Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 October 2020 – More Advanced Space Science Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 11, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 October 2020 – More Advanced Space Science Research
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 October 2020 - More Advanced Space Science Research.

The Expedition 63 trio is packing up and getting ready for its return to Earth as the International Space Station is orbiting slightly lower today.
Meanwhile, advanced space science continues full speed ahead aboard the orbiting lab.

Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA is about to wrap up a 196-day mission in space with Roscosmos Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. The Russian duo has begun gathering hardware and other items that will be packed inside the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship for return to Earth. The three-member crew will enter the Soyuz, undock from the Poisk module and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan on Oct. 21.

Cassidy spent a busy Wednesday operating a range of science experiments investigating space technology, microbiology and botany. He started the day setting up the Avatar-X camera that seeks to demonstrate remote robotics that may inform the future of telemedicine. Next, he transferred microbe samples, shipped in a Cygnus cargo craft science freezer, that will be observed to learn how to control bacterial growth in space. Finally, Cassidy set up the Spectrum-001 hardware that will enable fluorescent imaging of protein markers and stress signaling in plants grown on the space station.

As the crew counts down to departure, Ivanishin worked on Russian power supply systems and checked radiation measurements. Vagner assisted Cassidy with the Cygnus science freezer work and checked on a pair of Russian studies looking at bone loss and space piloting techniques.

The space station is orbiting slightly lower after the docked Progress 75 spacecraft fired its engines for nearly seven minutes this morning. The “deboost” puts the station in the correct phasing for the docking on Oct. 14 of the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship carrying the Expedition 64 crew aboard.

On-Orbit Status Report


ISS HAM: The crew initiated a contact with McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA. 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.

Polar: Frozen samples from ISS POLAR’s 3 and 8 and NG-14’s POLAR 6 were transferred to MELFI cold stowage. Polar is a cold stowage managed facility that provides transport and storage of science samples at cryogenic temperatures (-80ºC) to and from the ISS.

Spectrum: The crew retrieved the Spectrum science kit 001 kit from cold stowage and installed it into the Spectrum Facility. Spectrum takes fluorescent images of biological specimens contained within a controlled environment. A high resolution, monochrome camera captures images of fluoresced proteins of plants within Petri plates. Ground crews control the growth lighting, CO2 levels, and ethylene levels within the Spectrum’s research chamber over a typical 12-day growth period while routinely capturing images and telemetering these images back to Earth.

Robo-Pro Challenge: The crew reviewed procedures for the upcoming ROBO-Pro Challenge. Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Robo-Pro Challenge), also known as Kibo-RPC, allows students to create programs to control Astrobee, a free-flying robot aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This opportunity provides hands-on experience with science, technology, engineering and mathematics in space and inspires the next generation of explorers. This activity is based on Japan-U.S. cooperation through the Japan-US Open platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3).

Avatar-X: The crew performed the installation and camera view checkout of the AVATAR-X hardware. JEM Commercial (Avatar-X, or Kibo Avatar-X) demonstrates remote robot technology, Avatar-X, a 4K Camera, a new encoding method developed by ANA HOLDINGS INC. (All Nippon Airways). A user on Earth remotely controls a camera, installed near the window of the Japanese Experiment Module, to see the view from space.

Bacterial Genome Fitness: The crew used the BioServe’s Fluid Processing Apparatus (FPA) to activate groups of eight samples by hand cranking the mixtures in the Group Activation Packs (GAP), then placed the GAPS into the Space Automated Bio-product Laboratory (SABL) for incubation. Scientists know what happens to plants and animals in microgravity, but understand very little about how bacteria are affected. Most previous research used ground-based techniques to simulate microgravity and looked at only one or two specific bacterial processes. Whole Genome Fitness of Bacteria Under Microgravity (Bacterial Genome Fitness) grows multiple types of bacteria in space and comprehensively examines what processes are important to their growth.


ISS Deboost: Early this morning, the ISS successfully performed a deboost using the SM Aft 75 Progress (75P) thrusters. This was the final of three planned burns to set up phasing conditions for the arrival of the 63 Soyuz (63S) vehicle on October 14 and the 62S landing on October 21. The burn was originally planned to occur in the posigrade direction, but was switched to retrograde following a Predetermined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) on September 23

Completed Task List Activities:

JSL Lab Firewall and Lab Router power cycle
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
Station Support Computer 6 Hard Drive Swap
Transfer 62S USOS prepack (ongoing)
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations (ongoing)
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Maneuver to +XVV using OPM
SSRMS Double Walkoff to FGB PDGF
SSRMS Soyuz Survey
Look Ahead Plan

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
Saturday, 10/11 (GMT 284)

Onco Selectors GLO Reagent (NASA)
LSG WV Stow & Restraint Fold (NASA)

No Systems Activities
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Hematocrit Test
ТБУ (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat). Checking ТБУ-В No.07 thermostat temperature and unobstructed area near ТБУ-В inlet/outlet vents
FGB Power Supply System ПТАБ-2 АБ6 R&R using FGB spares. Stow dismantled unit in place of installed one
Monthly health check of RS video recording equipment
Avatar-X Setup
Robot Programming Challenge Briefing
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Install
Bacterial Genome Fitness MELFI Sample Retrieve
KORREKTSIYA. Recharging Actimeter battery through USB port
Bacterial Genome Fitness GAP Activation
PILOT-T. Prepack Neurolab-2010-Data Kit for return to the ground
USOS Window Shutter Close
Avatar-X Checkout
Polar Sample Transfer From Cold Stowage
MATRYOSHKA-R. Tritel Hardware Monitoring
Vacuum cleaning of filter cartridges on dust collectors ПC1, ПС1 in FGB (panels 203, 403)
Vacuum clean FGB Pressurized Adapter
SPECTRUM Procedure Review
Spectrum Plate Installation
KORREKTSIYA. Ending Actimeter battery recharge
Pre-pack cargo items for return or disposal via Soyuz 745
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Astrobee On
Preparation for ИДЭ-4 smoke sensor needle cleaning in DC1 Fire Detection System (СПО)
Clearing access to MRM1-[СУ] hatch prior to Soyuz 747 docking
On board Training Cygnus Emergency Procedure Review

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