NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 4 January, 2021 - Crew Dragon Proficiency Checks


Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and astronaut Matthias Maurer. (Dec. 19, 2021)

Crew Dragon proficiency checks were on the schedule for a pair of NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday.

Eye checks, space biology research, and spacewalk preparations also kept the Expedition 66 crew busy throughout the day.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour, which delivered four astronauts to the orbiting lab, has been docked to the Harmony module's forward port since Nov. 11, 2021. The Crew Dragon's commander and pilot, Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn, both station flight engineers, practiced and familiarized themselves with deorbit and landing procedures in Endeavour today. The duo will return to Earth, along with Kayla Barron of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency), aboard the Crew Dragon in the spring.

Chari and Barron earlier joined each other Tuesday morning for vein scans. Chari took charge as crew medical officer and scanned the veins in Barron's neck, shoulder and legs with the Ultrasound 2 device. Chari later partnered with Marshburn for eye checks and retina scans using medical imaging gear. Doctors on the ground monitored the vein and eye scans in real time. The regularly scheduled health checks provide researchers insight into how microgravity affects the human body long term.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei documented his meals today to understand how nutrition affects space health. The veteran astronaut, who will be on the station for nearly a year, also serviced a variety of science hardware to ensure ongoing research operations. Maurer continued setting up the Cytoskeleton space biology study that will explore how the human cell's internal machinery adapts to weightlessness. The ESA astronaut later assisted Chari and Barron with retinal scans then stowing the eye imaging gear.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov are moving right along with their preparations for a spacewalk planned for Jan. 19. The pair from Roscosmos continued collecting and organizing the spacewalk tools they will use to finish configuring and connecting Nauka multipurpose laboratory module to the station's Russian segment. They are scheduled to work for seven-and-a-half hours outside in the vacuum of space inside their Russian Orlan spacesuits.

On-Orbit Status Report


Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): A crewmember removed the SD Card from APM, transferred its data to an SSC laptop, and re-insert the SD Card back into APM. Air quality in crewed spacecraft is important for keeping astronauts healthy and comfortable. Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate matter, currently no measurement capability verifies whether these requirements are met. APM demonstrates an instrument for measuring and quantifying the concentration of both small and large particles in spacecraft air. The data can be used to create a map of air quality in terms of particles and shed light on the sources of such particles.

Cytoskeleton: The crew to installed Cytoskeleton Experiment Containers into the Biolab Incubator. 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): Four cables between the ELF, Work Volume Connector Panel, and the Small Experiment Area Connector Panel were replaced with a Bypass Cable in order to improve the operability of the sample cartridges. 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.

ESA-Education Payload Operations (ESA-EPO): A video was recorded that will be used to promote the Überflieger 2 competition for university students. Überflieger 2 is organized by the German Space Agency at DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA). The winning students of Überflieger 2 will design and build their own ISS experiments. The experiments will be launched to ISS in early 2023. 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.

Retinal Diagnostics: Retinal Diagnostics measurement were conducted on crewmembers for data collection. The DLR-EAC Retinal Diagnostics Study (Retinal Diagnostics) utilizes a commercially available ophthalmology lens, approved for routine clinical use with mobile devices, to capture images of the human retina in space. The videos/images are downlinked to test and train models to detect retinal pathologies common among astronauts.


Ultrasound Exam: Today the crew used the ultrasound device to perform a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) scan. This is a routine medical requirement that utilizes existing on-orbit eye exam ultrasound hardware for bilateral imaging of the internal jugular, entire subclavian-axillary axis, and lower extremity deep veins. VTE scans utilize a different frequency than the eye exams

Eye Exams: The crew completed routine Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) eye exams. OCT is an imaging technique analogous to ultrasound imaging that uses light instead of sound to capture micrometer-resolution, two- and three-dimensional images of tissue; In this case, the objects of interest are the crewmember's eyes. Eye exams are performed regularly on-board in order to monitor crewmembers eye health. Eyesight is one of the many aspects of the human body that is affected by long-duration stays in a microgravity environment.

Crew Dragon On-Board Training (OBT): The crew completed a Crew Dragon free flight, deorbit, entry and landing contingencies and emergencies refresher OBT. The crew routinely completes emergency OBTs in order to maintain their proficiency in the event of an ISS or crewed vehicle contingency.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

HRF Rack 2 activation and commanding
Payload Rack Officer Fluids Integrated Rack Activation Commanding
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) EDV Drain Support
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, January 5 (GMT 5)

Anita-2 Hardware install (ESA)
Astrobee Off (NASA)
Biomole Sequencing part 3 (NASA)
CIR Manifold 4 bottle change (NASA)
FBCE checkout (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
LSG Glove swap (NASA)
Mochii Hardware Audit (NASA)
MPEP Capture Mechanism install (NASA)
MVP-Plant-01 procedure review (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 Hardware gather and review (NASA)
Repository Urine collect and blood setup (NASA)

Brine Processor Bladder Changeout
Health Maintenance System (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)
ANITA-2 Video Setup (ESA)
AstroPi Mk2 Deployment (ESA)
BioMole BMS stow (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)
MVP-Plant-01 Removal (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 Harvest (NASA)
RR-18 Restock, Ops and access unit clean (NASA)
Repository Blood and urine collect (NASA)
SQUARES install (NASA)

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill
On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Self Study
JEM Stowage Consolidation
Friday, January 7 (GMT 7)

ANITA-2 Screen Demate (ESA)
Cytoskeleton De-install and POLAR insert (ESA)
Food Physiology Diet (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 sample CS insert (NASA)

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

Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configure and Run
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation
On-orbit Hearing Assessment (OOHA) with Kuduwave Software Setup and Test
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Venous Thromboembolism Scan
Cytoskeleton Operations
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Station Support Computer (SSC) System Vent Cleaning
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Post Exam
Airborne Particulate Monitor Data Transfer
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Bypass Cable Connection
On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Self Study
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
SpX-CREW DRAGON Free Flight Contingencies and Emergencies Refresher
Handover of Increment 66 Crew
SpX-CREW DRAGON Deorbit Entry and Landing Contingencies Refresher
EDR2 stowage audit
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) EDV Drain
Re-connecting CWC Transfer Manifold and returning pump to original setup
Space Acceleration Measurement System RTS/D1 Screen Cleaning
Space Acceleration Measurement System RTS/D2 Screen Cleaning
Health Maintenance System (HMS) - OCT2 Exam
EXPRESS Rack 8 ARIS Video J77 Umbilical Install [Deferred]
Retinal Diagnostics Data Acquisition
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Keep-Out Zone (KOZ) & Door Stop Check

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