NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 April, 2021 - NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker Set to Take Command

The seven-member Expedition 65 crew with (from left) Flight Engineers Pyotr Dubrov, Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet, with Commander Akihiko Hoshide and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Mark Vande Hei. Kimbrough, McArthur and Vande Hei are all NASA astronauts. Pesquet is an astronaut representing ESA (European Space Agency). Hoshide is a JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut. Dubrov and Novitskiy are cosmonauts representing Roscosmos. Credit: NASA.

Ten people occupy the International Space Station today but that will change on Friday when three Expedition 64 crew members return to Earth.

Soon after that, four new Commercial Crew members will launch to the orbital lab when it will temporarily host 11 crew members.

Houston native and NASA astronaut Shannon Walker is preparing to take command of the space station on Thursday when Commander Sergey Ryzhikov hands over control before departing the next day. NASA TV will broadcast the traditional change of command ceremony from Expedition 64 to Expedition 65 live beginning at 3:45 p.m. EDT.

Expedition 65 officially begins when Ryzhikov undocks inside the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship with Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos. The automated undocking command will come at 9:34 p.m. on Friday when the Soyuz spacecraft will slowly back away from the Poisk module. Less than three-and-a-half hours later the three space travelers will parachute to Earth inside their spacecraft after a 185-day space research mission.

The second operational crew mission from SpaceX is gearing up for launch on April 22 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Two NASA astronauts, one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut and one ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut will ride inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the station to complete the Expedition 65 crew. NASA TV will be on air live broadcasting the 6:11 a.m. launch next Thursday. NASA TV's continuous coverage will also show the docking taking place the following day at 5:30 a.m.

The four SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts are all veteran astronauts having previously launched to space on space shuttles and Soyuz crew ships. Crew-2 Commander Shane Kimbrough rode to the station twice on space shuttle Endeavour in 2008 and the Soyuz MS-02 crew ship in 2016. Pilot Megan McArthur flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis in 2009 to service the Hubble Space Telescope. JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide took two rides to low-Earth orbit, the first aboard space shuttle Discovery in 2008 and the second in 2011 aboard the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. This will be ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet's second space mission, his first aboard the Soyuz MS-03 crew ship in 2016.

Less than a week after the veteran quartet's arrival, the four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts will return to Earth after working in space for 162 days. Walker, along with her commercial crewmates Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi, will undock from the Harmony module's space-facing international docking adapter on April 28 at 12:04 p.m. and splashdown off the coast of Florida about five-and-a-half hours inside their Crew Dragon vehicle.

On-Orbit Status Report


AC Touch: Per standard procedure, the crew touched both the coated and uncoated coupons for this long-term investigation. Boeing Environment Responding Antimicrobial Coatings tests 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 approximately six months then return to Earth for analysis.

AstroPi IR: The AstroPi IR was adjusted to point out of the Node 2 nadir hatch window and was covered with a Camera Shroud. The AstroPi units are used to support science such as the European AstroPi Challenge in which students develop code to control the AstroPi systems. Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called AstroPis) flown to the International Space Station as part of British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake's mission. The computers are both equipped with the mighty Sense HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) that measures the environment inside the space station, detect how the station moves through space, and pick up the Earth's magnetic field. Each AstroPi is also equipped with different kinds of cameras: one has an infrared camera, and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.

Electro-static Levitation Furnace (ELF): The crew checked the serial number of the sample cartridge cable to verify the expected cable is installed. JAXA's ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved. ELF typically processes oxide samples, but is also capable of processing semiconductors, alloys, and metals.

EXPRESS Rack 1 Troubleshooting: In an effort to recover the AAA (Avionics Air assembly) high-speed cooling fan, the crew removed the back panel of the rack and checked the suspect cable connections. EXPRESS Racks are multipurpose payload rack systems that store and support research aboard the ISS. The EXPRESS Racks support science experiments in any discipline by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water, and other items needed to operate science experiments in space.

Food Acceptability: Using the data collection tool on an available Computer, the crew completed a Food Acceptability questionnaire. This investigation seeks to determine the impact of repetitive consumption of food currently available from the spaceflight food system. Results will be used in developing strategies to improve food system composition to support crew health and performance on long duration missions.

Radio Frequency ID (RFID): In support of the RFID smart sensing project, the crew took photos of a Node 1 target area. This RFID experiment is the third in the series and the hardware is expected to arrive later this year. Experiments in this series test a radio-based inventory control system with an ultimate goal of keeping track of everything inside the football-field-sized ISS.

Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE): The crew observed the MCD (Microbial Capture Device) used in the SERFE sampling on Monday. The MCD is allowed to incubate for 48 hours following the time of the sample in order to grow any colonies and observe them visually. SERFE demonstrates a new technology to remove heat from spacesuits and maintain appropriate temperatures for crew members and equipment during space walks. The technology uses evaporation of water for cooling. The investigation determines whether microgravity affects performance and evaluates the technology's effect on contamination and corrosion of spacesuit material.

T2 Treadmill Augmented Reality (T2AR): Due to timeline constraints, the crew deferred the science operations for the T2AR system. The objective was to use the T2AR system to assist the crew with the ISS treadmill monthly maintenance and will be replanned. 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.


Joint Station Local Area Network (LAN) (JSL) Gigabit Cable Connections: The crew connected the new Gigabit Ethernet cables previously routed between Lab and Node 2. As part of this activity, they replaced the Vestibule Jumper that carries Node 2 Shell Heater and Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) loop temperature signals. Engineering teams confirmed nominal telemetry following the new jumper installation.

Node 2 (N2) Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) 4 Installation: The crew installed a spare UOP in Node 2, providing additional secondary power connections in the module.

Lab Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Pump Package Assembly (PPA) Static Monitor Acoustic Test: Teams completed a static acoustic monitor survey, while commanding the Lab PPA through various modes/speeds. Measurements were taken both with and without an acoustics blanket installed to determine its effectiveness. The data from this test will support efforts to increase ITCS flow in the Lab when needed to support payload operations.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Pistol Grip Tool (PGT) Checkout: The crew installed the Torque Analyzer Kit (TAK) on PGTs and recorded PGT output torque data for ground analysis. A total of five data points were taken for each PGT setting.

Maintenance Work Area (MWA) Kit Reorganization: The crew audited the MWA Utility Kits for missing equipment, condition of hardware, and configuration. The equipment was then reorganized into Ziplock bags and placed in an empty Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB).

Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) Maintenance: The three fasteners that attach External MDM Chassis to ISS structure are limited-life items. The three fasteners that attach Internal MDM Chassis to ISS structure are not limited-life items, but are susceptible to damage. The crew removed and replaced fasteners from MDM Chassis which had exceeded life-cycle limit or incurred damage.

Crew-1 On-Board Training (OBT): In preparation for Crew-1 undock currently scheduled for April 28, the Crew-1 crew completed the following refresher OBTs: free-flight depress response, free flight contingencies and emergencies and emergency departure.

ISS Emergency Hardware Familiarization: The newly-arrived 64S crew, along with the Commander and FE-3, practiced communication with the RS and USOS in the event of an emergency. The crew was familiarized with RS and USOS equipment as well as locations of the equipment and positions of valves used in emergencies.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS video and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to walk off the Mobile Base System (MBS) Power & Data Grapple Fixture 3 (PDGF 3). After the walkoff was complete, the Mobile Transporter (MT) was translated from Worksite 6 (WS6) to WS4. SSRMS was then maneuvered to park, ready to start the Crew-1 vehicle survey today.

Completed Task List Activities:

OBT Dragon depress
Data prep return (CDR)
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Payloads ops support
Crew-1 survey
N2 UOP4 install
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, April 15 (GMT 105)

Astrobee/Gecko-2, FNS relocate, Micro-16, PL NAS vent clean, PLT5 setup, RR habitat stow, Standard Measures, Transparent Alloys, Video cable wanted poster

Crew-1 deorbit entry and landing contingency refresher/conference with ground
EVA HECA cable install
Change of Command ceremony
Friday, April 16 (GMT 106)

AC Touch, AstroPi tape removal, AWP, COSMIC, DOSIS-3D, Food Acceptability, HRF Veg questionnaire, Kermit, RTPCG-2, SCEM, Standard Measures, Veg-03 hardware deactivation

63S undock
OBT Crew-1 nominal departure/deorbit
Crew-1 deorbit paper sim with ground team
Saturday, April 17 (GMT 107)

Crew sleep day
Sunday, April 18 (GMT 108)

Astrobee off, HRF saliva setup

Crew off duty
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

JSL connections
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Saver Cable 2 Check
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Multi purpose Small Payload Rack 2 (MSPR2) Work Bench troubleshooting.
Crew Dragon Tablet Sync
Crew Dragon Tablet Stow
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Oxygen Manual Valve Close
SpX-CREW DRAGON Free-Flight Depress Response Refresher
Handover of Increment 65 Crew
SpX-CREW DRAGON Emergency Departure refresher
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
SpX-CREW DRAGON Free Flight Contingencies and Emergencies Refresher
Food Acceptability Survey
Handover of Increment 65 Crew
Recharging Samsung tablet in 63S
Cold Atom Lab Science Module 2 Move
Air Heater Fan MNT
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
Pistol Grip Tool (PGT) Checkout
Node 2 Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) 4 Gather
On-board Training (OBT) ISS Emergency Hardware Familiarization
Lab ExPRESS-1 Rack Rotate Down Preparation
Galley Rack Equipment Powerdown
Node 2 Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) 4 Installation
PPA transfer stow placeholder
Express Rack 1 AAA Inspection
Stowage of the equipment to be returned to earth
Galley Equipment Power Up
RFID Smart Sensing Photo
Unstow and charge Sidekick in preparation for T2 AR Ops
ISS Crew Orientation
Treadmill 2 Augmented Reality On Orbit Training [Deferred]
Lab ExPRESS-1 Rack Rotate Up
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Autocycle Init
T2 AR Video Set Up [Deferred]
T2 Monthly Maintenance performed with Sidekick [Deferred]
Treadmill 2 (T2) Augmented Reality Photo Documentation [Deferred]
Crewmember fills out questionnaire following T2 Maintenance with Augmented Reality [Deferred]
In-flight Maintenance (IFM) External Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (EXT MDM) R&R
T2 AR Video Stow [Deferred]
Stow and charge Sidekick [Deferred]
In-flight Maintenance (IFM) External Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (EXT MDM) Remove and Replace
Cold Atom Lab Science Module 2 Remove
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update
Recharging Samsung tablet in 63S - end
Crew Choice Event Set Up
Standard Measures Presleep Questionnaire

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