Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 2020 – Unpacking Nearly Four Tons of Science Experiments

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 11, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 2020 – Unpacking Nearly Four Tons of Science Experiments
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 2020 - Unpacking Nearly Four Tons of Science Experiments.

Four spaceships are parked at the International Space Station today as two new crews are due to launch by the end of October.
In the meantime, the Expedition 63 crew has begun unpacking the nearly four tons of science experiments, crew supplies and station hardware from the newly arrived Cygnus cargo craft.

Commander Chris Cassidy has begun configuring brand new science experiments and research gear delivered on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter. He started removing a variety of time-sensitive investigations from Cygnus’ science freezers on Monday and quickly transferred them into space station research racks. The new experiments will explore cancer treatments, space botany and life support systems among other important subjects benefitting humans living on Earth and in space.

Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner were once again testing a unique suit today designed to offset a common space symptom that sees blood pool toward a crewmember’s upper torso and head. The Lower Body Negative Pressure suit attempts to normalize blood flow to counteract some adverse effects of long-duration spaceflight and prepare the astronauts for the return to Earth’s gravity.

October will be a busy month at the orbiting lab bringing a crew swap and four new Commercial Crew members. First, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will ride alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov when they lift off Oct. 14 from Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship. The Expedition 64 trio will take a three-hour trip to their new home in space where they will stay until April of next year.

Just one week later, Cassidy will hand control of the station over to Ryzhikov and return to Earth with Ivanishin and Vagner. The trio will parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan inside the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft ending a 195-day research mission on the station.

Next, four more astronauts are scheduled to join Expedition 64 just one day after they launch aboard the first operational SpaceX Crew Dragon mission from Florida on Oct. 31. Commander Mike Hopkins of NASA will lead Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi during the 25-hour ride to the space station. The quartet will stay in space until the Spring.

On-Orbit Status Report


Space Tango MultiLab Locker (TangoLab-2): The crew removed Card 014 and stowed it for return and installed sample cards 001 and 012 recently flown on NG-14 as part of TangoLab-2 Mission 18 operations. TangoLab-2 is a reconfigurable general research facilities designed for microgravity research and development and pilot manufacturing in the ISS.

NanoRacks Platforms: The crew installed NanoRacks Module-73 into the NanoRacks Platform 2 and then into Plate Reader 2 in order to verify power and telemetry connectivity. NanoRacks Platforms is a multipurpose research facility on board the ISS. NanoRacks Platforms supports NanoRacks Modules in the CubeSat form factor by providing power and data transfer capabilities to operate investigations in microgravity.

Rhodium Space Rhizosphere: The crew performed mixture operations of sample chambers 0008 – 0011 and then placed them in an ambient stow location. Soil Health in Space: Determination of Gravitational Effects on Soil Stability for Controlled Environment Agriculture (Rhodium Space Rhizosphere) examines the effects of spaceflight on the soil aggregates formed by fungi and bacteria. Recent studies have shown a connection between biological activity, aggregation formation, and the overall capacity of soils to sustainably produce nutritious food crops. A better understanding of fungal and bacterial structures and functions in soil could improve food production on Earth and in space.

Polar: The crew uninstalled POLAR’s 3 and 8 from the Cygnus cargo spacecraft and transferred and installed them into ISS racks. Polar is a cold stowage managed facility that provides transport and storage of science samples at cryogenic temperatures (-80ºC) to and from the ISS.


Cygnus Rendezvous Hardware Tool Cleanup: As part of closeout ops from yesterday’s Cygnus capture and berthing, the crew returned the Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) and Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) today to their appropriate stowage locations. The CBCS supports Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) mating alignment operations necessary to berth a vehicle to Node 1. The VOK is a toolkit the crew uses during berthing operations.

Cygnus Vehicle Cargo Operations: Today, the crew began Cygnus cargo transfer operations. Ground teams estimate approximately 35 hours remain to complete cargo ops.

Completed Task List Activities:

Transfer 62S USOS prepack (ongoing)
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations (ongoing)
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

External High Definition Camera (EHDC) survey of Soyuz before undock
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) File Uplink
ARS Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Zero Calibration
Maneuver to -XVV using OPM
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, 10/7 (GMT 281)

Bacterial Genome Fitness ACT (NASA)
SPECTRUM Plate Install (NASA)
AvatarX Setup/Checkout (JAXA)
Astrobee On (NASA)
ROBO Pro Briefing (JAXA)

OBT Cyg Emer Rvw
UTS Offload EDV Swap
Thursday, 10/8 (GMT 282)

LSG Restraint Fold & WV Stow (NASA)
Astrobee Battery Change (NASA)
ROBO Pro Final Rounds (JAXA)
NanoRacks Module 73 Remove (NASA)
LSG Sleeve Swap & Crew Restraint Install (NASA)
Food Physiology (NASA)

SOKOL Leak Check
Friday, 10/9 (GMT 283)

Onco Selectors Mix & Injections (NASA)
Astrobee Off (NASA)

Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Body Mass Measurement – BMMD
JEM Camera Robot Preparation for Robo-Pro Challenge Final Round
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Hardware prepack for return and disposal via Soyuz 745
ТБУ (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat). Checking ТБУ-В No.07 thermostat temp & unobstructed area near ТБУ-В vents
Preparing for FGB Power Supply System ПТАБ-2 (АБ6) Replacement
Polar Cygnus Uninstall, Transfer, And EXPRESS Rack Install
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Unpack
Rhodium Space Rhizosphere Rhodium Science Sample Chamber Ambient Stow
NanoRacks Platform-2 Module Install
TangoLab-2 Card Cube Replace
Surface sample collection from equipment and structural elements on SM panels 101, 129, 130, 137, 139, 329, 412, 415, 436, in transfer compartment (ПхО), transfer chamber (ПрК)
Prepack the kit with Laser Range Finder (ЛДИ-11) for return on Soyuz 745
MPEG-2 TV Downlink Test via KU-band prior to Soyuz 747 Docking to the ISS
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Node 1 Camcorder Towards Airlock
Vacuum Cleaning ПН28-120 Voltage Converter for SM printer (behind panel 231А). Visual inspection of GFCI cable and extension cable
Photography of glass panes on windows No.02 [РО] No.13, No.14 SM (ПхО)
SEPARATION. Distillate Sampling from ЕДВ No.1323
Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Stow
Restow Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)
USOS Window Shutter Close
Verifying shutter closure on windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 prior to reboost
Laptop RSK1 battery checkout

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