Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 August 2019 – Fluid Shifts Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 3, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 August 2019 – Fluid Shifts Research
Expedition 60 Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan of NASA and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) pose for a portrait while conducting maintenance activities aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA.

Human research kept the Expedition 60 crew busy today helping NASA and its partners understand how to keep astronauts healthy on long-term space missions.
More spaceship activity is also coming up in September to ensure a well-stocked and fully staffed International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan continued researching how fluid shifts caused by microgravity induce vascular changes as well as head and eye pressure. The duo processed more blood and urine samples today for the ongoing study observing the potentially risky condition.

Doctors on the ground are exploring telemedicine as a way to examine astronauts orbiting Earth and farther in space. Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) set up and held a remotely controlled ultrasound scanner to his femoral artery for the Vascular Echo study today. A doctor on Earth then guided the device’s motorized probes during the cardiovascular exam.

NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch set up protein crystal samples for stowage inside an automated incubator. The research takes advantage of microgravity’s weightlessness to support the development of advanced pharmaceutical therapies.

The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft continues to be unpacked by cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov. They will soon load the crew ship back up with more cargo for return to Earth next week.

Another crew ship, the Soyuz MS-15, is being processed for its launch to the station on Sept. 25. Commander Oleg Skripochka will lead Flight Engineer Jessica Meir and Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori on a six-hour ride to their new home in space. The new trio along with their backups began two days of qualification exams today

In between the Soyuz missions, the H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV-8) is due to blast off Sept. 10 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. It will take a four-day trip to the orbiting lab and deliver new batteries for the Port-6 truss power channels. It will be robotically captured and installed to the Harmony module for a month-long stay.

On-Orbit Status Report

Fluid Shifts – FE9: A second crewmember began the first of the Fluid Shifts experiment operations known as Dilution Measures. Dilution Measures looks at fluid compartmentalization by assessing of total body water (via saliva and urine analysis) and extracellular and intracellular fluid volume (via blood and urine analysis). Fluid Shifts is a NASA investigation, divided into Dilution Measurements, Baseline Imaging, and Imaging with Chibis and is typically spread over several weeks. 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.

Microgravity Crystals – FE6: The crew pipetted and mixed solutions of varying viscosities onto crystallization plates 1B, 2B, 3B, and 4B. Then wells on the plates were then sealed and the completed plates transferred to SABL. The Microgravity Crystals investigation crystallizes a membrane protein that is integral to tumor growth and cancer survival. Although crystallization of this protein has yielded unsatisfactory results on Earth, this investigation leverages extensive protein crystallization work on the space station, significantly increasing the likelihood of successful crystal growth. Results may support development of cancer treatments that target the protein more effectively and with fewer side effects.

Space Moss maintenance – FE5: The crew performed a Space Moss Plant Experiment Unit Cleanup to remove dust from the CBEF vent fan cable cover. Environmental Response and Utilization of Mosses in Space – Space Moss (Space Moss) grows mosses aboard the space station, and on Earth, to determine how microgravity affects their growth, development, gene expression, photosynthetic activity, and other features. Tiny plants without roots, mosses need only a small area for growth, an advantage for their potential use in space and future bases on the Moon or Mars.

Vascular Aging – FE8: The crew donned the appropriate hardware and performed the blood pressure monitoring sessions and attempted the ultrasound session. Unfortunately, due to issues with the ECHO ultrasound unit, the Vascular Aging session was not fully completed and was deferred. Emerging data indicates links among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crewmembers, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Vascular Aging investigation, ultrasounds of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crewmembers are analyzed.

Robotic Operations Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU): The Mobile Servicing System (MSS) was powered-up and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Arm2 in position to install the In Flight Maintenance (IFM) MBSU in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI) on the JEM Airlock Slide Table. Next, the MSS was maneuvered into position in preparation for MT translation to Worksite (WS3) for MBSU3 AFRAM transfer.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payloads support ops

Saturday, 8/31 (GMT 243)


Crew off duty, housekeeping

Sunday, 9/1 (GMT 244)


Crew off duty

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

Microgravity Crystals MELFI Vial Retrieve
Microgravity Crystals Screening Plate Load S/N 1B/2B
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-3 and No.1-4 upper cells
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Soyuz 743 packing conference
In Flight Maintenance MBSU Procedure Review
Lighting Effects Light Meter Setup
Microgravity Crystals MELFI Protein Vial Insertion
Fluid Shifts HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
Soyuz 743 ?? and [??] Transfers and IMS Ops
Fluid Shifts HRF Centrifuge Blood Collection Configuration
Space Moss Plant Exp Unit Cleanup
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) 1G Cable Check
Microgravity Crystals MELFI Vial Retrieve
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Microgravity Crystals Screening Plate Load S/N 3B/4B
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-3 and 1-4 cells contents
ISPYTATEL. Installing and connecting robot in MRM2
Lighting Effects Light Meter Ambient Readings
Microgravity Crystals MELFI Protein Vial Insertion
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-3 and 1-4 cells contents
Magnetic 3D-bioprinter Experiment Session 7
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Lighting Effects Light Meter Stow
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Oxygen Manual Valve Open
VIP Conference – JEM
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-3 and 1-4 cells contents
ISPYTATEL. Work Prep. Robot Activation and Checkout
ISPYTATEL. Setting up and running session No.1
ISPYTATEL. Data Export from GoPro No.1 to Zbook Laptop (start)
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No. 1-3 and 1-4 cells contents. Activation of auto photography
ISPYTATEL. Data export from GoPro No.1 (end)

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