ISS Operations Update – May 3, 2016

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA

Dose Tracker [Dose Tracker uses logs kept by crew members on the frequency of medication intake before, during and after a mission also with regards to side effect qualities frequencies and severities. This data is needed to address theories of medication ineffectiveness during flight and unusual side effects experienced in the flight environment.]

Habitability [Assessment of International Space Station Vehicle Habitability will see teams on the ground study video of the behavior of crew members within the habitable environment of ISS while the crew fills out questionnaires and collects video of areas of interest in order to provide an assessment of the habitability of ISS in its current state for a one-year mission. Results will be used to develop spacecraft with improved habitability properties to allow crew members to optimally utilize the onboard space.]

Rodent Research 3 – Animal Transfer and Grip Strength Measurements using a specially fabricated Grip Meter [Rodent Research 3, named after the sponsoring company Eli Lilly and Co., will conduct a close study of myostatin inhibition for the prevention of sekeletal muscle atrophy and weakness in mice during long-duration spaceflight. A rapid loss of bone and muscle mass is observed in astronauts during spaceflight, especially to the legs and spine at rates similar to atrophy in people with muscle-wasting deseases on Earth. The study makes use of mice as a model organism to examine the response to certain drugs preventing muscle or bone loss.]

Plant Gravity Sensing – Experiment Closeout [The experiment looks at gravity sensing in thale cress, a generic model used in many plant studies. As part of the experiment, the plant is cultivated in microgravity and artificial gravity using a centrifuge to determine changes on a cellular level that point to the mechanism of gravisensing with particular focus on calcium channel activation through the MCA-1 protein. An increase of calcium within the cytoplasm of plants is known to occur in response to stimuli such as phytohormones, temperature and touch the mechanism of which has been studied extensively on Earth. Whether a calcium increase also occurs as a result of gravistimulation remains to be seen as gravity is difficult to control for ground-based tests. The mechanisms of underlying biochemical reaction paths that lead to gravitropism are fully unknown. Recent studies point to a protein, MCA-1, and an actin cytoskeleton that are involved in the transport of calcium to create a directional response in the presence of gravity. The current hypothesis is that amyloplasts (starch containing particles) sediment in the direction of the gravity vector as a result of their high mass. This sedimentation causes tension stress in actin fibers thus activating the mechanosensitive calcium channels. Whether this system of channels and actin fibers also forms in microgravity is unknown.]

Fluid Shifts – Equipment Preparation [Fluid Shifts Before, During and After Prolonged Space Flight and Their Association with Intracranial Pressure and Visual Impairment. Known as the Fluids Shift study, this experiment is one of the most complex integrated experiments ever performed on ISS using pieces of US and Russian hardware to attempt to quantify the amount of fluid shifting from the lower body to the upper body when transitioning from a gravity to a microgravity environment. This will also lead to an understanding of effects of the fluid shift on fluid pressure in the head, changes to vision and eye structure. Effects on the eye caused by elevated intracranial pressure include globe flattening, choroidal folds, and alteration of the optic nerve.]

ENERGY Experiment Session Closeout [Energy = Astronaut’s Energy Requirements for Long-Term Space Flight – Human Research Payload. ENERGY measures changes in energy balance during long term space flight, adaptations in the components of the Total Energy Expenditure and it will derive an equation for the energy requirements of astronauts. For the crew members, ENERGY includes a special diet, urine sampling, oxygen uptake measurements and diet logging.]

Pilot-T [This experiment puts crew members through complex tasks, such as piloting a space vehicle, at various stages of a long-duration mission to assess crew member performance reliability over long mission durations.]

Matryoshka-R – Dosimeter deployment [Matryoshka-R consists of a number of radiation dosimeters that are set up inside the space station to assess radiation exposure of the crew relative to ISS position in its orbit and shielding provided by the modules.]

Other Activities:

Nominal Inspections/Servicing Tasks (Morning Inspection, Caution & Warning Panel Check, Sozh System Maintenance) (Russian Crew)

Intermodule Ventilation Reconfiguration – Ground commanding was put in place to split ventilation between the US and Russian Segments to reduce Carbon Dioxide Partial Pressures, dividing duties between Node 3 CDRA and the Russian Vozdukh.

Robotics: Canadarm2 and Dextre were commanded to a variety of positions to complete a survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to help operators understand the state of the payload. After completion of the survey, Dextre was stowed on Mobile Base System 2.

Dragon Cargo Transfers: 13.5 hours of cargo loading ops remain until Dragon’ scheduled departure on May 11

Weekly ESA Crew Conference

Life On The Station Photo and Video Collection

Grab Sample Container Air Sampling Operations

PAO Event