Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 October 2019 – 3D Biological Printing

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 30, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 October 2019 – 3D Biological Printing
NASA astronaut Christina Koch works on orbital plumbing tasks as she replaces components inside the International Space Station's bathroom, the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, located in the Tranquility module. Credit: NASA.

The six-member Expedition 61 crew juggled spacesuit maintenance and human research activities aboard the International Space Station today. The orbital residents are also getting ready to send off and receive resupply ships.
Two U.S. spacesuits are being serviced ahead of a series of spacewalks planned to repair a cosmic particle detector, also known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan are tentatively scheduled to venture outside the station in November and upgrade the AMS thermal control system.

Parmitano also tested a device that measures an astronaut’s mass using Newton’s Second Law of Motion. The device applies a known force to an attached astronaut and the resulting acceleration is used to accurately calculate an astronaut’s mass.

NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch shared maintenance duties on a human organ printer, the BioFabrication Facility. Scientists are testing the 3D biological printing facility for its ability to print more cohesive organ structures in microgravity than on Earth.

Koch and Meir will also be on Canadarm2 robotics duty on Friday and Monday to support a pair of cargo missions. Koch, with Meir backing her up, will command the robotic release of Japan’s HTV-8 resupply ship Friday at 1:20 p.m. EDT. The HTV-8 is wrapping up a 34-day mission attached to the Harmony module.

They will switch roles on Monday when Meir takes charge of the Canadarm2 robotic arm and captures Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft at 4:10 a.m. EST. Koch will back her up in the cupola while Morgan monitors the Cygnus’ approach and rendezvous. Cygnus will launch Saturday at 9:59 a.m. atop the Antares rocket from Virginia.

On-Orbit Status Report

Astrobee: The crew reviewed the Astrobee OBT (On-board Training) in preparation for tomorrow’s hardware checkout and calibration session. Astrobee is a series of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots. The robots are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the ISS. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew-monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

BFF (BioFabrication Facility): The crew performed a series of activities for the BFF, including a glovebox removal and installation, and a corrective procedure to disconnect a faulty sensor from the BFF printed circuit board. This will help prepare the facility to support future science activities. The Techshot. Inc. BioFabrication Facility (BFF) is dedicated to manufacturing human organs and tissues in space, primarily for use by patients on Earth. Besides printing tissue, the BFF also can help maintain the health of deep space exploration crews by producing food and personalized pharmaceuticals on demand.

ISS HAM: The crew participated in an ISS HAM event with Farmwell Station Middle School Space Dreamers, which is located in the suburbs of Ashburn, Virginia. Questions included the possibility of growing plants in space, if faster-than-light travel is something crew believes can be created, and the effects of space radiation on the ISS astronauts. 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.

SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device): The crew performed a post-rack transfer checkout of the SLAMMD unit. They also set up the Calibration Arm, attached the Calibration Mass, and then performed a control run and mass measurement. SLAMMD is able to calculate a crewmember or object’s mass without the presence of gravity, and is intended to be used for future support of Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) mass determination. It follows Newton’s Second Law of Motion (force equals mass times acceleration), which means that when two springs generate a known force on an object, the resulting acceleration can be used to calculate the crewmember’s mass. The device is accurate to 0.5 pounds (0.225 kg) over a range of 90 to 240 pounds (41 to 109 kg).

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. 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.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU): In preparation for the upcoming series of Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) EVAs, the crew completed an EMU resizing activity that will set-up the EMU suits 3004 and 3008 for Luca Parmitano and Drew Morgan. Jessica Meir and Christina Koch completed the previous Battery Charging Discharging Unit (BCDU) Remove and Replace EVA.

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA): Engineers on the ground have observed that the Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA) compressor and hoses are showing trends of increased degradation. As part of preventative maintenance, today the ISS crew replaced the UPA DA and hoses with new ones, which will help improve the overall UPA processing operations.

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 continuing with the Cygnus rendezvous robotic training.

Completed Task List Activities:
WHC KTO Replace

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

Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 10/30 (GMT 303)

Astrobee ops
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

Friday, 11/1 (GMT 305)

AMS EVA procedure review
Astrobee ops
Food acceptability
Food Physiology
ISS Experience stow
RR transfer crew conference
Standard Measures
Veg-04B plant check

PMD Depress
HTV Depart and Prep
HTV Release Monitor
Cygnus Cargo Conference
Cygnus Vehicle Ops CBT
Cygnus Capture Review
Cygnus Robotics OBT
IMS Conference

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

Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Standard Measures Body Sampling Stow
Checkout of Virus Definition File Update on Auxiliary Computer System (???) Laptops and Report
ESA Crew Conference with two way Audio and video
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA) and Hoses R&R Gather
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops
Private Exercise Conference with exercise specialist (S-band)
Removal/Installation of Broadband Communication System (???) MDM2.
Structures and Mechanisms (S&M) JEM ORU Xfer I/F (JOTI) Gather
Private Exercise Conference with exercise specialist (S-band)
Remove the Stall in support of Node 3 Maintenance
VHF-2 test from Soyuz 744 via US ground sites (VHF-2)
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA) and Hoses R&R
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Inspecting and cleaning Nikon camera digital image sensors
Passive Capture Mechanism Removal from JEM Airlock (AL) Slide Table
Structures and Mechanisms JEM ORU Xfer I/F JEM Active Mechanism Tether Loop Removal
JEM ORU Xfer I/F Install for MISSE Transfer Tray
VEG-04B Water Check and Mass Measurement Device Operations
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
SLAMMD Hardware Review All
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, Long Tray Insert
Space Acceleration Measurement System Maintenance Work Area Preparation
Space Acceleration Measurement System RTS Drawer FOD Inspect
SM Air Sampling for CO using ??? Samplers
HTV Transfer Operations
Air sample collection using ??? sampler for ammonia in SM
SLAMMD Hardware Setup First Time Performance
Collecting SM and FGB Air Samples Using ??-1? Sampler
Remove Fan Power to RTS/D Drawer
Air sample collection using ??-1? absorber in SM for Freon
SLAMMD Hardware Checkout
HTV Transfer Operations
SLAMMD Hardware Control Run
SLAMMD Hardware Stow
Midday Meal
Standard Measures Fecal Collection
??? maintenance
Midday Meal
Replace Stall following Node 3 Maintenance
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Stow
BioFabrication Facility Glovebag Removal
BioFabrication Facility Glovebag Installation
BioFabrication Facility Glovebag Installation Assist
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA) and Hoses R&R Stow
IMS Delta File Prep
PAO Preparation
Gas Analyzer ??0501 replacement.
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config Columbus Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) in Columbus
On MCC Go Replacing ??0501 Gas Analyzer. Demating telemetry connector
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Self study Session
Replacing air filter in [???] (Install No.0670033 (00072367R, ??1??_1_138_1). Dismantled unit No.0470030 (00071589R) – For disposal via Progress 442. Reflect changes in IMS
Cold Stowage Icebrick Stow
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
PILOT-T. Preparation for Experiment
Replacing urine receptacle (??) and filter-insert (?-?) in [???]. Post-Replacement [???] Activation
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
Outlook 365 Troubleshooting Conference
PILOT-T. Photography of the Experiment Ops
BioFabrication Facility Procedure Review
BioFabrication Facility Sensor Disconnect
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
PILOT-T. Photography of the Experiment Ops
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Self study Session
Astrobee OBT Review
Daily Planning Conference

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