Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 January 2020 – Cygnus Spacecraft Leaves

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 3, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 January 2020 – Cygnus Spacecraft Leaves
The Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman is pictured in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm before its release as the International Space Station orbited above west Africa. Cygnus had completed an 88-day stay attached to the Unity module after delivering nearly 8,200 pounds of research and supplies to the space station on Nov. 4, 2019. Credit: NASA.

Northrup Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft departed the International Space Station’s at 9:36 a.m. EST after Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir of NASA commanded its release from the Canadarm2 robotic arm.
At the time of release, the station was flying about 250 miles over the South Pacific just off the West Coast of Chile.

For this mission, Cygnus demonstrated a new release position for departure operations and incorporated the first ground-controlled release. The new orientation allowed for easier drift away from the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Within 24 hours, Cygnus will begin its secondary mission deploying a series of payloads. The departing spacecraft will move a safe distance away from the space station before deploying a series of CubeSats: HuskySat-1 (University of Washington), SwampSat II (University of Florida), EdgeCube (Sonoma State University), and CIRis (Utah State University).

Northrop Grumman flight controllers in Dulles, Virginia, will initiate its deorbit and execute a safe, destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere at the end of February.

The next Cygnus is set to launch to station on Feb. 9 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia carrying another batch of research.

The spacecraft arrived on station November 2 delivering cargo under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

On-Orbit Status Report

CAL (Cold Atom Lab): The crew completed the last steps of the Fiber Optics inspections for Module 3 and closed out the CAL in Express Rack 7. 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.

CBEF-L (Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L): The crew injected disinfectant into the Humidifier-2 unit and then installed the Humidifier onto the CBEF facility. CBEF-L is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new sub-rack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

DOSIS 3D (Dose Distribution Inside the ISS – 3D): The crew de-installed 10 passive detector pouches (PDP) and 1 triple detector pouch (TDP) from Columbus, which will be returned on SpX-20. This experiment uses active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses inside the ISS and provides documentation of the actual nature and distribution of the radiation fields. A concise three dimensional dose distribution map of all the segments of the ISS will be developed based on this data and data from JAXA and NASA monitoring devices.

Hourglass: The crew removed the Hourglass Box hardware from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF). The Hourglass investigation examines the relationship between gravity and the behavior of granular materials such as regolith that covers the surface of planets and planetary-like bodies. Researchers observe various granular materials inside an hourglass and a measuring cylinder under different gravity conditions. Better understanding of the behavior of these materials supports the design of spacecraft for future missions landing on the surfaces of planets and other celestial bodies.

Made In Space – RECYCLER: The crew performed trouble shooting steps to get the RECYCLER powered up on rack ER9B. Attempts to power on the payload were unsuccessful as there was an issue with the payload hardware. 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.

STPSat-4: The crew completed the setup to downlink the high definition XF305 Camcorder video of the STPSat-4 deployment. The crew also removed and stowed the CYCLOPS hardware from the JEM slide table. 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.

Vascular Echo: The crew performed Doppler ultrasound scans using the Cardiolab Portable Doppler probe following a one minute exercise period. Cardiac and vessel structure and function with long-duration space flight and recovery (Vascular Echo) examines changes in blood vessels and the heart while the crew members are in space, and then follows their recovery on return to Earth. The results could provide insight into potential countermeasures to help maintain crewmember health, and quality of life for everyone.

Northrop Grumman 12 (NG-12) Departure: Today, the crew monitored Cygnus release and departure from ISS. Cygnus departed the ISS at 8:35 AM CT following an 88 day berthed duration. Cygnus will enjoy 29 days of free-flight before destructive re-entry which is planned for February 29th. Today marks the first Cygnus release using ground controlled SSRMS Operations.

Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU) 3004 and 3008 Loop Scrub, and Iodination: Following up from last Saturday’s EVA, the crew performed Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) water loop scrubs. This procedure involved performing a water loop scrub on two EMU suits, and treating them with an iodinated biocide, which helps maintain the EMUs for the next EVA.

Max Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS): ISS CDR completed Max CEVIS tests today. This test is used by the medical community to evaluate astronauts’ aerobic fitness. It is performed three times per increment.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Microbial Air and Surface Sampling: The crew took surface and air samples for microbial analysis using the Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) and Surface Sample Kit (SSK). These samples will be incubated in Petri dishes, giving medical personnel a gauge of microbial growth in the air and on surfaces of the ISS. The EHS monitors the atmosphere for gaseous contaminants from nonmetallic materials off-gassing, combustion products, and propellants, microbial contaminants from crewmembers and Station activities, water quality, acoustics, and radiation levels.

Completed Task List Activities:
WHC KTO Replace

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload operations support
SSRMS Cygnus departure support
SSRMS walk-off from Node2 to MBS3
Unstow SPDM from the lab PDGF
MT translate from WS6 to WS4 in preparation for IDA3 Survey

Saturday, 2/1 (GMT 032) Crew Off-Duty
CIMON procedure review, unstow, battery charge and soundcam chk (ESA)
Probiotics Fecal collect (JAXA)
HRF Saliva setup (NASA)

59S Crew Departure Preparations
Portable Computer System (PCS) Connect after Ground commanded C&C transition
ISS Housekeeping

Sunday, 2/2 (GMT 033) Crew Off-Duty
CIMON commissioning and Mood detect (ESA)
HRF Saliva collect for SM, Functional Immune (NASA)
Vascular Aging Bio Monitor review (CSA)
LIDAL Orientation chk (NASA)
BioMonitor H/W setup and donning, 72 hr session (CSA)


Monday, 2/3 (GMT 034)
BioMonitor wearable changeout (CSA)
Cerebral Autoregulation setup (JAXA)
Probiotics Item Gather (JAXA)
HRF Saliva Collect for FI and SM (NASA)
NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer Review (NASA)
MPEP adapter plate and Capture Mech onto JEM Al Slide Table (NASA)
Kidney Cells Pump removal from SABL (NASA)
LSG Work Volume stow (NASA)
Standard Measures Fecal collect setup (NASA)
Food Consolidate (NASA)

Soyuz Decent Training
WHC Maintenance
NG-13 Cygnus Rendezvous OBT

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

Hourglass Box removal from Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF)
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Downlink
Cygnus PCS Command and PROX Link Verification
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
Checking cover closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14.
Cold Atom Lab Remove And Replace Science Instrument Closeout
CARDIOVECTOR. Experiment Session.
ISS Crew departure preparation
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Preparation for Disinfection
USOS Window Shutter Close
JEM Airlock Press
??? Maintenance
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Humidifier Installation for CBEF Incubator Unit 1G
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Food Acceptability Survey
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
STPSat XF305 Video Setup
JEM Airlock Leak Check
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Food Acceptability Survey
Cyclops Removal Operation
Cold Atom Lab Science Module Lab Relocate
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Veggie Monitoring Reference Material Review
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection
Inventory Management System (IMS) conference
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
ISS Crew departure preparation
N1 Deck hatch MPEV close
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Teardown
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Session
DOSIS 3D Passive Detectors De-Installation from Columbus (10 PDPs and 1 TDP).
Max Cycle Ergometer w/ Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Partial Set Up
Recycler Troubleshooting
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Cygnus Release Preparation
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Power Up
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Cygnus Release Briefing
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Cygnus Release and departure monitoring.
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub De-configuration
INTER-MAI-75. HAM Radio Activation.
Vascular Echo Leg Doppler PDOP Measurement
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Collection/Incubation
PAO event, prep. TV report
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Subject
Diagnostics of SM Power Supply System (???) Filter Unit (??-1?) and Main Bus Assembly (???1).
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Subject
LSG Work Volume Illumination Troubleshoot
On MCC Go Turn off camcorder, TV system monitoring equipment, close applications
INTER-MAI-75. Closeout
Restow Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Deactivation
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation
Private Psychological Conference (PPC)
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Humidifier Closeout
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Partial Stow
HRFC Lid Latch Recovery
ISS Experience Solid State Drive Changeout

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