NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 September, 2021 - Moving a Soyuz

©NASA

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship and the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module are pictured above Hurricane Henri in the Atlantic Ocean. (Aug. 21, 2021)

A Soyuz crew ship with three Expedition 65 crew members aboard will move to a new docking port on Tuesday.

Two days after that a U.S. cargo craft will depart the International Space Station and return to Earth packed with science experiments and station hardware for retrieval.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov will flank Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship when it switches ports on Tuesday. The trio will undock from the Rassvet module at 8:21 a.m. EDT. Then they will maneuver temporarily toward the U.S. segment for a quick photo session of the orbiting lab's configuration. Shortly afterward, Novitskiy will manually guide the Soyuz spaceship back toward the Russian segment and dock to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module at 9 a.m.

This opens up Rassvet's port for next month's arrival of the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship carrying veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and two Russian spaceflight participants to the station. NASA TV will begin its live Tuesday coverage of the relocation at 8 a.m. on the NASA app and the agency's website.

While the station trio ramps up for the docking port change, two NASA astronauts are loading the SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship today with science gear and other cargo. Flight Engineer Megan McArthur started her day transferring cargo inside the Dragon vehicle. NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough configured science freezers inside Dragon that will contain research samples for analysis back on Earth.

Cargo Dragon leaves the Harmony module's forward international docking adapter on Thursday at 9:05 a.m. EDT. NASA TV will broadcast Dragon's undocking and departure starting at 8:45 a.m. but will not be on air when the returning spacecraft splashes down off the coast of Florida about 14 hours later.

Science rolled on today, as Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet partnered up during the afternoon for space biology work in the Kibo laboratory module. The duo later prepared research samples for return to Earth inside Dragon's science freezers.

On-Orbit Status Report

Payloads:

Combustion Integrated Rack/Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments/Cool Flames Investigation with Gasses (CIR/ACME/CFI-G part 2): The crew removed an empty butane fuel bottle and installed a new butane fuel bottle, allowing the continuation of the experiment series. Spherical Cool Diffusion Flames Burning Gaseous Fuels (Cool Flames Investigation with Gases) observes the chemical reactions of cool diffusion flames. Diffusion flames are created by supplying fuel to a burner and mixing in ambient air for combustion. Cool flames, which burn at relatively low temperatures of ~600 deg C, are nearly impossible to create in Earth's gravity, but are easily created in microgravity; studying them may improve the understanding of combustion and fires on Earth.

Ice Cube 9 Remove: The crew removed Experiment Cube 9 from the ICE Cube facility. Cube 9, aka the Project Maleth (Space Omics Analysis of the Skin Microbiome of Diabetic Foot Ulcers, or SpaceOMIX) investigation, looks at human skin microbiome samples from selected Type 2 Diabetic patients with diabetic foot ulcers resistant to treatment. These samples are studied as part of the first-ever Maltese space investigation on the ISS making it Malta's first ever mission to space. The microbiome is co-cultured on both ground-based (analog) and space-based conditions to determine their adaptation and changes to the environment. All samples are analyzed in a multi-omic manner using state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques, and all data is to be deposited as part of the NASA GeneLab database.

Rodent Research-Demonstration 1 (RR-D1): The crew performed Rodent Research Experiment 3C operations. RR-D1 validates equipment and procedures for surgical techniques related to the wound healing process. Normal skin function and wound healing are important for maintaining good health, but spaceflight may impair healing of wounds in astronauts. Results from this investigation are intended to support design of a subsequent study on the effects of spaceflight on wound healing.

Nanoracks Module 92: The crew removed Nanorack Module-92 from the Nanoracks Mainframe-Alpha facility and packed it for return. Module-92 is a 2U (10 cm x 10 cm x 20 cm) module, which aims to verify whether presence of collagen and nutraceuticals may improve bone cell physiology and response to low gravity exposure.

Ring Sheared Drop-2 (RSD): The crew removed and stowed the processed RSD-2 sample. The Ring Sheared Drop investigation examines the formation and flow of amyloids without the complications associated with the solid walls of a container, because in microgravity, surface tension provides containment of the liquid. Fibrous, extracellular protein deposits found in organs and tissues; amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Results could contribute to better understanding of these diseases as well as to development of advanced materials.

Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS): The crew collected CO2 and relative humidity samples from the TAS effluent. Thermal Amine Scrubber tests a method to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from air aboard the ISS, using actively heated and cooled amine beds. Controlling CO2 levels on the station reduces the likelihood of crew members experiencing symptoms of CO2 buildup, which include fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes, and itchy skin. The system includes elements that reduce loss of water vapor and recover CO2 for use in electrolysis to produce oxygen.

Systems:

Solar Array Wing (SAW) Max Power Testing: The bi-annual SAW max power testing is currently under way. Today, teams completed cycling through the 1A, 2A, 1B and 2B power channels to characterize the power generation of each channel. Testing on the 3A, 4A, 3B, and 4B power channels is expected to be complete on Friday, October 1st, after which teams will review the data collected for in-depth analysis and recommendations.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Charger-3 Removal: Due to recent issues with EBOT Charger-3, ground teams have decided to remove and return the failed hardware. The crew reconfigured the airlock, rotated the A/L1F1 rack, removed the closeout panels, and removed EBOT Charger-3. They then packed the failed charger and will later stow it on SpX-23 for return.

Cargo Dragon Cargo Operations: The crew continued to perform cargo transfer operations for Cargo Dragon SpaceX-23 (SpX-23) undock. The crew transferred and installed a Polar, a General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (Glacier), and a Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) from the ISS into Cargo Dragon. SpX-23 undock is scheduled for September 30th to return cargo and payloads to the ground.

Max Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS): The crew completed a Max CEVIS session 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.

Completed Task List Activities:

Record ESA PAO message
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Rack 1 power up commanding
Electrical Power System (EPS) Solar array maximum output test
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) mode change
Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) operations
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, September 28 (GMT 271)
Payloads:

BioFilms Sample packing for return
CBEF L LTL Box set
Eklosion
Lumina Data Transfer
J-SSOD-19 Install part 1
Nanoracks Module-9 ops 5
Robo Pro Briefing and Astrobee prep
RR-D1 Experiment 3D Ops, Habitat, and controller Stow
Standard Measures Urine setup
Systems:

64S relocate to MLM
Dragon cargo operations
Max CEVIS operations
Wednesday, September 29 (GMT 272)
Payloads:

Cold Stowage packing review
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology Fecal collect
Kibo Robot Programming Challenge-2 Final Round
Standard measures Saliva and Urine Collect and blood setup
Systems:

Max CEVIS operations
Dragon cargo operations
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) flow measurement survey
Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) activation
Thursday, September 30 (GMT 273)
Payloads:

Astrobee off
Cold Stowage DCB packing
CBEF UOP cable connection
ESA EPO Touching Surfaces
Food Physiology
J-SSOD-19 install part 2 and 3
FSL laser troubleshooting
Plant Habitat-04 Debris Removal and Water refill
Standard Measures blood and Saliva collect, cognition
T2AR
Systems:

SpX-23 undock
Dragon cargo transfer
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Changeout
ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain
ECLSS Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection
Urine Transfer System (UTS) Backup EDV swap
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery (BATT) Removal
In-Flight Maintenance EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Accessing
Ring-Sheared Drop Sample Remove
RSD MELFI Sample Insertion
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
In-Flight Maintenance EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Charger Removal
Bioculture System Hardware Removal
MERLIN Dragon Uninstall
Glacier Transfer and Dragon Install
Microgravity Science Glovebox Power Down
Max Cycle Ergometer w/ Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Partial Set Up
Polar EXPRESS Rack Uninstall, Ethernet Address, Transfer, Handover, And Dragon Install
LSG Work Volume Deploy
TangoLab-4 Card Cube Remove
Removal of Cube#9 (SpaceOMIX)
Rodent Research Crew Conference for Experiment 3
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Closeout
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS)
Rodent Research Experiment 3 Day C
NanoRacks Mainframe Alpha Module Removal
Combustion Integrated Rack Bottle Gather
Faraday-2 Facility Remove
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Power Checkout
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Down in Columbus
EVA Power Supply Assembly Checkout
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
Installs Li-Ion Batteries into Battery Stowage Compartment
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Init
Polar Samples to Cold Stowage - Transfer 2
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations

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