NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 May, 2021 - The Celestial Immunity Study


NASA astronaut Megan McArthur works on the Celestial Immunity study.

The Expedition 65 crew is staying focused on numerous life science experiments aboard the International Space Station today while gearing up for three spacewalks in June.

The Celestial Immunity study has been ongoing aboard the orbital lab since shortly after it arrived on the SpaceX Crew-2 mission. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur started Wednesday retrieving donor cell samples from a science freezer before thawing and spinning the cells in a centrifuge. Next, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei inoculated and treated the sample cultures to help scientists observe the differences from samples harvested on Earth. Results could lead to improved vaccines and treatments for diseases on Earth, as well as advance the commercialization of space.

Akihiko Hoshide, Japan's second station commander, spent the day on a variety of human research studies. In the morning, he took glucose measurements and collected blood samples for the Phospho-Aging and Vascular Aging studies looking at bone, muscle and artery changes in space. Hoshide then took turns with ESA Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet wearing a virtual reality headset and clicking a trackball for the Time Perception experiment. Researchers are exploring how astronauts perceive space and time which may impact navigation and fine motor coordination in microgravity.

Over in the Tranquility module, NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough, with assistance from Vande Hei and Pesquet, continued more maintenance work on the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) due to a suspected leak. The WPA, which recycles water into drinkable water, has been powered down for several days during the troubleshooting work. The crew is fine and has several months of water supply on the station if necessary.

Next month's first spacewalk is planned for June 2. Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will spend about six-and-a-hours on external maintenance and installing science experiments. Novitskiy worked on Orlan spacesuit maintenance today before joining Dubrov for more Russian cardiac research to understand how weightlessness affects the circulatory system.

In mid-June, two U.S. spacewalks are planned for the installation of a pair of new solar arrays on the station's Port-6 truss structure. Four more solar arrays will be installed on upcoming spacewalks to augment the orbiting lab's power systems.

On-Orbit Status Report


Celestial Immunity: The crew thawed cell cultures, exchanged media after centrifuge ops, and inoculated a 24-Well Plate. The samples were then inoculated and placed into cold stowage. 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 a data collection run by doffing the DREAMS headband and performed a data transfer. 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).

ISS HAM: A crewmember initiated an ISS HAM contact with Monaro High School, Cooma, NSW, Australia. ISS Ham Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.

SUBSA (Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules): The crew removed the SUBSA Ampoule from the SUBSA Thermal Chamber and installed a new Science Ampoule. The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) facility objective is to advance understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth. SUBSA offers a gradient freeze furnace for materials science investigations that can reach 850°C. Samples are contained in transparent quartz or ceramic ampoules with high definition video imaging available in real time, along with remote commanding of thermal control parameters.

Time Perception in Microgravity: Crewmembers performed TIME PERCEPTION experiment sessions. The accurate perception of objects in the environment is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks. Time perception in microgravity is also fundamental to motion perception, sound localization, speech, and fine motor coordination. The Time Perception in Microgravity experiment quantifies the subjective changes in time perception in humans during and after long-duration exposure to microgravity.

Vascular Aging: A crewmember collected finger blood samples and took glucose measurements using the Glucometer. The Bio-Monitor Garment and Headband was doffed, and the spare Garment and Headband was donned. 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 crewmembers, 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.


In Flight Maintenance Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Recovery from Suspected Gas Separator Leakage: Today, Crew continued work on restoring the WPA to full operational use. Today's R&R included the Install the of Gas Separator, Ion Exchange, Water Delivery, and AAA ORUs from the NOD3D5 WRS-1 Rack. The Air Avionics Assembly was installed first, followed by the Water Delivery ORU, followed by the Ion Exchange ORU, and lastly the Gas Separator. Checkouts have been confirmed on the AAA Fan as well as the Water Delivery ORUs were operational, the other components will be checked out later.

In Flight Maintenance - LAB IMV Bypass Duct Installation: As part of the dry out and recovery operations of the WPA, the IMV Bypass Duct was routed by Crew from the LAB Aft and channeled to the intake at LAB Fwd. The LAB IMV Bypass Duct will run through the LAB to send air from Node 3 directly to Node 2 in order to provide better air mixing across the USOS.

Joint Station LAN (JSL) 20 Port Switch Cable Modification (Part 1): Today Crew modified the 16-Port Ethernet Switch Power Cable by installing a larger ring ground terminal. A spare (un-installed) cable will be modified in preparation for this replacement by swapping out a 16-Port Ethernet Switch with a 20-Port Network Switch.

Crew Dragon Tablet Sync, Charge, and Stow: Today, Crew charged and synced their SpaceX provided iPads. This sync updated emergency deorbit data as well as other data from SpaceX using CrewNet. This also began the charging period of this group of iPads before they subsequently stowed.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Walkoff
HRF Rack 2 Rack Power Up Commanding
Video Distribution Subsystem (VDS) Robotics Ground Configuration
Look Ahead Plan:

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
Saturday, May 22 (GMT 142)

Celestial Immunity Plate sample (NASA)

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

Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
Astrobee Off
Astrobee Stowage Clear
Bio-Monitor Wearables Change Out
Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow
Celestial Immunity Thaw and Centrifuge
Celestial Immunity Crew Handover
Celestial Immunity LSG Staging
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Insertion
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Retrieve
Celestial Immunity Treatment and Sample
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
CSA Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
Dreams Questionnaire Filling
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband doffing after recording
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband Doff and Stow
Crew Dragon Tablet Stow
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup and Frozen Blood Collection Subject
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 Spin Conclude
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
In Flight Maintenance Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Recovery from Suspected Gas Separator Leakage
In Flight Maintenance - LAB IMV Bypass Duct Installation
WRS-1 Recovery Maintenance - NOD3D5
In Flight Maintenance Water Processing Assembly (WPA) Recovery from Suspected Gas Separator Leakage
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Joint Station LAN (JSL) 20 Port Switch Cable Modification
Joint Station LAN (JSL) 20 Port Switch Cable Modification Gather
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Unfold
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 1
Phospho-Aging Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Setup
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Sample Exchange
Time experiment science
Vascular Aging HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Subject
Vascular Aging FRIDGE Item Removal
Vascular Aging Glucometer Reading and Drink Consumption
Vascular Aging Glucometer Reading and Data Transfer
Vascular Aging Historical Documentation Photography

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