NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 December, 2021 - SpaceX Cargo Launch

©NASA

File photo of SpaceX Commercial Resupply mission 23. (Aug. 25, 2021)

SpaceX has rolled out its Falcon 9 rocket with the Cargo Dragon vehicle attached to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Falcon 9 is due to lift off at 5:06 a.m. EST on Tuesday placing the Cargo Dragon into orbit for a docking at the International Space Station at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Expedition 66 Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn of NASA will be on duty monitoring the Cargo Dragon's automated docking to the Harmony module's space-facing port. Dragon is delivering about 6,500 pounds crew supplies and new science experiments including a cancer treatment study and a handheld bioprinter. Live launch coverage begins at 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency's website.

The orbiting lab has returned to its occupancy rate of seven crew members after three visitors departed and returned to Earth on Sunday. Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin led spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship when they undocked from the Poisk module at 6:50 p.m. EST. The trio aboard the Soyuz parachuted to landing in Kazakhstan less than three-and-a-half hours later completing an 11-day station mission.

On-Orbit Status Report

Payloads:

Advanced Nano Step: The crew removed the Nano Step experiment cartridge and Nano Step specimen cell from the Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) and stowed the items in The Freezer-Refrigerator Of STirling cycle-2 (FROST-2). The Effects of Impurities on Perfection of Protein Crystals, Partition Functions, and Growth Mechanisms (Advanced Nano Step) experiment monitors and records how the incorporation of specific impurity molecules affect the development and quality of protein crystals as they grow in a quartz cell aboard the ISS. The crystals grown on the ISS are returned to Earth and characterized using synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The protein crystal and impurity interactions are managed and monitored jointly by both scientists on the ground and the ISS crew.

Bio-Analyzer: The crew collected a finger blood sample, processed the sample by mixing with reagents and centrifuging, and then analyzed the sample using the Bio-Analyzer system. Two different samples were processed to confirm reliability. Bio-Analyzer is a CSA onboard instrument that serves as a platform for scientific experiments on the ISS. The instrument performs on-orbit quantification of biological molecules and cellular composition in samples collected and prepared aboard the ISS.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF): The crew reconfigured the cables on ELF to support a planned software load, and then put the ELF back in its nominal configuration. 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.

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 to begin processing of run 95. 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.

Kubik setup: The crew set up Kubik-5 and Kubik-6 and connected them to the Multi-Purpose Computer Communication (MPCC) system. Kubik is a small controlled-temperature incubator or cooler with removable inserts designed for self-contained, automatic microgravity investigations such as those using seeds, cells.

Materials Science Research Rack/Materials Science Laboratory/Sample Cartridge Assembly (MSRR/MSL/SCA): The crew exchanged SCAs to prepare for the next experiment run, currently scheduled for early next year. The MSL is used for basic materials research in the microgravity environment of the ISS. The MSL can accommodate and support diverse experiment modules. In this way many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials.

Systems:

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: The crew performed an analysis of the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) using the TOCA. The TOCA unit oxidizes organic carbon species present in the water to carbon dioxide gas and measures the concentration using nondispersive infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the potable water using the TOCA occurs on a weekly basis.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Return Prep Activities: Today crew performed preparation activities for EMU return on SpX-24. A suit reconfiguration was performed which consisted of the EMU Lower Torso Assembly disassembly and packing of Brief/Waist Assembly and Boots for SpX-24 return. The EMU was then prepped for installation into the Short EMU (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE) by configuring the EMU for landing and installing ancillary hardware.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) In Flight Maintenance (IFM): As part of regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, the crew performed a manual WHC flush tank fill. By using a post-flight analysis bag to capture any pressure relief, also known as the burp, they depressurized the flush water tank and water valve block to protect the dose pump. This pump is critical as it injects the pre-treat required to properly recycle waste urine.

Lab Vestibule Leak Check: The crew successfully completed the Lab Vestibule Leak Checks today in order inspect seal integrity following damage revealed upon inspection of the Lab Forward and Lab Aft Hatch seals. The 65S and Crew-3 crews were isolated aft and forward of the Lab respectively. Access to life support and personal items was prepped, with CO2 and O2levels remaining within acceptable levels for the duration of the 4.5 isolation timeframe. Crew depressed the Node 1/Lab Vestibule to 5 psi and performed a leak check, followed by the Lab/Node 2 Vestibule depress using the Pressure Management Device (PMD). The crew then terminated the leak check and repressed for re-ingress, after which crew reopened the hatches and tore down and stowed the leak check support equipment.

Dragon SpX-24 Arrival Preparations: The crew completed SpX-24 Dragon On-Board Training (OBT) activities today, beginning with a review of rendezvous docking target assessment using Computer Based Training (CBT) and Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG). This was followed by a review of the ISS Homepage, Ops Product tab, Controlled Documents, and SpaceX Crew Dragon: Rendezvous and Departure CBT. These activities concluded with a debrief and Q&A between ISS crew members and SpX-24 ground team and instructors.

Completed Task List Activities:

IFM OGS Internal ACTEX Pre-Flush (12/18)
COL WOOV Audit (12/19)
Thermo-mini Headbands packing (12/19)
Vacuum Coordless Big Picture Words (12/19)
WHC Pump Separator R&R (12/19)
ESA PAO Message with Matthias Maurer (12/18, 12/19, 12/20)
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

DDCU Powerdown
ARS Lab CDRA Deactivation
Enable Node 3 PPR and Node 2 Cabin Pressure cautions
THC IMV Reconfiguration
THC IMV Valve Reconfiguration
HD Video Downlink Expansion Checkout
Restore Node 3 PPR and Node 2 Cabin Pressure C&W to nominal configuration
VDS EHDC for ISS External Survey
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, December 21 (GMT 355)
Payloads:

CIR/ACME bottle exchange
InSPACE-4 experiment runs and stow
LMM hardware pack
LSG setup
NutrISS
POLAR proc review
Ring Sheared Drop setup for motor t/s
Systems:

Cargo Dragon - Station Support Computer Relocate
ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain
PMD Equipment Setup for H2 Vent Valve Leak Rate Characterization
ERA training
Crew opens H2/N2 Vent Male Purge Adapter in support of the H2 Vent Valve Characterization
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Dragon Rendezvous Operations Conference
Review Cargo Ops products prior to the Cargo Conference
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
Wednesday, December 22 (GMT 356)
Payloads:

DCB unpack
EasyMotion
Food Acceptability
Ice Cubes
Micro Age
NutrISS
PAUL XFR/install
PCG-20
Rhodium Cryptobiology
Systems:

Docking Dragon Monitoring Tools Setup
Dragon Zenith Approach Monitoring
Node 2 to Dragon Pressurization and Leak Check
Dragon Monitoring Tools Teardown
Node 2 to Dragon Final Pressurization and Vestibule prep for Ingress
OBT Dragon Emergency Review
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Thursday, December 23 (GMT 357)
Payloads:

AWP
DCB unpack
Dragon locker remove
Food Physiology
LSG setup
Low Temp PCG
Micro Age
Moderate Temp PCG
Nanoracks module 63, 94, 100 installation
NutrISS
PCG-20
Tangolab-4
Touching Surfaces
Systems:

Dragon Cargo Transfer
OBT Dragon Emergency Review
ERA manipulator checkout under ЭВТИ
Dragon Docking Station Support Computer Relocation
SSC 10 and 20 Swap
CMS ARED Cable Arm Rope Flip
Dragon-24 Locker Removal
IMS Conference
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
INSPACE-4 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 4) Experiment Run Ops
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Transfer
Advanced Nano Step Cartridge and Nano Step Specimen Cell (S/N ANS003) Removal
Extravehicular Activity Extravehicular Mobility Unit SpaceX-24 Reconfiguration
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Duct Disconnect/Reconnect
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Short Extravehicular Mobility Unit (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE) Return Preparation
Kubik 5 setup on COL1D2
Kubik 6 setup on COL1D3
Ring Sheared Drop Procedure Review
MELFI 1 Ice Brick Transfer
Bio-Analyzer Cellular Labeling Microbubbles Analysis Session 2
Ring Sheared Drop Hardware Gather
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation & Termination
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Node 1/Lab Vestibule Leak Check PREGATHER
LAB Isolation Preparation
INSPACE-4 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 4) Experiment Run Conclude
Material Science Laboratory SCA Exchange
MSL Historical Photo
Pressure Mangement Device (PMD) Equipment Setup for Lab-N2 Vestibule Leak Check
Solid Combustion (SCEM) and Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Item Gathering
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Termination
MSL Support Plate Handle fastener bolt installation
CHeCS Emergency Health Maintenance System Contingency Drill Training
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Node 1/Lab Vestibule Leak Check Prep Steps
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Node 1/Lab Vestibule Leak Check Part 1 and Part 2
Photo/TV Camcorder Troubleshooting
Solid Combustion (SCEM) CPU Board Removal
N2 Aft MPEV open
SpaceX-24 Dragon Rendezvous review CBT
EasyMotion Suit stow
HRF Rack 2 PC Software Integrated Build Load Installation Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
On-Board Training (OBT) Conference after Rendezvous CBT review
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Node 1/Lab Vestibule leak check tear down and Stow
Lab-N2 Vestibule repress via MPEV
Downlink Expansion Audio and Video Checkout
Bio-Analyzer Microbubbles Conclude and Stow
Pressure Management Device Equipment Teardown.
XF705 Camcorder Setup
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Software upload Cable Disconnection/Connection
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Up

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