ISS Operations Update – April 4, 2016

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA

Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) [PCG exploits the novel environment aboard ISS for the study of protein crystallization in the absence of gravity to understand the mechanisms of protein crystal growth in order to improve pharmaceutical products on Earth. The human body generates a wide range of cells and proteins, including monoclonal antibodies to fight multiple diseases and pathogens. The crystallization of these proteins allows pharmaceutical researchers to get insight into properties and mechanisms of protein growth using antibodies that are currently undergoing clinical trials in the treatment of several diseases. Growing Protein crystals in space yields larger, more uniform and pristine crystals than those grown on Earth due to the absence of a number of issues such as sedimentation and shear forces, preventing the growth of large molecules.]

Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) deployment – [MARES uses an adjustable chair an restraint system, a pantograph (an articulated arm arm that properly positions the chair and user), a drive motor and associated electronics and software plus linear adapter that can translate motor rotation into a linear movement on a linear isolation frame. This system can be used to conduct reserch on a number physiological aspects of space flight such as muscular, biomechanical, neuromuscular changes to shed light on the effects of microgravity on the muscular system.]

Advanced Research Thermal Passive Exchange (ARTE) Hardware installation in Microgravity Science Glovebox [Advanced Research Thermal Passive Exchange (ARTE) examines the performance of a passive, low-weight heat pipe to increase the heat transfer capability of materials. Thermal Control Systems such as heat pipes transporting heat from components including electronics are essential in a spacecraft’s design to efficiently transport heat to colder areas or cool down heated equipment. Axially Grooved Heat Pipes are a new technology which could reduce the weight of thermal systems while also increasing their efficiency.]

Biological Rhythms 48 Actiwatch Preparation [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.]

Identification – Micro-Accelerometer Data Download [The Identification Payload records structural dynamics data inside the individual modules of the Russian Segment to provide structural data to improve spacecraft design.]


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

Urine Processing Assembly: Mission Control is evaluating an issue with the numerical setting for the Pretreat Bad Quality Light (PTBQL) on the UPA.

Node 3 Major Constituents Analyzer (MCA): The MCA shut down unexpectedly and re-start of the system failed, resulting in the system entering idle mode. Secondary CO2 sensors are available and a forward plan is being developed.

BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System Cartridge Bakeout

ARED Flywheel Cylinder Evacuation

Exposed Facility Unit – Kibo Slide Table Extension and for robotic installation of the EFU Adapter holding up to two external payloads for exposure to space.

Other Activities:

Progress MS-02 Cargo Operations

Dragon SpX-8 Hardware Preparation

Soyuz TMA-19M Kazbek Seat Fit Check