Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 June, 2020 – Microgravity Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 7, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 June, 2020 – Microgravity Research
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 June, 2020 - Microgravity Research.

The five-member Expedition 63 crew aboard the International Space Station continues exploring how microgravity phenomena may benefit humans on and off Earth.
Commander Chris Cassidy started off Thursday working on the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace, a device that heats materials to very high temperatures and measures their thermophysical properties. The unique furnace may provide scientists insights into synthesizing and producing new materials. The veteran astronaut then spent the afternoon servicing U.S. spacesuit components ahead of a series of spacewalks planned for June.

New NASA Flight Engineers Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken spent Thursday servicing space botany hardware and exploring bubbles in fluids. Both astronauts temporarily disassembled a plant habitat to access and replace environment control system gear. The duo also studied how bubbles affect microfluids to help produce oxygen on a spacecraft and deliver drugs though skin patches.

Roscosmos Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, worked throughout the orbital lab on Thursday ensuring ongoing research and maintenance operations.

Ivanishin was inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory swapping fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to enable safe fuel and flame science. He also worked on cargo transfers inside the Progress 74 resupply ship. Vagner inspected surfaces inside the Russian portion of the space station. In the afternoon, the first-time space flyer set up a video camera to record crew activities for audiences back on Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report


Combustion Integration Rack/Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (CIR/ACME): In support of the on-going s-Flame part 2 investigation, the crew removed a 45% H2/ 55% He fuel bottle and replaced it with a 45% CH4/ 55% He fuel bottle. The purpose of s-Flame is to advance our ability to predict the structure and dynamics, including extinction and instabilities, of both soot-free and sooty flames. The results may contribute to the development of lean-burn engines for improved efficiency and reduced pollutant emissions here on Earth. S-Flame is one of five experiments hosted by CIR/ACME which is designed to study gaseous flames.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF): The crew retrieved sample cartridge 3 from the ELF, cleaned the sample cartridge, installed sample holder 2, and then reassembled everything into the ELF. This sample installation was in support of the NASA Round Robin experiment. The Round Robin – Thermophysical Property Measurement (Round Robin) investigation provides researchers with a better understanding of how to measure liquid metal properties to revolutionize how process modeling can support design, flight qualification and production of advanced spaceflight systems.

Electrolysis Measurement (EM): In support of the ongoing EM experiment, the crew performed a series of sample exchanges. The experiment is expected to process 30 samples over the next several weeks. Electrolytic Gas Evolution Under Microgravity (Electrolysis Measurement) examines the influence of gravity on electrolytic gas evolution, a complex electrochemical process with multiple applications on Earth and in space. For example, electrolysis generates bubbles that can be used to create pressure differentials in microfluidic devices, such as skin patches, used to deliver medications. Microgravity makes it possible to single out bubble growth and study its effect on the process.

Plant Habitat-02: The crew disassembled the Plant Habitat Facility, removed a faulty Environmental Control System (ECS) and attempted to install a replacement ECS. Unfortunately, they experienced a failure of a backing plate which is part of a locking mechanism and the new ECS could not be installed. Plant Hab-02 was returned to a safe configuration and the ground teams are assessing a forward plan. This is part of a series of activities to get the facility ready for samples currently launching on NG-14. Assessment of Nutritional Value and Growth Parameters of Space-grown Plants (Plant Habitat-02) cultivates radishes as a model plant that is nutritious and edible, has a short cultivation time, and is genetically similar to Arabidopsis, a plant frequently studied in microgravity. Developing the capability for food production in space requires understanding cultivation conditions such as intensity and spectral composition of light and the effects of the culture medium or soil. This research could help optimize plant growth in the unique environment of space, as well as evaluation of nutrition and taste of the plants.


H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)9 Cargo Operations: Today, the crew continued to perform HTV9 cargo transfer operations. Ground teams estimate ~18 hours of cargo operation remain to unload the vehicle.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Secondary Oxygen Pack (SOP) Changeout: Today the crew performed a changeout of the SOP on EMU 3006 which included a checkout of the new SOP following installation. The replacement was part of standard maintenance to the unit. The Secondary Oxygen Pack (SOP) provides oxygen for breathing, ventilation, pressurization, and cooling in the event of a malfunction of the Primary Oxygen Tanks or a suit leak.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

CIR Ground Support
UHF-2 Activation
Ground Support for Robotics Battery Getaheads
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, 6/5 (GMT 157)

Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange
Food Physiology
J-SOLISS removal
MSRR/MSL/GEDS sample Exchange
NanoRacks MOD-48 Imagery
Radi-N2 retrieve and handover

SpaceX-20 SODF Quick Response Crew Trainer
HTV Cargo Ops
ISS Crew Handover
AQM Relocate
Saturday, 6/6 (GMT 158)

No payload activities

Crew Off Duty
Sunday, 6/7 (GMT 159)

No payload activities

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

Power up Soyuz 745 Angular Rate Integration Unit (????)
Thermal Amine Scrubber Powercycle
Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) sample Cartridge Cleaning & Exchange
Monitoring RS structural shell surfaces using Multipurpose Eddy Current Device ???-2?
TERMINATOR. Terminator-Limb PL Installation
Air Heater Fan [???] Screen Cleaning in Soyuz 745
Vacuum cleaning dust collectors ?C1, ??2 filter cartridges in FGB (pnl 203, 403)
Transfer Operations – Pack and stow items on HTV
Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange
Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Manifold 4 Bottle Swap
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Holder Exchange
Preparation to downlink data on monitoring RS structural surfaces
ISS Experience Solid State Drive Changeout
Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange
Plant Habitat-02 Facility Disassembly
Progress 443 (DC1) stowage and IMS ops
SCENARIY. Observation and photography using photo equipment
Water transfer from Progress 448 (SM Aft) Rodnik H2O tank 1 to ???
DUBRAVA. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
Plant Habitat-02 Facility Reinstall
Life on the Station Photo/Video
VIZIR. Session with Photo image coordinate referencing system (????-??)
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Secondary Oxygen Pack (SOP) Remove and Replace (R&R)
TERMINATOR. Deinstallation of Terminator-Limb PL
Electrolysis Measurement Sample Exchange [ABORTED]
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill

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