NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 May, 2021 - Spacewalk Preparations and Biomedical Research


NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei unpacks research hardware. (May 14, 2021)

Spacewalk preparations and biomedical research filled the Expedition 65 schedule on Tuesday.

The International Space Station also continues to host a variety of maintenance on science and plumbing systems.

ESA Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet checked out U.S. spacesuit components ahead of a pair of spacewalks to install new solar arrays on the Port-6 truss structure planned for June. Those solar arrays, the first two of six targeted for installation, will be launched to the station aboard the next SpaceX Dragon mission on June 3.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide worked throughout the day collecting his biological samples and stowing them in science freezers for a pair of human research studies. The Phospho-Aging study looks at rapid bone and muscle loss while the Vascular Aging experiment observes aging-like changes in arteries that take place in microgravity.

Another human research study, the Standard Measures investigation that NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur contributed to today, observes and documents the changes to the human body during a long-term spaceflight. McArthur also installed and configured hardware inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to support safe research into fuels and flames on the space station.

In the Tranquility module, NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough spent the day on orbital plumbing duties. He was assisted throughout Tuesday by Pesquet and NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei as they serviced the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) to repair a possible leak.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov reviewed procedures for an upcoming spacewalk planned for June 2 for external maintenance and science experiment installations. The duo also partnered up for cardiac research before moving on to communications and systems maintenance in the orbiting lab's Russian segment.

Maintenance for the WPA in the Tranquility module of the station occurred today as crew members removed the affected parts and configured ducting to perform a dryout of the lines. Maintenance will continue tomorrow with the installation of the replacement units and additional preventative maintenance to restore the hardware to its full functionality.

The WPA was powered off last week due to a suspected 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 on board to complete the repair process. There is enough water 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 Statur Report


AstroPi: The crew recorded a congratulation message for AstroPi Challenge 2020/21. Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called AstroPis) flown to the International Space Station as part of British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake's mission are available for use during French ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet's Proxima 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.

Celestial Immunity: The crew retrieved samples from cold stowage in preparation for thaw and treatment injections. Dissecting the Influence of Gravity on Human Immune Function in Adults and the Elderly (Celestial Immunity) builds on earlier studies to evaluate how gravity affects functional immune response, from innate mechanisms of defense to adaptive responses. It uses peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from both elderly and younger adult donors to facilitate the study of possible age-associated effects. The investigation could uncover novel immune pathways useful for the development of new vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat existing and emerging human diseases.

Dreams: A crewmember concluded Dreams operations by doffing the headband, connecting the hardware to an iPad for data download, and completing the questionnaire. 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 International Space Station (ISS).

Vascular Aging: A crewmember performed the Glucometer and the blood tubes setup in preparation for the Vascular Aging glucose test protocol. The crewmember also performed the setup and donning of the Bio-Monitor Garment and Headband and connected the Data Unit to the Garment and to the Bio-Monitor Application in preparation for a 48-hr data gathering session. Emerging data point 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.

Manufacturing Device (MAND): Crew remove and stowed completed printed object. 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 can produce parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymer including engineered plastics.


In Flight Maintenance Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Recovery from Suspected Gas Separator Leakage: In order to recover from the WRS-1 Rack failure caused by a suspected leak in the Gas Separator ORU that caused the Air Avionics Assembly (AAA) to fail, Crew will be performing a week-long series of R&Rs. An R&R will be performed on the Gas Separator, Ion Exchange, and AAA, while the Water Delivery ORU will be removed for AAA accessing. This will require multiple partial rotations of the NOD3D5 Rack to access connections at the front and rear of the rack.

CIR IPSU Replacement: Today, a crewmember replaced the failed FCF IPSU in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), which included moving the FCF IPSU at position UML2 to replace the FCF IPSU at position UML5. The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

Port Crew Quarters Exhaust Airflow Sensor Swap: Today, Crew removed the Port Crew Quarters (CQ) Exhaust Airflow Sensor and installed the scavenged Deck CQ Exhaust Airflow Sensor for troubleshooting purposes. Upon activation of the removed Port Sensor it was discovered that it was still producing a fault and therefore was confirmed to be the culprit. The faulty Port Sensor was left installed in the Deck CQ, and teams are investigating forward steps.

High Definition EMU Camera Assembly (HECA) Hardware Checkout and Prep for Troubleshooting: Today, Crew performed troubleshooting steps on the HECA to try and determine why it is having recording issues. The HECA is an ancillary EMU hardware developed by EV (Avionics Systems Division) which replaces the right camera of the ERCA. This High Definition camera streams via ISS EWC and utilizes the Arcturus software to send to MCC.

Urine Transfer System Backup EDV Swap: Crew swapped out the offload EDV and the mainline EDV, so that the Urine Transfer System (UTS) offloading can take place.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Support 2
Crew Quarters Deactivation/Activation
PRO MSG Facility Activation Commanding
Look Ahead Plan:

Wednesday, May 19 (GMT 139)

Vascular Aging Glucose readings and BioMonitor changeout (CSA)
DREAMS headband doff and stow and data xfer (ESA)
TIME Perception sessions (ESA)
Standard Measures saliva and Blood collect, and Fecal setup (NASA)
Repository Urine collect (NASA)
Celestial Immunity CELLS Thaw and treatment injection Sample E and F(NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
MSL SCA Exchange B3#3 (NASA)

In Flight Maintenance Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Recovery from Gas Separator Leakage
Joint Station LAN (JSL) 20 Port Switch Cable Modification Gather
Astrobee Stowage Clear
Thursday, May 20 (GMT 140)

Vascular Aging Blood Pressure 13hr Init BioMonitor stow (CSA)
Confocal microscope setup and checkout (JAXA)
SABL 3 CO2 Control remove, SABL2 sample tray insert (NASA)
CGBA-4 activate (NASA)
Celestial Immunity Plate sample and Cell thaw (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva and body collect, and Fecal collect (NASA)
MAND print removal, clean and stow (NASA)

Siemens Switch-Deploy
WPA Repairs
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Termination
Friday, May 21 (GMT 141)

Vascular Aging Blood Pressure 13hr conclude, (CSA)
ILLUSION Recordings (ESA)
Probiotic Saliva ops and questionnaire (JAXA)
CBEF Fan cable R&R and c/o (JAXA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
SUBSA Sample Exchange
Food Physiology Diet brief (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect and cognition test (NASA)
Celestial Immunity Plate sample (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)

Joint Station Local Area Network Switch Deploy in Lab (Part 1)
ZBOOK Hard Disk Drive Update
WPA Repairs
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Bio-Monitor Hardware Setup
Bio-Monitor Wearables Setup
Celestial Immunity Hardware Gather
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Retrieve
CIR IPSU Replacement Placeholder
Combustion Integrated Rack Optics Bench Translation In
Combustion Integrated Rack Optics Bench Translation Out
Combustion Integrated Rack Doors Close
Combustion Integrated Rack Doors Open
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
Deck Crew Quarters Power down Prep
Deck Crew Quarters Exhaust Airflow Sensor Install
Deck Crew Quarters Exhaust Airflow Sensor Removal
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband charge
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband doffing after recording
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband Setup
EPO message recording
Placeholder for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Re-stow
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Unstow
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap
High Definition EMU Camera Assembly (HECA) Hardware Checkout and Prep for Troubleshooting
High Definition EMU Camera Assembly Activity Terminate
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
In Flight Maintenance Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Recovery from Gas Separator Leakage
In-Flight Maintenance Lab IMV Bypass Duct Gather
Photography of universal portable brackets
LSG Work Volume Deploy
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Microgravity Science Glovebox Activation
Nanoracks Bolt Locate
Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Port Crew Quarters Power down Prep
Port Crew Quarters Exhaust Airflow Sensor Reinstall
Port Crew Quarters Exhaust Airflow Sensor Swap
Probiotics Fecal Sample MELFI Insertion
Probiotics Fecal Sample Operations
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection
Standard Measures Body Sampling Stow
Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey
Standard Measures Fecal Collection
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Stow
Urine Transfer System Backup EDV Swap
Vascular Aging Bio-Monitor Big Picture Words Review
Vascular Aging FRIDGE Item Insertion
Vascular Aging Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Review
Vascular Aging Glucose Test Setup
Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Init
Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Purge
Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Term

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