Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 January 2020 – Ramping up for Trio of Spacewalks

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
January 11, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 January 2020 – Ramping up for Trio of Spacewalks
Cosmonauts (from left) Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka pose for a portrait during a televised conference with Russian religious leaders during the Orthodox Christian celebration of the Nativity of Christ. Credit: NASA.

Human research and space biology filled the lab schedule aboard the International Space Station today. The Expedition 61 crewmembers are also ramping up for a trio of spacewalks set to begin next week.
NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir and Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) started Thursday collecting their blood samples. The duo spun the samples in a centrifuge and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis. The astronauts also joined cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov for a series of eye checks throughout the day.

Skvortsov also partnered up with cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka for cardiac research. After some Russian lab maintenance work, the pair also filmed educational activities to promote spaceflight for audiences on Earth.

Parmitano later tested how living in microgravity influences an astronaut’s perception of time. At the end of the workday, the ESA commander serviced a research incubator located in the Unity module.

Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan is setting up a mouse habitat in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The research facility is part of the Cell Biology Experiment Facility and enables the observation of rodents, which have a physiology similar to humans, in different gravity conditions.

Meir and fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch are getting ready for two of three spacewalks planned for this month. The spacewalkers will work outside the station on Jan. 15 and 20 to replace older batteries with newer, more powerful batteries on the orbiting lab’s Port-6 truss structure. Morgan and Parmitano are targeting a third spacewalk on Jan. 25 to finish repairing the station’s cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

On-Orbit Status Report

CBEF-L (Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L): The crew removed the Plant Experiment Unit from the CBEF-L facility and reconfigured the Video output cables for multiple channel ops. CBEF-L is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new subrack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

JAXA MHU-5 (JAXA Mouse Habitat Unit-5): The crew completed the configuration of the Mouse Habitat Unit for future ops. JAXA Mouse Habitat Unit-5 (MHU-5) examines the effects of partial G on mice using the JAXA-developed mouse habitat cage units (HCU) that can be installed in the newly developed Centrifuge-equipped Biological Experiment Facility-L (CBEF-L) on the ISS. Stress caused by partial G may alter gene expression in cells of the body. The investigation analyzes any such alterations and their possible effects on development of germ cells, which carry genetic information and expression to subsequent generations.

Time Perception in Microgravity: The crew performed a Time Perception session In the Columbus Bay 2 module. A program on the laptop induces visual and audio stimuli to measure a subject’s response to spatial and time perception in a microgravity environment. The accurate perception of objects in the environment is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks. Time is fundamental to motion perception, sound localization, speech, and fine motor coordination.


X2R18 Software Transition: The ground teams completed the MCC-H server step-up overnight and started on the X2R18 software load to the Command and Control System (CCS). Today, the ISS crew continued with supporting on-orbit transition to the X2R18 by completing Part 2 of imaging two PCS laptops.

P6 Battery Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: In preparation for the upcoming P6 Battery EVA, the ISS crew completed multiple preparatory activities including the Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) suit Contingency Water Container – Iodine (CWC-I) degassing procedure. Additionally, the crew completed standard checkout procedures for the EVA EMU Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) device along with the Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) hardware. Later in the day, the crew also completed the EMU Li-Ion battery charging activity and installed fresh EMU batteries and Metox canisters into both EMU suits. The crew was also involved in completing an EVA EMU Resize activity along with the EVA Tool Config activity. The first of two planned P6 Li-Ion battery replacement EVAs is scheduled for January 15, 2020.

SpX-19 Post Mission Operations: All post mission cargo operations are complete with no known issues. All Dragon cargo has been transferred to NASA.

Completed Task List Activities:
No task list activities were completed.

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payload Operations Support
X2R18 database transition

Thursday, 1/9 (GMT 009)
CBEF-L Plant Experiment Unit Removal (JAXA)
CBEF-L Mouse Habitat and video setup Reconfig (JAXA)
AWP Data Downlink (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)
CSA Frozen Blood Collect (CSA)
LIDAL Setup and Activation (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)

EVA EMU Resize
EVA Tool Config
EVA Airlock Stow
EVA LLB/Metox Install
HMS AED Inspect
Vision Testing
Columbus SW Load
X2R18 PCS and Z-book
X2R18 PCS and Z-book Stow

Friday, 1/10 (GMT 010)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Mouse Habitat Interface unit Install to CBEF-L and Checkout and Utility Outlet Panel config (JAXA)
Food Physiology Briefing (NASA)
SABL CO2 Incubator Controller install and Short Tray Insert (NASA)

EVA EMU Water Recharging
EVA EMU Loop Scrub
UPA Brine Filter R&R
EVA LLB Ops Term
EVA PTV POM Battery Charge Swap
HRF1 Rack Rotate
Columbus Bay 4 Clean-up
Columbus VCA2 ADJ
Vision Test

Saturday, 1/11 (GMT 011)
Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)

Med Ops Ultrasound Scans

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

HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
UF-ATMOSFERA. PL Deactivation
AMS Procedure/video review
Record EPO Paxi script
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Suit Intravehicular (IV) Review
IMS Delta File Prep
iPad Check Apple Operating System Downloaded
ISS Experience Mid-Mission Debrief
ISS Experience Presleep OPS
OPTIMIS Tablet Application Troubleshooting
Preparation of reports for Roscosmos website and social media
ECON-M. Observations and photo (Task list)
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
ARED Photo/TV Reminder
TIME Perception experiment constraints reminder
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection 25 Minutes Subject
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
UF-ATMOSFERA. Closeout Ops
CSA Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
XF305 Camcorder Setup
CBEF-L Plant Exp Unit Removal
Cell Biology Experiment Facility-Left (CBEF-L) Backup Power Setup
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan Prep
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
Contingency Water Container – Iodinated (CWC-I) Degas
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan performed by a Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Cell Biology Experiment Facility-Left (CBEF-L) Reconfiguration for Mouse Mission
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Post Exam
Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Checkout
BIOCARD. Operator Assistance During the Experiment
BIOCARD. Experiment Session.
Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) Enhanced Caution and Warning System (ECWS) On-Board Training
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
HMS Tonometry Test Setup
Changing Cell Biology Experiment Facility – Left (CBEF-L) video output cable reconfiguration.
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 2 Stow Alternate
HMS Tonometry Test Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Changeout of ????1 & ????2 Dust Filters (???1_??_208 Bag 442-14 (00076772R). Reflect deltas in the IMS) and Cleaning MRM1 Gas-Liquid Heat Exchanger (???)
HMS Tonometry Test Subject
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Unstow
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Termination
HMS Tonometry Test Stow
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Initiation
Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Installation
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 2 adjustment
Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Powered Hardware Checkout
On-board Training (OBT) Mouse Habitat Unit Setup Review
PWS1 T61P Software Load Part 1 of 2
MATRYOSHKA-R. Monitoring Tritel Readings
GREAT START. Video Script Review Tagup with specialists as necessary
Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) Activation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
PWS1 T61P Software Load Part 2 of 2
GREAT START. Preparation
THE GREAT START. Educational Session and Video
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Terminate
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Setup
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB)/Metal Oxide (METOX) Installation
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Time experiment science
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Setup
ARED Exercise
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Prep
MERLIN Desiccant Swap
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – OCT2 Exam – Operator
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Exam – Subject
MERLIN2 Desiccant Swap
Off Duty Day
SODF Warning update
Cleanup HRF-1 rotation path.
Test activation of HP printer in SM.
Food Acceptability Survey
X2R18 Portable Computer System (PCS) Connect
??? Maintenance
Portable Computer System (PCS) Hard Drive Image
Evening Preparation Work
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Stow
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Stow

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