NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 24 January, 2022 - Dragon Splashdown

©NASA

Dragon is performing its departure burns to move away from the ISS.

SpaceX's upgraded Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 4:05 p.m. EST off the Florida coast, marking the return of the company's 24th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA

The spacecraft carried more than 4,900 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth.

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the experiments to NASA's Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, allowing researchers to collect data with minimal sample exposure to Earth's gravity.

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

- Last light: A state-of-the-art light imaging microscope, the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) will return after about 12 years on the station. LMM, sponsored by NASA's Division of Biological and Physical Sciences, made it possible to observe and record the way matter is organized and moves on the microscopic level, and supported ground-breaking colloid research, plant studies, and thermophysics experiments.

- Tiny structures, assemble: The InSPACE-4 physics study is returning samples that could provide insight into how to harness nanoparticles to fabricate and manufacture new materials, including medical diagnostics and thermal shields for Earth and space applications.

- Cell signaling in microgravity: The ESA (European Space Agency) investigation Cytoskeleton contributes to understanding of how the human body responds to microgravity. The study could support development of countermeasures to help astronaut crew members maintain optimum health on future space missions.

Meanwhile, space science continued on the orbital lab as the crew explored a wide variety of microgravity phenomena today. A pair of botany studies kept NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron busy with the duo investigating how to grow crops in space and how microgravity affects cotton genetics. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer installed hardware for the Fluidics experiment to study how to optimize fuel systems for spacecraft.

Maintenance is always ongoing aboard the station ensuring the crew stays healthy and lab systems operate successfully. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei started the day tearing down and stowing unused life support gear then photographed payload racks to document their current configurations. NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn worked throughout the day on U.S. spacesuit batteries and chargers.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov spent the day conducting their complement of science and maintenance in the orbiting lab's Russian segment. Shkaplerov used a myograph to measure his muscle strength in microgravity before routing air ducts inside the ISS Progress 79 cargo craft. Dubrov had some minor post-spacewalk cleanup work to do prior to swapping fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack.


On-Orbit Status Report

SpaceX-24 Undock and Return: Due to unfavorable weather conditions at the landing site, Cargo Dragon SpaceX-24 (SpX-24) undock was delayed two days from the original departure date of January 21st. The vehicle undocked from the ISS yesterday at 9:40 AM CT to return cargo and payloads to the ground concluding the 33-day mission aboard the ISS. SpX-24 will complete departure phasing throughout the day, jettison the Trunk for destructive re-entry, deorbit, and then splash down off the coast of Panama City, Florida at approximately 03:05 PM CT today.

Payloads:

Astrobee: A crewmember powered on both free flyers and performed the JEM Camcorder setup for a close up view of the Astrobee Docking Station and Flyers for remote imagery ground operations. Astrobee is made up of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots which are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores and gives ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

AstroPi: The Astro-Pi IR Hardware was transferred from Node 2 to the Columbus module. Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called AstroPis) were flown to the ISS as part of ESA astronaut Proxima missions. The computers are both equipped with sensors that measures the environment inside the space station, detect how the station moves through space, and pick up the Earth's magnetic field. Each AstroPi is also equipped with different kinds of cameras: one an infrared camera, and the other a standard visible spectrum camera.

Biological Experiment Laboratory (BioLab): The Biolab Reference Experiment Container was installed into the BioLab facility. The BioLab is a multiuser research facility located in the European Columbus laboratory. The facility is used to perform space biology experiments on microorganisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants, and small invertebrates. BioLab allows scientists to gain a better understanding of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on biological organisms.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): The CIR Manifold #4 Bottle was swapped out with a bottle containing 100% C2H4. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel, and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

FLUIDICS: A crewmember installed the Fluidics hardware onto a COLUMBUS seat track and initiated Fluidics science run 1. The measurement of liquid displacement within a sphere in microgravity relates to a given kinematic representation of a spacecraft's fuel tank. The FLUIDICS investigation evaluates the Center of Mass (CoM) position regarding a temperature gradient on a representation of a fuel tank. The observation of capillary wave turbulence on the surface of a fluid layer in a low-gravity environment can provide insights into measuring the existing volume in a sphere.

Plant Habitat-05: Photographs of designated Experiment Plates were captured in preparation for Harvesting. Unlocking the Cotton Genome to Precision Genetics (Plant Habitat-05) cultivates several cotton genotypes that differ in their ability to regenerate into whole plants from undifferentiated masses of cells known as a calli. Cotton is highly resistant to the process of plant regeneration, making it difficult to engineer stable, reproducing plants that have specific or enhanced traits such as drought resistance. The investigation could provide a better understanding of this behavior and a pathway to avert this problem.

Payload On-orbit Still Shorts for Utilization and Maintenance (POSSUM): Digital photos were taken of all payload racks to document any configuration changes. The POSSUM photo project is a training tool that has the ISS crew take onboard photographs of completed Express rack and experiment installations. These photos are downlinked to the ground and printed into actual life size marquees which are used for ISS astronaut training and familiarization.

Sampling Quadrangle Assemblages Research Experiment (SQuARE): The crew took photos of the SQuARE experiment sites located in the Node 1 Galley, JEM, Columbus, Node 2, Node 3, and the US Lab. SQuARE is an investigation that aims to document items within six defined locations around the ISS over time. The idea is to look at the ISS as an archaeological site, and each of the Squares as a "test pit".

Veggie PONDS Validation: The crew installed Veggie Ponds modules into the Veggie facilities in order to initiate the science run. Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. Future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food. Therefore, understanding how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrating the reliable vegetable production on orbit are important steps toward that goal. Veggie PONDS uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the ISS to cultivate lettuce and mizuna greens which are to be harvested on-orbit, and consumed, with samples returned to Earth for analysis.

Systems:

ISS X2R20 Software Transition: Today marks the beginning of a week long process to update parts of the ISS Command and Data Handling (C&DH) System to the X2R20 software. The C&DH system consists of a multi-tier computer network that monitors and processes telemetry for on-orbit hardware and distributes ground or crew initiated commands to designated components.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Charger-3 Installation: Last year, ground teams declared the EBOT Charger-3 failed and returned it to the ground for repairs. Ground teams were able to recover the hardware and it was flown back to the station on SpX-24. Today, the crew reconfigured the Airlock, rotated the A/L1F1 rack, removed the closeout panels, and installed the newly repaired EBOT Charger-3.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Logistics Antenna Check and Secure: Today, the crew relocated a RFID logistics antenna and power connections cable within the Lab Module. RFID logistics utilizes RFID enabled tags on hardware throughout the ISS to assist in the tracking hardware as it is moved around the ISS.

Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Maintenance: Today, the crew evacuated the ARED Cylinder Flywheel and vacuum Slider Track. They also tightened and torqued set screws within the ARED Cylinder Flywheel and Main Arm Fasteners.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) In Flight Maintenance (IFM): As part of regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, the crew performed a manual WHC flush tank fill. By using a post-flight analysis bag to capture any pressure relief, also known as the burp, they depressurized the flush water tank and water valve block to protect the dose pump. This pump is critical as it injects the pre-treat required to properly recycle waste urine.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: Crew performed an analysis of the water processing assembly (WPA) using the TOCA. The TOCA unit oxidizes organic carbon species present in the water to carbon dioxide gas and measures the concentration using nondispersive infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the potable water using the TOCA occurs on a weekly basis.

Completed Task List Activities:

None
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

X2R20 Command and Control Software (CCS) File Uplink
Payload Racks Officer (PRO) Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) Commanding
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, January 25 (GMT 25)
Payloads:

Acoustic Diagnostics Measurement (ESA)
Astrobee Prep (NASA)
AWP Setup (NASA)
Food Physiology Saliva Collect (NASA)
LSG Front Glove Swap (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 HW Gather (NASA)
RR-18 Habitat Stow (NASA)
SAMS Sensor Cable Confirm (4BCO2) (NASA)
SQuARE Ops (NASA)
Systems:

Lab Cable Management
CCS R20 Load C&C
QDMA Inspection of PBA and PHA
T2 Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) ITCS Line Wear Inspection
Wednesday, January 26 (GMT 26)
Payloads:

CBEFL Reconfig/Cleaning and Centrifuge insert (JAXA)
CIMON USB Insert (ESA)
CIR Manifold 4 O2 Bottle Replace (NASA)
FLUIDICS Run 2 & 3 (ESA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Food Physiology Fecal/Saliva/Blood Collect(NASA)
LSG Work Volume Deploy (NASA)
MetaSpace Battery Charge (ESA)
MVP-Plant-01 Install (NASA)
NRCSD-22 Deploy (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 Media Transfer
Repository Urine Setup (NASA)
RR-18 CTB Consolidate (NASA)
SQuARE Ops (NASA)
WICO Pictures Cupola (ESA)
Systems:

IFM Node 3 Hatch Damage Inspect
Water Recovery Management (WRM) Water Balance
Crew Quarters Fastener and Velcro Audit
Thursday, January 27 (GMT 27)
Payloads:

BioLab Cleaning (ESA)
Bioprint FirstAid Sample print (ESA)
CIMON Power On/Off (ESA)
Food Physiology Fecal/Saliva/Blood Collect and Diet Brief (NASA)
J-SSOD-20 Install Part 1 (JAXA)
NRCSD-22 Removal (NASA)
Repository Urine Collect (NASA)
RR-18 Hab Restock and Ops (NASA)
SQuARE Ops (NASA)
TOUCHS Ops (ESA)
Veggie Ponds Water Fill and Thinning (NASA)
Systems:

Toilet CTB Audit
Stowage Improvements
Robotics Work Station (RWS) Display and Control Panel (DCP) Checkout
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Unstow
Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System(NORS) Nitrogen Transfer
Columbus Deck 1 and 2 clean-up
Fluidics hardware installation
EML Gas Valves Opening
Veggie Ponds Experiment Initiation
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
AstroPi IR transfer from Node 2 to Columbus.
Biolab Reference Experiment Container Installation
Biolab LAN Cable Swapping
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
SQuARES Fixed Daily Imagery
Plant Habitat-05 Experiment Plate Photos
JEM PS-120 Junction Box Ethernet Cable Connection
In-Flight Maintenance EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Charger 3 Installation
IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) RSU (Remote Sensor Unit) Firmware Update [ABORTED]
Trash Collapsible Contingency Urinal (CCU) hardware.
X2R20 Software Transition Review
Payload On-Orbit Still Shots for Utilization and Maintenance (POSSUM) Payload Photo
HRF Generic Saliva Collection
RFID Logistics Antenna Move
Replace Small Factor Port (SFP) receptacle on port 20
Portable Computer System (PCS) Hard Drive Image
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
X2R20 Portable Computer System (PCS) Verification
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Power Checkout
Resupply Air Tank Setup and Initiation

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