NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 3 January, 2021 - Cotton Genetics


Astronaut Kayla Barron sets up the Plant Habitat-05 Growth experiment. (Dec. 27, 2021)

The five astronauts and two cosmonauts of Expedition 66 started the first work week of 2022 researching microgravity science, reviewing Crew Dragon emergency procedures and ramping up for a spacewalk.

Biology and botany are critical research subjects on the orbiting lab as NASA and its international partners plan human missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Robotics is also important as scientists and engineers explore a variety of ways to assist space crews.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari swabbed bacteria samples today and began sequencing their DNA with the BioMole Facility to understand the microbial environment on the station. Thomas Marshburn of NASA photographed operations for the Plant Habitat-05 experiment that is studying cotton genetics. Finally, NASA astronaut Kayla Barron set up an AstroBee robotic free flyer with an experimental audio sensor that may possibly identify early indications of space hardware failure.

The three NASA astronauts also joined ESA (European Space Agency) Matthias Maurer and reviewed their procedures for a variety of emergency scenarios aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle. The quartet trained on a computer for unlikely events such as a fire, a depressurization, and an emergency undocking in the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The station's other NASA astronaut, Mark Vande Hei, had Monday morning off before going into the afternoon working on experimental gear that may maintain safe temperatures in U.S. spacesuits. Vande Hei, along with cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, are due to depart the station in the spring after nearly a year in space.

The next spacewalk at the International Space Station is targeted for Jan. 19 to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Cosmonauts Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov started Monday morning inspecting the spacewalking tools they will use to configure and finish connecting Nauka to the station's Russian segment.

On-Orbit Status Report


BioMole: BioMole Surface Sampling and DNA Extraction was performed. The Environmental Health System (EHS) Biomole Facility non-culture based samples are capable of providing microbial identification on-orbit within days of sampling. The goal of this Tech Demo is to conduct comparative analysis for possible replacement of current microbial monitoring systems.

Cytoskeleton: The Med Reservoirs were retrieved from cold stowage and inserted into the Biolab Glovebox for thawing over night at ambient temperature. 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.

ESA-Education Payload Operations (ESA-EPO): A video was recorded that will be used to educate children about Earth observations from the ISS and the importance of protecting Earth's environment and how students can help by joining Climate Detectives, an ESA school project for students. The activities related to ESA-EPO Generic Videos are intended to encourage and strengthen the teaching of science curriculum and stimulate the curiosity of students to motivate them towards further study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Plant Habitat-05: Photographs were taken of designated Experiment Plates in preparation for Harvest. 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, which makes it difficult to create reproductive and stable 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.

Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE): Approximately 150ml of water was extracted from the SERFE hardware for post-flight analysis on the ground. SERFE demonstrates a new technology to remove heat from spacesuits and maintain appropriate temperatures for crew members and equipment during space walks. The technology uses evaporation of water for cooling. The investigation determines whether microgravity affects performance and evaluates the technology's effect on contamination and corrosion of spacesuit material.

SoundSee: The crew installed the SoundSee hardware onto an Astrobee free flyer and performed audio data collections for acoustic mapping and machine health monitoring experiments. Investigation of Deep Audio Analytics on the ISS (SoundSee Mission) tests monitoring of the acoustic environment using an audio sensor on Astrobee, a mobile robotic platform aboard the space station. Microphones collect acoustic information, and the Astrobee determines the sensor's position. The system can detect anomalies in the sound of components inside a machine, providing autonomous monitoring of the health of infrastructure such as life support and exercise equipment.

Superalloy Casting Module (Turbine SCM): The Turbine SCM hardware was installed into the Basic ExPRESS Rack-9B and the crew connected power, data and MTL connections. The hardware was then activated. The Turbine SCM is a small module that allows manufacturing of single-piece turbine blisk (blade/disk combination) in microgravity for commercial use on Earth. If successful, single-piece turbine blisks manufactured on ISS are expected to have lower part mass, less residual stress, and higher fatigue strength than those produced on Earth.


Safety Video Survey: The crew took video of the interior volume of station which will allow ground teams to assess the current vehicle configuration and to identify any areas of concern related to ventilation blockage, flammability hazards, emergency egress paths, access to fire ports, and safety equipment, etc. The Safety Video Survey is performed approximately every 6 months.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Changeout: As part of regular maintenance, the crew completed a Brine Filter Changeout to R&R the UPA Brine Filter today. Brine filters are replaced every 60 days. This was followed by a drain and fill of the installed Recycle Tank via the UPA Fill Drain Valve.

Crew Dragon On-Board Training (OBT): The crew completed a Crew Dragon emergency departure, depress, and fire response contingencies OBT. The crew routinely completes emergency OBTs in order to maintain their proficiency in the event of an ISS or crewed vehicle contingency.

Urine Transfer System (UTS) Backup EDV Inspection: Based on ground transfers and UPA processing, ground teams believe there is air entering the UTS system and requested the crew to inspect the backup EDV to determine the health of the EDV and likelihood of it causing air ingestion into the system.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Four Bed CO2 Scrubber Deactivation
ECLSS UPA Brine Filter R&R Support
ARS Node 3 Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Activation
Automated Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Selection (ATS) Pre-positioned Load (PPL) Loading
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, January 4 (GMT 4)

Airborne Particulate Monitor data transfer (NASA)
Cytoskeleton sample insert (ESA)
ELF Bypass cable connect (JAXA)
ESA-EPO Uberflieger (ESA)
Express Rack 8 J77 cable install (NASA)
Repository urine and blood collect (NASA)
Retina subject session (ESA)
Phospho-Aging inserts (JAXA)
RR-18 resupply (NASA)
SAMS Screen clean (NASA)

On-orbit Hearing Assessment (OOHA)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Venous Thromboembolism Scan
On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Self Study
HMS Optical Coherence Tomography 2 (OCT2) Exam
Wednesday, January 5 (GMT 5)

Anita-2 Hardware install (ESA)
Biomole Sequencing part 3 (NASA)
FBCE checkout (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Mochii Hardware Audit (NASA)
MPEP Capture Mechanism install (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 Harvest (NASA)
Repository Urine collect and blood setup (NASA)
CIR Manifold 4 bottle change (NASA)

EICL Hard Drive Replace
HMS Venous Thromboembolism Scan
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Surface Sampler Kit (SSK) and Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Analysis
Thursday, January 6 (GMT 6)

Acoustic Monitor Measurement (ESA)
AstroPi Mk2 Deployment (ESA)
MVP-Plant-01 Removal (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 Harvest (NASA)
RR-18 Restock and access unit clean (NASA)
Repository Blood and urine collect (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)

OBT ROBoT T&C Self Study
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation
JEM Stowage Consolidation
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Changeout
Turbine-Superalloy Casting Module (T-SCM) Installation
BioMole MELFI Retrieve
Environmental Health System BioMole Part 1
EXPRESS Rack9B Payload MTL Flow Rate Adjust
Turbine-Superalloy Casting Module (T-SCM) Activation
Environmental Health System BioMole Part 2
Long-duration Crew Compensation
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, Hard Drive Swap
EasyMotion Power Box charge
SoundSee Data Collection 3 Ops
Columbus cabin cargo and photo audit
KTO Trash Audit
Backup EDV inspection
Plant Habitat-05 Experiment Plate Photos
Vacuum System Lab Port 4 Swap
Polar Desiccant Swap
SERFE Water Sampling for Post Flight Analysis
SERFE CWC-I Remove and Replace
SpX-CREW DRAGON Free-Flight Fire Response Refresher
SpX-CREW DRAGON Free-Flight Depress Response Refresher
SpX-CREW DRAGON Emergency Departure Refresher
Retrieve Med Reservoir from cold stowage
Med Reservoir insertion into Biolab Glovebox for thawing
BioMole MELFI Insert
EasyMotion Suit stow
Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
PMM1P1 Audit
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Transfer
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Keep-Out Zone (KOZ) & Door Stop Check

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