Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 October 2019 – Japan’s HTV-8 Set to Leave

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 30, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 October 2019 – Japan’s HTV-8 Set to Leave
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 October 2019 - Japan’s HTV-8 Set to Leave.

A Japanese cargo vehicle will be departing the International Space Station and a U.S. vehicle beginning its trip there this Saturday. The Expedition 61 crew is getting ready for both missions while staying busy with space research and lab maintenance.
Japan’s HTV-8 resupply ship, also known as Kounotori, will depart the orbiting lab at the end of the week and complete a 34-day cargo mission attached to the Harmony module. NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan are loading the craft today with trash and obsolete gear. Meir will back up fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch on Friday when she releases HTV-8 from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm at 1:20 p.m. EDT.

The duo is also on robotics training today preparing for the 12th Cygnus resupply mission from Northrop Grumman. Meir, with Koch as her backup, will command the Canadarm2 to grapple Cygnus when it arrives Monday Nov. 2, at 4:10 a.m. The Cygnus cargo craft, named SS Alan Bean for the Apollo and Skylab astronaut, launches Saturday from Virginia at 9:59 a.m. NASA TV will broadcast the spaceship launch and arrival activities to the station live.

Morgan started his workday setting up a laptop computer for science operations in the Japanese Kibo laboratory module’s Cell Biology Experiment Facility. After some life support maintenance, he moved on to botany research before finally moving a science freezer from one research rack to another.

Commander Luca Parmitano spent a few moments Monday afternoon checking samples for the Ring Sheared Drop human health and advanced materials investigation. The ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut also joined Morgan during the morning and reviewed spacewalk repair procedures for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka started the morning photographing Russian spacewalk hardware. The duo then split up as Skvortsov tested spacecraft simulation software while Skripochka inspected Russian segment surfaces for moisture and corrosion.

On-Orbit Status Report

EML: In support of the currently on-going batch 2.4, the crew closed the Argon valve system, opened the Helium valve system and switched the camera mode to RECAL. The EML (Electro-Magnetic Levitator) is a 360 kg multi-user facility designed for containerless materials processing in space. It supports research in the areas of meta-stable states and phases along with the measurement of highly accurate thermophysical properties of liquid metallic alloys at high temperatures. EML can accommodate up to 18 samples, each 5 to 8 mm in size. Heating rates of up to 100 Kelvin per second can be achieved with a maximum temperature of 2,100°C.

Food Acceptability: The crew completed a Food Acceptability Survey using the Data Collection Tool on an available SSC (Station Support Computer). This investigation seeks to determine the impact of repetitive consumption of food currently available from the spaceflight food system. Results will be used in developing strategies to improve food system composition to support crew health and performance on long duration missions.

ISS HAM pass: The crew participated in two separate ISS HAM events, both located in California, which included: (1) Vermont Elementary School and (2) Golden Oak Montessori school. Some of the questions included what it feels like in microgravity, why it’s cold in space even though the sun is out all the time, and if aging is different for astronauts in space. ISS Ham Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.

Ring Sheared Drop: The crew performed the sample exchange activities to prepare for a run on sample #5. Difficulties have been experienced in the previous two sample deployment attempts for the 25 mm diameter drops. The team has put in place means for mitigating any static charge buildup as well as slowing the syringe movements that have caused issues. The Ring Sheared Drop investigation uses microgravity to examine the formation and flow of amyloids in the absence of surface tension and other complications created by the solid walls of a container. Fibrous, extracellular protein deposits found in organs and tissues, amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Results could contribute to better understanding of these diseases as well as to development of advanced materials.

Veg-04B: The crew performed a routine plant check. This includes the assessment of individual plant pillows, the addition of water as necessary, photography of the Mizuna plants, and mass measurement of any broken leaves. With earlier versions of the Veggie experiments, the root mat is typically filled when the experiment is initiated. The research of Veg-04B focuses on the impact of light quality and fertilizer on leafy crop growth for a 56-day grow-out, microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioral health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space. A healthy, nutritious diet is essential for long-duration exploration missions, which means that the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet needs to be supplemented by fresh foods during flight; the Veggie Vegetable Production System (Veggie) has begun testing aboard the space station to help meet this need, and validation tests have demonstrated that leafy greens can be grown in spaceflight.


HTV8 Unberth/ISS Outfitting: In preparation for the HTV8 Unberth on November 1, the crew completed the transfer of the final Resupply Stowage Platform (RSP) Rack from the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Starboard 3 location to HTV8S2 aisle-way location. Resupply Stowage Platforms (RSP) removed from the PMM and replaced with new stowage racks will enable improved stowage efficiency.

Cygnus Launch Preparations: With the NG-12 launch rapidly approaching on November 2, the ISS crew spent some time today preparing for the arrival of the Cygnus vehicle including completing Cygnus rendezvous robotic training and a checkout of the Cygnus Command Panel.

CounterMeasures System (CMS) Crew Exercise Devices: The ISS crew completed the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) cable arm ropes replacement that consisted of removing old Cable Arm Ropes (CAR) and installing new ones as well as applying proper rope tension. As part of the ARED maintenance, the crew also inspected the Cable-Pulley System Bearings. For the T2 exercise device, the crew completed the inspection of the all four snubber arms (part of the vibration isolation system) for any signs of free play. Both exercise devices play an important role in maintaining crew health and counteracting the effects of microgravity on the musculoskeletal system.

Hatch Seal Inspections: The ISS crew performed a hatch seal inspection that included inspecting the USOS hatch seals, hatch plate sealing surface and crank handle mechanisms for FOD or damage. Hatch seal inspections are part of preventative maintenance to ensure hatch mechanisms are operating nominally.

Completed Task List Activities:
EVA EMU O-ring Inv (GMT 299)
SSC-LIL-Scoochy-Scooch (GMT 299)
RTN Bag Consolidate (GMT 299)
Col-ETC-Photo Audio 3 (GMT 300)
ESA Energy Kit Audit (GMT 300)
RTRN Bag Consolidate (GMT 301)
Food Consolidate (GMT 301)
WHC-KTO-Replace (GMT 301)

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Support Operations

Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 10/29 (GMT 302)

Astrobee OBT
Bio fabrication Facility
Ice brick stow
ISS HAM pass
SLAMMD calibration
Standard Measures

EMU Resize
HTV Cargo Ops
IFM UPA DA & Hoses R&R
Cygnus Robotics OBT

Wednesday, 10/30 (GMT 303)

BEST sample transfer
GLACIER desiccant swap
POLAR3 desiccant swap
SAMS fan replacement
Time Perception
Veg-04B harvest and taste test

HTV Cargo Ops
Cygnus OBT

Thursday, 10/31 (GMT 304)

AMS EVA procedure review
HRF/Veggie questionnaire
ISS Experience
Standard Measures

PCS Relocate
HTV SD Scavenge
HTV Egress
HTV Vest Demate
Node 2 CPA install

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

COSMOCARD. Preparing for and Starting 24-hr ECG Recording
SEPARATSIYA. Mixing in the Urine Circulation Loop
Auxiliary Laptop Computer System Anti-Virus Software Update
EML High Speed Camera Lens Switch
EML Gas Valves Opening
AMS Procedure/video review
Photography of removable handrails covers inside RS
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 System (T2) Monthly Inspection
AMS Procedure/video review
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Setup Evaluation
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) PFU3 Functional Check
MELFI Ice Brick Transfer
Inspection and photography of ISS RS SM windows No.2 [РО], No.13, No.14 in SM (ПхО)
N1 Nadir Hatch to Unlatch Hardstop
Ring Sheared Drop Payload Overview
VEG-04B Water Check and Mass Measurement Device Operations
Ring-Sheared Drop MELFI Sample Retrieve
Ring Sheared Drop Dispensing Tube Removal
Filling (separation) of ЕДВ [КОВ] for Elektron or ЕДВ-СВ
СОЖ maintenance
Structures and Mechanisms Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Starboard 3 Resupply Stowage Platform (RSP) Transfer
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Stow Evaluation
Food Acceptability Survey
POLAR Unpowered EXPRESS Transfer
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
Structures and Mechanisms Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Starboard 3 Resupply Stowage Platform (RSP) Transfer Assist
SSC-4 and SSC-12 Logout
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cable Arm Rope (CAR) Remove & Replace Assist
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Review
Adjustment and testing of TORU and Descent simulators on RSK1 laptop after replacement. Preparation for ИК0501 Gas Analyzer R&R
USOS Hatch Seal Inspections after HTV-8 Rack Transfers.
MATRYOSHKA-R. Monitoring Tritel Readings
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Rendezvous Review
Urine Transfer to Progress-442 Rodnik БВ2 Water Tank
Inspection of DC1 surface materials for condensate and corrosion.
ARED Cable Rope Tension Check
Resupply Stowage Platform (RSP) PMM1S3 Backfill
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
On-Board Training (OBT) CYGNUS OBT Conference
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) PFU3 Functional Check
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 1
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Ring-Sheared Drop Syringe and Test Cell Removal and Install
IMS Delta File Prep
Cygnus Crew PCS Command Panel Checkout via C2V2 without RF Transmission to Ground Site
RSD MELFI Sample Insertion
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Setup
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Cygnus Crew PCS Command Panel Checkout via C2V2 without RF Transmission to Ground Site
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) PFU3 Functional Check

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