NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 July, 2021 - SpaceX Cargo Dragon Spacecraft Undocked

July 8, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are docked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 crew ship and ISS Progress 77 and 78 resupply ships. Credit: NASA.

With NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough monitoring aboard the International Space Station, a SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft undocked from the International Docking Adapter on the station's space-facing port of the Harmony module at 10:45 a.m. EDT.

Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the space station during the next 36 hours. On Friday, July 9, Dragon will conduct a deorbit burn to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth's atmosphere. Dragon is expected to splash down at approximately 11:29 p.m. in the Gulf of Mexico near Tallahassee, Florida. The splashdown will not be broadcast.

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency's Kennedy Space Center's Space Station Processing Facility, delivering some science back into the hands of the researchers as soon as four to nine hours after splashdown. This shorter transportation timeframe allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects. The Dragon's departure will be the second splashdown of a U.S. commercial cargo craft off the Florida coast. Previous cargo Dragon spacecraft returned to the Pacific Ocean, with quick-return science cargo processed at SpaceX's facility in McGregor, Texas, and delivered to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Dragon launched June 3 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy, arriving at the station a little less than 16 hours later. The spacecraft delivered more than 7,300 pounds of research investigations, crew supplies, and vehicle hardware to the orbiting outpost. Dragon's external cargo "trunk" carried six new ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs), two of which Expedition 65 crew members Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet, an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut, installed during three spacewalks June 16, 20, and 25.

Some of the scientific investigations Dragon will return to Earth include:

Lyophilization-2 examines how gravity affects freeze-dried materials and could result in improved freeze-drying processes for pharmaceutical and other industries. Freeze-drying also has potential use for long-term storage of medications and other resources on future exploration missions.
Molecular Muscle Experiment-2 tests a series of drugs to see whether they can improve health in space, possibly leading to new therapeutic targets for examination on Earth.
Oral Biofilms in Space studies how gravity affects the structure, composition, and activity of oral bacteria in the presence of common oral care agents. Findings could support development of novel treatments to fight oral diseases such as cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis.

On-Orbit Status Station

SpaceX-22 Undock and Return: Cargo Dragon SpaceX-22 (SpX-22) undocked from the ISS today at 9:45 AM CT to return cargo and payloads to the ground concluding the 33-day mission aboard the ISS. SpX-22 will complete departure phasing through Friday evening, jettison the Trunk carrying the empty ISS Power Augmentation (IPA) for destructive re-entry, deorbit, and then splash down off the coast of Tallahassee, Florida at approximately 10:29 PM CT on Friday night.


Cold Stowage Pack for Return: The crew transferred frozen samples, refrigerated samples, and Ice Bricks from Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI), Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator II (MERLIN), and Iceberg into DCBs in preparation for SpX-22 descent. DCBs are passive resources that satisfy the specific temperature requirements of scientific samples and other temperature-sensitive payload items. DCBs are available on the ISS, during launch and return.

JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD): The crew unpacked and restowed the SSOD resupply desiccant which will manage humidity levels and help protect the solid lubricant on Deploy Case 1 while stowed. The 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.


Cargo Dragon Departure Preparations: The crew completed several activities prior to SpX-22 undock. The crew loaded powered cargo and late-load science, inspected the vestibule Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI), performed hatch closures between SpX-22 and Node 2 Zenith, and depressurized the Node 2 Zenith vestibule. The crew then used Rendezvous and Proximity Operations Program (RPOP) software to monitor SpX-22 departure from the ISS.

Air Avionics Assembly (AAA) Fan Dry Out Teardown: The crew de-configured the AAA fan dry out setup following the 24-hour dry out period and stowed the hardware. A functional test will be performed at a later date to verify the AAA's capability as a functioning spare. These activities are in support of the recovery of the AAA that had previously been removed from the Water Recovery System (WRS) rack in May following the Water Processor Assembly (WPA) fault.

JEM Return Grille Cleaning: The crew removed return grille mesh covers and cleaned the inside of return grilles at various location in JEM as part of standard preventative maintenance.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

SpX-22 Undock Commanding
Thermal Amine Scrubber Deactivation
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, July 9 (GMT 190)

Astrobee Off
ER4 ISIS Drawer Check
Food Acceptability
GLACIER Desiccant Swap
Iceberg Desiccant Swap
Plant Habitat-04
PLT3 Preparation
POLAR Desiccant Swap

APFR Pitch Knob Troubleshooting
Crew Dragon Deorbit, Entry, and Landing Contingencies OBT
Vacuum Cleaner Audit

July 10 (GMT 191)

Crew Off-Duty

Crew Off-Duty

July 11 (GMT 192)

Crew Off-Duty

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

HRF Generic Saliva Collection
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Double Coldbag Pack 1
MERLIN Dragon Installation
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Pack 2
Polar Express Rack Uninstall
And Dragon Install
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
Double Coldbag Transfer to Dragon
Functional Immune Historical Documentation Photography
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection
Payload Final Pack
Cargo Dragon Closeout
Docking Dragon Monitoring Tools Setup
Dragon Departure Photos
Microgravity Science Glovebox Power Down
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) Fireport Label Installation
USOS Window Shutter Close
Dragon Egress in Preparation for Departure.
Dragon Departure Monitoring
JEM Mesh Cover Return Grille Cleaning
Collapsible Contingency Urinal (CCU) Crew conference
Dragon Monitoring Tools Teardown
Food Physiology MELFI Sample Retrieval
Food Physiology Fecal Sample Processing
Food Physiology Historical Documentation Photography
JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer Desiccant Stow
Countermeasures System (CMS) Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Isolator Inspection
Food Physiology MELFI Sample Insertion 2
Food Physiology MELFI Sample Insertion 3
Cargo Dragon Station Support Computer Relocate
IFM AAA Dry Out Teardown
Functional Immune Health Questionnaire
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination

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