NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 June, 2021 - Health Studies


Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA.

The Expedition 65 crew continued its space research activities today while two astronauts prepared for their third spacewalk in less than two weeks.

The International Space Station will also see a U.S. cargo craft depart and a Russian one launch on the same day next week.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei strapped himself to an exercise cycle and attached sensors to himself on Tuesday morning for a workout study measuring aerobic capacity in space. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur explored how bacteria is affected by microgravity and ways to counteract harmful changes.

Eye checks were back on the schedule for four astronauts on Tuesday afternoon. Commander Akihiko Hoshide and Vande Hei took turns operating medical imaging gear and scanned the eyes of astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet. A variety of eye exams take place on the station helping researchers understand how weightlessness impacts an astronaut's vision.

Kimbrough and Pesquet are also getting ready for more solar array installation work on the outside of the orbiting lab. The duo reviewed procedures today for installing a second roll out solar array on the station's Port-6 truss structure. The veteran spacewalkers will set their spacesuits to battery power at 8 a.m. EDT on Friday signifying the official start of their third excursion in 9 days. Live coverage on NASA TV starts at 6:30 a.m. on the agency's website and the NASA app.

Hoshide and Vande Hei spent some time Tuesday morning loading Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter ahead of its departure scheduled for July 29 at 12:25 p.m. Russia's ISS Progress 78 resupply ship will launch the same day at 7:27 p.m. and dock to the station two days later at 9:02 p.m.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy packed the ISS Progress 77 resupply ship readying the vehicle for its undocking in late July. The veteran cosmonaut also trapped clouds of particles using both neon and argon gas for a plasma crystal experiment. Russian Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov had an exercise test on a treadmill today then serviced a variety of communications and life support hardware.

On-Orbit Status Report


Lyophilization-2: The crew removed the sample tray from the sample chamber and then removed and stowed the hardware from the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), completing the investigation Lyophilization-2 in Microgravity (Lyophilization-2) examines gravity's effects on freeze-dried materials. Lyophilization, or freeze-drying, is a common method for formulating pharmaceuticals with improved chemical and physical stability. On Earth, the process leads to formation of layers with structural differences, but if such stratification is due to gravity, it may not occur in microgravity. This investigation, which follows up on previous work, could result in improved freeze-drying processes for the pharmaceutical and other industries.

NanoRacks Module-09: The crew performed Module-09 Operations 3 by performing activation, deactivation and/or shakes designated for each Mixture Tubes. NanoRacks Module-09 is a combination of 35 experiments provided by school students from 5 different countries. The experiments are housed within a NanoRacks Module container and is a combination of static biological experiments and some experiments that require crew interaction to mix materials to activate. The experiments within the module are returned to the ground for analysis.

OBiS (Oral Biofilms in Space): The crew hydrated the OBiS assembly session Pack 11 with Fluid Bag 3 into the Fluid Chamber and then restowed them for incubation for 30 minutes. Fluid Bag 3 is a fixative fluid medium, containing chemicals designed to arrest and preserve bacteriological growth within the Fluid Chamber. Packs 13 and 14 showed signs of leakage and were considered lost and disposed. Effect of Environmental Stressors on Oral Biofilm Growth and Treatment (Oral Biofilms in Space) studies the effect of gravity on the behavior of oral bacteria, including the structure of the bacterial community, and changes in bacterial response to common oral care agents. The findings could support development of novel treatments to fight oral diseases such as caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis. The investigation also could provide insights into how microgravity affects the microbiome of other mucosal surfaces in the body.

Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4): The crew executed two Run 1 operations by catching clouds of particles inside the PK-4 chamber using the PK-4 HCI software on the European Physiology Module (EPM) laptop. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between ESA and Roscosmos performing research in the field of "Complex Plasmas". Complex Plasmas are low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. The micro-particles become highly charged in the plasma and interact strongly with each other, which can lead to a self-organized structure of the micro-particles, so-called plasma crystals. Experiments in the facility aim to study transport properties, thermodynamics, kinetics and statistical physics, non-linear waves, and instabilities in Complex Plasmas.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The crew completed several activities in preparation for the ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (IROSA) 4B Install EVA. The crew configured EVA tools, performed a post-EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) loop scrub on EMU 3006, charged batteries for EVA equipment, and installed Long Life Batteries (LLBs) and Metal Oxide (METOX) cartridges in EMUs 3009 and 3015. Finally, the crew performed a visual review of the IROSA 4B Install EVA using the Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphic (DOUG) software, reviewed EVA procedures, and participated in a conference with the ground. The IROSA 4B Install EVA is planned for Friday, June 25th.

Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew completed the final cargo loading for Cygnus Northrup Grumman-15 (NG-15). NG-15 is scheduled for unberth and release from the ISS on Tuesday, June 29th.

Max Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS): The crew completed Max CEVIS today which is used by the medical community to evaluate astronauts' aerobic fitness. The test is performed every 90 days and upon the crew's arrival and departure from the ISS.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Eye Exams: The crew completed routine eye exams using the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) device. OCT is an imaging technique analogous to ultrasound imaging that uses light instead of sound to capture micrometer-resolution, two- and three-dimensional images of tissue. In this case, the objects of interest are the crewmember's eyes. Eye exams are performed regularly onboard in order to monitor each crewmember's optical health. Eyesight is one of many aspects of the human body affected by long-duration stays in a microgravity environment.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

SDMS Activation for BD2 Exercise
EVA Procedure Conference
RS Water Transfer Support
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, June 23 (GMT 174)

PK-4 Run2 (Joint)

EVA Cuff Print
ROBO Procedure Review & Conference
EVA Procedure Conference
Thursday, June 24 (GMT 175)

RTPCG-2 Plate Load 2C1 (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Standard Measures Pre-Sleep (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
OBiS Bag1 (17-20) Initiation and Activate (NASA)
PK-4 HD Exchange (Joint)

Equipment Lock Preparations
EVA Tool Configurations & Audit
ROBO Procedure Review & Conference
EVA Procedure Review & Conference
EMU HECA Install
Friday, June 25 (GMT 176)

Confocal Cable Reconnect and Check (JAXA)
OBiS Bag2 Initiation (NASA)
Standard Measures Post-Sleep (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
SAMS Wireless Sensor for KERMIT Support (NASA)

IROSA 4B Install EVA
SpX-22 Cargo Operations
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Photo TV Battery Charge
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
JEM Fire Indicator Illumination Function Checkout
OBiS Session Pack 11 Run
EMU Swap
ISS Portable Glove Bag (IPGB) Setup
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis and Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
EVA Procedure Review
Polar Desiccant Swap
JEMRMS Small Satellite Deployment Observation
EMU Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation & Iodination
EVA Tool Configuring
Lyophilization Sample Tray Removal
Nanoracks Module-9 Ops Session 3
EVA Procedure Conference
Portable Onboard Computers (POC) DOUG Software Review
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
HMS OCT2 Exams
Countermeasures System (CMS) Max CEVIS Portable PFS Conclude
METOX Regeneration Termination & Initiation
EMU LLB/METOX Installation

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