NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 April, 2021 - Nervous System and Robotics Research


NASA astronaut Shannon Walker.

Nervous system and robotics research were the dominant research theme aboard the International Space Station on Thursday.

The seven Expedition 64 crew members also focused on next week's crew ship move and a variety of orbital maintenance tasks.

This week, an ESA (European Space Agency) investigation has been under way exploring how the human nervous system adapts to different gravity environments. NASA Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover have been strapping themselves into a specialized seat in the Columbus laboratory module and performing a series of dexterous manipulation tasks. Results from ESA's Grip study may lead to improved spacecraft interfaces and deeper insights into human cognition in space.

NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins powered up the Astrobee robotic assistant Thursday afternoon inside Japan's Kibo laboratory module. She guided the small, cube-shaped device in various orientations as it photographed and mapped the inside of Kibo while calibrating itself. Astrobee could soon perform routine station tasks freeing up time for astronauts to conduct more space science.

Rubins later scanned the eyes of Glover in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module using non-invasive imaging technology. The eye checks are part of ongoing studies to understand how weightlessness impacts an astronaut's retina.

NASA astronaut Shannon Walker started her day servicing U.S. spacesuit battery components alongside Glover. Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency worked on Kibo's KOBAIRO rack, installing a water refill device in the facility that explores crystal growth in semiconductors.

All five astronauts gathered together for a short afternoon session and reviewed Monday's upcoming relocation of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience. Rubins will stay in the station as Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi take a short ride inside Resilience from the Harmony module's forward-facing port to its zenith, or space-facing port, on Monday at 6:30 a.m. EDT. The autonomous relocation maneuver will take about 45 minutes with NASA TV beginning its live coverage at 6 a.m.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos collected air and water samples in the station's Russian segment today for later analysis. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov began gathering items for stowage aboard the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship that will take him, Rubins and Ryzhikov home on April 17.

On-Orbit Status Report


Astrobee: The crew used the Astrobee Free Flyer to collect additional visual data to create a map of the Japanese Payload Module, and to calibrate Astrobee. Astrobee is made up of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots which are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

ESA-EPO Generic Videos: The crew recorded a video which will be used to educate children about the Canadarm-2 robotic arm (and other robotic arms), what it's used for, how it works and how it's controlled. The video will feature Paxi, ESA's mascot for young children. The activities related to European Space Agency-Education Payload Operations Generic Videos are intended to encourage and strengthen the teaching of science curriculum, and stimulate the curiosity of students to motivate them towards further study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

GRIP: Crewmembers performed the third part of GRIP science tasks (3 out of 3) in the supine position. The GRIP experiment studies the long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements: oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements and tapping gestures.

KOBAIRO Rack: The crew installed the Gradient Heating Furnace (GHF) Water-Filling Device into the Kobairo Rack and refilled cooling water to the Water Pump Package (WPP). The KOBAIRO Rack houses the Gradient Heating Furnace (GHF), an experiment facility for investigating crystal growth of semiconductors. This furnace has the capability of directional solidification of samples.

Real-Time Protein Crystal Growth-2 (RTPCG-2): The crew performed Real-time Protein Crystal Growth Screening Plate Loading for 1B1 samples. Phase II Real-time Protein Crystal Growth on Board the International Space Station (RTPCG-2) demonstrates new methods for producing high-quality protein crystals in microgravity. Previous work has shown that microgravity produces high-quality protein crystals that can be analyzed to identify possible targets for drugs to treat disease. RTPCG-2 produces high-quality protein crystals for up to eight proteins for detailed analysis back on Earth.

The ISS Experience: The crew positioned the EVA Z-Camera for a post-EVA Checkout and removed the ISS Experience EVA Z-Camera Cover in order to photograph the condition of the lenses. The International Space Station Experience (The ISS Experience) is a cinematic virtual reality (VR) series documenting life and research aboard the space station. Filmed over multiple months, the immersive VR series documents different crew activities - from science conducted aboard the station to preparation for a spacewalk.

Window Observational Research Facility (WORF): The crew installed the WORF Bump Shield and labeled the Vacuum Flex Hose inside the WORF payload volume. Photos of bumpshield configuration were taken of the installation and the label of the flex hose and made the photos available for downlink. WORF provides a facility for Earth science remote sensing instruments using the Destiny science window in the U.S. Laboratory. The Destiny window has the highest quality optics ever flown on a human-occupied spacecraft.

Manufacturing Device (MAND): The crew performed an exchange of the Feedstock Canister, Extruder And Print Tray Exchange. The Manufacturing Device enables the production of components on the ISS for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the MAND printer that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. MAND is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Modification: On February 10, during installation of the new EBOT, the crew discovered that the Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) could not be fully installed due to interference with an Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) water line within the Airlock Avionics Rack. Following ground evaluation, the crew successfully performed modification of the BSC to remove the interfering section of the BSC. The BSC will be installed into the Airlock Avionics Rack early next week, along with the completion of the cable route to complete the EBOT installation.

Dragon On-Board Training (OBT): The Crew-1 crew completed a training session with ground team support in preparation for next Monday's scheduled Crew-1 port relocation from Node 2 forward to Node 2 zenith. The relocation is in preparation for Crew-2 arrival currently scheduled on April 23.

Completed Task List Activities:

Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Payloads ops support
EBOT mod support
Dragon OBT
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, April 2 (GMT 092)

GRASP seated session (ESA)
SCEM Insert-2 (JAXA)
MOCHII Mechanical inspection (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva body and Fecal collect (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
Veggie Monitoring photo (NASA)

Express Rack AAA fan cleaning
OBT Crew Dragon conference
Lab work light deploy
Saturday, April 3 (GMT 093)

Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)
ECLSS Brine Processor System Placement (NASA

Crew off duty
Sunday, April 4 (GMT 094)

Standard Measures Saliva setup (NASA)

Dragon departure prep
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup And Frozen Blood Collection Subject
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
Photo TV Node 2 High Definition (HD) Video Setup
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
Prepare Crew Quarters for Deactivation for EVA Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) Modification.
GRIP setup in Supine position
Prepare Crew Quarters for Deactivation for EVA Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) Modification.
EVA Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) Modification
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
CSA Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
XF305 Camcorder Setup
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
GHF(Gradient Heating Furnace) on Kobairo Rack Water Refill 1
GRIP science performance in supine position
ISS Experience EVA Z-CAM Lens Focus
EVA Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) Modification
Real-time Protein Crystal Growth Recipe Card Print
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
MELFI2 ice brick insertion [Deferred]
Liquid condensate sampling - installation КАВ
GHF(Gradient Heating Furnace) on Kobairo Rack Water Refill 2
GRIP science performance in supine position
EVA Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) Modification
Photo T/V (P/TV) High Definition Node 2 Video Stow
Food Acceptability Survey
Synchronization of NIKON camera with station time
SpaceX Crew Dragon Port Relocation Paper Sim
GHF(Gradient Heating Furnace) on Kobairo Rack Water Refill Closeout
GRIP partial stowage
Video recording for science experiment
Water Recovery Management (WRM) Water Balance Placeholder
Water sampling КАВ from СРВК-2М
ISS Experience EVA Z-Cam Final Stow
ТПК 63S stowage operations prior to undocking
Real-time Protein Crystal Growth Production Plate Load S/N 1B1
Echo External Hard Disk connection to SSC 19
Real-time Protein Crystal Growth Production Plate Load S/N 1B2
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Prep
Stowage Clear for DRGZ relocate
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Exam - Subject
Record EPO Paxi script

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