ISS Operations Update – November 23, 2015

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA

Fine Motor Skills [Fine Motor Skills uses a tablet touchscreen application to monitor degradation in fine motor abilities over the course of an extended exposure to microgravity. A drop in fine motor skills can lead to problems when crew members are tasked with medical treatment, repairing sensitive equipment and interacting with touch-based equipment. Tests utilized by this study include multidirectional pointing, dragging, shape tracing, and object manipulation to create a knowledgebase that will allow scientists to evaluate the risk of fine motor performance decrements due to long-duration exposure to microgravity.]

VEG-01 Plant Thinning [VEGGIE or Veg-01 is a deployable plant growth unit to be set up on the Space Station to demonstrate the feasibility of a space garden. The experiment facility provides lighting and nutrient supply and is capable of supporting a variety of plant species that can be cultivated for educational outreach, fresh food and even recreation for crewmembers on long-duration missions. Thermal control is provided from ISS in-cabin systems and the carbon dioxide source is the ambient air aboard ISS.]

Cognition [Cognition, also known as Individualized Real-Time Neurocognitive Assessment Toolkit for Space Flight Fatigue uses a battery of tests to measure how spaceflight-related physical changes (microgravity, lack of sleep quality, diet) can affect the cognitive performance of humans during long-duration space flights. The experiment consists of ten brief computer-based tests that cover a range of cognitive functions and deliver immediate feedback on current and past results. A good neurocognitive function for effective performance during space missions makes an investigation of sleep and fatigue in space an absolute necessity. The testing operation consists of a sleep questionnaire and subjective evaluations at the beginning followed by the ten tests that focus on: sensor-motor ability, visual object learning and memory, attention and working memory, abstraction, spatial orientation, emotion recognition, abstract reasoning, complex scanning & visual tracking, risk decision making, and vigilant attention and psychomotor speed.]

Calf Volume Measurements – PZEh-MO-7 [These measurements are done with the IZOG device which is a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf. The knee and lower foot of the left leg are used as reference points. The measurements provide a rough index of deconditioning in Zero-G and can be used to assess countermeasures.]

Journals [Electronic journals will be kept by the crew members to allow psychologists to study behavioral issues that are associated with the isolation and confinement over long-duration space missions. Journals from 6-month ISS mission have amounted to a total of 1,100 written pages, but no data beyond those six months is available making this an interesting opportunity to study the impact of isolation in the confinements of ISS over a longer period.]

Seismoprognoz Data Download [Seismoprognoz will measure the temporal and spatial scales of ionospheric disturbances caused by seismic phenomena in order to develop algorithms to detect plasma features of earthquakes and anthropogenic impacts from space-based instruments. The payload consists of an external monoblock, a Data Control and Acquisition Module, an attachment kit, flash memory and associated cables and connectors.]

Biological Rhythms 48 Hours [The BLR48 and Circadian Rhythms Study will examine the role of synchronized circadian rhythms and possible maintenance during long-duration spaceflight and addresses the impacts to crew members’ health and wellbeing. Understanding how the dark/light cycle and sleep shifting affects circadian rhythms and with that the performance of the crew members will enable scientists to develop new sleep shifting techniques for crew members in space and shift workers on Earth.]

Intracranial Pressure and Visual Impairment [The JAXA IPVI investigation looks at elevated intracranial pressure caused by extended exposure to weightlessness leading to changes in the optic nerve and ocular structure. IPVI attempts to non-invasively study changes in intracranial pressure and brain circulation by analyzing the arterial blood pressure and brain blood flow waveforms in several test sessions before, during and after spaceflight.]

Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) [This study evaluates a high-intensity, low-volume exercise protocol to minimize the loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function but also minimizing the time spent with daily exercise. To asses the protocol, crew members conduct regular measurements of VO2max, heart rate (HR) response to submaximal exercise and ventilatory threshold. Monthly ultrasounds of the thigh and calf are used to evaluate spaceflight-induced changes in the muscle volume. Post-flight data on muscle and bone mass is compared to pre-flight measurements and to data from control subjects that use the regular exercise protocol.]

Russian Joint Research (RJR) Microbiological Sampling


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

Microgravity Science Glovebox slide mechanism Troubleshooting

EXPRESS Rack 7 Laptop Software Load

Repairs of SM Interior Panel 326 by Installing Overlay Panel

Other Systems:

Story Time From Space Educational Events

Cygnus OA-4 preparations: Conference with Ground Teams for robotics ops, Rendezvous procedure review and Computer Based Grapple Training

Crew Medical Officer Proficiency Training [CMO skills are reviewed and trained at various points in the mission to keep up proficiency and ensure proper responses in critical health situations on board.]

Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos Web Site and Social Media