Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 September 2017 – Expedition 53 Crew Ready for Launch Next Week

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 7, 2017
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 September 2017 – Expedition 53 Crew Ready for Launch Next Week
In the Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 53-54 crewmembers pose for pictures Aug. 28 during pre-launch training activities. Joe Acaba of NASA (left), Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos (center) and Mark Vande Hei of NASA (right) will launch Sept. 13 on the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft for a five and a half month mission on the International Space Station. Credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/Irina Peshkova/NASA.

A new set of Expedition 53 crew members arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site today ahead of their Sept. 12 liftoff to the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei along with cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will take a near six-hour ride to their new home in space aboard the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft.

The orbiting Expedition 53 trio is checking out new exercise gear today that takes up less space and is more reliable than current station equipment. The crew is also getting ready to explore DNA alterations that occur when living in space.

The new Mini-Exercise Device-2 (MED-2) is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing equipment on the station. Commander Randy Bresnik worked out on the MED-2 today testing its ability provide motion and resistance workouts. Bresnik performed deadlifts and rows on the MED-2 to demonstrate the reliability of its small robotic actuators.

The commander also set up a work area for upcoming work with the student-designed Genes In Space-2 experiment. The experiment will explore ways to observe how microgravity alters DNA and weakens the immune system.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli from the European Space Agency checked out physics and life science equipment today. The veteran astronaut cleaned and installed handrails on the Electromagnetic Levitation device then swapped out gear inside the Space Automated Bioproduct Lab.

On-Orbit Status Report

Venice Film Festival Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event: Paolo Nespoli participated in a 20-minute ESA PAO event for the Venice Film Festival. The documentary ‘Expedition’, which chronicles ESA Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli’s preparation for human space mission, will be presented at the Venice Film Festival on September 6th. This PAO event was a press conference where journalists were given an opportunity to ask Paolo questions. The Director and producer of ‘Expedition’, Alessandra Bonavina, moderated the event.

Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2) Operations Session: Today the crew continued to conduct the ARED portion of MED-2 operations that began earlier this week by using body markers and multiple floating camcorders to capture the crew performing dead lifts and rowing exercises. The ISS’s exercise equipment is large and bulky, while the MED-2 aims to demonstrate small robotic actuators can provide motion and resistance for crew workout sessions, reducing the size and weight of exercise equipment for long-duration space missions. The MED-2 investigation is a system to test key technologies needed to develop space based exercise equipment that may provide appropriate countermeasures to the adverse effects of microgravity. This technology is critical for the initial design and development of second and third generation Counter Measure Systems (CMS) hardware that is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing ISS class of CMS hardware and that has significantly greater reliability.

Genes in Space: The crew set up hardware in the maintenance work area (MWA) before conducting the Genes in Space experiment by processing the samples in the miniPCR, and then transferring the data to the SSC for downlink. The Genes in Space investigation, is a winning student-designed experiment, to test whether the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be used to study DNA alterations aboard the ISS. Spaceflight causes many changes to the human body, including alterations in DNA and a weakened immune system. Understanding whether these two processes are linked is important for safeguarding crew health, but DNA technology that can track these changes is relatively untested in space.

Electromagnetic Levitation (EML) European Drawer Rack (EDR) Maintenance: The crew performed maintenance activities by completing fan filter cleanings, rack rotations, and a handrail installation within the EML. EML is a facility composed of 4 inserts installed into the EDR on-orbit representing a facility for Electromagnetic Levitation of samples. The experiment samples are installed in a dedicated Sample Chamber that is attached to EML and will be replaced by new Sample Chambers for new experiment batches.

Space Automated Bioproduct Lab (SABL) Unit 2 Incubator Removal: Crewmembers removed a CO2 incubator controller from the SABL Unit 2 and then inserted ice bricks into SABL Unit 3 for conditioning. The SABL supports a wide variety of experiments in the life, physical and material sciences with a focus on supporting research of biological systems and processes. It has a temperature controlled volume with LED lighting for scientific hardware and experiments. It can be fitted to provide 5% CO2 for cell cultures.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

51S Samsung Tablet Battery Status Check and Recharge (if it is less than 80% charged)
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Nitrogen Manual Valve Open
At Home In Space Culture Photo
Combustion Integrated Rack Alignment Guide Removal
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
Columbus COL1F1 (EDR) tilt
Columbus WOOV3,4,5 Inspection
Positioning EDR switches, closing Vacuum cleaner usage and restowing
VCA2 pointing and EDR safing
EDR AAA Fan Filter Cleaning
EHS – Intravehicular Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (IV-TEPC) Relocate
Genes in Space Sample Operations
Handover Feedback Questions
Crew Discretionary Event
IFUNGUS sample MELFI Insertion #3
Delta file prep
Medical Kits Inventory Check
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry – Subject
Mating and De-Mating of MagVector Umbilicals at the COL1F2 UIP
Miniature Exercise Device Operations Session
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) in Columbus
Recorded Greeting Request
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Incubator Removal
SABL 3 Ice Brick Insertion
Station Support Computer (SSC) 5 Laptop Relocate
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Recovery of Force Loader [??-1?].
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos web site and social media
Verification of ??-1 Flow Sensor Position
Regeneration Micropurification Unit (???) ?2 Absorption Cartridge
??? maintenance
SCENARIO. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
Diagnostics of FGB Power Supply System Filter Units (??-2) and Main Bus Assembly (???-2).
ECON-M. Observation and photography

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Electrical Power System (EPS) Solar Array Maximum Output Test
S4 solar arrays Voltage Maximum Power

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 09/07: MBSU I-level maintenance, LMM inspection
Friday, 09/08: Mouse TCU preparation, RR9 Habitat restock, ACME
Saturday, 09/09: Lung Tissue Media Fixation, Weekly Housekeeping, Off Duty

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

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