NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 28 December, 2021 - Unpacking the Dragon


NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 28 December, 2021 - Unpacking the Dragon.

The Expedition 66 crew members continue unpacking the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle and initiating brand new microgravity investigations.

Some of the new science taking place aboard the International Space Station today is looking at plant genetics, human cellular function, and even space laundry techniques.

The four NASA astronauts living on the orbital lab took turns on Tuesday offloading some of the 6,500 pounds of new crew supplies, station hardware, and science experiments. Flight Engineer Kayla Barron began her morning working inside the Cargo Dragon. She then serviced samples inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace, a research device that observes the thermophysical properties of high temperature materials.

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Thomas Marshburn and Raja Chari got together on Tuesday afternoon to unpack the Cargo Dragon as well. Vande Hei and Marshburn have also begun work on a pair of new experiments exploring how to improve life in space. Vande Hei is testing detergent samples to learn how to keep clothes clean in a variety of gravity environments during long-term space missions. Marshburn set up the Veggie botany research facility for observing plant growth at the genetic level to promote space agriculture. Chari collected and spun his blood samples in a centrifuge then stowed them for later analysis. Afterward, Chari entered the Columbus laboratory module and began organizing cargo packed inside.

Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) collected research hardware from inside Columbus for a space biology investigation. He then began assembling that gear and thawing culture chambers inside the Kibo laboratory module. The work is for the new Cytoskeleton biology study, taking place in the Life Science Glovebox, and will explore how the machinery of the human cell is impacted by weightlessness.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, along with Vande Hei, started their day practicing emergency evacuation procedures. The trio trained on a computer for the procedures they would use in the unlikely event they would have to quickly board the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship, undock and return to Earth. Shkaplerov then unpacked Russian spacewalk gear delivered recently aboard the Prichal docking module. Dubrov focused on electronics and hardware maintenance for the rest of the day.

On-Orbit Status Report


Advanced Plant EXperiment-07 (APEX-07): The crew configured both Veggie Facilities for initial APEX-07 operations, preparation, and insertion of thirty Petri Plates per Veggie facility. APEX-07 examines how changes in gravity and other environmental factors associated with spaceflight affect plants at the level of gene expression. Previous research shows that microgravity conditions during spaceflight affects which genes turn on or off, which proteins are present and in what amounts, and the modifications made to those proteins. All of these processes are controlled by RNA, and this investigation analyzes the role of RNA regulation on gene expression during spaceflight in both roots and shoots of plants.

Cytoskeleton: Cytoskeleton Experiment Containers were installed on the Biolab Rotor. In vitro cultures of mammalian cells react specifically to microgravity, but there is no solid scientific evidence available about how and why. The Involvement of Rho family GTPases in gravity perception and reaction (Cytoskeleton) investigation attempts to acquire new information about the events that are happening inside a mammalian cell, with the working hypothesis that the microgravity environment affects the function of RhoGTPases and the cellular signaling that they control. RhoGTPases are signaling molecules residing under the Rho family of proteins, known to be involved as "molecular switches", in the control of cell proliferation, apoptosis (programmed cell death), gene expression (flow of genetic information from gene to protein), and cytoskeletal organization.

Electro-static Levitation Furnace (ELF): A crewmember replaced the AC Dry Vacuum Cleaner Debris Bag in support of Electrostatic Levitation Furnace sample removing. Lost and broken samples from the experiment volume were removed and stowed in Ziploc bags for return. ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt, and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved.

NanoRacks Platforms: Imagery was taken of Platform-2 Module-79. NanoRacks Platforms is a multipurpose research facility on board ISS. NanoRacks Platforms supports NanoRacks Modules in the CubeSat form factor by providing power and data transfer capabilities to operate investigations in microgravity.

P&G Telescience Investigation of Detergent Experiments (PGTIDE): A crewmember took imagery of PGTIDE samples. PGTIDE studies the effectiveness of stain removal ingredients in Tide To Go Pens and Tide To Go Wipes in microgravity. The investigation also examines any changes in physical appearance of detergent and in stability and performance of enzymes in detergent formulations caused by exposure to microgravity. Results could support development of detergent systems for Artemis, Mars, and other future space missions where crews need the ability to launder clothing.


Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Oxygen Regeneration System (OGS) Avionics Air Assembly (AAA) Flow Measurement: Today the crew recorded airflow measurements of the OGS rack AAA using the Velocicalc tool as part of regular maintenance activities being performed this week. The OGS AAA provides cooling to the Node 3 system rack.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Activities: Crewmembers reorganized an EVA Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB), which consisted of inspecting plastic bags and ensuring all hardware is contained in the plastic bags, and then photographing the contents. Crew also terminated a charge begun yesterday on two Li-Ion Batteries using the EVA Battery Operations Terminal and removed the batteries from the Battery Stowage Compartment. These batteries are part of the Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA).

Completed Task List Activities:

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

MSS Powerdown/Powerup
THC OGS AAA Flow Measurement
SPDM MSC Transfer
Lab ITCS LTL Repressurization
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, December 29 (GMT 363)

4 Bed CO2 Scrubber samples (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
MSG facility power down (NASA)
Ring Shear Drop stow (NASA)
Thermal Amine Samples (NASA)

Transfer Crew Dragon Cargo Ops
EHS PWD Sample Collect
EVA SLE Training
WHC Manual Fill
EHS TOCA WRS Sample Analysis
EHS Coliform Water Processing
EMU Swap
EMU SLE Rotation
COL ITCS Water Sample
IFM Node 1 Linear Diffuser Cleaning
Node 2 MTL Return to Ground Sampling
Node 2 LTL Return to Ground Sampling
Handover of Increment Crew
EMU 3013 Config
EDAR Installation
Emergency Mask OBT
Thursday, December 30 (GMT 364)

Cytoskeleton Deinstall (ESA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)
RR-18 Hab restock access clean and ops (NASA)

Regenerative ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
Transfer Crew Dragon Cargo Ops
Russian EVA Tool Gather
IMS Conference
SSC 10 and 20 Swap
Friday, December 31 (GMT 365)

Cytoskeleton setup and Experiment container install (ESA)
MISSE MSC removal and stow for return (NASA)
T2AR OBT, inspect and questionnaire (NASA)

EHS - Coliform Water Sample Analysis
Water Recovery System CWC-Iodine Fill
Transfer Crew Dragon Cargo Ops
S&M JOTI Gather & JOTI Removal
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
APEX-07 Light Setup
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup and Frozen Blood Collection Subject
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configure and Run
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Desiccant Replace
ISS Emergency Soyuz 749 Descent OBT. Tagup with specialists
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
Phospho-Aging Sample MELFI Retrieval and Insertion
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude and Stow
APEX-07 Hardware Gather #1
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Item Gathering
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) AC Dry Vaccum Cleaser Bag R&R
APEX-07 Iceberg Sample Removal
XF705 Camcorder Setup
APEX-07 Science Insertion
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Cartridge Removal
RJ45 Connector Clip Replacement
EasyMotion Suit stow
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Cartridge Cleaning
Med Reservoir retrieval from Biolab Glovebox
Turning off camcorder, TV system controls, closing applications
Cytoskeleton LSG Preperation and EC Hardware Staging
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Holder Change
Wanted Poster for Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Velocicalc Adapter
Gigastor Hard Drive Swap
Air Quality Monitor USB Fan Deploy
Air Quality Monitor Power On
HRF Rack 2 PC Software Integrated Build Load Installation Preparation
EVA Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Reorganize
NanoRacks Module-48 Imagery
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Pulley Inspection
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Avionics Air Assembly (AAA) Flow Measurement
Cytoskeleton EC Zero G RNAlater Assembly
Transfer Crew Dragon Cargo Operations
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Icebrick Stow
PGTIDE Detergent Stability Study Big Picture Words Review
Cytoskeleton LSG Cleanup and Prep
PGTIDE Maintenance Work Area Preparation
Cytoskeleton Polar Sample Removal
Cytoskeleton LSG Transport Container Insertion
PGTIDE Cupola Photography
PGTIDE Detergent Stability Study Sample Photo Operations
Cytoskeleton EC Zero G PFA Assembly
Columbus cabin cargo consolidation
EC installation in Biolab Incubator
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold/Unfold
Handover of Increment 66 Crew
iPad signal strength characterization and log gathering
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery (BATT) Remove
Video recording of greetings
NanoRacks Module-79 Imagery
LSG Work Volume Stow

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