NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 May, 2021 - Russian Spacewalk Preparations


Composite photograph from above the Caribbean Sea.

Tuesday aboard the International Space Station was packed with human research activities helping doctors understand how the Expedition 65 crew is adapting to microgravity.

Meanwhile, preparations are ramping up for a Russian spacewalk scheduled for next week.

Four astronauts took turns during the afternoon using the Ultrasound 2 device for artery scans. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur kicked off the biomedical investigation today and scanned Commander Akihiko Hoshide's neck, clavicle, shoulder and leg arteries in the Columbus laboratory module. Next up, astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough took turns as they participated in the ultrasound scanning activities.

McArthur started her day swapping fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack before readying a science freezer for a new animal-microbe study due to be delivered on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Kimbrough also spent some time setting up Plant Water Management hardware inside the Harmony module for ongoing botany research.

The Celestial Immunity study is still under way aboard the orbital lab as researchers compare donor cells recently launched to the station with those harvested on Earth. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei serviced the cell samples inside the Life Science Glovebox possibly helping scientists develop new vaccines and drugs for diseases on Earth.

Four members of the Expedition 65 crew, who rode to the station aboard the Space Crew Dragon Endeavour, also joined up for an emergency drill before lunch today. Kimbrough, McArthur, Pesquet and Hoshide practiced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), reviewed medical hardware, and rehearsed communication and coordination procedures.

The sixth spacewalk of the year is set for June 2. Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will open the hatch to the Poisk module at 1:20 a.m. EDT and exit into the vacuum of space wearing their Orlan spacesuits. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 1 a.m. of the six-and-a-half hour spacewalk for Russian hardware maintenance and science experiment installations.

On-Orbit Status Report


ACME (Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments): A crewmember replaced CIR Manifold #4 with a new C4H10 (Butane) and C2H6 (Ethane) bottles and replaced O2 bottles in Manifold #2. The Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) project is a set of six independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted in the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR). ACME's primary and secondary goals are (1) improved fuel efficiency and reduced pollutant production in practical combustion on Earth, and (2) spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

Actiwatch Plus: A crewmember hooked up Actiwatch Plus units to the HRP rack for data downlink. The Actiwatch is a waterproof, nonintrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember. The device contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a signal as the subject moves. The data are stored in nonvolatile memory within the Actiwatch until they are downloaded for analysis.

Celestial Immunity: The crew retrieved Vented Bags containing a 24-Well Plate, pulled samples from the 24-Well Zeta Plate, and trashed the 24-Well Plate. 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.

DFM (Dendrite Fragmentation and Morphology during Melting and Solidification): A crewmember removed SUBSA Ampoule from the SUBSA Thermal Chamber and install a new SUBSA Science Ampoule. When a metal solidifies during casting or additive manufacturing, it forms a multitude of tiny crystals called dendrites. The dendrite shape and whether the dendrites fragment determines the strength of the resulting solid metal. However, since gravity affects the growth and fragmentation process, it is unclear how those dendrites grow during freezing. The Dendrite Fragmentation and Morphology During Melting and Solidification (DFM) investigation, conducted in the Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) facility, uses microgravity to examine the effects of cooling and heating rate on the shape of these crystals.

Plant Water Management: A crewmember assembled the Plant Water Management (3&4) Test Stand Kit. The Plant Water Management investigation demonstrates passive measures for controlling fluid delivery and uptake in plant growth systems. Reduced gravity creates challenges in providing adequate fluid and nutrition for plant growth. This investigation examines using other physical properties such as surface tension, wetting and system geometry to replace the role of gravity.

Vascular Aging: A crewmember marked the position of the femoral artery and performed Vascular Echo protocols with guidance from the Vascular Echo ground team. This protocol included scans of the neck, thigh, portal vein and heart. 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 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.

ISS HAM: A crewmember initiated a contact with Windsor School, Valdivia, Chile. 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.


Ultrasound Exam: Today the crew used the ultrasound device to perform a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) scan. This routine medical exam utilizes existing on-orbit eye exam ultrasound hardware for bilateral imaging of the internal jugular, entire subclavian-axillary axis, and lower extremity deep veins. VTE scans utilize a different frequency than the eye exams.

Emergency Health Maintenance System (HMS) On-Board Training (OBT): The crew performed onboard training that allowed them to review procedures, hardware and communication methods necessary to manage a medical emergency onboard ISS. The crew used emergency medical equipment and practiced CPR positioning to ensure familiarity with procedure execution should a medical emergency occur.

NG-15 Cargo Operations: Today, the crew performed NG-15 cargo transfer operations and will continue to work on NG-15 cargo operations throughout the week.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

PRO LSG Facility Activation Commanding
PRO CIR Activation Commanding
Structural Dynamics Measurement System (SDMS) Data Dump
Look Ahead Plan:

Wednesday, May 26 (GMT 146)

PILOTE setup and ops (ESA)
ROBO PRO2 rehearsal (JAXA)
Standard Measures Urine and Blood collect (NASA)
DFM SUBSA sample Exchange and photo (NASA)
TOILET Daily questionnaire (NASA)
PWM 3&4 Test Cell1 and Prime Ops (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
Astrobee Prep (NASA)

Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection
Resupply Air Tank Setup & Initiation
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Surface Sampler Kit (SSK) and Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Analysis T + 5
Thursday, May 27 (GMT 147)

Myotones ops (ESA)
Space Suit Video (JAXA)
Artemis Hera ADLINK Powerup (NASA)
DFM SUBSA Sample Exchange and photo (NASA)
Kidney Cells CO2 Cntrl Install (NASA)
TOILET daily Question (NASA)
PWM 3&4 Article ops and stow (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Standard Measures blood collect and Presleep Question (NASA)
Repository Urine setup (NASA)

Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Install EHIP Light (and secure with Wire Ties), LREBA, HECA Power Cable, HECA/ERCA hardware on ORLAN suits
Resupply Air Tank Setup and Initiation
Friday, May 28 (GMT 148)

CBEF fan Chekout and closeout (JAXA)
Standard Measures Blood collect and Post Sleep question (NASA)
TOILET Question (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Repository Urine Collect (NASA)
MVP locker relocate (NASA)
MAND Print removal (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
MSL SCA CETSOL3 #5 Exchange (ESA)
DFM SUBSA Sample Exchange (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)

Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
SpaceX-22 Dragon Rendezvous Review CBT
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
Vascular Aging Resting Ultrasound Scan
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #2 Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
ARED Cable System Tension Adjustment
MERLIN Drawer Removal within JPM
MERLIN Drawer Install
MERLIN1 Removal from EXPRESS Rack
Vascular Aging CDL Holter Arterial BP Measurement
Atmosphere Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Resupply System (NORS) Valve (VLV) Configuration (Config)
CHeCS Emergency Health Maintenance System Contingency Drill Training
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) Filter Build
Plant Water Management 3&4 Test Stand Back Plate Assembly
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Setup Alternate
PAO Preparation
Plant Water Management 3&4 MWA Prep and Hardware Setup
Celestial Immunity Plate Third Sampling
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Sample Exchange
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Insertion
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan performed by a Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Polar Desiccant Swap
BIO Sample Trash 1
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.