Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 February 2020 – Three Astronauts Come Home

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 6, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 February 2020 – Three Astronauts Come Home
NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped out of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft just minutes after she, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Koch returned to Earth after logging 328 days in space --- the longest spaceflight in history by a woman --- as a member of Expeditions 59-60-61 on the International Space Station. Skvortsov and Parmitano returned after 201 days in space where they served as Expedition 60-61 crew members onboard the station. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

At 9:34 p.m. EST, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. NASA astronaut Christina Koch, Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 12:50 a.m.
NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 12:15 a.m.; their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 4:12 a.m.

The Expedition 61 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, including improvements to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer in an effort to extend its life and support its mission of looking for evidence of dark matter and testing 3D biological printers to print organ-like tissues in microgravity.

Koch shared her most memorable moments, from her arrival to the space station on March 14, 2019, to her first glimpse of her hometown on Earth from space, to her first spacewalk.

On-Orbit Status Report

Change of Command Ceremony and 59S Undock/Landing: Today, the ISS Crew participated in a Change of Command Ceremony during which Luca Parmitano handed over command of the ISS to Oleg Skripochka. Luca Parmitano, Aleksandr Skvortsov and Christina Koch will return to Earth tonight on 59S. Undocking is scheduled for 11:49 PM CT with landing in Kazakhstan scheduled tomorrow at 3:14 AM CT.


Confined Combustion: The crew continued the experiment using acrylic and fabric samples with a combination of black and transparent baffles to ignite and observe combustion results. This project aims to study flame spread in confined spaces, specifically the interactions between spreading flames and surrounding walls. Flame spread in confined spaces (such as buildings and vehicles) may pose a more serious fire hazard than flame spread in open spaces because of acceleration caused by radiative heat feedback from the surrounding walls and a tunnel flow acceleration effect. However, several aspects of flame spread are difficult to study in normal gravity conditions. Gravity-driven buoyancy flow complicates the fire growth process and prohibits a fundamental understanding of the underlying physics. However, in microgravity, buoyancy is eliminated, allowing scientists to better study the physics of flame spread.

Bio-Monitor: The crew completed the 48 hour data measurement session using the Bio-Monitor garment. Data was secured and the garment and support hardware was stowed. Although the ISS is equipped with health and life sciences research tools, the existing instrumentation for continuous and simultaneous recording of several physiological parameters is lacking. To tackle this issue, the Bio-Monitor Commissioning activity tests the Bio-Monitor facility; a wearable garment capable of monitoring relevant physiological parameters for up to 48 hours in a non-invasive and non-interfering way. The physiological parameters which can be monitored consist of heart rate, respiration rate, Electrocardiogram (EKG), skin temperature, peripheral blood oxygen saturation, etc.

Actiwatch Plus: Crewmembers doffed and stowed the hardware. The Actiwatch is a waterproof, nonintrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember. The device contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a signal as the subject moves. The data are stored in nonvolatile memory within the Actiwatch until they are downloaded for analysis.


On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Self Study Session: FE-8 and FE-9 completed a session of this training to practice 2 meter, Capture Point (CP) and High Hover (HH) approaches in preparation for NG-13 launch on February 9 and berthing on February 11.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Maintenance: The crew retrieved EMUs 3006 and 3009 and removed the Lower Torso Assembly (LTA) stowage bags. They then installed the bags on EMUs 3004 and 3008. This reconfiguration is in preparation for a planned EVA in April. Currently the crew is performing a full dump and fill on EMUs 3006 and 3009 to meet annual maintenance requirements.

Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Filter R&R: The crew is R&Ring the PWD filter including cleaning the fan filter areas on the back side of the PWD. This is preventative maintenance that is required every 18 months.

Completed Task List Activities:
Data prep return FE-3 & CDR
Crew departure prep

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
EMU maintenance support
59S departure activities

Friday, 2/7 (GMT 037)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
CBEF-L LTL box vlv setting (JAXA)
HOURGLASS SD card removal (JAXA)
Confined Combustion Ops (NASA)
SAMS laptop screen cleaning (NASA)
Food Physiology Sample to cold stowage (NASA)

Valve Box Remote Controller fastener repair
N1 CBCS install/checkout
OBT Cygnus offset grapple

Saturday, 2/8 (GMT 038)
No Science activities

Crew off duty

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

HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
JEM Airlock Depressurization
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Personal Medication Stow
Comm check and ops from Soyuz 746 via RGS (VHF2)
Soyuz 746 Stowage Ops for Return. Note 9
Confined Combustion Test Operations
Bio-Monitor Wearables Data Transfer And Removal
JEM Airlock Vent
Probiotics Capsule Stow
JEM Airlock Vent Confirmation
Soyuz 746 P/L Container Transfer Operations Report (S-band)
Soyuz 746 [??] cooling down prior to descent
Change of Command
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Stow
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Columbus
MSK-2. Hardware deactivation
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection 15 Minutes Subject
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Filter Remove and Replace (R&R)
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Operator
MSK-2. Transfer of MSK-2 cultivator and Delivery Battery stowage in Soyuz 746
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection 15 Minutes Subject
Transfer emergency equipment (Portable Repress Tank (???), ???-1? gas mask, Atmosphere Purification & Filtration Unit ????-2?) from Soyuz 746 to MRM2
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Pack And Handover
Soyuz 746 time critical stowage, Photography of [??] and cargo bags return for return, GoPro HERO3 camcorders adjustment and installation in Soyuz 746 for operation during the descent
Bio-Monitor Hardware Stow
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Soyuz 746 Transfers Status Report
Photography of the external surface of Soyuz 746 [??] ?? hatch cone
Actiwatch Plus Watch Doff
Comm check with Soyuz 746 in RSA2-S/G2
Soyuz 746 Activation (without deactivation of Gas Analyzers). Transfer of Soyuz 746 Emer-1a Book to MRM2
On MCC GO Soyuz-MRM2 Hatch Closure, Mpeg2 TV Coverage of Soyuz 746- MRM2 Hatch Closure
Closing of transitive hatches Soyuz – MRM2
On MCC GO Soyuz 746- MRM2 Hatch Leak Check
Soyuz 746 ODF Ops

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