NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 June, 2021 - Cardiac Research and Plasma Crystal Physics


NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough checks on cotton plants. (June 11, 2021)

Wednesday was a light duty day for the five Expedition 65 astronauts, two of whom will go on their third spacewalk this month.

The two Russian flight engineers aboard the International Space Station stayed focused on cardiac research and plasma crystal physics throughout the day.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet joined NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei for robotics training ahead of Friday's spacewalk. The quartet reviewed and practiced robotics maneuvers on a computer planned to support the installation of the station's second roll out solar array.

Kimbrough and Pesquet will begin their third spacewalk in nine days on Friday at 8 a.m. EDT when they set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power. The veteran spacewalkers will spend about six-and-a-half hours on the Port-6 truss structure installing the second roll out solar array on the opposite side of where they installed the first solar array. NASA TV, on the agency's website and the NASA app, will begin its live coverage at 6:30 a.m.

All four astronauts, including Commander Akihiko Hoshide, spent the morning relaxing following a busy period during the first two solar array installation spacewalks. Hoshide had a full day of rest as the other four astronauts spent the afternoon concentrating on Friday's spacewalk preparations.

In the orbiting lab's Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy continued trapping clouds of particles using both neon and argon gas for a plasma crystal experiment. He also joined cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov attaching electrodes to themselves and monitoring their cardiac activity before exercise activities. Dubrov also worked on a navigation study to precisely predict the location of the space station during its orbit.

On-Orbit Status Report


Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4): The crew executed two Run 2 operations by catching clouds of particles inside the PK-4 chamber using the PK-4 Human Computer Interface (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.


Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) On-board Training (OBT): The crew completed a ROBoT OBT session in preparation for the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) support of the ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (IROSA) 4B Install Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The OBT involved both the Intravehicular (IV) robotic operators as well as the Extravehicular (EV) crew in order to practice EVA communication and build team awareness of the robotics related constraints.

EVA Preparations: The crew completed several activities in preparation for the IROSA 4B Install EVA. The crew printed Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) cuff checklists, terminated Metal Oxide (METOX) cartridge regenerations, and replaced the Display and Control Module (DCM) O-Ring seal on EMU 3015. Finally, the crew reviewed EVA procedures and participated in a conference with the ground. The IROSA 4B Install EVA is planned for Friday, June 25th.

Completed Task List Activities:

WHC [KTO] and Solid Waste Receptacle R&R
EVA GoPro Battery Charging
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

JEMRMS Maneuver & Deactivation
ROBoT OBT Support
EVA Conference
Crew-2 Dragon Quiescent Checkout
KCU-2 Video Streaming to SSC Checkout
SDMS Activation for 77P Reboost (In Work)
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, June 24 (GMT 175)

Food Acceptability (NASA)
A-HoSS (A-HERA) Powerup (NASA)
Standard Measures Pre-sleep (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
OBIS Bag1 (17-20) Initiation and Activate (NASA)
PK-4 HD Exchange (Joint)
Slingshot Control Box Install (NASA)

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

COSMIC Confocal Cable Reconnect and Check (JAXA)
OBiS Bag2 (17-20) Initiation (NASA)
Standard Measures Post-sleep (NASA)
SAMS Wireless Sensor for KERMIT Support (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
PK-4 Run 4 (Joint)

IROSA 4B Install EVA
SpX-22 Cargo Operations
Saturday, June 26 (GMT 177)

APEX-07 Harvest (NASA)
OBiS Bag3 (17-20) Initiation (NASA)
PK-4 HD Pack and Closeout (Joint)

EVA Debrief
EVA Recovery Activities
SpX-22 Cargo Operations
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

EMU Cuff Checklist Print
EVA Procedures Print
Robotics Procedure Review
EMU DCM O-Ring Seal Remove and Replace
EVA Procedure Conference
METOX Regeneration Termination
USOS Window Shutter Close (In Work)

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