Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 February 2018 – Celebrating 10 Years of ESA’s Columbus Module

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 7, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 February 2018 – Celebrating 10 Years of ESA’s Columbus Module
This digital still (2008) camera's wide shot affords a panoramic view of STS-122's final leg of work on the International Space Station. With mostly blue skies and some scattered clouds on Earth, solar panels and a station truss in the background, astronaut Rex Walheim, mission specialist, installs handrails on the outside of the Columbus laboratory, the newest piece of hardware on the International Space Station. Astronaut Stanley Love (out of frame), mission specialist, shared this final period of STS-122 extravehicular activity with Walheim. Credit: NASA.

The International Space Station program is getting ready to recognize the 10th year in space of its Columbus lab module from the European Space Agency (ESA). The Expedition 54 crew members, meanwhile, spent the day helping scientists on the ground understand the impacts of living in space.

ESA is getting ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of Columbus. The European lab module blasted off inside space shuttle Atlantis on Feb. 7, 2008, for a two-day ride to the station. Canadarm2, the station’s robotic arm, removed Columbus from Atlantis’s cargo bay two days after its arrival and attached it the starboard side of the Harmony module.

A month after the installation of Columbus, ESA launched its first resupply ship to the station. The “Jules Verne” Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-1) lifted off March 9, 2008, atop an Ariane-5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. The ATV-1 then took a month-long ride for a series navigation tests before to automatically docking to the station.

Astronauts Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai continued studying mice on the space station for a drug study to potentially improve muscle health in microgravity and despite a lack of exercise. The rodents are housed in a special microgravity habitat for up to two months with results of the study helping scientists design therapies for humans with muscle-related ailments.

Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei set up botany gear in the Columbus lab module for the Veggie-3 experiment. The long-running plant study is exploring the feasibility of harvesting edible plants such as cabbage, lettuce and mizuna for consumption during spaceflight. Samples are returned to Earth for analysis.

On-Orbit Status Report

Common Communications for Visiting Vehicle (C2V2) R2 Upgrade: Due to issues experienced yesterday while loading the C2V2 R2 upgrade, ground controllers were unable to complete the first day of R2 load operations. The attempt to load the software today was again unsuccessful. It was determined that a file mismatch was causing errors in the software load. In order to correct this, a new general configuration file will need to be re-delivered. The C2V2 system is used to communicate with and control vehicles as they arrive and depart from the ISS. This upgrade package is needed to interface with upcoming missions.

Rodent Research 6 (RR-6): Today the crew performed the first of four consecutive days of RR-6 operations by setting up the refrigerated centrifuge and processing a series of blood samples from the rodents. The samples were placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for frozen storage until they can be returned to the ground for testing. The Rodent Research-6 (RR-6) mission uses mice flown aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and maintained on Earth to test drug delivery systems for combatting muscular breakdown in space or during disuse conditions. RR-6 includes several groups of mice selectively treated with a placebo or implanted with a nanochannel drug delivery chip that administers compounds meant to maintain muscle in low gravity/disuse conditions.

Veg-03 Initiation: The crew installed the root mat and plant pillows into the Veggie facility to initiate the fifth Veg-03 experiment run. Veg-03 contains a total of six experiment runs with the fourth, 5th, and 6th sessions being the first of their kind because they contain a mixed harvest of cabbage, lettuce, and mizuna, which are harvested on-orbit with samples returned to Earth for testing. The overall goal of Veg-03 is to further demonstrate proof-of concept for the Veggie plant growth chamber and the planting pillows. Future long-duration missions into the solar system, finally culminating on Mars, will require a fresh food supply to supplement crew diets, which means growing crops in space. Previous investigations focused on improving productivity in controlled environments, but the limited quarters of the space shuttle and International Space Station made it difficult to conduct large-scale crop production tests. Veg-03 expands on previous validation tests of the new Veggie hardware, which crew members will soon use to grow cabbage, lettuce and other fresh vegetables in space.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Manifold #2 & #4 Bottle and Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) Controller Replacements: To control the airflow over the flame, today the crew removed and replaced one ACME controller while the ACME chamber insert was fully installed inside of the CIR combustion chamber. After the ACME controller was replaced, the crew replaced the CIR manifold #2 and #4 bottles on the front of the optics bench. CIR provides sustained, systematic microgravity combustion research and it houses hardware capable of performing combustion experiments to further research of combustion in microgravity. This is for the ACME investigation, which is a set of five independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted in the CIR. ACME’s primary goal is to improved fuel efficiency and reduced pollutant production in practical combustion on Earth. Its secondary goal is to improve spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

Microbial Tracking-2 (MT-2): Two crewmembers performed MT-2 sample collection activities. The 52S crewmember collected surface and air samples to characterize the different types of microbial locations on the ISS and the 53S crewmember collected saliva samples. The samples will be placed inside a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) in support of the Microbial Tracking-2 investigation. MT-2 monitors the different types of microbes that are present on ISS over a 1-year period. After the samples are returned to Earth, a molecular analysis of the RNA and DNA will be conducted to identify the specific microbes that are present on ISS in order to understand the microbial flora diversity on the ISS and how it changes over time.

Earth Imagery from ISS Target (EIISS): Using the Nikon camera, the crew will capture images of Hawaii at night and using the RED camera, they will capture images of the Iberian Peninsula. EIISS is used to support creation of a series of videos showcasing Earth views taken from space. The videos are taken with cameras on the ISS in 6K hi-resolution and are integrated into videos for screensavers for public enjoyment, exploration, and engagement.

On Board Training (OBT), Emergency Simulation: Today the crew will review procedures and prepare for tomorrow’s OBT, in which they will rehearse their responses to onboard emergencies.

68 Progress (68P) Leak Check: Today ground controllers worked with the onboard crew to perform a leak check on 68P. The onboard crew isolated the vehicle by closing hatches and the ground teams performed the leak check. Progress leak checks were nominal and the hatches are now open with clamps installed.

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

Microbial Tracking-2 Body Sample Collection
Microbial Tracking-2 Sample MELFI Retrieval Insert
Check the results of ??? laptop anti-virus scan and report
Rodent Research Refrigerated Centrifuge Setup
Rodent Research Operations 1A
EVA results discussion.
Rodent Research Operations 2A
EIISS Crew Preference RED Camera Target Operations
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 1
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
BIOCARD. Experiment Ops.
MSG Delta P Sensor Locate
Microbial Tracking-2 Environmental Sample Collection
Rodent Research Refrigerated Centrifuge Configure
Filling (separation) EDV (??V) for Electron or EDV-SV
Progress 437 and DC1 Leak Check.
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
??? maintenance
Water sampling from ???-? in drink bags
DC1-?? transfer hatch open
Purification columns (???) ???-?2? R&R.
Progress-?? transfer hatch open.
QD screw clamp installation on DC1 side
Progress #437 (DC1) deactivation, air duct installation
JPM ZSR Hull Photo Documentation
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude Final
Discharge complete of the 2nd block 825?3 of ?rlan and start discharge of the 3rd unit
Microbial Tracking-2 Sample MELFI Insert
RED Camera Setup.
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
Integrated Emergency Procedure Review
Manufacturing Device ABS Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
EVA Tools Stow, IMS update
VEGGIE Software On-Board Training
RED Camera Deactivation.
Combustion Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open
VEG Series Experiment On-Board Training.
Combustion Integrated Rack Front End Cap Open
VEG-03E MWA Preparation
ACME Controller Replace 1
VEG-03E Experiment Install
Combustion Integrated Rack Front End Cap Close
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #2 Bottle Replacement
Countermeasures System (CMS) VELO Exercise session
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 4
Combustion Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Spaceborne Computer Inverter Replacement

Completed Task List Activities
Station Support Computer (SSC) UltraBay Hard Drive Troubleshooting

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
C2V2 R2 load
68P leak check
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 02/07: METEOR, Biolab, Emer Sim, Spaceborne Computer, NR Rock Candy, RR-6, EIISS
Thursday, 02/08: Neuromapping, EIISS, Plant Habitat, Plant Gravity Perception, RR-6, Amyloid, Lighting Effects, ESA EPO, Microbial Tracking
Friday, 02/09: Veggie-03, Lighting Effects, Robonaut Pack, Vuze, NR Rock Candy, RR-6, SABL, EIISS,

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – On
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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