Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 November 2019 – Blood Pressure Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 7, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 November 2019 – Blood Pressure Research
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir dines on fresh Mizuna mustard greens she harvested earlier that day aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 61 crew explored how microgravity is affecting a variety of biological processes in humans and microbes today. Two astronauts are also gearing up for tentatively planned spacewalks to repair a cosmic particle detector.
Aging on Earth and living in space impacts an individual’s blood pressure with some astronauts experiencing stiffened arteries after returning to the ground. NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir investigated the phenomena today attaching electrodes to her leg and scanning her veins with an ultrasound device. Doctors on Earth will review the downloaded data with results informing potential therapies for Earth-bound and space-caused ailments.

Microbes live everywhere including inside the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Christina Koch is sequencing DNA collected from microbial samples swabbed from inside the orbiting lab. Observations may provide insights into the genetic adaptations taking place to survive in weightlessness.

Commander Luca Parmitano and Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan are studying the complex spacewalk procedures required to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). At least four spacewalks are scheduled, the first of which will be on Friday, Nov. 15. The dates for the other spacewalks are under review and will be scheduled in the near future.

The duo have begun unpacking the AMS tools and hardware delivered aboard the Cygnus resupply ship on Monday. The eight-and-a-half year-old device, which searches for signs of dark matter and antimatter, will have its thermal control system upgraded over a series of soon-to-be scheduled spacewalks.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka explored their set of human research in the station’s Russian segment today. The duo researched the space-caused loss of bone mass and the interactions between international crews and mission controllers during long-duration missions.

On-Orbit Status Report

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer – 02 (AMS): The crew performed an AMS procedure review in support of the upcoming EVA to replace the Tracker Thermal Control System (TTCS) with an Upgraded Tracker Thermal Control System (UTTPS). Over time, the TTCS cooling pumps have slowly degraded and have experienced a loss of coolant (liquid CO2). The UTTPS will allow the AMS team to continue to collect data to on anti-helium nuclei and dark matter. AMS-02 is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that uses the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe’s origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays.

BEST (Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology): The crew transferred BEST cell samples from the Media kit to the new growth Media Tubes using pipettes and then stowed the tubes. The BEST investigation studies the use of sequencing for identification of unknown microbial organisms living on the ISS; and, how humans, plants and microbes adapt to living on the ISS.

CBEF-L (Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L): Crew continued to perform steps for the installation of CBEF-L Control Equipment into Saibo Rack. Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L (CBEF-L) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new subrack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

EXPRESS Rack ER6 (EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments for Space Station Racks): Crew was not able to complete the software installation due to problems with the ER6 Zbook not being able to recognize the thumb drive. The EXPRESS Racks support science experiments in any discipline by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water, and other items needed to operate science experiments in space.

ISS HAM: The crew completed a contact pass with I.C. Montignoso – Scuola secondaria I grado “G.B.Giorgini”, Montignoso and I.C. “G.B. Perasso”, Milano, Italy. ISS Ham Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.

Standard Measures: The crew collected blood samples for the Standard Measures experiment. The aim of the investigation is to ensure consistent capture of an optimized, minimal set of measures from crewmembers until the end of the ISS Program in order to characterize the adaptive responses to and risks of living in space. Among other things, the ground teams perform analyses for metabolic and chemistry panels, immune function, microbiome, etc. These measures populate a data repository to enable high-level monitoring of countermeasure effectiveness and meaningful interpretation of health and performance outcomes, and support future research on planetary missions.

Vascular Echo: The crew participated in a Vascular Echo session that included arterial blood pressure measurements, and ultrasound scans of the neck, thigh, portal vein and heart. Cardiac and Vessel Structure and Function with Long-Duration Space Flight and Recovery (Vascular Echo) examines changes in blood vessels, and the heart, while the crew members are in space, and then follow their recovery on return to Earth. The results could provide insight into potential countermeasures to help maintain crewmember health, and quality of life for everyone.

Veg-04B: The crew performed a routine plant check, and watered the plants as needed. The Pick-and-Eat Salad-Crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System (Veg-0404A, Veg-04B, and Veg-05) investigation is a phased research project to address the need for a continuous fresh-food production system in space. A healthy, nutritious diet is essential for long-duration exploration missions, which means that the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet needs to be supplemented by fresh foods during flight; the Veggie Vegetable Production System (Veggie) has begun testing aboard the space station to help meet this need, and validation tests have demonstrated that leafy greens can be grown in spaceflight. The research of Veg-04B focuses on the impact of light quality and fertilizer on leafy crop growth for a 56-day grow-out, microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioral health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space.


Cygnus NG-12 Operations: Today, the ISS crew continued to work on Cygnus cargo transfer to the ISS including unpacking and transferring payloads. The Cygnus spacecraft is currently operating off ISS power configured with prime and backup power. 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 capabilities.

Mobile Servicing System: Yesterday, the Robotic Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and released the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) from the Cygnus vehicle. Once clear, they maneuvered the SSRMS towards the International Docking Adapter (IDA) to complete a seal survey. Once that was complete, the SSRMS was maneuvered clear and powered down.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Operations Support

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

Friday, 11/08 (GMT 312):

BioFabrication Facility Tissue Print With Cells Install (NASA)
Food Acceptability Survey (NASA)
Rodent Research Water Box and Light Check (NASA)
Standard Measures Cognition Testing HRF PC1 (NASA)
VEG-04B Plant Check/Watering for each Plant Pillow (NASA)
PK-4 hard disk Audit, PK-4 Experiment Campaign 8 – Familiarization (ESA)

ISS Emergency OBT
ISS Emergency Medical Contingency Drill OBT
ISS Emergency Conference OBT
ISS Emergency Simulation OBT

Saturday, 11/09 (GMT 313): Off-Duty Day

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM) Shutdown (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva Collection (NASA)
Veg-04B Plant Check/Watering (NASA)


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

Kapton tape build
Preparation of reports for Roscosmos website and social media
URAGAN. Observation and Photography
SCENARIO. Observation and photography of catastrophic phenomena and their aftermath
ECON-M. Observation and Photography
Recharging Samsung tablet in 61S
KORREKTSIYA. Starting Accelerometry
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection 25 Minutes Subject
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
Photo TV Camera Set Up For Radiator Inspection
Photo TV Port Radiator Image 1
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
KORREKTSIYA. Log Entry of Liquids and Food (Medicine) Intake
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
Charging EVA Camera D4 Battery
Vascular Echo Ultrasound Echo Unit Setup
EXPRESS Rack ZBook Replace
Window glass photography on EV hatch 1, hatch 2 in MRM2 and EV hatch 1, hatch 2 in DC1
Enhancements to sound suppressor attachment brackets on the re-installed dust collectors in FGB.
PCS Laptop Relocate
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
XF305 Camcorder Setup
SAIBO Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Control Equipment 2 Insertion Troubleshooting 2
Vascular Echo Resting Ultrasound Scan 125 Minutes
Diagnostics of FGB Power Supply System Filter Units (??-1?) and Main Bus Assembly (???-1?), Preparation
On MCC GO Transfer of brine and urine from ???-? to Progress 442 Rodnik H2O Tank 2
24-hour ECG Recording (termination)
Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER)
VEG-04B Plant Check/Watering for each Plant Pillow
24-hour BP recording (terminate)
PCS Laptop Relocate
PROBOY. End of Copying.
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
EXPRESS Rack ZBook Setup Finish
Vascular Echo CDL Holter Arterial BP Measurement
PROBOY. Disconnecting Acoustic Signal Converter Unit (????) power cable from ??? outlet.
MTT/MSC Installation Review
EXPRESS Rack ZBook Setup Finish
??? Maintenance
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Unstow
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) MWA Preparation
Vascular Echo Ultrasound Echo Unit Stow
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) MELFI Sample Retrieve
PAO Preparation
Nikon still camera sync to station time
KORREKTSIYA. Log Entry of Liquids and Food (Medicine) Intake
?3 Fan Screen Cleaning in DC1
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config Columbus Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) in Columbus
Polar Hardware Install into Express Rack
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) Experiment 2 Part 2
AMS Procedure/video review
AMS Procedure/video review
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) MELFI Sample Insertion into a Box Module
IMS Delta File Prep
Evening Preparation Work
Rodent Research Transporter Stow
MERLIN Drawer Remove
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Hardware Setup
VELO Exercise, Day 3
MERLIN 4 Ice Brick Insert
??-2 Exercise, Day 2
Photo/TV Port Radiator Image 2
Photo TV Deactivation for Radiator Imagery
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Fundoscope Setup
Program Management/ISS Crew Conference
UF-ATMOSFERA. Hardware and electrical connections setup
AMS Swage Unstow
EarthKAM Node 2 Lens Change-Russian
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Fundoscope Prep
Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE) MSC Hardware Gather
Health Maintenance System (HMS) CMO – Fundoscope
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Eye Exam – Fundoscope
UF-ATMOSFERA. PL activation. Tagup with specialists
Daily Planning Conference
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Fundoscope Tear Down and Stow

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