Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 February 2018 – Cargo Resupply Mission on Tap This Sunday

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 9, 2018
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 February 2018 – Cargo Resupply Mission on Tap This Sunday
Russia’s Progress 69 resupply rocket is pictured in its processing facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos.

A Russian cargo craft is getting ready to roll out to its launch pad for a Sunday morning lift-off to resupply the International Space Station and the Expedition 54 crew.
The astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the station are also preparing for the new space shipment and continuing a variety of life science studies.

Russia’s Progress 69 (69P) resupply ship is in its processing facility preparing to roll out to the launch pad Friday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The 69P is due to lift-off Sunday at 3:58 a.m. EST (2:58 p.m. Baikonur time) reaching the International Space Station in record time just three and half hours later.

Cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov trained today for Sunday’s Progress’ automated rendezvous and docking set for 7:24 a.m. The duo practiced using the station’s telerobotically operated rendezvous unit in the unlikely event the Progress would need to be manually docked to the Zvezda service module.

Mice and plant studies are still under way this week to help researchers understand how organisms respond to living in space. Data collected from the space biology and botany studies may improve health treatments, benefit a wide variety of industry sectors and help NASA plan journeys farther into space.

Astronauts Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai continued partnering together researching how a muscle maintenance drug affects muscle growth in mice living on the orbital lab. Results of the drug study may help combat muscle weakening in space and on Earth. Two-time station resident Joe Acaba processed and stowed samples for the Plant Gravity Processing experiment. The botany study is exploring how plants grow and how their roots orient themselves in outer space.

On-orbit Status Report

Communications Issues: This morning, communication with the ISS on Space to Ground (S/G) became intermittent. A failed controller card at White Sands prevented the acquisition of the correct Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). Nominal communications were restored after the card was replaced.

Rodent Research 6 (RR-6): Today the crew performed the third day of RR-6 operations by conducting fixative swaps and processing a series of blood samples from the rodents. The samples were placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for containment. The Rodent Research-6 (RR-6) mission uses mice flown aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and maintained on Earth to test drug delivery systems for combatting muscular breakdown in space or during disuse conditions. RR-6 includes several groups of mice selectively treated with a placebo or implanted with a nano-channel drug delivery chip that administers compounds meant to maintain muscle in low gravity/disuse conditions.

Plant Gravity Perception Operations European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS): The crew configured the EMCS Maintenance Work Area (MWA) then removed and stowed the EMCS seed cassettes from the experiment containers (ECs) of the previous experiment run. The crew then replaced the ECs on the EMCS rotors with new ECs and began the next Plant Gravity Perception experiment run. The Plant Gravity Perception investigation germinates normal and mutated forms of thale cress, a model research plant, to study the plants’ gravity and light perception. Results provide new information about plants’ ability to detect gravity and how they adapt to an environment without it, which benefits efforts to grow plants for food on future missions. The EMCS is an experiment facility dedicated to studying plant biology in a reduced gravity environment. It supports the cultivation, stimulation, and crew-assisted operation of biological experiments under controlled conditions. The facility has performed multi-generation (seed-to-seed) experiments and studies the effects of gravity and light on early development and growth, signal perception and transduction in plant tropisms.

Plant Habitat Water Refill: In support of the on-going Plant Habitat investigation, today the crew injected water into the distribution system. Plant Habitat is a fully automated facility used to conduct plant bioscience research on the International Space Station (ISS). It occupies the lower half of the EXPRESS Rack and two International Sub-rack Interface Standard (ISIS) drawers, providing a large, enclosed, environmentally controlled chamber.

NeuroMapping: Two 52S crewmembers set up the NeuroMapping hardware and performed their Flight Day150 tests in “strapped in” and “free floating” body configurations. The NeuroMapping investigation studies whether long-duration spaceflight causes changes to brain structure and function, motor control, or multi-tasking abilities. It also measures how long it would take for the brain and body to recover from possible changes. Previous research and anecdotal evidence from astronauts suggests movement control and cognition can be affected in microgravity. The NeuroMapping investigation performs structural and functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI and fMRI) to assess any changes that occur after spending months on the ISS.

Microbial Tracking-2 (MT-2): A 53S subject performed saliva sample collections in support of the MT-2 investigation. The MT-2 series continues the monitoring of the types of microbes that are present on the ISS. It seeks to catalog and characterize potential disease-causing microorganisms onboard the ISS. Crew pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight samples and environmental samples from ISS surface and air locations are collected to identify any associations between the microbial content of the samples, as well as potential health effects.

Lighting Effects Meter Readings: The crew set up and configured the Light Meter hardware to obtain Light Meter readings before downloading the data, and stowing the hardware. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance.

Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) Cable Replacement and Checkout: The crew conducted standard maintenance operations by relocating and conducting checkout activities for two PCRF maintenance units. The PCRF is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) sub-rack facility that investigates protein crystal growth in microgravity. The PCRF can accommodate six cell cartridges. Each cell cartridge can accommodate a motor drive and Peltier elements, from which activation and termination timing, as well as temperature profiles, can be freely designed by the investigator.

Try Zero-Gravity Preparation: To prepare for next week’s Try Zero-Gravity experiment, today the crew reviewed reference videos and prepared items for the experiment. Try Zero-Gravity (Try Zero-G) allows the public, especially kids, to vote for and suggest physical tasks for JAXA Astronauts to demonstrate the difference between 0-G and 1-G for educational purposes. Some of tasks include putting in eye drops, performing push-ups on the ceiling, arm wrestling, and flying a magic carpet.

Education Payloads Operations (EPO) – Recycling Air and Water: Today the crew recorded a video to explain to children why and how water and air are recycled onboard the ISS. It is very expensive to launch mass to space and because there is not enough space onboard to store new water and air, they must be constantly recycled. The video also featured the European Space Agency’s mascot for young kids.

Earth Imagery from ISS Target (EIISS): Using the Nikon camera, the crew captured images of Japan and with the RED camera, they captured images of the Namib Desert. EIISS is used to support creation of a series of videos showcasing Earth views taken from space. The videos are taken with cameras on the ISS in 6K hi-resolution and are integrated into videos for screensavers for public enjoyment, exploration, and engagement.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Helmet Light Inspection and Installation: Today the USOS crew inspected and reinstalled EMU helmet lights that were removed and loaned to the Russian crew for their Extravehicular Activity (EVA), which was performed last Friday. The lights were installed on EMUs 3004 and 3003 for use on a future USOS EVA. EMU 3003 will be used for USOS EVA 48, currently planned for February 15th.

Latching End Effector B (LEE-B) Commissioning: Yesterday evening, Robotic Ground Controllers performed new Latching End Effector B (LEE-B) commissioning steps. This consisted of performing LEE B checkouts, maneuvering the Space Station Remote Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to capture the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) with LEE-B, verifying SPDM power up on LEE-B on both the SSRMS Prime and Redundant Payload Power Strings. They also switched the SSRMS base from LEE-A to LEE-B and back to LEE-A. At the completion of these steps, the Robotic Ground Controllers released LEE-B from MBS PDGF4 and maneuvered to a park position in preparation for USOS EVA 48.

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

Microbial Tracking-2 Body Sample Collection
Microbial Tracking-2 Sample MELFI Retrieval Insert
S/G1 from ??? Baikonur voice loop check
RED Camera Setup.
Microbial Tracking-2 Saliva Stow
Rodent Research Node 2 Camcorder Video Setup
ALGOMETRIA. Prep and measurement in tenso- and termo-algomenteria mode.
Earth Imagery from ISS RED Target Operations
Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) Maintenance Unit Relocation A
Rodent Research Refrigerated Centrifuge Setup
Rodent Research Operations 1B
Rodent Research Operations 2B
ALGOMETRIA. Photography during experiment session
RED Camera Deactivation.
NeuroMapping Experiment Neurocognitive Test – Subject
???? OBT.
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 1
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Maintenace Work Area Preparation
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Maintenance Work Area Configuration
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Procedure Review
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Experiment Container Removal from Rotor B
Rodent Research Refrigerated Centrifuge Configure
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Rotor B Sample Processing
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System MELFI Sample Insertion
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Experiment Container Removal from Rotor A
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Rotor A Sample Processing
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Experiment Container Installation
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Plant Gravity Perception/European Modular Cultivation System Cleanup after Run #1
Earth Imagery from ISS Nikon Target Operations
Crew Medical Officer (CMO) Proficiency Training
??? maintenance
DAN. Experiment ops.
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude Final
Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) Maintenance Unit Relocation B
Asia Try Zero G Experiment Preparation
Rodent Research 6 Fixative Swap
Lighting Effects Light Meter Setup
Plant Habitat Water Refill
IMS ops
?? ??-1? software update.
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
?? ??-1? software update (assist).
Rodent Research Hind Limb Sample Relocation
Record of EPO Paxi script
?gat-2 unit ops
Pump noise localization on panel 4???2, ???2 loop.
Lighting Effects Light Meter Readings
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Helmet Light Inspection
Extravehicular Mobility Unit Helmet Light Installation
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Washer Inspection
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Lighting Effects Light Meter Stow
Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Filter Remove and Replace (R&R)
Emergency RS ISS VHF-1 Comm Checkout from USOS
ALGOMETRIA. Prep and measurement in tenso- and termo-algometria mode

Completed Task List Activities
Installation and check out of crew procedure descent files on tablets in Soyuz after updates

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Battery capacity tests
Payload support
CDRA blower test
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 02/09: Veggie-03, Lighting Effects, Robonaut Pack, Vuze, NR Rock Candy, RR-6, SABL, EIISS
Saturday, 02/10: RR-6, Crew Off Duty
Sunday, 02/11: Nanoracks Rock Candy, Max CEVIS Setup

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 – Override
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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