to body fluids rising up as a symptom of weightlessness. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan set up gear that measures the head pressure caused by this upward flow that has also been known to affect vision.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is due to blast off toward the station on March 6 at 11:49 p.m. EST. It will arrive March 9 carrying about 5,600 pounds of cargo including live mice. Morgan installed hardware today that will house the rodents for the Mouse Habitat Unit-5 investigation from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). He prepared the habitat specifically designed for the study and will attach it later to the upgraded Cell Biology Experiment Facility.

Commander Oleg Skripochka continued studying the physics of dust particles creating plasma crystals. The veteran cosmonaut also worked on orbital plumbing tasks before wrapping up a session that recorded his heart rate and blood pressure for 24 hours.

On-Orbit Status Report

Fluid Shifts: The crew performed baseline imaging hardware setup. Fluid Shifts is a NASA investigation, divided into Dilution Measurements, Baseline Imaging, and Imaging with Chibis. The Chibis hardware is used to perform the Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) part of the experiment. The Fluid Shifts experiment investigates the causes for severe and lasting physical changes to astronaut’s eyes. Because the headward fluid shift is a hypothesized contributor to these changes, reversing this fluid shift with a LBNP device is being evaluated as a possible intervention. Results from this study may help to develop preventative measures against lasting changes in vision and prevention of eye damage.

JAXA Mouse Mission: The crew performed Mouse Mission Habitat-5 cage setup and Glove Box cable connection. The purpose of this mission is to analyze any alterations of the gene expression patterns in several organs and the effects on the germ-cell development of mice exposed to a long-term space environment.

SABL (Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory): The crew installed a new CO2 Incubator Controller into the SABL1 unit. The Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory (SABL) supports a wide variety of experiments in the life, physical and material sciences with a focus on supporting research of biological systems and processes. It has over 23 liters of temperature controlled volume with LED lighting for scientific hardware and experiments. It can be fitted to provide 5% CO2 for cell cultures and has 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 Ethernet LAN connections. It also has switchable 28vdc and 5vdc power supplies for experiment use.

STaARS-1 (Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems): The crew retrieved Sample S/N 1009 from the Kynar bag and placed it into Cold stowage. The objective of the STaARS-1 experiment facility is to support biotechnology and life science investigations to characterize the effects of microgravity on living systems. The STaARS-1 facility aims to facilitate advanced studies targeting the molecular responses to microgravity that alter cell physiology and lead to unique cellular processes and the production of novel compounds that can impact pharmaceutical, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, biofuel, and discovery sciences.

Marangoni-UVP: The last run of Marangoni UVP2RR experiment in the Ryutai Rack has been completed. Spatio-temporal Flow Structure in Marangoni Convection (Marangoni-UVP) investigates the fundamental physics of surface tension where liquid and gas meet. Specifically, it investigates a phenomenon known as Marangoni convection, a type of flow that is driven by temperature differences at the liquid and gas interface. The Fluid Physics Experiment Facility enables observations of liquid and gas flow in three dimensions, and the microgravity environment on the International Space Station provides an ideal setting to study convection. Improved understanding of liquid flow physics could lead to more efficient industrial processes, semiconductors, optical materials and biological materials for use in space and on Earth.


Water Storage System (WSS): Today, the crew performed a short activity to change out empty Water Resupply Tanks (WRT) in WSS slots 1 and 4. The activity consisted of the crew opening the top cover of the WSS to gain access to de-mate the water and air supply hoses from the empty tanks. Once the air and water service hoses were disconnected, the crew removed the empty tanks, installed two full water tanks, and reconnected the air and water supply hoses. Finally, the crew closed the WSS access panel and notified the ground team the tank swaps were complete. The ground team then repressurized the WSS system and performed water supply bus pressure trending to ensure there were no leaks in the system.

External Stowage Platform (ESP) 1 Secondary Heater Failure: Today, ground engineering teams reported that they have identified a failed heater in the ESP-1 Secondary Heater string. The failure was discovered while performing a semi-annual heater telemetry review for the period December 2018 to December 2019. It was noticed that one of the 75-watt heater elements of the ESP-1 Secondary Heater string was no longer drawing power. The heater that failed is a redundant heater for either the spare Direct Current Switching Unit (DCSU) or spare Pump Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS) currently stowed on ESP-1. There are 2 secondary and 2 primary heater elements for both the DCSU and PFCS. Due to limited insight, and the fact that the heater elements are identical in size (75-watts), it is not possible to identify the specific heater patch that failed.

Completed Task List Activities:
CUCU Crew Command Panel Unstow

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
PRO LSG Facility Activation/Deactivation
Smoke Detector ABIT Sync
OsteoOmics-2 Support
PRO Glacier 4 Deactivation
WSS Air Bus Pressure Trending
CHeCS Commanding/Data Downlink
PRO MSRR Activation
Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 File Transfers

Friday, 2/28 (GMT 059)
Standard Measures PostSleep Questionnaire (NASA)
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound and CCFP and DPOAE Baseline Scans (NASA)
OsteoOmics Week 2- Media Changeout (NASA)
ISS Experience Recording of OsteoOmics ops (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
MSL HERMES Vacuum Vlv to open (NASA)
MELFI Icebrick Inserts (NASA)


Saturday, 2/29 (GMT 060)
HRF Saliva collect (NASA)
ISS Experience H/W Stow (NASA)

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) KU Comm Unit Cable Swap

Sunday, 3/1 (GMT 061)
Crew Off-Duty

Crew Off-Duty

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

LSG Work Volume Deploy
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Polar 1 Tray Removal
SEPARATION. Clamping down urine circulation loop hose.
Polar 3 Tray Removal
SEPARATION. Activation of [???-?-??] system. Starting distillation cycles.
JAXA Mouse Mission 5 Item Gathering
Polar5 Desiccant Swap
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Incubator Installation
JAXA Mouse Mission 5 Cage Preparation before Sample Arrival
PK-4 data hard drives exchange
Maintenance of HP printer in SM.
PK-4 Experiment Run 3
Analysis of SM Atmosphere Using Freon Leak Analyzer/Detector (???)
Food Acceptability Survey
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Unfold
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Meter Setup
Fluid Shifts CCFP Baseline Imaging Setup
OsteoOmics Media Relocate
Fluid Shifts Hardware Battery Installation
Food Acceptability Survey
Replace concentrate & water dispenser (????) in [???]
OsteoOmics-2 Media Change
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from NG-13
SEPARATION. Deactivation of [???-?-??] system. Log-file downlink
24-hour ECG Recording (termination)
STaARS Cryotube Kit MELFI Insertion #2
Water Storage System (WSS) Resupply Tank Gather
24-hour BP recording (terminate)
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Meter Teardown and Stow
Scheduled monthly maintenance of the Central Post laptop. Downlink Log-files via OCA
Fiber Optic Hardware Consolidate
LSG Work Volume Stow
Water Storage System Resupply Storage Swap
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
OsteoOmics-2 MELFI Sample Removal

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