ISS Daily Summary Report – 8/31/2017

By HQ Special Daily Summary during JSC Closure August 28th – September 1st 50S Crew Departure Preparations. In preparation for their return to Earth this weekend, the 50S Crew cleaned their Crew Quarters, stowed returning items within the Soyuz and conducted a descent drill to review undocking procedures and timelines. 50S undock is scheduled for Saturday, September 2nd at 4:58PM with landing occurring in Kazakhstan’s Southern Landing Zone at 8:22PM. Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems (STaARS) Intraterrestrial Fungus (iFUNGUS): On Saturday the crew removed 2 sample bags from the STaARS facility after incubation times of 18 hours for one of the bags and 23 hours for the other. The STaARS-iFUNGUS investigation cultures a rare type of fungus in the microgravity environment of space to support the search for new antibiotics. The fungus, Penicillium chrysogenum, comes from deep in the Earth’s subsurface and shows potential as a source for new antibacterial compounds. For the iFUNGUS experiment, frozen fungal spores are transported to the ISS, thawed and grown in different nutrient mixtures over different time intervals, and frozen samples are then returned to Earth where scientists examine how they grew and what chemicals they produced. Discoveries generated by this research can foster further research and production efforts that utilize low gravity conditions to create novel compounds or other products. ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP): On Saturday the crew removed Cell Culturing (CellCult) cassettes from ADSEP and inserted the samples into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). ADSEP is a thermally controlled facility that accommodates up to three cassette-based experiments that can be independently operated. A collection of experiment cassettes is used to accommodate experiments in cell technology, multiphase fluids, solution chemistry, separation science, microencapsulation, and crystal growth. For CellCult investigations, each cassette contains a rotating filtered bioreactor, a reservoir for fresh media, two peristaltic pumps, a waste reservoir, and up to 6 sample-collection or reagent containers connected by a manifold to the reactor. Cultures can be operated in continuous perfusion, batch fed, static, or sampling modes. The removal of samples and the addition of additives to the reactor volume can be programmed or teleoperated. Multi-Omics-Mouse: On Tuesday the crew cleaned the mouse habitats, collected fecal samples and exchanged food cartridges. Today and tomorrow they will collect blood samples from the mice. Several studies have reported space flight effects on the human immune system, but the relationship between microbiota and immune dysfunction during flight remains unclear. In the Multi-Omics-Mouse investigation, food with and without fructooligosaccharides (FOS) will be used as prebiotics, to determine if they improve the gut environment and immune function. After the flight, researchers will analyze the gut environment (microbiota and metabolites) and immune system of the mice by multi-omics analysis. Rodent Research 9 (RR-9): Tomorrow the crew will replace old food bars and clean the Animal Habitats to support the ongoing RR-9 investigation. RR-9 studies how microgravity affects the immune systems, muscles and bones of rodents during extended stays aboard the ISS. After approximately 30 days aboard the ISS, the mice will be returned to Earth where scientists on the ground will study how their time in space has affected various tissues, including brain, muscle, heart, joints, eyes and the immune system. Lung Tissue: On Wednesday the crew collected samples and fixed media in Tissue Bags. They inserted the bags into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The Lung Tissue investigation uses the microgravity environment of space to test strategies for growing new lung tissue. Using the latest bioengineering techniques, the Lung Tissue experiment cultures different types of lung cells in controlled conditions onboard the ISS. The cells are grown in a specialized framework that supplies them with critical growth factors so that scientists can observe how gravity affects growth and specialization as cells become new lung tissue. Microbial Tracking-2 (MT-2): On Sunday and Tuesday the crew collected saliva samples for the Microbial Tracking-2 investigation and placed them inside a MELFI. After the samples are returned to Earth, a molecular analysis of the RNA and DNA will be conducted to identify the specific microbes that are present on ISS. MT-2 monitors the different types of microbes on ISS over a 1-year period and how they change over time. Lighting Effects: Over the last week the crew has provided multiple sleep log entries for the Lighting Effects investigation. On Monday the crewmember transferred the Visual Performance Test hardware to their crew quarters, set the light to the correct mode, turned all other light sources in the crew quarters off, and performed a Numerical Verification Test and a Color Discrimination Test. On Tuesday the crew took meter readings in the Columbus module. Today two crewmembers completed a battery of cognitive tests on a laptop. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. Aquapad: Today the crew removed two Aquapad holders from an incubation bag and took pictures using the Everywear application for ground analysis. The water that astronauts drink on the ISS is primarily from the recycling of water from the crew’s sweat, urine, and other reclaimed wastewater sources. Recycling reduces the number of supply missions needed and supports development of self-sufficient spacecraft for future missions beyond earth orbit. Using a device that consists of a simple absorbent cotton injected with water and the laptop application, Aquapad aims to improve the speed and efficiency of water potability tests on board the ISS. Genes in Space 3: On Monday the crew processed samples in the Biomolecule Sequencer. Genes in Space-3 seeks to establish a robust, user-friendly DNA sample preparation process to support biological monitoring aboard the ISS. The project joins two previously spaceflight tested molecular biology tools, Miniature Polymerase Chain Reaction (miniPCR) and the MinION, along with some additional enzymes to demonstrate DNA amplification, sample preparation for DNA sequencing, and sequencing of […]

Source:: ISS Status