Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 March 2019 – Researching Higher-Quality Semiconductor Crystals

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 10, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 March 2019 – Researching Higher-Quality Semiconductor Crystals
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 March 2019 - Researching Higher-Quality Semiconductor Crystals.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon’s hatch is closed and the stage is set for the Commercial Crew Program’s first undocking and return to Earth Friday.
As NASA and SpaceX get ready for Friday’s splashdown, the Expedition 58 crew continued exploring a variety of space physics phenomena aboard the International Space Station.

The uncrewed SpaceX DM-1 mission has one final milestone and that is the safe return to Earth with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 a.m. EST Friday. The Crew Dragon will undock Friday at 2:31 a.m. from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter. NASA TV will broadcast the departure and return activities live.

The first commercial crew vehicle from SpaceX will be bringing back over 330 pounds of science gear, crew supplies and station hardware. It delivered almost 450 pounds of materials to resupply the station crew on March 3.

Science took precedence as usual aboard the orbital lab today as SpaceX prepares to welcome its Crew Dragon back on Earth.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain spent Thursday morning setting up hardware to explore ways to improve the production of higher-quality semiconductor crystals. Afterward, she relocated the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer laptop computer that researches cosmic rays and antimatter from the Columbus lab module to the Destiny lab module.

Commander Oleg Kononenko worked throughout the day on a Russian-European experiment researching plasma physics. The Plasma Krystal-4 study observes plasma crystal formation that could inform future research and spacecraft designs.

On-Orbit Status Report

SpaceX (SpX) Crew Dragon Demonstration 1 Departure Preparation: Today the crew performed refresher training in preparation for tomorrow’s Crew Dragon departure. In addition, they loaded final cargo, obtained closeout imagery, acquired samples of the atmosphere, then closed the hatches between ISS and Crew Dragon. Undocking is planned for Friday, March 8 at 01:26 AM CT with splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean taking place at ~7:45 AM CT the same day. This uncrewed flight test marks a significant step towards returning capability to launch astronauts on a U.S. built spacecraft from U.S. soil.

Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4): Today a crewmember initiated three runs for group 3 of the PK-4 Experiment and reconfigured the hose connection to use the Neon Gas supply. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between the European Space Agency and the Roscosmos, performing research in the field of “Complex Plasmas”: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles.

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS)-02: A crewmember relocated the AMS laptop from the Lab Express Rack (ER)-1 to Columbus module ER-3. The move was required in preparation for upgrading Lab ER-1 with an Improved Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway (iPEHG) next week. 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.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Crew Dragon / Node 2 Vestibule depressurization and successful leak check

Look Ahead:
Friday, 03/08 (GMT 067):

Standard Measures Questionnaires (NASA)
BCM Questionnaires (NASA)
PK-4 group 4 runs (RUS)
Microscope H/W teardown (NASA)

Dragon Undock and Splashdown
EMU 3008 On Orbit Fit Verification (OFV)

Saturday, 03/09 (GMT 068):

PK-4 Chamber Gas neon xchange and stow and Data HD changeout (RUS)
VEG-03H install (NASA-Virtual task list)


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

ISS Crew and ???? (RSA Flight Control Team) weekly conference
Environmental Health System (EHS) Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
MegaHEPA Seal Remove
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
PK-4 data hard drives exchange
ALBEDO. Setup, VSS Imagery, Closeout Ops
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Hardware Setup
PK-4 Experiment Run 3
Inventory Management System (IMS) conference
Vozdukh Deactivation
Temporary Swap of Power Switching Unit ???-0.5? #10?=?434 with ???-1? #10?=?41.
Dragon Forward – Station Support Computer Relocate
Mating ????2-12 Telemetry Connector.
Dragon Forward Monitoring Setup in Cupola
Temporary Swap of Power Switching Unit ???-0.5? #10?=?434 with ???-1? #10?=?41. Closeout Ops.
SpX-DEMO1 Departure review CBT
VOZDUKH Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [???] Activation.
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Transfer
PK-4 Experiment Run 3
On-Board Training (OBT) SpX-DEMO1 OBT Conference after Departure CBT review
Recharging Soyuz 741 Samsung PC after OBT, start recharge
Weekly monitoring of video recording equipment performance on the ISS RS
Enviromental Health Systems (EHS) Air Quality Monitor (AQM) Relocation
PK-4 Experiment Run 3
Dragon-Forward Cargo Transfer Operations
??? Maintenance
Dragon Forward Departure Photos
Recharging Soyuz 741 Samsung PC after OBT, remove from recharge
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Dragon-Forward Cargo Operations Conference
Dragon Forward Egress in Preparation for Departure
PMA2 Egress Desiccant install
AMS Laptop Relocate

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