Mission Diary – 8-11 April

A very busy Monday for Tim Peake as he addressed several tasks with the NanoRack assemblies following a Sunday devoted in part to the SPHEROIDS in the ESA Columbus module.

Over the weekend, the ISS crew welcomed the SpaceX Dragon capsule, joining the Orbital ATK Cygnus extended module and bringing up the expandable habitat which will be tried out over the next several months.

ISS Daily Report 8-11 April

SpaceX (SpX)-8 Launch, Capture and Berth: SpX-8 launched successfully at 20.43hr UTC Friday. Capture and berthing to the Node 2 nadir port occurred on Sunday at 11:24hr UTC, and berthing occurred approximately three hours later. This morning, the USOS crew ingressed the Dragon and began transferring Cargo Transfer Bags (CTBs), unpacking Double Cold Bags (DCBs) and transferring, installing and powering the Polars. They also re-stowed the Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) and CBM Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) hardware.

SPHEROIDS Hardware Gather and Installation: Yesterday, Peake completed an overview of the European Space Agency (ESA) SPHEROIDS experiment. He then set up and activated the KUBIK located in the Columbus module to begin conditioning to receive samples. Today, he retrieved the SPHEROIDS hardware from Dragon and installed the containers into the KUBIK. During the two day experiment run, Peake will perform periodic temperature and power checks. The experiment investigates the effects of microgravity on endothelial cell function with respect to blood vessel formation, cellular proliferation, and programmed cell death. Results could help in the development of potential countermeasures to prevent cardiovascular deconditioning in astronauts and improve knowledge of endothelial functions on Earth.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School (EarthKAM): Ovchinin set up the investigation components and activated the Nikon camera in the Service Module to support a week-long imaging session of the EarthKAM experiment. EarthKAM is a Joint USOS Experiment (JUE) performed with both USOS and Russian crew members. The objective of EarthKAM is to integrate Earth images with inquiry-based learning to enhance curricula in support of national and state education standards; to provide students and educators the opportunity to participate in a space mission and to develop teamwork, communication, and problem solving skills; to engage teams of students, educators, and researchers in collaborative investigations using remotely-sensed data; and to incorporate the active use of Web-based tools and resources in support of the learning process.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) High Quality Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) Demonstration: Peake retrieved two sets of the PCG-Demo Bags for the JAXA PCG experiment that arrived on the SpX-8 and initiated the crystallization process. The PCG-Demo Bags were installed into the Stirling-Cycle Refrigerator (FROST) where the experiment will run for approximately 30 days at 4° Celsius. After experiment completion, the PCG-DEMO Bags will be removed from the FROST and stowed for return to Earth on SpX-8. The JAXA PCG-Demo investigation crystallizes proteins using the counter-diffusion technique and permeation method that minimizes impurities, forming high-quality crystals for use in medical studies and ecological applications.

Cell Mechanosensing 3 (CMS-3): Williams gathered and prepared samples to start incubation for the CMS-3 experiment using the Measurement Experiment Solution Exchanger. He then set up up the Fluorescence Microscope in the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) to allow for ground commanded sample observation. CMS-3 is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) investigation that identifies gravity sensors in skeletal muscle cells to develop countermeasures to muscle atrophy. Scientists believe that the lack of mechanical stress from gravity causes tension fluctuations in the plasma membrane of skeletal muscle cells which changes the expression of key proteins and genes and allows muscles to atrophy.

NanoRack Platforms-1 & 2 Module Install: Peake installed NanoRack Modules 28 (SyNRGE³) and 33 (Algal Growth and Remediation) experiments on NanoRack Platform 1. NanoRack Modules 20 and 22 were previously installed on NanoRack Platform 2. The NanoRack Platform is a multipurpose research facility that supports NanoRacks Modules by providing power and data transfer capabilities to operate investigations in microgravity.

NanoRacks Module 9: Peake started the first of two NanoRack Module 9 experiment sessions planned for this week. He reviewed on board training (OBT) materials for activation and deactivation of the mixture tubes, then after retrieving the hardware, Peake activated, deactivated, and shook the mixture tubes. Module-9 is a collection of student research projects utilizing the NanoRacks mix sticks.  Student teams from across the United States design their own experiments using flight approved fluids and materials.

Rodent Research 3 (RR-3) Transfer Review: Kopra and Peake reviewed RR-3 Animal Transfer reference material and discussed operations with the payload developer in preparation for tomorrow’s transfer of the animals from the transporter to the habitat. RR-3 studies molecular and physical changes in the musculoskeletal system that happen in space. Results expand scientists’ understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space, while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

Skin-B:  Peake completed a session today for the European Space Agency (ESA) Skin-B investigation.  He took Corneometer measurements of the hydration level of the stratus coreum (outer layer of the skin), Tewameter measurements of the skin barrier function, and Visioscan measurements of skin surface topography. The Skin-B investigation aims to improve the understanding of skin aging which is greatly accelerated in space. The data will also be used to verify the results from previous testing for the Skincare investigation on the ISS.

Fine Motor Skills: Kopra completed a session of the Fine Motor Skills experiment. This investigation is the first fine motor skills study to measure long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after returning to Earth gravity.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Ops: Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and released the SpX-8 Dragon Flight Releasable Grapple Fixture (FRGF). The SSRMS was then walked off the Node 2 Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) onto the Lab PDGF and maneuvered into position to survey the Dragon Trunk and the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) using the SSRMS Tip Latching End Effector (LEE) camera. Later, the SSRMS will be manoeuvred to a translate configuration and the Mobile Transporter (MT) will be translated from Worksite #4 (WS4) to WS6.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

  • CONSTANTA-2. Cassette removal from TBU-V and setup on panel 418 for 1-hour warmup / r/g 1910
  • EarthKAM. Battery Charge
  • FINEMOTR- Operator Assistance with the Experiment
  • CQ-LAPTOP – LAPTOP Power Off
  • Video Footage of Greetings / r/g 1913
  • Dragon Ingress
  • NANO- Familiarization
  • SpX Air Sampling using [АК-1М] sampler prior to Air Duct Installation / r/g 1920
  • Locker Stow Reconfig
  • CONSTANTA-2. Setup and Running Session 3. / r/g 1910
  • Filling (separation) of EDV (KOV) for Elektron or EDV-SV.
  • SKNB- Preparation and Hardware Gathering
  • Photos of Dragon Hatches
  • СОЖ Maintenance
  • Replacing ОКР-1 (00001580E) Fire Extinguisher (1) in SM near РО ПрК hatch.
  • Replacement of ОКР-1 Fire Extinguisher in MRM1 / r/g 1908
  • BIOCARD. Experiment Ops. / r/g 1907
  • DRAGON Transfers Ops
  • Setup and Activation of Crew Onboard Support Kit (КСПЭ) Equipment for MPEG2 TV Test coverage from SM
  • Test session via MPEG: telebridge ISS-Kremlin-Vostochny
  • Double Coldbag (DCB) Unpack
  • Dragon CTB Retrieve.
  • ABOUT GAGARIN FROM SPACE. Hardware Setup and Activation / r/g 1914
  • PAO Hardware Setup.
  • Crew Prep for PAO / r/g 1915
  • TV Conference with Orenburg State University  / r/g 1915
  • NANO- Installation of Modules into the Rack
  • RWS Power Down
  • STEM CELL- Insertion of Bio-Dosimeters into MELFI
  • CMS3- Hardware Setup
  • PCG-4 AMB Module Activation and Stowage
  • DOSETRK Questionnaire
  • Double Coldbag (DCB) Unpack
  • Deactivation of Camcorder,  Video Control Monitor [ВКУ] and Closing CP SSC Applications
  • SM Ventilation Subsystem Preventive Maintenance. Group В1
  • Replacing E-K pre-treat container and hose in [АСУ] / r/g 1909
  • Post-Replacement [АСУ] Activation
  • Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
  • BAR. Experiment Ops. / r/g 1911
  • Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
  • CMS3- Sample Preparation Familiarization
  • SPHEROIDS – Hardware assembly and transfer to Columbus
  • SPHEROIDS- Container installation in KUBIK
  • Rodent Research Transfer Review
  • CALCIUM. Experiment Session 6. / r/g 1912
  • Rodent Research Crew Conference
  • NANO- Installation of Modules into the Rack
  • PLR – Hardware Transfer and Installation in the Rack
  • NAPOR-mini RSA. Cleaning Onboard Memory Storage БЗУ-М Vents / r/g 1906
  • Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR): Hardware Setup and Activation
  • PLR  Hardware Removal and Relocation to Dragon
  • PCG_DEMO Sample Retrieval and Activation of Crystal Growth
  • EarthKAM Module Installation and Activation in SM
  • NANO – Experiment Session 1
  • Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
  • Dragon Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) Restow
  • Onboard Training (OBT) – Dragon Ops Conference [Aborted]
  • EarthKAM. Battery Swap

Completed Task List Items

  • None

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

  • Dragon ingress
  • SSRMS walkoff N2 to Lab
  • Dragon Trunk, BEAM survey
  • Nominal ground commanding 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Tuesday, 04/12: Rodent Research transfer, NanoRacks Module 51 start, CMS3 ops

Wednesday, 04/13: Ocular Health, NanoRacks Module 9 ops, N3 aft CBCS install/checkout

Thursday, 04/14: Lab KU power supply install, universal battery charger install/checkout, bone densitometer calibration, CMS3 ops

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component Status
Elektron On
Vozdukh Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab Override
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 Warmup
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