Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 September, 2020 – Space and its Effects on the Human Body

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 10, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 September, 2020 – Space and its Effects on the Human Body
NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy replaces components inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to support a series of ongoing flame and fuel studies known as Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME).

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner spent a full day after the holiday weekend on investigations that will help demystify the effects of space on the human body
As well as some routine maintenance tasks to ensure the health of the International Space Station — now in its 20th year supporting crews in space.

In the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Kibo laboratory module, Cassidy spent the first part of his Tuesday with Aquatic Habitat, a unique closed-water circulatory aquarium capable of accommodating small freshwater fish such as medaka or zebrafish, which serve as ideal subjects in the study of vertebrates. The station commander performed lens collection for the Confocal Space Microscopy setup and closeout, helping to maintain the microscope capable of providing fluorescence images of biological samples that inform scientists on the ground about the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue structure and functions. Cassidy later used the Biomolecule Sequencer for Genes in Space 6, which evaluates how exposure to radiation affects the long-term health of astronauts. The investigation, part of a series, will aid in finding the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in microgravity.

Meanwhile, on the Russian segment, Ivanishin furthered understanding in how the heart performs during long-duration spaceflight by setting up, and then wearing, an electrocardiogram for a 24-hour period. The crew member also wiped down instrumentation during routine maintenance and configured Earth-observation hardware to capture changes in the planet below.

Vagner, too, did some housekeeping for the outpost, performing transfers to Progress 75 cargo ship tanks in anticipation of its deorbit in Earth’s atmosphere sometime in December. The cosmonaut also focused on the Pilot-T piloting spacecraft and robots study, which uses a mathematical assessment model to develop recommendations and improve the training for cosmonauts expected to perform complicated operator tasks such as docking or flying spacecraft.

On-Orbit Status Report


Confocal Space Microscopy: The crew removed optical lenses from the Confocal Space Microscope hardware. The Payload Control Box Hard Drive was also reconfigured for the Confocal Space Microscope. The Confocal Space Microscope (Confocal Microscope) is a JAXA facility that provides fluorescence images of biological samples aboard the International Space Station. Confocal microscopy uses spatial filtering techniques to eliminate out-of-focus light or glare in specimens whose thickness exceeds the immediate plane of focus. With the Confocal Microscope, data can be obtained on the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue structure and functions in real-time.

STP-H5-Innovative Coatings Experiment (ICE): On GMT 251, the crew took photographic images of the STP-H5 ICE experiment through the JEM window as part of a quarterly imagery requirement. The harsh radiation and extreme temperatures of space can corrode the paint and coatings that protect spacecraft exteriors, potentially damaging a spacecraft’s hull. Optical coatings are also important for robotic and human navigators, who would rely on specialized markings to capture or repair spacecraft. The Space Test Program-H5-Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5 ICE) studies new coatings for use on spacecraft in low-Earth orbit, determining their stability after two years in space.

Genes in Space-6: The crew performed the setup of the Biomolecule Sequencer with a new Flow Cell sample and initiated a sequencing run. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage caused by increased exposure to radiation can affect the long-term health of astronauts. Genes in Space-6 determines the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in the spaceflight environment. The investigation evaluates the entire process in space for the first time by inducing DNA damage in cells and assessing mutation and repair at the molecular level using the miniPCR and the Biomolecule Sequencer tools aboard the space station.


Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: Today, the crew set up the recycle tank to drain to a ???-?. Following the setup the ground performed the tank drain using the Urine Transfer System (UTS). Once the ground specialists completed the transfer, the crew verified the recycle tank was empty, terminated the drain, and repositioned the fill/drain valve to fill.

Completed Task List Activities:

Rodent Research Habitat Stow
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Jumper Quick Disconnect (QD) Maintenance
Photo/TV Flash Fix
Node 2 Diffuser Label
Extravehicular Activity Repair Cargo Transfer Bag Cleanup
JEM Payload Control Box (S/N 002) Power Cable Replace
JEM Payload Control Box (S/N 002) Power Cable Replace
Temperature and Humidity Control Keep-Out-Zone Clear
Refabricator Cartridge Swap
Wanted CEVIS Ergometer
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

PMA3 Shell Heater Test
PCU Deact
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, 9/9 (GMT 253)

Confocal Microscope Setup (JAXA)
MSPR2 Setup for P/L Ctrl Box (JAXA)
GIS-6 BioMolecular Sequencer Stow (NASA)

HMS Ultrasound
EHS FMK Deploy
EHS GSC Sample
Thursday, 9/10 (GMT 254)

Astrobee Power-On (NASA)

Friday, 9/11 (GMT 255)

FLUIDICS Run 2,3 & Closeout (ESA)
CBEF CO2 Sensor Replace (JAXA)
Astrobee Power-Off (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)
RR Hab-4 Stow (NASA)

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

Body Mass Measurement – BMMD
Confocal Space Microscopy Familiarization
Aquatic Habitat (AQH) Lens collection
Progress 448 [SM Aft] Cargo Transfers and IMS Ops
TBU (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat). Monitoring ???-? No.07 thermostat temperature and maintaining unobstructed area near inlet/outlet vents
24-hour ECG Recording (start)
PL Control Box (PLCB) HDD Exchange Part 1
Reading Data from Pille Dosimeter Sensors
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
ALGOMETRIYA. Science ops run
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Fungistat Treatment of FGB structural elements
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Node 1 Camcorder Towards Airlock
Brine/urine transfer from EDV-U to Progress 448 [SM Aft] Rodnik Water Tanks ??1 and ??2, ?? 1 [?1] and ?? 2 [?2] Connector Flushing
Genes in Space 6 Freeze and Fly 2 Run Part 2
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
URAGAN. Installation and activation of SOVA and VSS scientific hardware

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