Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 June 2019 – Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Earth

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 4, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 June 2019 – Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Earth
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 June 2019 - Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Earth.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 5:48 p.m. EDT (2:48 p.m PDT), approximately 202 miles southwest of Long Beach, California, marking the end of the company’s 17th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA.
The spacecraft returned more than 4,200 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo.

Some of the scientific investigations Dragon returned to Earth include:

Observing Protein Crystal Growth

NASA’s Biophysics-6 experiment looks at the growth of two proteins of interest in cancer treatment and radiation protection. Scientists are using ground-based predictions and in-space X-ray crystallography to determine which proteins benefit from crystallization in microgravity, where some proteins can grow larger and with fewer imperfections.

Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity

Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity (MicroAlgae) studies the effects of microgravity on Haematococcus pluvialis, an algae capable of producing a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin. It could provide a readily available dietary supplement to promote astronaut health on long-duration space exploration missions. A community college student and alumnae of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program proposed the research, and NCAS is engaging community colleges across the U.S. to conduct ground studies for comparison to the in-orbit investigation.

Genes in Space

On May 23, astronauts aboard the space station successfully edited DNA using CRISPR/Cas9 technology for the first time in space, working on the Genes in Space-6 investigation. This milestone advances understanding of how DNA repair mechanisms function in space and supports better safeguards to protect space explorers from DNA damage. Genetic damage caused by cosmic radiation poses a serious risk to space travelers, especially those on long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. CRISPR/Cas9 now joins a growing portfolio of molecular biology techniques available on the ISS National Lab.

These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations aimed at keeping astronauts healthy during space travel and demonstrating technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, including missions to the Moon by 2024 and on to Mars. Space station research also provides opportunities for other U.S. government agencies, private industry, and academic and research institutions to conduct microgravity research that leads to new technologies, medical treatments, and products that improve life on Earth.

For more than 18 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 230 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,500 research investigations from researchers in 106 countries.

On-Orbit Status Report

SpaceX (SpX)-17 Departure: Following yesterday’s cargo transfer, Dragon egress and hatch closure operations, ground controllers successfully unberthed the vehicle from the Node 2 Nadir port at 7:25 AM CT. After a nominal release at 11:00 AM CT, Dragon completed a series of separation burns and is progressing towards a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean today at 4:50 PM CT.

Behavioral Core Measures (BCM): Two crew members completed a Team Measures Questionnaire using the data collection tool on a Station Support Computer (SSC). Standardized Behavioral Measures for Detecting Behavioral Health Risks during BCM examines an integrated, standardized suite of measurements for its ability to rapidly and reliably assess the risk of adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions and psychiatric disorders during long-duration spaceflight. This suite of measurements has already been tested in ground analog studies, and the flight investigation is intended to evaluate the validity, feasibility, and acceptability of the suite of tests within the operational and time constraints of spaceflight.

Capillary Structures: The crew filled the science articles and performed a stability assessment, transferred the hardware to the JEM, and programed the camera intervalometer settings. The operations today begin the Capillary Structures investigation. Current life-support systems on the ISS require special equipment to separate liquids and gases, including rotating or moving devices that could cause contamination if they break or fail. The Capillary Structures investigation studies a new method using structures of specific shapes to manage fluid and gas mixtures. The investigation studies water recycling and carbon dioxide removal systems, benefiting future efforts to design lightweight, more reliable life support systems for future space missions.

JAXA/Mouse Mission Cleanup: The crew removed the Mouse Habitat Cage Unit and Mouse Habitat Unit Interface Unit from Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF), detached the CBEF odor filters, and wiped down surfaces. The Mouse Mission experiment has been completed and the animals are returning on SpX-17. 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.

JEMAL (Japanese Experiment Module Airlock) Reconfig: The crew extended the JEMAL slide table into the ISS cabin, removed the Handhold Experiment Platform (HXP) Adapter from Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform Assembly (MPEP), removed the MPEP from the slide table, then retracted the slide table back into the JEM airlock. These were cleanup activities from previous EXHAM-2 operations.

Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI)2 Spare Electronics Unit (EU) Installation: As part of a nominal stow activity for the EU, the crew installed the spare EU into its stowage location in the MELFI2 unit. The MELFI is a cold storage unit capable of maintaining experiment samples at ultra-cold temperatures throughout a mission. The MELFI units use nitrogen as a working fluid and have standard set points of -95°C, -35°C and 2°C.

Space Pup: The remaining Space Pup sperm samples, some of which have been on board ISS for approximately 5 years, were packed for return on SpX-17 which concludes the experiment. Using a mouse model, Space Pup represents the first step towards studying the effects of space radiation on mammalian reproduction, which must be understood to sustain life beyond Earth.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: This morning Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and, once Dragon had been demated from the Node 2 Nadir Active Common Berthing Mechanism (ACBM), maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to the SpaceX release position. Following release, controllers backed the SSRMS away and, after a nominal Dragon departure, maneuvered the SSRMS to a park position; later today they will support a video survey of the Node 2 Nadir ACBM using the SSRMS Tip Elbow camera.

Completed Task List Activities:
Dragon cargo transfer ops
P/TV Lab SD camcorder swap
ISS Experience cargo ops
DC1 external survey
FSL FCE AVM bracket removal
Willow Book Reading
ISS Experience – Haircut
Photo TV Inspection – DC1

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Dragon departure prep

Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 6/4 (GMT 155)

CBEF reconfig
ELF cable connect
FURPHY SD card remove
JAXA glovebox closeout
Standard Measures
ISS Experience
JEMAL depress
Photobioreactor file download
Radi-N2 deploy
Vascular Echo
Veg-04A initiate

71P undock
JEM return grille cleaning
Surface and air sampling

Wednesday, 6/5 (GMT 156)

Capillary Structures
BCM, Fluidics
ISS Experience
Lighting Effects
SABL2 CO2 controller install
Vascular Echo

PWD water sample collection

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

Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Dragon Vestibule Configuration for Demate
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Equipment Setup Part 1
Checking RSK2 laptop charge for video recording ops and recharging, if needed
PROFILAKTIKA-2. MO-3 Protocol Locomotion Test in Passive Mode
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Water Recovery Management (WRM) Condensate Pumping Initiation
Acoustic Monitor Static Deploy for PMD operations
Health Maintenance System (HMS). Vision Questionnaire
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Equipment Setup Part 2
PROFILAKTIKA-2. MO-3 Test Operator
Water Recovery Management (WRM) Condensate Pumping Termination
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF Rack 1 Setup
N2 Deck MPEV open
On MCC GO Progress 441and DC1 Interface Leak Check
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF Rack 1 Swap
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Closeout Ops
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
JEM Airlock Press
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Hygiene Procedures
MELFI 2 Electronic Unit Install into Spare Location
DC1-СУ Transfer Hatch Opening
XF305 Camcorder Setup
On MCC Go Progress-СУ Transfer Hatch Opening
Fungistat treatment of SM structural elements and shell surfaces
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF Rack 1 Swap
JEM Airlock Leak Check
On MCC Go Installation of Quick Release Screw Clamps on DC1 side
Furphy Hardware Setup
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Progress 441 (DC1) deactivation, air duct installation
Handhold Exp Platform Adapter removal.
Veggie Facility Clean/Dry
MPEP Removal JEM Airlock Slide Table
MPEP Removal JEM Airlock Slide Table Support
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF Rack 1 Stow
Capillary Structures MWA Prep
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
N2 Deck MPEV close
Crew Command Panel (CCP) Cable Route and Checkout
Monitoring cover closure on windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
FS1 HDD main changeout. FS1 software recovery
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Capillary Structures JEM Prep
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
Cupola Window Shutter Close
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Downlink
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Teardown
Capillary Structures Evaporation Science 2 Setup
Cargo transfer from Progress 441 (DC1) with IMS tracking
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer
Restow Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)
Robotic Work Station (RWS) Dragon Release Procedure Review and Briefing
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
SSRMS Dragon Release from Node 2 Nadir (N2N) Preparation
Capillary Structures Evaporation Science Article Fill
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Mouse Habitat Unit Removal
SSRMS Dragon release and departure monitoring
CEVIS Control Panel Power Cycle
On MCC Go ISS repress with air from 2nd section of Progress 441 СрПК (DC1) (init)
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Deactivation
CEVIS Control Panel Power Cycle
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Monthly health check of video recording equipment in the RS
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Filter Detachment
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
PAO Preparation
Crew Command Panel (CCP) Cable Deroute
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Wipe Post JAXA Mouse Mission
On MCC Go ISS repress with air from 2nd section of Progress 441 СрПК (DC1) (complete)
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
COTS UHF Communication Unit (CUCU) Deactivation
CEVIS Control Panel Power Cycle
Reminder Standard Measures Multi-day Saliva Collection
Standard Measures Pre-sleep Questionnaire
Behavioral Core Measures Team Measures Questionnaire
HRF Veg Profile of Mood States Questionnaire
Verifying cover closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14

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