ISS Daily Summary Report – 5/17/2019

CSA/Bioanalyzer: The crew collected a finger blood sample, mixed the sample with reagents, and analyzed the processed sample using the Biomarker instrument of the Bio-Analyzer.  They also processed a control sample in the Cellular Labeling instrument. Although the ISS is equipped with health and life sciences research tools, existing instrumentation for the analysis of biological samples is almost completely lacking as compared to capabilities found in laboratories on Earth. The Bio-Analyzer Commissioning tests the Bio-Analyzer facility, which was specifically developed to quantify molecules and cells in body fluids such as blood, urine or saliva. The analysis is conducted on blood samples collected through a finger prick and the instrument provides the data within 2 hours after blood collection.

EML (Electro-Magnetic Levitator) Gas Valve Close:  In support of the current science campaign, the crew closed all EML gas valves. Ground teams report that they have successfully performed multiple melt cycles in a helium atmosphere for Al89Cu11 and Al65Ni35 samples (the numbers indicate percent composition). The EML is a multi-user facility designed for containerless materials processing in space. It supports research in the areas of meta-stable states and phases along with the measurement of high-accurate thermophysical properties of liquid metallic alloys at high temperatures.  EML can accommodate up to 18 samples, each 5 to 8 mm in size.  Heating rates of up to 100 Kelvin per second can be achieved with a maximum temperature of 2,100°C.

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)/Light Microscopy Module (LMM)/ACE-T-12 Module Config: The crew configured the LMM for the next ACE science runs, removed the LMM Petri Base from the LMM Auxiliary Fluids Container (AFC), configured the LMM objective lenses, and installed the LMM Control Base and ACE Module.  ACE-T-12 will be the next experiment to run in the FIR/LMM.  It involves design and assembly of complex three-dimensional (3D) structures from colloids, or particles of different sizes suspended in a fluid. It employs a recently discovered technique, Nanoparticle Haloing (NPH), which uses highly charged nanoparticles to stabilize much larger, non-charged particles.

Circadian Rhythms: The crew initiated a 36 hour experiment run by donning the armband monitor, Thermolab Double Sensors and other supporting hardware.  Circadian Rhythms investigates the role of synchronized circadian rhythms, or the “biological clock,” and how it changes during long-duration spaceflight. Researchers hypothesize that a non-24-hour cycle of light and dark affects crewmembers’ circadian clocks.

Genes in Space-6: The crew performed Genes in Space 6 activities this week, and the ground team reported the science could not have gone better and historic science was performed on Friday. Genes in Space-6 determines the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in the spaceflight environment. The investigation evaluates the entire process in space for the first time by inducing DNA damage in cells and assessing mutation and repair at the molecular level using the miniPCR and the Biomolecule Sequencer tools aboard the space station.

ISS Experience: The crew set up the ISS Experience and captured a crew exercise session. The ISS Experience creates a virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the ISS. The 8 to 10 minute videos created from footage taken during the six-month investigation cover different aspects of crew life, execution of science aboard the station, and the international partnerships involved.  The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

JAXA Mouse Mission: The crew performed routine cage watering maintenance activities in support of the ongoing JAXA Mouse Mission  The purpose of this Mouse Mission is to analyze any alterations of the gene expression patterns in several organs and the effects on the germ-cell development of mice exposed to a long-term (e.g. more than 30 days) space environment.  Data collected could suggest not only experimental information about mice in the space environment, but also fundamental information about humans exposed to a prolonged space environment.

CASIS PCG-14: As a continuation of the CASIS PCG-14, the crew inserted a PCG Kit into MELFI.  The Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest-Wisconsin Space Crystals (CASIS PCG 14) investigation has two goals: to explore closed-system crystallization of inorganic salts from aqueous solutions using evaporation facilitated by a desiccant, and to examine how well a previously optimized thermal-gradient inorganic salt crystallization procedure translates to other systems. Middle and high school students compete to grow the most perfect ground-based crystals, as judged by experts in crystallography, and those with the fewest imperfections then fly their experiments aboard the space station.

Veggie PONDS-2 (Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System-2) terminate: Today the crew took photos of the PONDS-2 modules, evacuated the fluid from the modules, and packed the six clear modules for return to the ground for further analysis.  This closes out the PONDS-2 experiment which began on 25-April.  Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. Future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food. Therefore, understanding how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrating the reliable vegetable production on orbit are important steps toward that goal. Veggie PONDS uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the ISS to cultivate lettuce and mizuna greens which are to be harvested on-orbit, and consumed, with samples returned to Earth for analysis.

Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU) Retrieval: Today the crew retrieved the failed channel 4A3 BCDU from the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) and packaged it for return on SpaceX-17.  This BCDU showed anomalous behavior during activation after US EVA 52 and, by bringing it home for Test, Teardown and Evaluation (TT&E), experts hope to understand why it failed.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • Micro-14 Melfi transfer [Completed GMT 136]
  • WHC KTO replace
  • Emergency SODF Print

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

  • LSR file upload
  • JEMAL activities

Look Ahead:

Saturday, 05/18 (GMT 138):

  • Food Acceptability
  • Microalgae
  • Micro-14
  • MVP Cell-01


  • Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 05/19 (GMT 139):

  • Circadian Rhythms
  • Microalgae
  • Standard Measures questionnaire


  • Crew off duty

Monday, 05/20 (GMT 140):

  • BCM
  • CIR manifold bottle change
  • Circadian Rhythms
  • Fiber Optic preform repair
  • HRF Centrifuge
  • ISS HAM pass
  • ISS Experience
  • Lighting Effects numerical verification test
  • Microalgae
  • Micro-14
  • JAXA Mouse Mission
  • Newton’s Law, PCG-14
  • Veggie PONDS facility clean
  • Standard Measures


  • HRF centrifuge payload drawer checkout
  • COL portable power supply install/checkout

Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

  • JPM Window Shutter Close
  • MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Deploy
  • JAXA Mouse Mission Item Gathering
  • Water Recovery and Management (WRM) Waste Water Bus (WWB) Split
  • Testing TV transmission from DC1
  • Bio-Analyzer Session Setup Partial
  • Insertion of PCG-14 Hardware into MELFI
  • Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
  • Packing equipment for disposal in Progress 440 [AO] and IMS Ops
  • Bio-Analyzer Blood Sampling And Biomarker Microchip Preparation
  • JEM Airlock Press
  • ISS HAM Service Module Pass
  • ПхО EVA Support Panel (ПОВ) Checkout
  • Bioanalyzer Control Sample Analysis
  • Genes in Space MWA Preparation
  • DC1 EVA Support Panel Test
  • Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) On-Board Training
  • HRF GDS Tank Removal And Drawer Configuration For Return
  • JEM Airlock Leak Check
  • Genes in Space 6 MELFI Sample Retrieve
  • PEV Activation Test from DC1 EVA Support Panel
  • Genes in Space 6 CRISPR Run Part 1
  • PEV activation test from ПхО EVA Support Panel
  • ISS Experience Lab Setup
  • EML Gas Valves Closing
  • XF305 Camcorder Setup
  • Hand Ergometry Assessment
  • JAXA Mouse Mission Preparation for Watering
  • JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Watering for Micro-G
  • JAXA Mouse Mission Cage Watering for 1G and Troubleshooting A1 Cage
  • JAXA Mouse Mission Watering Closeout.
  • Genes in Space MELFI Insert
  • Genes in Space 6 CRISPR Run Part 2
  • ISS Experience Hardware Relocate
  • HRF Rack 1 And HRF Rack 2 Payload Drawer Reconfiguration And Installation
  • JEM ORU Xfer I/F (JOTI) and Battery Charge-Discharge Unit (BCDU) Gather
  • Activation and Inspection of Orlan-MKS suit No.4, No.5
  • Bio-Analyzer Biomarker Microchip Analysis
  • XF305 Camcorder Setup
  • JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
  • Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open
  • Battery Charge-Discharge Unit (BCDU) Inspection
  • БСС checkout in ПхО. Tagup with specialists
  • Checkout of БСС (Spacesuit Interface Unit) in DC1
  • ACE-T12 Module Configuration
  • HRF Centrifuge Post-Installation Setup
  • Battery Charge-Discharge Unit (BCDU) Removal from JEM ORU Xfer I/F (JOTI)
  • Degassing Orlan-MKS suits No.4 and No.5 and БСС in DC1
  • Battery Charge-Discharge Unit (BCDU) Packaging
  • FEP MELFI Retrieve 2
  • Micro-14 Inoculation and Preservation-MSG
  • Battery Charge-Discharge Unit (BCDU) Stow
  • JEM ORU Xfer I/F Configure for Battery Charge/Discharge Unit Removal
  • Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
  • ПхО БСС cooling loop separation using Degassing Pump Unit
  • Preparation of Liquid Cooling Garment [КВО] for Orlan-MKS No.4. [КВО]
  • Bio-Analyzer Session Conclude
  • Veggie Ponds MWA Preparation
  • Structures and Mechanisms JEM ORU Xfer I/F JEM Active Mechanism Tether Loop Install
  • FEP MELFI Insert1
  • MPEP and Passive Capture Mechanism Installation to JEM Airlock Slide Table
  • MERLIN Repack
  • Veggie Ponds Growout 1 Termination
  • MPEP Installation to JEM Airlock Slide Table Support
  • TangoLab-2 Card Cube Remove
  • Handhold Exp Platform Adapter installation
  • Veggie Ponds Growout 2 Termination
  • ISS Experience Hardware Stow
  • Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
  • JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
  • Circadian Rhythms Instrumentation w. Armband
  • TangoLab-1 Card Cube Remove
  • Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
  • MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Stow
  • JAXA Medical Laptop Cable Connection