NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 May, 2021 - Celestial Immunity Investigation


Astronaut Megan McArthur services cells for the Celestial Immunity study.

Human research continued full speed ahead on the International Space Station today as the Expedition 65 crew researched the immune system and conducted eye and ear checks.

The Celestial Immunity investigation has been under way all week inside the Kibo laboratory module from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Megan McArthur once again treated donor cell samples inside the Life Sciences Glovebox which are compared to samples on Earth. Observations may provide insights into new vaccines and drugs and advance the commercialization of space.

Vande Hei later had his eyes checked at the end of the day by NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough using near-infrared medical-imaging for detailed views of his retina. Kimbrough also worked throughout the day replacing life support components inside a U.S. spacesuit before organizing Russian spacewalk tools.

Ear checks were on the schedule on Wednesday with Kimbrough, ESA Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet and station Commander Akihiko Hoshide taking a hearing test using specialized audio software. The three astronauts individually took the hearing assessment isolated in their private crew quarters to block out external station sounds.

Hoshide began the morning collecting and stowing his urine samples before spending the rest of the day on lab maintenance and inventory tasks. Pesquet demonstrated a simple heat transfer experiment for kids. He then checked out the immersive Sidekick device that displays high-definition holograms to assist crews with science and maintenance tasks.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy worked on Russian maintenance tasks and continued packing the U.S. Cygnus space freighter ahead of its departure in a few weeks. First time space-flyer Pyotr Dubrov had orbital plumbing duties Wednesday morning and checking station cameras and ventilation systems.

The Water Processor Assembly (WPA) in the Tranquility module has been powered off due to a possible leak. This hardware is used to recycle water from multiple sources into clean, drinkable water for crew members aboard the International Space Station.

The crew is in no danger and has multiple spare parts aboard to begin the repair process which is expected to be complete early next week. Enough water is stored on the space station to provide the crew with the necessary consumables for several months if required.

The space station serves a vital role in testing and maturing life support technologies that will be required for future missions to the Moon and Mars. Repairs provide invaluable data to engineers refining these systems for use in future spacecraft and missions.

On-Orbit Status Report


AC Touch: Per standard procedure, the crew touched both of the coated and uncoated coupons for this long-term investigation. Boeing Environment Responding Antimicrobial Coatings tests is an antimicrobial coating on several different materials that represent high-touch surfaces. Some microbes change characteristics in microgravity, which could create new risks to crew health and spacecraft systems as well as creating the possibility of contaminating other planetary bodies. The samples remain in space for approximately six months, then return to Earth for analysis.

Celestial Immunity: The crew set up the appropriate hardware, performed sample 1 operations for cell culture plate gamma, and initiated the experiment for cell culture delta ops. Delta is the fourth of six total cell culture set of operations in the experiment. This project seeks to gain a broad understanding of how gravity affects overall human immune function and potentially uncover novel pathways of immune function that can be exploited to develop better vaccines and immunobiologics for human use. The project will build on earlier studies that evaluated lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) function in microgravity. The project will also evaluate whether gravity-regulated immune pathways are affected by age by examining cells from both young adult and elderly donors in parallel.

Story Time From Space-8 (STFS-8): The crew performed the second part of the STFS-8, using the black sphere to demonstrate heat flow. Last week they performed the investigation with the white sphere installed, so that the differences in heat transfer can be compared. Story Time From Space (STFS) combines literacy and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects with basic science demonstrations. The Story Time From Space-8 Heat Transfer Demo uses a Sun-Earth-Space model to demonstrate concepts of radiative heat transfer. It is performed on the International Space Station by an astronaut and videotaped, along with a reading of the book Give Me Some Space, and the videos and educational materials are made available on the STFS website.

T2AR ops: The crew performed the science operations for the T2AR system. The objective is to use the T2AR system to assist the crew with the ISS treadmill monthly maintenance. Autonomous Systems and Operations (T2 Treadmill Augmented Reality Procedures or simply T2AR) conducts tests using augmented reality to help crew members perform inspection and maintenance on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT). The ability to perform such tasks without assistance from Mission Control is vital for future space exploration such as a mission to Mars, where significant time delays occur in communications between space and ground. Using augmented reality to guide astronauts through complex spacecraft maintenance and repair activities also reduces the time needed for training and task performance.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Gas Trap Remove and Replace (R&R): Today, Crew removed and replaced the EMU Gas Trap on EMU 3004. The EMU Gas Trap removes particulate contamination from the water flow to the EMU Water Pump and concentrates and directs free gas in the coolant loop to the EMU Water Separator. The EMU Gas Trap is considered an ORU and can be changed out on-orbit. The EMU Gas Trap lifetime is limited by the number of hours it has run with the fan.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Pump Inlet Filter Remove and Replace (R&R): Today, Crew removed and replaced the EMU Pump Inlet Filter on EMU 3004. The Pump Inlet Filter prevents contamination generated in the water separator and feedwater tanks from migrating to the EMU Pump. The water incoming to the Pump Inlet Filter comes from the Coolant Isolation Valve and Condensate Water Relief Valve and passes down to the EMU Pump.

Water Stowage System (WSS) Resupply Tank Changeout: Today, Crew changed out the full Water Resupply Tanks 1,2,3 in the US Lab WSS Rack with empty Water Resupply Tanks. The WSS resupply tanks are COTS tanks. The outer shell of the tank is a fiberglass composite that is sealed with an epoxy resin (not wetted). The interior of the shell is lined with polyethylene and the internal bladder is the polyether urethane material. Unlike most of the bladder tanks commonly used in the NASA world, the water is stored between the bladder and the shell (as opposed to inside the bladder). During transfer ops, the bladder is filled with compressed air which forces the water out of the tank.

JLP1A2 ZSR Audit: Today, Crew performed audits of the JEM Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized (JLP) 1A2 Zero-G Soft Rack (ZSR) to verify its stowage configuration for future clean up. The ZSR was designed to be used aboard the orbiting ISS to accommodate a wide range of crew, experiment, and logistic support items. Its lightweight composite construction of aluminum and fabric elements can be flown in any ISS location that accommodates an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR).

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Passive Thermal Control System (PTCS) PMA3 Heater Test
Life Sciences Glovebox Ops Mode 2 Resource Tracking
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Walkoff Maneuver
Look Ahead Plan:

Thursday, May 13 (GMT 133)

Celestial Immunity
HRP blood setup
Ryutai IPU cable replacement

ISPR and IPU HRDL Adapter Cable Setting between Ryutai Rack and iAPS
Dragon 22 Prepack
Environmental Health System (EHS) Acoustic Monitor Setup
Friday, May 14 (GMT 134)

AC Touch
Celestial Immunity
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology
Standard Measures

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 2 Smoke Detector Relocate
In-Flight Maintenance Node 2 Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) Water Separator R&R
Treadmill 2 (T2) Yearly Maintenance
Saturday, May 15 (GMT 135)


Crew Off-Duty Day
Weekly Cleaning
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup / Stow
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
Celestial Immunity Crew Handover
Celestial Immunity LSG Staging
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Insertion
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Retrieve
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Transfer
Celestial Immunity Plate First Sampling
Celestial Immunity Thaw and Centrifuge
Celestial Immunity Treatment and Sample
Comm config for conference from MRM1
Countermeasures System (CMS) Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS) Time Update
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Bumpout Fix
Crewmember fills out questionnaire following T2 Maintenance with Augmented Reality.
Dust Filter Hand Over
ESA Monthly Management Conference
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Gas Trap Remove and Replace (R&R)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Pump Inlet Filter Remove and Replace (R&R)
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Positive Pressure Relief Valve Cycling
Handover RS items to US crew for disposal on NG-15
Health Maintenance System (HMS) - OCT2 Exam - Operator
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Exam - Subject
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Prep
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Setup
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Stow
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude and Stow
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup and Frozen Blood Collection Subject
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
Inspection of Nikon camera digital image sensors
JLP1A2 Audit
JLP1A2 Audit
Microgravity Science Glovebox Power Down
On-orbit Hearing Assessment (OOHA) with Kuduwave Software Setup and Test
Preparation of FGB items for h/over and subsequent disposal on NG-15
Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) Maintenance Unit Relocation B
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Changeout
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
RS Trash handover
Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Gather
Standard Measures Post-Sleep Questionnaire
Story Time 8 Thermal Balance Black Light On
Story Time 8 Thermal Balance Black Sphere Setup
Story Time 8 Thermal Balance Hardware Stow
Stow Sidekick After Use
Synchronization of NIKON camera with station time
T2 Monthly Maintenance performed with Sidekick
Treadmill 2 (T2) Augmented Reality Sidekick Charge
Treadmill 2 Augmented Reality on Orbit Training
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
WSS Resupply Tank Changeout

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