ROLES REVERSE ON SPACE STATION

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold works on an experiment that extracts RNA from biological samples to help researchers decipher the changes in gene expression that take place in micro-gravity.

Roles reverse in this article with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. To date, the number of advancements in research cannot be quantified. However, it is qualified.

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NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold works on an experiment that extracts RNA from biological samples to help researchers decipher the changes in gene expression that take place in micro-gravity.

September is gearing up to be a very busy month aboard the International Space Station. The six Expedition 56 crew members are headlong in the first week of the month switching roles and juggling a wide variety of critical tasks.

Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA has been swapping roles today as space scientist and spacewalker. The educator-astronaut sequenced RNA today from microbes swabbed from inside the orbital lab’s surfaces. The research is helping scientists understand how life adapts to microgravity providing insights to improve crew health.

Arnold then joined his fellow crew mates, Commander Drew Feustel of NASA and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA, at the end of the day for a review of two spacewalks scheduled for Sept. 20 and 26. The trio reviewed robotics maneuvers and other tasks required for the external battery maintenance work on the Port 4 truss structure at the end of the month.

Feustel also trained for his role as the prime robotics controller when he captures JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) HTV-7 cargo craft with the Canadarm2 robotic arm on Sept. 14. JAXA’s seventh resupply ship to visit the space station is due to launch Monday at 6:32 p.m. EDT.

From inside the cupola, Feustel will command the Canadarm2 to reach out and grapple the HTV-7 as Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor backs him up next Friday at 7:40 a.m. Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor both joined Feustel for the robotics training today during their afternoon.

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While the storms rage below on earth the roles of the astronauts continue on the space station.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

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JAPANESE CARGO SHIP SET TO LEAVE FRIDAY

The Japanese HTV-6 resupply ship is pictured attached to the Harmony module during robotics operations.

After over a month being docked at the International Space Station, the Japanese resupply ship, HTV-6 will return to earth Friday with 4.5 tons of return cargo. NASA TV will cover the event.

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The Japanese HTV-6 resupply ship is pictured attached to the Harmony module during robotics operations.

Mission controllers are preparing to release Japan’s Kounotori cargo ship from the International Space Station at the end of the week. Meanwhile, the Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for a new protein crystal experiment and re-configuring combustion science gear.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is getting ready to complete its sixth cargo mission to the station. Overnight, robotics controllers maneuvered Canada’s 57.7-foot-long robotic arm holding an external pallet with discarded nickel-hydrogen batteries and installed them inside the Japanese cargo ship for disposal.

Next, the Canadarm2 will release Japan’s HTV-6 resupply ship from the Harmony module Friday for a fiery re-entry back in Earth’s atmosphere. The HTV-6 arrived Dec. 13 four days after its launch from the Tanegashima Space Center carrying crew supplies, new science experiments and lithium-ion batteries to upgrade the station’s power supply.

The California-based space company SpaceX is planning its tenth station cargo mission. The Dragon cargo craft will deliver a new experiment to study protein crystals to help scientists design better drugs to fight diseases. In advance of the Dragon delivery, Astronaut Peggy Whitson set up the Light Microscopy Module with new lenses today to get ready for the new experiment installation.

Commander Shane Kimbrough is getting the Combustion Integrated Rack ready for the Cool Flames Investigation (CFI). That study will observe how fuels burn at lower temperatures with no visible flames. CFI may engineers develop advanced engines and fuels and improve crew safety.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


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UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

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SECOND SPACEWALK AT ISS FRIDAY

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency is suited up for a dry run of upcoming spacewalk this Friday.

This Friday, two International Space Station crew members will conduct the second spacewalk in a week to complete upgrades to the station’s power systems.

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Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency is suited up for a dry run of upcoming spacewalk this Friday.

The six-member Expedition 50 crew had a day off after a pair of NASA astronauts completed the first spacewalk of 2017 on Friday of last week. That spacewalk is the first of two planned in January to upgrade the International Space Station’s power systems. Both spacewalks have been backed-up with external robotics work that installed the new lithium-ion batteries and removed the old nickel-hydrogen batteries.

The next spacewalk will take place this Friday to complete the upgrades which include connecting new batteries, installing adapter plates and stowing older batteries. Commander Shane Kimbrough will suit up for the second time in a week joining first-time spacewalker astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough is pictured during the first power upgrade spacewalk on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.

Expedition 50 crew members Peggy Whitson from NASA and Oleg Novitskiy from Roscosmos will assist the spacewalkers. They will help them in and out of their U.S. spacesuits and guide them in and out of the crew airlock.

The spacewalking duo are partnering up today with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson to review Friday morning’s spacewalk. Whitson, who completed her seventh spacewalk last Friday, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will be assisting the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits and the Quest airlock.

Late yesterday and last night robotic ground controllers used the Dextre Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to move the final lithium-ion battery to the 1A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly, moved another nickel-hydrogen battery to one of Dextre’s arms for temporary stowage and tightened down bolts on two of the previously moved Li-ion batteries.

So, we now have five nickel-hydrogen batteries either on the HTV External Pallet or temporarily stowed on Dextre and one more Ni-H battery to move from the 1A IEA to another stowage position on Dextre later today to complete the pre-EVA robotics. All six new lithium-ion batteries are now installed on the S4 truss IEA. The 3A power channel is fully operational. The 1A power channel will be activated on Friday during the EVA after adapter plates are moved into place on the 1A IEA.

Post-EVA robotics on Saturday and Sunday will complete the work to move the last four old Ni-H batteries from Dextre to the External Pallet for disposal (there will be nine on the EP in all). They will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere when the HTV is deorbited.

Whitson and Pesquet started their day scanning their arteries with and ultrasound and collecting body fluid samples for the Cardio Ox study. That experiment is researching the increased risk of atherosclerosis, the plaque build-up in the artery wall that results in narrowing of the blood vessel, in astronauts living in space.

The following is an image of the completed spacewalk from last Friday with comment:

Spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough were suited up and ready to go before the last Friday spacewalk. Credit: @Thom_Astro

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson concluded their spacewalk at 1:55 p.m. EST. During the six-hour and 32-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. They also accomplished several get-ahead tasks, including a photo survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

commander Shane Kimbrough during first Friday spacewalk.
Peggy Whitson preparing for first Friday spacewalk.
Expedition 50 Spacewalkers in spacewalk #38.

Space station crew members have conducted 196 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,224 hours and 6 minutes working outside the station.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

In the Russian segment of the space station, cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov set up gear for a Matryoshka radiation detection experiment. Veteran cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko studied how mission events affect the station structure and explored new Earth photography techniques.

It will be a busy few weeks after the conclusion of Friday’s upcoming spacewalk. Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-6 resupply ship will depart at the end of January completing its cargo delivery mission that included the new batteries the spacewalkers have been hooking up. A Russian Progress 64 (64P) cargo craft will undock shortly after the HTV-6 leaves.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Please note: When multiple articles are published regarding singular/similar events during a specific time period, Universal Digest will combine detail into one article. This is still mostly unedited material written by the same author.

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JAPANESE GEAR INSTALLED ON ISS

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough work inside the cupola module to robotically capture the Japanese HTV-6 cargo craft loaded with gear and supplies.

The JSA HTV-6 “White Stork” spacecraft with gear, science experiments, and supplies has been captured and is now docked with the International Space Station. Scientific research and experimentation continue in earnest aboard ISS.

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Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough work inside the cupola module to robotically capture the Japanese HTV-6 cargo craft loaded with gear and supplies.

External and internal cargo is currently being unloaded from Japan’s sixth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-6) to visit the International Space Station. The Expedition 50 commander also talked to students on Earth today and helped the rest of the crew with space research and orbital lab maintenance.

Commander Shane Kimbrough continued unpacking gear and fresh food delivered in the HTV-6 day. Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson installed a new small satellite deployer delivered on the Japanese resupply ship inside the Kibo lab module. Kimbrough also spent a few minutes during his workday answering questions uplinked live from Nantucket New School students in Massachusetts this morning.

Japan’s HTV-6 cargo craft with gear and supplies is pictured moments before it was grappled by Canada’s 57.7-foot-long robotic arm Tuesday morning.

This image shows the cargo ship grappled and being pulled in for docking at the space station.

Japan’s HTV-6 cargo craft with its gear is pictured in the grip of the Canadarm2 shortly after it was captured Tuesday morning. Credit: NASA TV

While cargo transfers were under way the six-member crew also worked on analyzing water samples, installing new science gear, continuing ongoing research and maintaining station systems. The orbital residents also reviewed procedures in the unlikely event of an emergency with the HTV-6 attached to the station.

Commander Shane Kimbrough began work to install a new Japanese experiment that measures space radiation and the exposure risk to astronauts. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet explored new technologies to analyze water samples for microbes. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson researched how astronauts work with touch-based devices and repair sensitive equipment.

European Space Agency Thomas Pesquet astronaut looked at a new method for water recycling in space called AquaMembrane. Pesquet also joined Kimbrough and Whitson in the afternoon for eye and retina checks as part of the Ocular Health study.

Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko partnered throughout the day on Russian communication gear maintenance tasks. Veteran cosmonaut and second-time station resident Oleg Novitskiy worked on various science experiments studying how weightlessness affects respiration and the remote control of rovers on another planet from a spacecraft.

Japan’s HTV-2 cargo craft loaded with gear is seen moments before its capture on Jan. 27, 2011, during Expedition 26 at the International Space Station.

The spacecraft was loaded with more than 4.5 tons of gear, supplies, water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person station crew. The unpiloted cargo spacecraft, named “Kounotori” – the Japanese word for white stork – launched Friday, Dec. 9 from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

The re-supply vehicle is delivering six new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates that will replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. These will be installed during a series of robotic operations and spacewalks between late December and mid-January.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Please note: When multiple articles are published regarding singular/similar events during a specific time period, Universal Digest will combine detail into one article. This is still mostly unedited material written by the same author.

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