Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 August 2019 – Preparing for the Next Spacewalk

By Marc Boucher
August 11, 2019
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 August 2019 – Preparing for the Next Spacewalk
International Space Station barber and Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan of NASA trims the hair of fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 60 crew is gearing up for an upcoming spacewalk to prepare the International Space Station for more commercial crew missions.
Biomedical science also took up a portion of the astronauts’ day as they help researchers understand what happens to the human body in microgravity.

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan are reviewing their tasks planned for Aug. 21 when they conduct the fifth spacewalk of the year at the orbiting lab. The duo will take about six-and-a-half hours to install the International Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3) on top of the Harmony module. The IDA-3, delivered inside the Dragon cargo craft’s trunk, will be the second port at the station designed to receive the new Boeing and SpaceX crew ships.

Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Luca Parmitano are helping the spacewalkers get ready for the upcoming excursion. They are configuring spacesuit components today and will continue assisting the pair before, during and after the next spacewalk.

Morgan first joined Koch and Parmitano during the morning for ultrasound eye exams. Koch took charge of the eye scans in the Columbus lab module with real-time inputs from doctors on the ground. She observed her crewmates’ retina, cornea, lens and optic nerve to maintain eye health in space.

Koch and Parmitano later split up feeding the station’s mice and cleaning their habitats in the Destiny laboratory module. Observing the rodents, which are genetically similar to humans, in the weightless environment of microgravity gives scientists critical therapeutic insights that can benefit Earthlings and astronauts.

The most recent trio to arrive at the station gathered at the end of the day to train for a medical emergency. Morgan, Parmitano and cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov practiced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), checked out medical gear and reviewed emergency communications.

On-Orbit Status Report

ISS HAM pass: The crew participated in a HAM pass with Kyoto Tachibana Junior and Senior High Schools in Japan. Some of the questions involved how the ISS avoids other orbiting satellites, what Earth looks like when it’s night in Japan, and many others. 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.

NanoRacks Emulsion Tube: In this experiment, the crew demonstrated the mixing properties of two liquids contained inside the Emulsion Tube. The experiment allows the liquids to be easily separated, then shaken to create an emulsion which can be observed. NanoRacks-Emulsion Tube demonstrates phenomena of the separation of immiscible fluids, or fluids such as oil and water that cannot be mixed or blended. On Earth, buoyancy is the dominant force driving the separation of oil and water into uniform volumes, but in microgravity, surface tension and polarity differences dominate and slow the separation. Analyzing differences between the mixture in Earth’s gravity and microgravity provides insight into fluid physics.

Rodent Research-17: The crew restocked the habitats and cleaned the units. Rodent Research-17 uses young and old mice as model organisms to evaluate the physiological, cellular and molecular effects of the spaceflight environment. Some responses to spaceflight in humans and model organisms such as mice resemble accelerated aging. This investigation provides a better understanding of aging-related immune, bone, and muscle disease processes, which may lead to new therapies for use in space and on Earth.

Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor (SCRAM): The crew installed SCRAM in the EXPRESS Rack 8 and powered up the payload to begin a 24 hour checkout prior to starting nominal ops. The investigation demonstrates the capabilities of a small, reliable, portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer instrument aboard the ISS to conduct major and minor elements of air measurement (Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Water, etc). The instrument transmits data back to the ground research team every two seconds, providing a continuous analysis to the ground research team. It has a mass of less than 9.5 kg, and consumes less than 40 watts of power.

Medical Contingency On-Board Training (OBT): The 59S crew reviewed medical emergency procedures and rescuer roles during a medical event requiring CPR. They also reviewed emergency medical hardware configuration as well as crew communication and coordination of care during an emergency medical event.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap: The crew unpacked EMU 3009 which is a new unit that arrived on SpX-18. The crew then packed EMU 3003, which will be returned to ground on SpX-18 for refurbishment.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Ops: Yesterday Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS to perform troubleshooting for garbled video on Trunk Line MSS 4 to the External Video Switch Unit (EVSU). When they attempted to route the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Body Camera 2 through a downlink the image was scrolling. Following troubleshooting, they translated the Mobile Transporter (MT) from Work Site (WS) 7 to WS6, where they performed planned direct drive data gathering on the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) wrist pitch and wrist yaw joints on the prime string. SSRMS direct drive testing continued today and teams are discussing a forward plan for the video issue.

Completed Task List Activities:
BFF smart pump R&R
Symptom questionnaire
Soldering kit audit
Node 1 Deck 2 stow
PWD filter circuit breaker reset

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
SSRMS Direct Drive testing
JEMAL depress
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Friday, 8/9 (GMT 221)

Acoustic Diagnostics
FSL reconfig
Food Acceptability
Ice Cubes R&R
Lighting Effects
MSPR reconfiguration
SPHERES Zero Robotics dry run and competition
Standard Measures

EVA BSA battery ops
EMU LiON battery ops

Saturday, 8/10 (GMT 222)

Lighting Effects

Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 8/11 (GMT 223)

Lighting Effects
Standard Measures setup

Crew off duty

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

Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Checkout
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male Lighting Effects
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
JEM Airlock Depressurization
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan Prep
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment
Ultrasound 2 Scan performed by a Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor Initial Installation into EXPRESS Rack
PILOT-T. Photography of the Experiment Ops
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
Rodent Research Habitat 1 & 2 Restock
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
JEM Airlock Vent
MRM1 Fan Screen Cleaning (Group C)
JAXA Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack Experiment Laptop Terminal(MSPR ELT) Activation
JEM Airlock Vent Confirmation
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap
Verification of ??-1 Flow Sensor Position
Preventive Maintenance of FS1 Laptop
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Routine Monthly Maintenance of BRI
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
SEMU Launch Enclosure (SLE) Rotation.
IMS Delta File Prep
TIMER. Marker gathering, setting up and taking measurements along the Operator
Emergency RS ISS VHF-1 Comm Checkout from USOS
SEMU Launch Enclosure (SLE) Launch Reconfigure
Station Support Computer (SSC) System Vent Cleaning
TIMER. Closeout Ops
FOTOBIOREACTOR. Visual inspection with photography
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Reminder Rodent Research Thermal Consideration
Reminder Lighting Effects Cognition Tests
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry

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