Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparation: Today, the USOS crew continued preparing tools that will be used during Fridays EVA, which will support the upgrade from Nickel Hydride Channel 1A batteries to Lithium Ion batteries. The crew verified that the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFERs) are functional, and configured two cameras that will be used during the EVA. The crew also performed a final EVA procedure review. US EVA #39 is scheduled for Friday, January 13th with Joint Airlock Egress occurring at ~6:15am CST. Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday and overnight (GMT 010-011), the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Body and Arm1 as required to use SPDM Arm1 to remove the 1A-3 Nickel-Hydrogen (NiH2) battery from its slot in the 1A Integrated Electronics Assembly (IEA). They then maneuvered the SSRMS and SPDM as required to use SPDM Arm2 to unstow a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery from slot F of the H-II Transfer Vehicle 6 (HTV6) Exposed Pallet (EP) and install it in slot 3 of the 1A IEA. Next they unstowed the Robotic Offset Tool (ROST) from the SPDM Tool Holder Assembly (THA) and attempted to fasten the H1 bolt of the 1A slot 5 battery, but the ROST socket was not able to engage the H1 bolt. An activity will be added to allow EVA crewmembers to fasten this H1 bolt during the upcoming EVA. To back away the ROST from the H1 fixture, pull force needed to be increased up to 70 N. Then, the same attempt was performed on 1A slot 1 and after pushing with a higher force (110 N) when fastening with the ROST socket, the H1 bolt was successfully bolted. However, when trying to pull the ROST away from H1 fixture with the maximum force allowed (110 N), ROST stayed stuck on the fixture and forces and moments sensed were not expected. After multiple attempts to pull it off, ROST was finally released after unfastening slightly the ROST Socket. Finally the Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the SSRMS and SPDM to a park position. Biomolecule Sequencer (BMS) Sample Stop: On Monday, the crew initiated the final BMS run off of the tasklist. Today, the crew completed the 48-hour sample session. To complete the analysis the crew captured a screenshot of the Surface Pro 3, then downlinked the image to the ground for the BMS team to evaluate. The goals of the BMS experiment are to provide a proof-of-concept for the functionality and evaluate crew operability of a DNA sequencer in a space/microgravity environment. The capability for sequencing of DNA in space could provide for a better ability to identify microbes in real-time, instead of requiring sample return and ground based analysis. Human Research Collections: This morning the crew continued their urine collection and performed a blood collection in support of several Human Research experiments today. Samples for the Biochemical Profile, Repository, and Cardio Ox were collected and stowed in Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The Biochemical Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples obtained from astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results, which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body. Repositoryis a storage bank used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. This repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions. Cardio Ox determines whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis in astronauts. Cardio Ox Ultrasound: In addition to fluid collections, todays Flight Day 60 (FD60) Cardio Ox session included ultrasound and Electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements. With scanning assistance from a Crew Medical Officer (CMO) and ground remote guidance specialists, the crew donned ECG electrodes, and marked the Carotid and Brachial arteries to make locating them easier when scanning. By collecting ultrasound and ECG data, paired with blood and urine samples, scientists are trying to determine whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis risk in astronauts. Habitability Narrated Task: In support of the Habitability experiment, the crew performed a narrated video of nominal on-orbit tasks which give unique insight into the day in the life of an ISS crew member. Todays narrated video was of meal preparation, including using the food warmer, reconstituting drinks and setting up eating areas. Observations documented through an iPad application help characterize the ways crew members live and work in microgravity, and how their interactions with their environment might require different layouts, additional space, or other alterations to future manned space vehicles. Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutron (RaDI-N): After retrieving the RaDI-N hardware from the Russian crewmembers, a USOS crewmember deployed eight Space Bubble Detectors around the ISS for the Radi-N2 experiment. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) RaDI-N investigation will be conducted by measuring neutron radiation levels while onboard the ISS. RaDI-N uses bubble detectors as neutron monitors which have been designed to only detect neutrons and ignore all other radiation. External (EXT) Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) Upgrade: The crew configured a new Enhanced Processor and Integrated Communications (EPIC) EXT MDM by removing two circuit cards from a donor MDM and installing them, plus an additional spare card, into the spare EXT MDM. The MDM Front Cover was then exchanged for an EXT MDM Ethernet Cover. EPIC MDMs feature faster processors, increased memory, and an Ethernet port for data output, allowing for the simultaneous operation of a greater number of experiments. The upgraded EXT MDM is scheduled to be installed […] Read full story.