NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 September, 2021 - SpaceX-23 Undock and Return

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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 September, 2021 - SpaceX-23 Undock and Return.

A U.S. resupply ship departed the International Space Station on Thursday morning and will return to Earth in the evening.

A Russian rocket is scheduled to roll out on Friday to prepare for next week's launch with the crew members to the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough was on duty monitoring the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle during its automated undocking from the Harmony module's forward international docking adapter today at 9:12 a.m. EDT. It will orbit Earth for several more hours before parachuting to a splashdown off the coast of Florida later tonight. NASA and SpaceX personnel will be on support boats ready to retrieve the cargo craft containing station hardware and completed science experiments for analysis.

The next mission to the orbiting lab will blast off on Tuesday at 4:55 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship will carry veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov leading spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild. The Russian trio will dock to the station's Rassvet module less than three-and-a-half hours after launch.

Meanwhile, microgravity science activities are ongoing aboard the space station today. Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) swapped samples inside the Fluids Science Laboratory to study the dynamics of granular materials in weightlessness. Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration installed a deployer loaded with small satellites inside the Kibo laboratory module's airlock.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei spent their day on botany and biology studies. McArthur cleaned up debris and took photographs of Hatch chile plants growing inside the Plant Habitat. Vande Hei started his morning processing blood samples in a centrifuge then spent the afternoon stowing biological samples in a science freezer for the Food Physiology experiment.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy monitored his blood pressure while wearing the lower body negative pressure suit that counteracts the effect of microgravity pulling fluids toward the human head. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov photographed microbe samples swabbed from station surfaces to understand the risk to spacecraft and future human missions.

On-Orbit Status Report

SpaceX-23 Undock and Return: Cargo Dragon SpaceX-23 (SpX-23) undocked from the ISS today at 8:07 AM CT to return cargo and payloads to the ground concluding the 32-day mission aboard the ISS. SpX-23 will complete departure phasing throughout the day, jettison the Trunk for destructive re-entry, deorbit, and then splash down off the coast of Daytona, Florida at approximately 09:57 PM CT tonight.

Payloads:

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) cable connection: The crew reconfigured the cables on UOP a2 to support a checkout of IPU2. The Image Processing Unit 2 (IPU2) is a JAXA subrack facility that receives, records, and downlinks experiment image data for experiment processing. IPU2 is housed in the Work Station Rack.

ESA EPO Touching Surfaces: The crew performed a periodic touching of the five Touch Arrays which are deployed in different locations in the US segment of ISS. Previous space research conducted during short-term flight experiments and long-term environmental monitoring on board orbiting space stations (such as MIR or ISS) suggests that the relationship between humans and microbes is altered in a crewed habitat in space. This interdisciplinary project Touching Surfaces aims to investigate novel, laser-structured antimicrobial surfaces onboard the ISS. The realistic testing of the tailor-made nanostructured antimicrobial surface in space allows for the determination of the most suitable design for antimicrobial surfaces for terrestrial applications such as public transportation and clinical settings, as well as future human space mission and habitation design.

Food Physiology: The crew performed blood, saliva, and urine collections in support of the Food Physiology investigation. The Integrated Impact of Diet on Human Immune Response, the Gut Microbiota, and Nutritional Status During Adaptation to Spaceflight (Food Physiology) experiment is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators. These factors are interlinked, but diet is the only one that can be easily and meaningfully altered on Earth or during flight. This investigation aims to document the effect of dietary improvements on human physiology and the ability of those improvements to enhance adaptation to spaceflight.

Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL): The crew used a hammer to tap on the bottom side of a Soft Matter Dynamics (SMD) Experiment Container (EC) in an attempt to resolve an internal laser stuck shutter. FSL Soft Matter Dynamics - Hydrodynamics of Wet Foams (Foam Coarsening) aims to investigate bubble size and rearrangement dynamics for "wet foams". Microgravity offers the opportunity to investigate such "wet" foams, which cannot be stabilized on Earth because of drainage. Moreover, microgravity conditions are essential to study rearrangement phenomena, such as coarsening and coalescence, disentangled from drainage.

J-SSOD-19 install part 2 and 3: The crew continued the multi-day J-SSOD-19 installation by removing launch lock covers, installing Multi-layer Insulation, etc. The JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) provides a novel, safe, and small satellite launching capability to the ISS. The J-SSOD is a unique satellite launcher, handled by the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which provides containment and deployment mechanisms for several individual small satellites.

Plant Habitat-04: A crewmember removed plant litter (detritus) from the growth chamber and photographed the plants/peppers. The crew reported 2 larger peppers are visible and the crew has been watching the plants with interest. Microgravity Growth of New Mexico Hatch Green Chile as a Technical Display of Advanced Plant Habitat's Capabilities (Plant Habitat-04) demonstrates using the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) by growing peppers in space for the first time. An excellent source of Vitamin C, peppers are more difficult to cultivate than many possible space crops because they take longer to germinate, grow, and develop fruit. The investigation includes microbial analysis to improve understanding of plant-microbe interactions in space and assessment of flavor and texture, which vary based on the growth environment and care such as amount of watering.

T2AR monthly maintenance: The crew reviewed the on-board training, used the T2AR sidekick augmented reality system to assist with T2 treadmill monthly maintenance, and then filled out a questionnaire on the session. Autonomous Systems and Operations (T2 Treadmill Augmented Reality Procedures or simply T2AR) conducts tests using augmented reality to help crew members perform inspection and maintenance on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT). The ability to perform such tasks without assistance from Mission Control is vital for future space exploration such as a mission to Mars, where significant time delays occur in communications between space and ground. Using augmented reality to guide astronauts through complex spacecraft maintenance and repair activities also reduces the time needed for training and task performance.

Systems:

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter: As part of regular maintenance, the ISS crew opened up the UPA Fill Drain Valve Enclosure and removed the installed/old Brine Filter and replaced it with a new Brine Filter. Brine Filters are replaced every 60 days.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: Today, the crew set up the recycle tank to drain to a ЕДВ-У. Following the setup, the ground performed the tank drain using the Urine Transfer System (UTS). Once the ground specialists completed the transfer, the crew verified the recycle tank was empty, terminated the drain, and repositioned the fill/drain valve to fill. The crew also swapped the ЕДВ in the offload ЕДВ spot of the UTS.

Completed Task List Activities:

Dragon cargo transfer
WHC KTO replace
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

ISS configuration for SpX-23 undock
Ground commands for SpX-23 undock
ISS reconfiguration to nominal operations post SpX-23 undock.
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) powerup and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Robotics Micro Conical Tool (RMCT) stow [ACTIVE]
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, October 1 (GMT 274)
Payloads:

ELF Tether attach, Holder change, Fastener R&R and Cartridge install
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology MELFI transfer
JEM Water Recovery System
Ring Sheared Drop-2 sample install
Systems:

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Scan
JSL v.14 transition review
Spotlight Battery and Bulb R&R
HMS OCT2 exam
Saturday, October 2 (GMT 275)
Payloads:

ISS HAM pass
Systems:

Crew off-duty
Sunday, October 3 (GMT 276)
Payloads:

No utilization activities
Systems:

Crew off-duty
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Cold Stowage Double Coldbag
Cargo Dragon Station Support Computer Relocate
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
Double Coldbag Transfer to Dragon
Cargo Dragon Closeout
Docking Dragon Monitoring Tools Setup
Dragon Egress in Preparation for Departure.
JEM Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) Cable Reconfiguration
Closeout Panel Access
Treadmill 2 Augmented Reality On Orbit Training
Plant Habitat-04 Debris Removal
T2 Monthly Maintenance performed with Sidekick
Crewmember fills out questionnaire following T2 Maintenance with Augmented Reality.
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Changeout
Dragon Departure Monitoring
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
FSL Facility Core Element locking at the end of scientific operations
FSL Soft Matter Dynamics Experiment Container Sample Cell Unit Exchange
SPECTRUM Hose Connect
Ring-Sheared Drop MELFI Sample Retrieve
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
FSL Facility Core Element release in preparation of SMD or RUBI operations
JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) Multi (2 Deployer) onto Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) Installation
Food Physiology MELFI Sample Insertion
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill

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