Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 January 2020 – Cold Atom Lab Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
January 30, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 January 2020 – Cold Atom Lab Research
NASA astronaut and Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Christina Koch works on the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) swapping and cleaning hardware inside the quantum research device. The CAL enables research into the quantum effects of gases chilled to nearly absolute zero, which is colder than the average temperature of the universe. Credit: NASA. (Jan. 28, 2020)

Ultra-cold science and nanosatellites kept the Expedition 61 crew busy on Tuesday while the International Space Station is getting ready for the departure of a cargo craft and crew ship.
The Cold Atom Lab (CAL) enables research into the quantum effects of gases chilled to nearly absolute zero, which is colder than the average temperature of the universe. NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch opened up the CAL today to swap and clean hardware inside the quantum research device.

Meir first joined NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan in the Kibo laboratory module to help him set up the Cyclops small satellite deployer. Morgan installed Cyclops, loaded with a Department of Defense experimental satellite, inside Kibo’s airlock for depressurization.

Mission controllers will then remotely command the Japanese robotic arm to grapple and deploy Cyclops outside Kibo overnight. The tiny satellite, packed with a variety of space weather and star tracker experiments, will be deployed into Earth orbit Wednesday morning.

Meir then installed a different small satellite deployer, this one called SlingShot, on the Cygnus space freighter attached to the Unity module. The SlingShot, attached to Cygnus’ hatch, will release a variety of small satellites after the U.S. cargo craft departs the space station on Friday at 9:35 a.m. EST. The suite of eight CubeSats will study different optical and communication technologies as well as atmospheric and natural phenomena.

Koch is getting ready to come home on Feb. 6 with fellow crewmates Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos. The trio performed leak checks today on the Sokol launch and entry suits they will wear aboard the Soyuz MS-13 crew ship when they parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan.

Upon landing, Koch will have lived in space continuously for 328 days on her first mission. She will be second only to former astronaut Scott Kelly who lived in space 340 days for the single longest spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut.

On-Orbit Status Report:

Refabricator: The ground teams successfully initiated and completed the first of five tensile sample prints using material that was once-recycled on the ground. The Refabricator’s objective is to demonstrate a unique process for repeatable, closed-loop recycling of a polyetherimide/polycarbonate plastic material for additive manufacturing in the microgravity environment of the ISS. Eventually, Refabricator type hardware could recycle waste plastic materials into high quality 3D-printer filament, providing the potential for sustainable fabrication, repair, and recycling capabilities on long-duration space missions. This hardware represents a key component of NASA’s In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) technology development roadmap.

Made In Space – Recycler: The crew installed the RECYCLER 3D printer into Express Rack 9B locker 5. The Made in Space – Recycler recycles polymer materials into filament that can be used as feedstock for the Made in Space 3D printer on the space station. Crews can use materials and parts that have reached the end of their useful life to create new items using 3D printing. This reduces the weight and mass of supplies that must be brought into space from Earth, an important capability for deep space missions.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack): The crew replaced the CIR manifold #4 with new H2 and C2H4/N2 gas bottles in preparation of continued s-Flame test runs. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion experiments in microgravity.

CAL (Cold Atom Lab): The crew moved the CAL facility from the LAB Express Rack 7 location to the COLUMBUS module and then removed Science Module #1 from the facility and replaced it with Module #3. The old Module #1 was temp stowed for return. The crew also cleaned the angled and straight fiber port inspection tips with fiber cleaning wipes. This operation was performed in the COLUMBUS module as it provided a better spatial work area. Upon completion of the module installation, the crew transferred the facility back to the LAB Express Rack 7 location. The CAL produces clouds of atoms that are chilled to about one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero — much colder than the average temperature of deep space. At these low temperatures, atoms have almost no motion, allowing scientists to study fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics that are difficult or impossible to probe at higher temperatures. In microgravity, researchers may be able to achieve even colder temperatures than what is possible on the ground, and observe these cold atom clouds for longer periods of time.

STPSat-4: The crew installed the CYCLOPS STPSat-4 Satellite onto the CYLCOPS SFA Plate and then the CYCLOPS was installed onto the JEM Airlock slide table. The Slide table was moved into the JEM airlock which was then depressurized. Launched from the International Space Station, Space Test Program Satellite-4 (STPSat-4) is a suite automated for robotic space tools and sensors that test new equipment configurations and monitor space conditions. STPSat-4 specifically includes space weather sensors, solar panels, an antenna array and devices for tracking location of both satellites and their astronomic surroundings. This project demonstrates how a range of new technologies can be integrated on nanosatellite platforms.

AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) EVA #4: Over the weekend, EV1 (Drew Morgan) and EV2 (Luca Parmitano) conducted a 6 hour 16 minute EVA to complete the final AMS repair EVA which consisted of the following tasks:
Nadir Leak Check
VSB Leak Check
Open Accumulator Valve
Multilayer Insulation (MLI) Tent Install
Mudflap Install and Shower Cap Removal
CP9 ETVCG Filter Removal (Get Ahead Task)
CP8 ETVCG Filter Removal (Get Ahead Task)
Additionally, both CP8 and CP9 camera views had a successful checkout.

Completed Task List Activities (Saturday-Tuesday):
AMS procedure reviews
EVA Go Pro-Setup
NFL 100TH Photo
WHC ???-Y R&R
Astrorad vest historical photo

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

JEM Airlock Depressurization Monitoring
JEMRMS Cyclops Tool Fixture (TF) Grasp
JEMRMS Cyclops P/L Deploy Maneuver
Wednesday, 1/29 (GMT 029)

Vascular Aging Glucometer reading and blood Collect (CSA)
HRF-Blood collect (NASA)
JAXA Mouse Mission/CBEF-L Video (VRUS) Compress/Record Unit 2 reconfig (JAXA)
Hourglass Run install into CBEF centrifuge(JAXA)
JAXA Water Recovery System Bag chk (JAXA)
ELF Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) valve opening (JAXA)
Standard Measures Pre-Sleep Questionnaire (NASA)
CYCLOPS STPSat4 Deploy video (NASA)
Confined Combustion Sample Ops (NASA)
CAL Fiber Cable R&R part 1 (NASA)
SLINGSHOT Procedure Review (NASA)
ISS Experience Z-cam setup for video data off-load (NASA)
Russian EDOS-1 Blood samples MELFI insert (ESA)
Food Acceptability Conference (NASA)

59S Soyuz Nom Drill OBT
OCT 2 Exam
WHC Manual Fill
59S Crew Departure Preparations
Cygnus Cargo Closeout and CG Corrections
N1N VOK Gather
PCS Relocations
Thursday, 1/30 (GMT 030)

Vascular Echo Scans and Blood Pressure Measurements (CSA)
HISUI data recover install (JAXA)
ELF Cartridge retrieve, clean and install (JAXA)
Standard Measures -Post sleep – (NASA)
Slingshot Deployer Install (NASA)
ELC6 BIOS check and software install (NASA)
Saliva and blood collect for Standard measures and Vascular Echo (NASA)
Food Acceptability Survey (NASA)
Glacier Tray and Support Structure removal (NASA)

59S Crew Departure Preparations
Cygnus Egress and Hatch Close
N1n CPA Installation
PMD Setup
N1n Depress
Cygnus Vestibule Depress
Friday, 1/31 (GMT 031)

Vascular Echo Leg Doppler scan (CSA)
DOSIS-3D passive detectors de-install (10 PDP and 1 TDP) (ESA)
CIMON procedures review and battery charge (ESA)
HOURGLASS removal from CBEF (JAXA)
CYCLOPS hardware JEM table retract and stow (NASA)
CBEF Disinfect prep and Humidifier 2 installation (JAXA)
JEMAL Slide Table retract and Cyclops hardware stow (NASA-JAXA)
Food Acceptability Survey (NASA)
VEGGIE Monitoring Review and surface Sample collect Photo (NASA)
MIS-RECYCLER Print removal and photo and material kit A insertion (NASA)
CAL Removal and Fiber Optics Inspection part 2 (NASA)
ISS Experience H/W Stow (NASA)

59S Crew Departure Preparations
PCS Relocations
Cygnus Command Link Verification
Cygnus Release Command and Monitoring
N1n VOK Stow
PMD Teardown
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

ARED Cable Rope Tension Check
Cold Atom Lab Science Module Remove And Replace Parts 1 & 2
Collection of Condensate Water [???] Samples from [???-?2?] Upstream Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter (???) Using Russian Samplers – Init
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Close
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Open
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cable Arm Rope Flip
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Cyclops/Satellite Installation Review
Cyclops/StpSat-4 Installation for JEM RMS Small Fine Arm Deployment
Drying out of SS #1 and #2 – termination
Filling (separation) of ??? (???) for Elektron or ???-??
Glove pair #1 drying termination, glove pair #2 drying setup
Glove pair #2 drying termination
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
ISS Crew departure preparation
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
JEM Airlock Depressurization
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
JEM Airlock Vent
JEM Airlock Vent Confirmation
KENTAVR fit check
KORREKTSIYA. Accelerometry. Termination
KORREKTSIYA. Logging Liquid and Food Intake (medicine)
KORREKTSIYA. Logging Liquid and Food Intake (pharmaceuticals)
KORREKTSIYA. Logging Liquid and Food Intake (pharmaceuticals)
KORREKTSIYA. Preparation for experiment
KORREKTSIYA. Start of Accelerometry
On Board Training (OBT) Cygnus Ground Control Release Self Study
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Review
Passive Capture Mechanism Removal from JEM Airlock (AL) Slide Table
Pre-training Charge of Samsung PC Soyuz#746 – terminate
Pre-training charge of Soyuz 746 Samsung PC – start
PROBIOVIT. Glovebox-C Hardware Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Recycler Installation
Reminder 1 Vascular Aging Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Reminder 1L HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
Reminder 2 Vascular Aging Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Reminder 2L HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
Reminder Probiotics Intake
Reposition SSCs 5, 13 with their associated power cables to reach near LAB1P2. Relocate SSC17 (Laptop only) from NOD2 to LAB1P4 and disconnect SSC16 laptop from its power chain and connect SSC17 using SSC16 power chain & Ethernet cable.
SlingShot BPW Review -1
SlingShot Controller Install
SOKOL suit drying; SS1 and SS2 setup for drying
SOKOL suit leak check
SS#3 drying – start, glove pair #1 drying setup
SS3 drying – end, glove pair #3 – drying start
Stowage of Space Suits and gloves post drying
STPSat XF305 Video Setup
Vascular Aging Glucose Test Setup
Vascular Aging MERLIN Sample Insertion
Vascular Aging Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Review
Ventilation Grille Cleaning in MRM1 (Group ?) /SM Ventilation Subsystem and Air Conditioning System
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Filter Hose Remove and Replace (R&R)
???-? water sampling to beverages bags
???? training session (PRELIMINARY).

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.