Mission Diary – 13 April

Tim Peake was occupied this Wednesday with the SPHEROIDS experiment and with the Ocular health experiments while preparations were generally directed toward the imminent deployment of the BEAM expendable habitat. A re-boost and wide ranging support for NanoRacks deployment kept Peake and other crewmembers busy but Tim also had time to support an educational programme combining recorded “lessons” from space and messages to young people.

ISS Daily Report 13 April

SPHEROIDS De-installation: Following yesterday’s completion of the 2-day SPHEROIDS experiment run, Peake de-installed the SPHEROIDS experiment containers from Kubik 5 and transferred the containers into Minus Eight-degree Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The SPHEROIDS 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.

Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) Transporter Stow: Following yesterday’s successful rodent transfer from Dragon to the ISS, Skripochka reviewed the Transporter Stow procedure before inspecting and powering down the Access Unit and stowing the Transporter in the LAB. Elevated temperatures were reported for Habitats 1 and 3 but not high enough to warrant action by the crew. After the ground support team shut down the internal lights and cameras in order to reduce the heat load, the temperatures stabilized and the status will be monitored overnight.  RR-3 is a Joint USOS Russian Experiment performed with both USOS and Russian crew members. RR-3 studies molecular and physical changes to the musculoskeletal system that happen in space. Results will 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.

Cell Mechanosensing 3 (CMS-3) Microscope Observation: Williams removed two Measurement Experiment Culture Chambers from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Incubator Unit (IU) and installed them into the microscope stage for observation by the ground.  The camera system experienced a fault and stopped sending video to the ground.  Ground teams are troubleshooting overnight. The first setting successfully was completed yesterday. CMS-3 is a 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.

Ocular Health Tonometry Exam and Operations: With operator assistance and remote guidance from the Ocular Health ground team, Kopra and Peake conducted vision tests, blood pressure measurements, and practiced using a Tonometer on an eye simulator before conducting a Tonometry exam. A vision questionnaire was completed by both crewmembers following the exam. The Ocular Health investigation gathers data on crew members’ visual health during and after long-duration space station missions. Tests monitor microgravity-induced visual impairment, as well as changes believed to arise from elevated intracranial pressure, to characterize how living in microgravity can affect the visual, vascular and central nervous systems. The investigation also measures how long it takes for crew members to return to normal after they return to Earth.

Education Payload Operations (EPO): Peake completed three European Space Agency (ESA) EPO activities: Destination Space, AstroPi, and BioRock. He supported Destination Space, by recording messages aimed at younger children, which will be used in shows and demonstrations at 20 science and discovery centers around the United Kingdom. Next, he performed a data transfer for AstroPi which ran programs written by winners of a student competitions and collected data from sensors (i.e., inertial movement, barometric pressure, relative humidity and temperature). He recorded a message and conducted a demonstration for the BioRock activity to show how bacteria grows on surfaces in space. EPO includes curriculum-based educational activities that demonstrate basic principles of science, mathematics, technology, engineering and geography. These activities are videotaped and used in classroom lectures. EPO is designed to support the NASA mission to inspire the next generation of explorers.

NanoRack Module 9: Peake began the second of two NanoRack Module 9 experiment sessions scheduled this week. He activated, deactivated, and shook the mixture tubes to facilitate the experiment. 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. The investigation consists of several science experiments flown in a NanoRacks Module on board the ISS.

NanoRacks Module-51: Williams initiated the NanoRack Module-51 Luciferase (Firefly Light) experiment in a dark-room setting and recorded the bioluminescent reaction in a mixture tube. The reaction was captured twice. Luciferase (Firefly Light) is one of four NanoRacks Module-51 sub-investigations that study antibiotic use to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus bacteria; the rate at which yeast decomposes organic matter; whether steroid-enhanced plants could grow better in space than on Earth; and whether an enzyme derived from fireflies can cause bioluminescence in microgravity.

Gecko Gripper Setup and Operations 2: Williams performed the Gecko Gripper Force Gauge set up and data point collection. Live HD Camcorder video was used during the experiment to document crew operations. The investigation tests a gecko-adhesive gripping device that can stick on command in the harsh environment of space. The technology promises to enable many new capabilities, including robotic crawlers that could walk along spacecraft exteriors; grippers that use a touch-to-stick method to catch and release objects; and sensor mounts that can work on any surface and be reused multiple times.

Sprint Ultrasound 2 Operations: Williams assisted Kopra with the VCA2 camcorder and SD video setup, configured the Ultrasound 2 software, placed reference marks on the thigh and calf of Kopra’s right leg, donned the Sprint Thigh and Calf Guides, and performed thigh and calf scans with guidance from the Sprint ground team. Ultrasound scans are used to evaluate spaceflight-induced changes in the muscle volume. The Sprint investigation evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in ISS crewmembers during long-duration missions.

Dose Tracker: Williams and Kopra configured the Dose Tracker application and completed entries for medication tracking on an iPad. This investigation documents the medication usage of crew members before and during their missions by capturing data regarding medication use during spaceflight, including side effect qualities, frequencies and severities. The data is expected to either support or counter anecdotal evidence of medication ineffectiveness during flight and unusual side effects experienced during flight. It is also expected that specific, near-real-time questioning about symptom relief and side effects will provide the data required to establish whether spaceflight-associated alterations in pharmacokinetics (PK) or pharmacodynamics (PD) is occurring during missions.

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Preparation: Williams performed installation and checkout activities for the Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) in Node 3 to support upcoming BEAM operations. BEAM is an experimental expandable capsule that docks with the International Space Station (ISS). After docking, BEAM inflates to roughly 13 feet long and 10.5 feet in diameter to provide a habitable volume.

ISS Reboost: An ISS reboost was completed today at 7:20 AM CDT using 63P thrusters for a planned Delta-V of 0.50 meters/second and burn duration of 4 minutes, 14 seconds. The reboost is the first of several that are planned to set up conditions for 45S landing and 47S 34-orbit rendezvous.

Today’s Planned Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

  • EarthKAM. Battery Swap
  • SPHEROIDS Container Retrieval from KUBIK
  • SPHEROIDS  Containers Insertion into MELFI
  • Ocular Health (OH) Vision Test
  • Ocular Health (OH) Tonometry Test Configuration
  • Ocular Health (OH) Blood Pressure Operations
  • Experiment Initialization, Video Capture
  • Soyuz 720 Samsung Tablet Recharge, initiate
  • Closing Shutters on windows 6,8,9,12,13,14 / r/g 6965
  • Ocular Health (OH) Blood Pressure Operations Assistance
  • IDENTIFICATION. Copy ИМУ-Ц micro-accelerometer data to laptop / r/g 1589
  • Soyuz 719 Samsung Tablet Recharge, initiate
  • Ocular Health (OH) Vision Test
  • Locating Equipment to Replace ЦВМ (=А3) Module / r/g 1928
  • Ocular Health Experiment: Tonometry Test, Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
  • Ocular Health Experiment: Tonometry Test, Subject
  • Vision Questionnaire
  • USND2 Hardware Activation
  • CMS3 Setting MICROSCOPE
  • Post-Tonometry Test Stowage
  • USOS Window Shutter Closure
  • SPRINT Experiment Ops
  • EPO: Record and Downlink Video
  • URAGAN. Photo Spectrum System Battery Charge (start) / r/g 1943
  • КОБ1 (Internal Heating Loop) performance monitoring r/g 1939
  • SPRINT Assistance
  • MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-dosimeter gathering and measurements r/g 1940
  • EPO Message Recording (continued)
  • Vision Questionnaire
  • EPO File Transfer
  • Urine Transfer from EDV-U to Progress 431 (DC1) Rodnik H2O Tank 1. Connector В1 flushing / r/g 1946
  • Dose Tracker Experiment: Data Input, Subject
  • GECKO Hardware Setup
  • Soyuz 720 Samsung tablet charge, terminate
  • РСПИ – Onboard Memory Device [БЗУ].  Review and Prepare for БЗУ front panel replacement r/g 1927
  • Rodent Research Launch Container Stowage Review
  • USND2 Hardware Deactivation
  • ABOUT GAGARIN FROM SPACE. Hardware Deactivation / r/g 1914
  • EarthKAM. Battery Swap
  • Soyuz 719 Samsung Tablet Recharge, terminate
  • ISS HAM radio session with students
  • SPHERES Data Downlink
  • URAGAN. Test Photography using Photo Spectrum System (ФСС) P/L. r/g 1944
  • Rodent Research Cleaning modules and kit transfer for the experiment
  • Progress 432 (SM Aft) Transfers and IMS Ops / r/g 1812, 1832
  • Stow Binary Colloidal Alloy P/L
  • NANO – Experiment Session 2
  • ABOUT GAGARIN FROM SPACE. Hardware activation / r/g 1914
  • Progress 432 (SM Aft) Transfers and IMS Ops /  r/g 1812, 1832
  • Locate NRCSD Hardware
  • DOSETRK Survey Questionnaire Completion
  • INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops / r/g 1942
  • EPO-GV BIOROCK Message Recording
  • SPHERES Copy payload data to hard drive
  • Platform-3 Hardware Remove and Stow
  • CMS3 Setting MICROSCOPE
  • Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position / Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System
  • INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops / r/g 1941
  • Node 3 Aft Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) Installation and Checkout
  • EarthKAM. Camera lens changeout
  • Evening Work Prep
  • On-Board Training (OBT) Dragon Emergency Review
  • EarthKAM. Battery Swap

Completed Task List Items

  • None

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

  • ISS reboost
  • FGB Port SA survey
  • Nominal ground commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:

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

Friday, 04/15: Ocular Health, CMS3 ops, SODF deploy, Smartcycler install, WHC urine receptacle R&R

Saturday, 04/16: Crew off duty, housekeeping

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 Full Up
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