NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 December, 2021 - Eye Checks and Microgravity Science


The Soyuz MS-20 and Expedition 66 crews. (Dec. 11 2021)

The seven-member Expedition 66 crew focused on spacesuits, eye checks and an array of microgravity science aboard the International Space Station today.

Meanwhile, the lab's three visitors filmed a station tour and continued a space biology study.

Maintaining the orbiting lab and its systems is a top priority for NASA and its international partners to keep astronauts safe and continue critical space research. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked in the U.S. Quest airlock cleaning cooling loops inside a pair of U.S. spacesuits. He also prepared suit components for return on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Over in the Columbus laboratory module, Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) worked on electrical connections behind an EXPRESS science rack.

Vision and psychology are crucial to space exploration as doctors explore how long-term weightlessness impacts the human eye as well as crew dynamics. NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari took on the crew medical officer role today and scanned NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron's eyes using medical imaging gear. The duo also took turns on a robotics test for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study.

Astronaut Thomas Marshburn of NASA also participated in the robotics test that measures crew performance at various points during a mission. The three-time station resident continued working in the Kibo laboratory module setting up hardware that will house rodents for an upcoming visual function study.

The three cosmonauts aboard the station worked on Soyuz activities and conducted Russian research. Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov charged camera batteries inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and tested water samples from Russian drink bags. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked on computers and electrical connections in the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Veteran cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin packed hardware inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship that will return him and two Japanese space guests to Earth on Dec. 19.

Misurkin also partnered with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano filming a space station tour. The visiting trio then continued researching how microgravity affects the human circulatory system.

On-Orbit Status Report


Behavioral Core Measures (BCM): The crew completed two Robotic On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) research sessions for BCM. The Standardized Behavioral Measures for Detecting Behavioral Health Risks during Exploration Missions (Behavioral Core Measures) experiment initially examined a suite of measurements to reliably assess the risk of adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions and psychiatric disorders during long-duration spaceflight, and evaluated the feasibility of those tests within the operational and time constraints of spaceflight for two crewmembers. Subsequent subjects perform a subset of the original activities to measure the performance capabilities of deconditioned crew members to complete either individual or crew telerobotic operations within the first 24 hours after landing. This information could help characterize what tasks a crewmember who has spent months in weightlessness can reasonably be expected to perform after landing on the surface of Mars.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Ellipsoids-4 (InSPACE-4): The crew set the appropriate parameters and adjusted the camera field of view for experiment runs 86-88. InSPACE-4 studies the assembly of tiny structures from colloids using magnetic fields. These structures change the properties of the assembled material, such as its mechanical response to or interaction with light and heat. Microgravity allows observation of these assembly processes free of confining sample walls and sedimentation and during timescales not possible using simulated microgravity. Results could provide insight into how to harness nanoparticles to fabricate and manufacture new materials.

JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS): The crew performed an inspection of JWRS interface cable 4 and then reconnected it. JWRS is a pilot-scale system capable of generating 1 liter per day of potable water from urine. In the past on crewed spacecraft, urine and wastewater were collected and stored, or vented overboard. For long-term space missions, however, water supply could become a limiting factor. Demonstration of the function of this water recovery system on orbit contributes to updating the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) to support astronauts on the space station and future exploration missions.

Manufacturing Device (ManD): The crew accessed the interior print volume, removed/stowed the printed item, and cleaned the extruder head. ManD 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 can produce parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.

Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Hight Definition monitor troubleshooting: In response to HD monitor issues seen on GMT 328, the crew inspected the associated cable connectors and used a different connector port. MSG is a rack-level payload facility located in the U.S. Laboratory module on the ISS. MSG provides resources such as power, data, video, heat rejection, vacuum, nitrogen, and containment for investigations. The facility is well suited for handling hazardous materials when crew are present. MSG is capable of accommodating both physical science and biological research payloads.

Sleep Monitoring in Space with Dry-EEG Headband (DREAMS): Following the activity replan earlier in the week, the crew set up the Dreams Dry-EEG Headband system just before sleep. Sleep plays a major role in human health and well-being. Insufficient sleep, or sleep disorders can increase the risk of developing medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, and can impair task performance. The Sleep Monitoring in Space with Dry-EEG Headband (Dreams) is a technology demonstration investigation that utilizes the Dry-EEG Headband: an effective, affordable, and comfortable solution to monitor astronaut sleep quality during long-duration spaceflight aboard the ISS.

Vascular Aging: The crew concluded 13 hours of blood pressure monitoring associated with the Vascular Aging investigation. Emerging data points towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crew members, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Space Environment Causes Acceleration of Vascular Aging: Roles of Hypogravity, Nutrition, and Radiation (Vascular Aging) investigation, ultrasounds of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crew members are analyzed.


Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: The crew set up a drain of the installed Recycle Tank to an EDV, after which the drain was performed by the ground using the Urine Transfer System (UTS). The drain could not be performed to BPA today due to BPA operation suspension after an Adlink Mini-PC error during a software update; so, the brine was transferred to an EDV. After ground commanding of the UTS was completed, the crew then terminated the drain. The filled EDV will be pumped into the BPA within the next few days. The crew will then reposition the fill/drain valve to fill, swap the Offload EDV, and configure the UPA Fill Drain Valve for UPA processing.

Columbus Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Water On/Off Valve 8 (WOOV8) Troubleshooting: Today, the crew completed troubleshooting for the COL WOOV8 Removal & Replacement (R&R). The previous WOOV8 R&R activity could not be completed due to the bad orientation of the spare item electrical connectors and master key. The wrong positioning of the correspondent system connectors impacted the ExPRESS Rack-3 (ER-3) tilting up. The Spare WOOV8 was left installed without power, and data connections with the system connectors secured in place but not connected. The purpose of today's activity is to remove the installed WOOV8, perform electrical connectors and master key re-clocking, and re-install the WOOV8 with its original insulation cover. The COL ER-3 was rotated down in preparation for this activity.

Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and EVA Mobility Unit (EMU) Prep Activities: The crew continued working on post-EVA and EMU prep activities today. The crew completed an EMU Resize in preparation for EMU components returning on SpX-24. EMUs also underwent cooling loop maintenance scrubs to complete ionic and particulate filtering of the EMU and Airlock cooling water loops, followed by EMU iodination and deconfiguration. EMU Loop Scrubs are required preventive maintenance needed to remove any chemical and biological contaminants from the EMU transport loop.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

PTCS PMA3 Heater Test
ACS HP Oxygen Valve Open
UHF 1 Activation
DCCU configuration
ACS HP Oxygen Valve Close
UHF 1 Deactivation
THC CCAA Temperature Setpoint Change
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, December 15 (GMT 349)

Bio-Monitor final stow
DREAMS doff and data transfer and stow
InSPACE-4 runs 89-90
LIDAL Relocate 2
MELFI1 icebrick insert 4
MERLIN5 desiccant swap
Plant Habitat Facility prep
Repository Urine and saliva collect
Standard Measures Postsleep and Presleep questions

COLUMBUS Bay 1, 2, 3 clean-up/restow
JEM Mesh Cover Return Grille Cleaning
Thursday, December 16 (GMT 350)

Cold Atom Lab CPU Card replace
Food Acceptability
FSL ESEM bridge install and removal
InSPACE-4 runs 91-93
JEM KIBO Studio setup and event
ManD print removal
MELFI icebrick insert
Payload NAS HD replacement
Plasma Kristall-4 HD exchange
Repository Urine and saliva collect
Standard Measures PostSleep and Presleep
Touching Surfaces ops
Vascular Aging Echo scans, BP measurements and glucose setup

ISS Photos of high Impact Areas for SpX-24
Swap SSC 10 and 20 Swap
IFM WHC Air Filter and Wring Collector R&R
JEM Space Fight Participants Event Attendance
EVA Battery Operations
THC IMV Flow Measurement Survey
OBT ROBoT T&C Self Study
New PWS1 Laptop installation
BIOS Setup on Portable Work Station 1
Portable Workstation 1 Activation
Payloads NAS HDD Replace
IMS Conference
Friday, December 17 (GMT 351)

Food Physiology Diet Brief
FSL SMD SCU exchange and Harness reconfig
GLACIER-2 desiccant swap
JWRS Sample collect
InSPACE-4 runs 94-95
Repository Saliva, blood and urine collect
Standard Measures
Vascular Aging blood collect and Glucose reading

Water Recovery System CWC-Iodine Fill Initialization
SpaceX-24 Dragon Review/Vehicle Ops/Rendezvous CBT
EHS - CSA-CP Extended Maintenance
EVA SLE Training
EDAR Removal
EVA HECA Cable Removal
Handover of Increment 66 Crew
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) Adlink Troubleshooting
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
INSPACE-4 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 4) Procedure Review Runs
Plant Habitat Facility Prep Procedure Review
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Conclude
Columbus ExPRESS-3 Rack Rotate Down.
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Glove Box Setup
Columbus ITCS WOOV8 Trouble Shooting
Cell Biology Experiment Facility-Left (CBEF-L) Filter Attachment
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Updating the IMS
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
Plant Habitat Hardware Gather
Columbus ExPRESS-3 Rack Rotate Up.
INSPACE-4 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 4) Experiment Run Ops
MELFI 1 Ice Brick Insert 3
ISS video tour
Behavioral Core Measures ROBoT-r Research Testing
Glacier Ice Brick/Cold Block Insert
Light Ions Detector Procedure Review 4
Dragon 24 Prepack
XF705 Camcorder Setup
JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS) Cable Inspection
PMM Endcone Cleanup
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
INSPACE-4 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 4) Experiment Run Conclude
MSG HD Monitor Cable Swap
JEM Common Gas Support Equipment (CGSE) Upper CO2 Gas Supply Start
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
JEM Common Gas Support Equipment (CGSE) Upper Ar Gas Supply Start
Health Maintenance System (HMS) - OCT2 Exam - Operator
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Exam - Subject
Bio-Monitor Controller Power On
Bio-Monitor Wearables Data Transfer and Removal
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Stow
Station Support Computer (SSC) Power On
Standard Measures Pre-sleep Questionnaire
Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow Second Performance
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband Setup
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes

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