Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 July 2019 – Russian Progress 73 Cargo Ship Docks

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 3, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 July 2019 – Russian Progress 73 Cargo Ship Docks
This image from an external high definition video camera shows Russia’s Progress 73 resupply ship nearing its docking port on the space station. Credit: NASA.

Traveling about 259 miles over northwest China, the unpiloted Russian Progress 73 cargo ship docked at 11:29 a.m. EDT to the Pirs docking compartment on the Russian segment of the complex.
In addition to the arrival of Progress today, the six crewmembers aboard the space station welcomed SpaceX’s cargo Dragon spacecraft on July 27, two days after launching on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

On July 20, the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft arrived to the space station carrying NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Their arrival restored the station’s crew complement to six. They joined NASA astronauts Nick Hague, Christina Koch and Expedition 60 Commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos.

On-Orbit Status Report

73 Progress (73P) Launch and Docking: 73P launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7:10 AM CT carrying food, fuel and supplies. Following a 2-orbit rendezvous, the vehicle successfully docked to the ISS Docking Compartment 1 (DC-1) Nadir Port at 10:29 AM CT. The crew then performed leak checks, opened hatches, and began cargo unloading.

Biofabrication Facility (BFF): The crew continued their support of the series of BFF test prints which started earlier this week. These initial test prints are designed to check out and fine tune the system and do not contain any cells. Using 3D biological printers to produce usable human organs has long been a dream of scientists and doctors around the globe. However, printing the tiny, complex structures found inside human organs, such as capillary structures, has proven difficult to accomplish in Earth’s gravity environment. To overcome this challenge, Techshot designed their BFF to print organ-like tissues in microgravity, acting as a stepping stone in a long-term plan to manufacture whole human organs in space using refined biological 3D printing techniques.

Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) Manifold Bottle Inspection: Following yesterday’s discovery of a slow leak, the fuel bottle connection was demated, inspected, cleaned, and remated to the CIR manifold. The pressure was subsequently monitored and the leak was reduced, but still present. The crew then looked for the leak source (suspected to be either the quick-disconnect or pressure relief valve) with the ultrasonic leak detector but were unable to isolate the source of the leak. The fuel bottle valve was closed and teams are discussing a forward plan. This fuel bottle will be used for the upcoming s-Flame investigation.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Cartridge Exchange: The crew removed the current sample cartridge from the ELF and exchanged it with a new cartridge. JAXA’s ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved. ELF typically processes oxide samples, but is also capable of processing semiconductors, alloys, and metals.

GRIP: The crew performed a Supine science-3 session today. The GRIP experiment consists of 3 protocols: Dynamics Seated, References Seated and References Supine. They are performed in 3 separate sub-sessions. ESA’s Grip investigation tests how the nervous system takes into account the forces due to gravity and inertia when manipulating objects. Results from this investigation may provide insight into potential hazards for astronauts as they manipulate objects in different gravitational environments. They also support design and control of haptic interfaces to be used in challenging environments such as space, and provide information about motor control that will be useful for the evaluation and rehabilitation of impaired upper limb control in patients with neurological diseases.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites – Zero Robotics (SPHERES ZR) Unit Test: The crew mounted the SPHERES beacons in the appropriate locations and performed the unit test. This is part of the SPHERES Zero Robotics (ZR) 2019 Middle School Summer Program series of runs. Each Zero Robotics session consists of 3 parts: 1) The unit test looks at the ability to run the main code of the session; 2) The dry run tests various aspects of the actual competition; 3) The actual Zero Robotics science session. The premise of this ZR session is for one SPHERES satellite to retrieve a damaged SPHERES satellite from a virtual debris field in low Earth orbit. ZR allows middle school and high school students develop code to achieve the goals of the competition. The algorithms are tested by the SPHERES team and the best designs are selected for the competition to operate the SPHERES satellites on board the ISS.

Completed Task List Activities:
Dragon cargo transfer

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
73P Docking support
Payload ops support

Look Ahead:
Thursday, 8/1 (GMT 213)

BFF procedure review
Standard Measures
JEMAL depress
Lighting Effects
Rodent Research-17
Slingshot BPW review
TReK video s/u
Team Task Switching

JEMAL depressurization and vent

Friday, 8/2 (GMT 214)

BFF test print
Bioculture/Cell Science-02
ELF controller installation
Lighting Effects
Nanoracks Mod-82 photos
TReK video s/u

Starboard SAW blanket/mast imagery

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

Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry
BioFabrication Facility Test Print Without Cells Install
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
BioFabrication Facility MELFI Sample Retrieve
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Close
BioFabrication Facility Test Print Without Cells Install
TOCA)Calibration Check
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) sample Cartridge Retrieval
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Cartridge Exchange
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) sample Cartridge Installation
SPHERES Crew Conference
BioFabrication Facility Cleaning Syringe Install
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Columbus
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
USOS Window Shutter Close
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Setup
Preparation for Progress 442 Docking
Progress 442 Docking to DC1. Comm Reconfig for Nominal Ops after Docking
BioFabrication Facility Test Cassette Removal
TOCA Calibration Check Data Record
Contingency Water Container Iodinated Gather
Dragon Lithium Hydroxide (LiOH) Filter Bag Removal
SPHERES Test Session Setup
ARED Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
SPHERES Test Session Run
On MCC GO Progress 442 and DC1 Interface Leak Check
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – In Lab using NODE2 Camera
DC1-[??] Transfer Hatch Opening
On MCC GO Opening of Progress-[??] Transfer Hatch
On MCC GO Installation of Quick-Release Screw Clamps on DC1 side
SPHERES Zero Robotics Shutdown
USOS Window Shutter Close
Progress 442 Deactivation, Air Duct Installation
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Stow
Progress 442 (DC1) time-critical, priority, and US cargo transfers and IMS ops
FOTOBIOREACTOR. Progress 442 hardware transfers
FOTOBIOREACTOR. Setup and connect hardware, activate cultivation process and insert Meduim kits in ???-? No.05
Reminder Rodent Research Thermal Consideration
Reminder Standard Measures Multi-day Saliva Collection
FOTOBIOREACTOR. Visual inspection with photography

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