Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 November 2019 – Spacecraft Captured

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 6, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 November 2019 – Spacecraft Captured
The U.S. Cygnus space freighter is pictured moments after NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, with fellow Flight Engineer Christina Koch as her back up, commanded the Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and grapple the 12th resupply ship from Northrop Grumman. Credit: NASA.

After its capture this morning at 4:10 a.m. EST, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 6:21 a.m. At the time of installation, Cygnus was flying over the south Pacific.
This mission, designated NG CRS-12, will be in orbit at the same time as its predecessor, the NG CRS-11 Cygnus spacecraft, which launched in April on an extended duration flight. The NG CRS-12 Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the space station until January before it disposes of several thousand pounds of trash through its fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. The ability to fly two vehicles at once further demonstrates the robustness of Cygnus to support the goals of NASA’s ambitious missions.

The spacecraft’s arrival brings close to 8,200 pounds of research and supplies to space station. Here are some of the scientific investigations:

More Probing of Mysteries of the Universe

This mission carries components needed to prolong the operational life of Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02). In a series of spacewalks planned in the coming weeks, astronauts will cut and reconnect fluid lines on the instrument, a feat not done before in space, which could prove valuable for future missions at NASA’s upcoming lunar Gateway for the Artemis program or missions to Mars.

Testing Personal Protective Equipment for Astronauts

The AstroRad Vest tests a special garment designed to protect astronauts from radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events. Astronauts will provide input on the garment as they wear it while performing daily tasks. Use of the vest could protect crew members on missions to the Moon and Mars.

Food Fresh from the Oven

The Zero-G Oven examines heat transfer properties and the process of baking food in microgravity. It uses an oven designed specifically for use aboard the space station, and may have application on future long-duration missions by offering a way to increase variety in flavor and nutrition of food for crew members.

3D Printing with Recycled Materials

The Made in Space Recycler will test systems needed to reprocess plastic into 3D printing filament that can then be transferred for use to the Made in Space Manufacturing Device, a 3D printer that has operated on the orbiting laboratory since 2016. This has implications for space conservation and deep space missions.

On-Orbit Status Report

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): The Crew setup the EarthKam into Node 2 for a weeklong imaging session. EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew’s perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The EarthKAM team then posts these photographs on the Internet for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world.

Rodent Research-14 (RR-14): The crew installed four Rodent Habitats into the Lab module. Rodent Research-14, Microgravity as a Disruptor Of The 12-hour Circatidal Clock (RR-14), uses mice to test the hypothesis that disruptions in a microgravity environment to the circadian rhythm sleep/wake cycle will affect the body on a cellular and key organ level. The importance of this 12-hour clock has been established as a mechanism that controls stress-responsive pathways. The unique environment of the ISS provides an ideal setting to challenge this. In short, exposing cellular systems in mice to the stress of microgravity provides an opportunity to study the response of the 12-hour body clock from cellular adaptation and its effect(s) on organismal behavior.


Cygnus NG-12 Mission: The Cygnus vehicle (S.S. Alan Bean) successfully launched from NASA Wallops Launch Facility on Saturday, November 2 at approximately 9:00 am. Cygnus arrived at the ISS on November 4 with capture around 3:10 am CT. Following the capture of the Cygnus vehicle with Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and the berth to the Node 1 Nadir port, the crew prepared the ISS for Cygnus ingress including performing leak checks and outfitting the vestibule for ingress. Next, the crew ingressed the Cygnus vehicle and started on cargo transfers to the ISS. The Cygnus/NG-12 vehicle is part of the new Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) program that includes multiple upgrades that expands the vehicle’s capabilities.

Mobile Servicing System: Today, the crew monitored the vehicle approach. With Jessica Meir (M1) at the SSRMS control and Christina Koch (M2) monitoring vehicle status, they commanded the SSRMS to track and successfully captured the NG-12 Cygnus vehicle at approximately 3:10 am CT. After the capture, the Robotics Ground Controllers took control of the SSRMS and maneuvered it to the Cygnus Passive Common Berthing Mechanism (PCBM) inspection, then towards Node 1 Nadir CBM port. The Cygnus vehicle was berthed to the Station. The SSRMS will remain grappled to the vehicle until tomorrow.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Operations Support
Cygnus Capture and Berth Operations.

Tuesday, 11/05 (GMT 309):
Cold Stowage unpack, (NASA)
HRF Saliva collect (NASA)
VEG-04B check (NASA)
RR-14 Transfers (NASA)
HRF Frozen blood setup
TangoLab-2 CardCube replace (NASA)

SSRMS Cygnus Capture
RWS Configuration
Cygnus Ingress
Cygnus Cargo Ops and Transfer

Wednesday, 11/06 (GMT 310):
Vascular Echo scan and BP Measure (CSA)
SAIBO-CBEF Control Unit 2 troubleshooting (JAXA)
HRF Frozen Blood Collect (NASA)
RR-14 Transport stow (NASA)
ER6 Zbook R&R (NASA)
MISSE-F Hardware Gather and MTT setup (NASA)
VEG-04B check (NASA)
BEST Sample Transfer 2 (NASA)
EarthKam Lens change (Joint)

Cygnus Cargo Ops
SSC Relocate
Cygnus OBT Emergency Review

Thursday, 11/07 (GMT 311):
AMS EVA Preparations (NASA)
HRF Saliva Collection (NASA)
BioFabrication Facility (NASA)
NanoRacks ZGO SMPL Photo (NASA)

Photo/TV Port Solar Array Survey
Lab CCAA SCP Installation
ISS Emergency Prep
IFM WHC Pre-Treat Tank R&R

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

KORREKTSIYA. Starting Accelerometry
USOS Window Shutter Close
Robotics Workstation (RWS) Configuration
Cygnus PCS Command and PROX Link Verification
Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Power-up
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Downlink
Cygnus R-BAR Approach
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Cygnus Capture
VEG-04B Plant Check/Watering for each Plant Pillow
AMS VSB Cover Handling Aid training
Cold Stowage Double
Coldbag Unpack Review
Cygnus/Node 1 Pressurization and Leak Check Preparation
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check
Node 1 Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Removal
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Remote Workstation Monitor HD Video Downlink Deactivation RWS.
Photo TV High Definition (HD) Cygnus Video Setup
Cygnus/Node 1 Pressurization and Leak Check
??? maintenance
Private Psychological Conference (PPC)
EarthKAM. Setup and Activation in Node 2
Node 1 Nadir to Cygnus Vestibule Outfitting, Part 1
??-2 Monitoring
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
Node 1 Nadir to Cygnus Vestibule Outfitting Part 2
Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Rotation and Closeout
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Cygnus Ingress – Crew A
Cygnus Ingress – Crew B
Cygnus (NG-12) air sampling using ??-1? sampler prior to air duct installation
Cygnus Cargo Photo
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check Data Record
Polar Cygnus Uninstall, Transfer, And EXPRESS Rack Install Review
Rodent Research Habitat Install
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Evening Preparation Work
Daily Planning Conference
KORREKTSIYA. End of Accelerometry

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