NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 26 January, 2022 - Space Agriculture


Fresh chile peppers grown on the International Space Station. (Nov. 21, 2022)

Space agriculture dominated the research schedule aboard the International Space Station today to learn how to sustain long-term crews far beyond low-Earth orbit.

The Expedition 66 crew also had time set aside for ongoing life science work to help keep astronauts and Earthlings healthy.

NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron spent Wednesday afternoon servicing cotton plant cell samples for the Plant Habitat-5 space botany study. The experiment is investigating how microgravity affects cotton genetic expression possibly impacting plant regeneration on and off the Earth.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked on a similar botany study today nourishing Arabidopsis plants grown on petri plates. That study is exploring how plant molecular mechanisms and regulatory networks adapt to the weightless environment of space.

Astronauts Thomas Marshburn of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) worked throughout the day on research hardware supporting investigations into how space affects biology. Marshburn installed a centrifuge inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, an incubator with an artificial gravity generator that cultivates cells and plants inside the Kibo laboratory module. Maurer stowed science gear used for a visual function study after the experiment samples were returned to Earth on Monday inside the SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship.

Commander Anton Shkaplerov from Roscosmos continued his exercise research today studying how to maintain the physical fitness of crew members in weightlessness. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov assisted the commander during the workout study and also swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack.

On-Orbit Status Report


Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF-L): CBEF-L internal equipment and junction box and were removed. Gas sensors, stirring fan and vent fans were reconfigured and the centrifuge was re-inserted. CBEF-L is a new Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) subrack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original CBEF currently aboard the ISS. CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24V D/C power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): The CIR high percentage oxygen bottle was replaced with a new bottle containing 85% O2 and 15% N2. The fuel bottle in Manifold 4 was replaced with a new 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: The crew setup the FLUIDICS tank exchange hardware and initiated run #2 and #3. 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.

Multi-purpose Variable-G Platform (MVP Cell-01): The sample petri dishes (3) were installed into experiment modules (12) and historical photos were taken. The MVP Cell-01 aboard the ISS studies the effects of spaceflight on musculoskeletal disease biology. Motivated by a disease called Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis, in which a traumatic joint injury may lead to arthritis after loss of cartilage and bone, the ability of potential drugs to prevent the progression of this disease is tested on Earth and in space.

NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer-22 (NRCSD-22): A crewmember captured imagery of the NRCSD-22 deployments. The NRCSD is a self-contained CubeSat deployer system that mechanically and electrically isolates CubeSats and has been in operation since 2014. Five satellites were deployed for the NRCSD-22 mission: GASPACS (Get Away Special Passive Attitude Control Satellite), FEES2 (Flexible Experimental Embedded Satellite #2), PATCOOL (PAssiveThermal Coating Observatory Operating in Low earth orbit), DAILI (Daily Atmospheric Ionospheric Limb Imager), and TARGIT (Tethering And Ranging mission of the Georgia Institute of Technology). The Satellites will be released in 4 deployments with goals of studying the use of inflatable booms, a miniaturized LIDAR system, passive cooling using surface coatings, etc.

Plant Habitat-05: A crewmember transferred Plant Habitat Calli (Plant cells) into fresh Transfer Plates. 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.

Rodent Research-18 (RR-18): The crew combined and restowed cargo transfer bags to reduce stowage footprint of rodent research hardware on the LAB1 deck. Astronauts returning from space can experience eye problems, along with headaches and blurred vision. Scientists suspect environmental conditions during spaceflight lead to oxidative stress that adversely affects the eye structure and function. Space Flight Environment Induces Remodeling of Vascular Network and Glia-vascular Communication in Mouse Retina (Rodent Research-18) investigates how spaceflight affects visual function, examining changes in the vascular system of the retina, tissue remodeling and cell-cell interactions in mice.


X2R20 Software Transition Day 2: The X2R20 transition continued today with ground commanding to load software to the Standby Command and Control (C&C), both Internal (INT), and both Payload Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDMs). the crew will also complete loading of the final two Portable Computer System (PCS) laptops. The software transition activities will continue through Friday.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 3 Nadir Hatch Damage Inspection: Earlier this month, the crew reported slight damage to the Node 3 Nadir Hatch Seal. Today, the crew performed a detailed inspection of the damaged areas with photo documentation of the damaged area and of the entire hatch seal for ground review.

Crew Quarters (CQ) Fastener and Velcro Audit: To maintain inventory of onboard hardware, the crew audited the CQ Intake Airflow Sensor Fasteners and CQ Velcro kit. They also disposed of excess CQ intake Access Panel Fasteners.

On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (OOHA): Today the crew performed an auditory test using the OOHA headset and KUDUwave software. The assessment measures hearing function while crewmembers are exposed to noise and microgravity during long-duration spaceflight.

Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Tank Swap: The crew replaced the empty N2 NORS tank in the Airlock and configured the new one to feed the USOS Nitrogen system. NORS tanks are used for gas transfer into either the external airlock tanks or directly into the internal O2/N2 lines for gas usage.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

JEMRMS CubeSat Deployment
Day 2 of X2R20 Transition
Crew Dragon Quiescent Checkout
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, January 27 (GMT 27)

BioLab Cleaning (ESA)
Bioprint FirstAid Sample Print (ESA)
CIMON Power on and off (ESA)
Food Physiology Fecal, Saliva and Blood Collect and Diet Brief (NASA)
NRCSD-22 Removal (NASA)
Repository Urine Collect (NASA)
RR-18 Hab Restock and Ops (NASA)
Veggie Ponds Water Fill and Thinning (NASA)

LAB1D1 Manual Flow Control Valve (MFCV) Adjustment
Robotics Work Station (RWS) Display and Control Panel (DCP) Checkout
In Flight Maintenence (IFM) Tool Relabel
Triannual Countermeasures System (CMS) Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Maintenance
Friday, January 28 (GMT 28)

CIMON Troubleshoot (ESA)
Food Physiology Saliva Collect (NASA)
MetaSpace Ops (ESA)
Repository Urine Collect (NASA)
RR-18 restock Access Unit Clean (NASA)
SABL-1 CO2 Controller Install (NASA)

Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Inspection
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Hard Upper Torso (HUT) Scrub
IFM Waste and Hygeine Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) and Insert Filter (IF) Remove and Replace
Saturday, January 29 (GMT 29)

Food Physiology Saliva Collect (NASA)
SAMS Sensor Cable Confirm (4BCO2) (NASA)

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
Battery Charge Initiation for Metabolic Space
Cimon Unstow and Setup
Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR). High Oxygen Bottle replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR). Bottle 4 swap
PK4 Items restow
Fluidics Run 2 execution
Wireless Compose-2 SmartTex Shirt Donning & Experiment Execution
Fluidics Run 3 execution
Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Nitrogen System Swap to N2 NORS tank
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Joint Station LAN (JSL) Panel Audit
Cell Biology Experiment Facility-Left (CBEF-L) Centrifuge Installation
NanoRacks CubeSat Deployment Photos
Wireless Compose SD Card Data Transfer
Crew to unplug, powercycle, then replug USB Flashdrive for Software Update
SQuARES Fixed Daily Imagery
Quick Don Mask Assembly (QDMA) stow
On-orbit hearing assessment using Kuduwave Software
Food Acceptability Survey
Plant Habitat-05 Media Transfer #1
Insertion of 64 GB USB Flashdrive S/N 1013 into EICL USB Port
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Plant-01 Install
Crew Quarters Fastener and Velcro Audit
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 3 Nadir (N3N) Hatch Damage Inspection
Battery Charge Deactivation for Metabolic Space
Portable Computer System (PCS) Hard Drive Image
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Desiccant Replace
X2R20 Portable Computer System (PCS) Connect

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