NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 May, 2021 - ISS Orbit Raised


Commander Akihiko Hoshide works on the Time Perception experiment. (May 19, 2020)

The International Space Station raised its orbit today to get ready for an upcoming Russian resupply mission due to launch at the end of June.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 65 crew continued its biology studies, spacewalk preparations and orbital lab maintenance on Thursday.

The ISS Progress 77 cargo craft, docked to the Pirs docking compartment, fired its thrusters shortly after 1 p.m. EDT today slightly lifting the station's orbit. The half-mile orbital boost readies the orbiting lab for the ISS Progress 78 resupply ship due to launch on June 30 from Kazakhstan and dock to the Poisk module two days later.

Immune system research has been underway all week with NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Megan McArthur collaborating on the Celestial Immunity experiment. Vande Hei once again started his day retrieving donor cells from a science freezer, thawing them and spinning the samples in a centrifuge. McArthur followed that work treating the samples to document differences from sample cultures harvested on Earth. Results could lead to improved vaccines and treatments for diseases on Earth, as well as advance the commercialization of space.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide set up the Confocal Microscope today to get ready for the Cell Gravisensing study that seeks to understand how individual animal cells detect gravity. The three-time station visitor also collected and stowed his saliva samples for the Standard Measures study then checked his blood pressure for the Vascular Aging investigation.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough continued his orbital plumbing duties today with more troubleshooting in the Tranquility module's Water Processing Assembly (WPA). Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency assisted Kimbrough with the WPA work and also serviced computers and cables throughout the day.

The year's sixth spacewalk is set for June 2 for external maintenance and science experiment installations on the station's Russian segment. Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, who spent Thursday morning inspecting their Orlan spacesuits, will spend about six-and-a-half hours outside the lab during their first career excursions. The duo split up in the afternoon and worked on a variety of life support and ventilation systems.

On-Orbit Status Report


Celestial Immunity: The crew thawed cell culture samples, exchanged media after centrifuge operations, and inoculated the 24-Well Plate and packed samples and plate for return. 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.

Cell Gravisensing: Confocal Space Microscope was setup in preparation for Cell Gravisensing operations. This involved swapping the temp logger and checkout sample and swapping the Payload Control Box 1. The Elucidation of the Gravisensing Mechanism in Single Cells (Cell Gravisensing) investigation studies how cells sense gravity. While recent research has revealed that individual animal cells can detect gravity, the mechanism for this sensing is largely unknown. This investigation analyzes changes in tension in cell stress fibers during spaceflight as a possible mechanism.

ISS HAM: The crew initiated an ISS HAM contact with Lycée Jean Moulin, Les Andelys, France. 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.

Manufacturing Device (ManD): The crew performed a Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow. 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.

Vascular Aging: A crewmember donned the Blood Pressure monitor and initiated a 13-hour recording session. The wearable BioMonitor was also removed and stowed, and 48hrs of data was set up for downlink. Emerging data point towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicates 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.


In Flight Maintenance (IFM) WRS1 Rack Closeout and T2 Deploy: Today, Crew performed a full closeout of the NOD3D5 rack following WPA maintenance activities. Following this closeout, Crew then returned the Treadmill 2 (T2) and WRS-1 Racks to nominal hardware configuration. The T2 had been stowed in an unusable configuration while Crew performed the WPA R&R series over the last few days.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Transfer System (UTS) Reinstall: Today, Crew reinstalled the Urine Transfer System (UTS) on the NOD3D5 (WRS-1) Rack.The UTS is used to provide automated control of urine flow from Toilet System and WHC or from external storage container (EDV-Y) into the UPA WSTA.

Station Support Computer (SSC) Cable Audit: Today, Crew audited cables/bricks attached to the SSC Client laptops deployed throughout USOS and RSOS. This was performed in order to clear up discrepancies in ground tracking tools and streamline activities and S/G comm for future SSC moves.

ZBOOK Hard Disk Drive Update: Today, Crew restored a clone image on the COL1F1 ZBook and reset its date and time.

EVA Battery Operations Terminal Terminate: Today, Crew terminated a Charge on Charger 1 and 2, Channel 3, for LREBAs S/N 1005 and 1007, and Autocycled Charger 1 and 2, Channel 4, for PGT Li-ion (LPGT) Batteries S/N 1004 and 1005. This concluded the EBOT activities that crew began on Tuesday.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Termination: Today, Crew performed a manual fill of the WHC (EДВ-СВ). During the fill, a Post-Flight Analysis Bag was used to protect the Dose Pump by relieving water pressure.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Atmosphere Revitalization System Thermal Amine Scrubber Cycle Adjustment
Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Support 2
Automated Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Selection (ATS) Pre-positioned Load (PPL) Loading
Look Ahead Plan:

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)

BEAM Ingress
CBEF Vent Fan Cable R&R
WPA Repairs
Saturday, May 22 (GMT 142)

Celestial Immunity Plate Sample 2 (NASA)

Crew Off-Duty Day
Weekly Cleaning
Sunday, May 23 (GMT 143)

Repository Urine Setup (NASA)

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

Bio-Monitor Wearables Data Transfer and Removal
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 Plate First Sampling
Celestial Immunity Treatment and Sample
Confocal Space Microscopy Payload Laptop Terminal 5 (PLT5) Disconnection
Environmental Health System (EHS) EuCPD Transfer
ESA Weekly crew conference
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Terminate
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Stow
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Pivot Fitting Install
T2/WRS1 Nominal Config
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Transfer System (UTS) Removal and Install
In-Flight Maintenance Water Recovery System Hardware Stow
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) WRS1 Rack Closeout
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Joint Station Local Area Network Switch Deploy in Lab (Part 1 and 2)
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold and Unfold
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) in Columbus
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config Columbus Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Probiotics Item Gathering
SAMS Cable Troubleshooting
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection
Standard Measures Body Sampling Stow
Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey
Standard Measures Fecal Collection
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Stow
Station Support Computer (SSC) Cable Audit
SSIPC Management Conference
T2 SSC Relocate
USOS Window Shutter Close
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Initialization
Vascular Aging 13-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Mobil-O-Graph Unit Power Off
Vascular Aging 13-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Crew Time Payback
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Termination
Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Init
Water Resource Management Water Resupply Tank Transfer to WSS Term
ZBOOK Hard Disk Drive Update

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