NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 6 January, 2022 - Plant Habitat-05 Experiment

©NASA

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

Biology and agriculture were the dominant research themes aboard the International Space Station on Thursday.

Also, an Expedition 66 Flight Engineer is beginning a set of record-breaking milestones before returning to Earth at the end March.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron started work Thursday morning inside the Kibo laboratory module examining mice for the Rodent Research-18 study. The space biology experiment observes how microgravity affects the visual function and changes the retina. Barron transferred the mice back and forth into the Life Science Glovebox and restocked their habitats with food throughout the day. NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn took over the mice investigation during the afternoon.

Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) started his day with a hearing test for the Acoustics Diagnostics study. The human research investigation seeks to understand how sound levels on the station affect astronauts. Maurer then spent the afternoon setting up AstroPi computer hardware to promote coding and engineering education on Earth.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei photographed operations for the Plant Habitat-05 experiment that is studying cotton genetics. Space botany is an important area of study as NASA and its international partners learn to sustain healthy crews on long-term missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

As of Thursday, Vande Hei has lived in space continuously for 273 days, surpassing NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan's record of 272 days which was set on April 17, 2020. He will go on to break three more NASA records before the end of his mission at the end of March.

Vande Hei, along with Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov, arrived at the station on April 9, 2021, and are staying on the station for 355 days. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, who has been aboard the station since Oct. 5, 2021, will lead Vande Hei and Dubrov to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship on March 30.

On-Orbit Status Report

Payloads:

Acoustic Diagnostics: Acoustic Diagnostics (AUDIO) measurements were taken. The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (Acoustic Diagnostics) investigation tests the hearing of ISS crew members before, during, and after flight. This study assesses the possible adverse effects of noise and the microgravity environment aboard the ISS on human hearing. The investigation compares the relationship between the detection of otoacoustic emissions, sounds naturally generated from within the inner ear, and hearing loss levels when exposed to noisy environments.

AstroPi: A crewmember replaced the MK I AstroPi hardware with new MK II units. Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called AstroPis) flown to the ISS as part of the ESA astronaut Proxima mission. 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 has an infrared camera, and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.

Plant Habitat-05: Plant harvesting session #1 was performed. 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.

Rodent Research-18 (RR-18): RR-18 habitat restocking was performed. RR-18 operations were conducted following a unit access cleaning. 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.

Sampling Quadrangle Assemblages Research Experiment (Squares): Crew preference locations were selected and identified in preparation for upcoming operations. Squares 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".

Systems:

International Docking Adapter (IDA) Zenith Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) Reseat: A Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) IDA survey prior to SpX-24 docking revealed that a strip of the IDA Zenith MLI next to IDA Latch Striker #3 was not fully attached to the mating Velcro. The detached MLI was not an impact to the vehicle docking. Today, the crew reattached the MLI strip and took photos of the area for ground assessment. MLI is designed to protect equipment from MMOD and thermal damage.

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.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: Today, the crew set up the recycle tank to drain to a ЕДВ-У. Following the setup, the ground performed the tank drain using the Urine Transfer System (UTS). Once the ground specialists completed the transfer, the crew verified the recycle tank was empty, terminated the drain, and repositioned the fill/drain valve to fill. The crew also swapped the ЕДВ in the offload ЕДВ spot of the UTS.

Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) On-board Training (OBT): The crew completed a ROBoT OBT session to reset SSRMS proficiency. ROBoT allows the ISS crew to practice Mobile Servicing System (MSS) operational scenarios using a set of non-flight hardware hand controllers.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill Commanding
Payload Rack Officer (PRO) Materials ISS Experiment- Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) Commanding
PRO Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) Commanding
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, January 7 (GMT 7)
Payloads:

Cytoskeleton De-install and POLAR insert (ESA)
Food Physiology Diet (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 sample CS insert (NASA)
Systems:

Crew off-duty
Saturday, January 8 (GMT 8)
Payloads:

Plant Hab-05 Photo (NASA)
Systems:

Crew off-duty
Sunday, January 9 (GMT 9)
Payloads:

Cytoskeleton Sample insert (ESA)
POLAR-6 Desiccant (NASA)
Systems:

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

JEM Stowage Consolidation Part
Acoustic Monitor Equipment Don
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Acoustic Diagnostics Operations - Calibration and Measurement
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer
MERLIN DiskOnChip Troubleshooting
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
SQuARES Big Picture Words Review
AC-INVERTER-DEPLOY
Zenith International Docking Adapter Multi Layer Insulation Re-seat
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Desiccant Replace
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation
Review of AstroPi MkII Commissioning Big Picture Words
AstroPi MkII deployment
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Air Quality Monitor (AQM) Powercycle
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Termination
MPCC EICL Ultrabay HDD Swap
Plant Habitat-05 Plant Harvest #1
BIOS Setup of the European IP Communication Laptop
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill
Activation of the European IP Communication Laptop
On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Self Study
Swap SSC (Station Support Computer) 10 and 20 Swap

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