Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 May 2019 – Ongoing Medical Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 11, 2019
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 May 2019 – Ongoing Medical Research
The waxing crescent moon is photographed just above Earth's limb and the bluish hue of the atmosphere at the beginning of an orbital sunrise. A portion of one of the International Space Station's solar arrays is seen in the left foreground as the orbital complex flew 258 miles above the Sea of Japan. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 59 crew has a light duty day today with some science work on the schedule. Meanwhile, robotics controllers are preparing to swap external payloads in the unpressurized trunk of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.
NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch checked samples today as she continued exploring why pathogens become more virulent in space. Later, she set up hardware for the Kidney Cells experiment that seeks innovative treatments for humans on Earth and in space.

Astronaut Nick Hague of NASA retrieved sample trays from a materials exposure experiment brought back inside the Kibo lab module. Fellow NASA astronaut Anne McClain checked on mice being observed for changes to their immune systems in microgravity.

Two new experiments are ready for robotic extraction from the SpaceX Dragon and installation on the International Space Station starting Thursday night and into the weekend. An older experiment will be removed from the station and placed back in Dragon.

The remotely controlled Canadarm2 robotic arm will first extract the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) from Dragon’s trunk. Japan’s robotic arm will then take hold of the OCO-3 and install the global carbon detection device on Kibo’s external pallet. The Canadarm2 will then extract and install the Space Test Program-Houston 6 hardware for space physics research on the station’s truss structure.

Finally, the Japanese robotic arm will hand off the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) to the Canadarm2 for installation in Dragon’s trunk. CATS will burn up over Earth’s atmosphere when Dragon’s trunk separates during its reentry at the end of May. A SpaceX Dragon resupply ship delivered CATS in January of 2015 for robotic installation outside Kibo. CATS successfully demonstrated low cost atmospheric monitoring techniques from the station.

On-Orbit Status Report

Repository: The crew set up the urine collection hardware in preparation for a repository session to be performed on Saturday and Sunday. Repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions.

Micro-14: The crew took samples from one 12-well BioCell plate inside the Life Science Glovebox work volume. The Micro-14 (Characterizing the Effects of Spaceflight on the Candida albicans Adaptation Responses) life science research mission will investigate and evaluate the responses of the C. albicans, a type of yeast, to microgravity conditions and, in particular, to assess changes at the physiological, cellular, and molecular level and to characterize virulence factors.

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL)/Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE) Materials ISS Experiment Transfer Tray (MTT) Remove and BCDU JEM ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI) Reconfiguration: The JEMAL was pressurized and the slide table was extended into the JEM to give the crew access. They then removed the MTT and stowed three MSCs (MISSE Sample Carriers) for return. The JOTI was then reconfigured to support an upcoming BCDU (Battery Charge/Discharge Unit) transfer through the JEMAL. The primary MISSE-FF (Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility) platform provides the ability to test materials, coatings, and components or other larger experiments in the harsh environment of space, which is virtually impossible to do collectively on Earth. Testing in low-Earth orbit (LEO) allows the integrated testing of how materials react to exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), atomic oxygen (AO), ionizing radiation, ultrahigh vacuum (UHV), charged particles, thermal cycles, electromagnetic radiation, and micro-meteoroids in the LEO environment.

Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems (STaARS) Bioscience-3: The crew removed the remaining three Experiment Containers from the STaARS facility and placed them in -80 deg C cold stowage. The investigation contributes to a greater understanding of cardiovascular disease (CVD) through the study of transcriptomics of vascular cells. Upon return from spaceflight, crewmembers often display alterations in their cardiovascular systems, similar to those suffering from CVD. The goal of this work is to elucidate the mechanism of vascular cell damage in the space environment by exposing vascular cells to spaceflight.

Team Task Switching (TTS): Crewmembers performed the TTS surveys. The objective of the TTS investigation is to gain knowledge about whether crewmembers have difficulty in switching tasks, and apply the results to both the reduction of any negative consequences and improvement of individual and team motivation and effectiveness.

Payload Executive Processor (PEP) R14 Health and Status Software Patch: The PEP R14 Health and Status software patch was loaded to both Payload Multiplexer Demutliplexers (MDMs). This patch expands the buffer size to accommodate data collection from multiple payloads simultaneously and is in support of Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) activation during SpX-17. This buffer limit was a constraint for payloads operations, limiting the total number of payloads reporting health and status through the MDM. The patch increases the buffer size to 30,000 words from 17,487 words.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Maintenance: The crew charged 6 helmet light batteries and 2 Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies (REBAs). They also performed Metal Oxide (METOX) cartridge regeneration.

Dragon Cargo Transfer Status: The crew has completed approximately 25.5 hours of cargo transfer. Approximately 2 hours of transfer remain to be performed.

Completed Task List Activities:
Epson printer teardown/stow
CSA Little Invent photos
PFS hardware relocate
EMU 3006 REBA troubleshooting
Prep for Z-book shell return
PMM prep for ZSR shell

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
JEMAL activities
Robotics – OCO3 extract/handoff
Kidney LSG hardware setup
Rodent Research habitat restock

Look Ahead:
Friday, 05/10 (GMT 130):

CIR manifold bottle replacement
Cryochiller desiccant exchange
Fluid Shifts Chibis ops
Food Acceptability
ISS HAM pass
ISS Experience
Kidney Cells

VHF comm checks
JEMAL depressurization/vent

Saturday, 05/11 (GMT 131):

LSG decontamination
JAXA/Mouse Mission maintenance

Crew off duty; housekeeping
PAO Symbolic

Sunday, 05/12 (GMT 132):

Genes in Space-6
Kidney Cells
MVP Cell-01


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

MISSE-FF MSC Retrieval and Pack Procedure Review
JEM Airlock Press
Micro-14 BioCell Sampling in MSG
Materials ISS Experiment – Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) JEM Video Setup
JEM Airlock Leak Check
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Deploy
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE) MTT Removal and Stowage
JOTI Reconfiguration to Transfer a Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU)
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE) MSC Pack
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems BioScience-3 Ex Container Removal
STAARS MELFI Bitran Bag Sample Insertion
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Rodent Research Habitat 1 & 2 Restock
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Service Module Setup
Bio-Analyzer Hardware Connection And Power On
LSG Work Volume Deploy
IMPACT. Photography of IMPACT plate No.1 from DC1 EV Hatch 1 window
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Kidney Cells LSG Ancillary Hardware Setup
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Initiation
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Stow
Cold Stowage Sample Transfer from POLAR to MELFI
Bio-Analyzer Hardware Power Off
LSG Work Volume Decon Prep

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