NASA Space Station Status Report 17 May, 2022 - Boeing's OFT-2 Mission Launch Weather Looks Good

©Boeing

Boeing Starliner.

The International Space Station is gearing up for the targeted arrival of Boeing's Starliner crew ship on the company's Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 67 crew is continuing its ongoing life science activities while maintaining orbital lab systems.

Weather forecasters are predicting a 70% chance for favorable weather when Boeing's OFT-2 mission is scheduled to launch at 6:54 p.m. EDT on Thursday. The Starliner spacecraft will lift off atop the Atlas-V rocket from United Launch Alliance at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Starliner will take a 24-hour automated trip to the station where it will dock to the Harmony module's forward port for five to 10 days of cargo and test operations.

NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines spent an hour on Tuesday reviewing procedures for Starliner's approach and docking. The duo will be on duty Friday monitoring Starliner during its three-and-a-half hours of automated approach maneuvers before docking at 7:10 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Lindgren later spent the afternoon participating in a robotics proficiency test before installing seed cartridges and root modules for the xROOTS space botany study. Hines worked on U.S. spacesuit maintenance, partnering with astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency), swapping and stowing components planned for return on an upcoming SpaceX cargo mission.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins finished wearing a headband and vest after 24 hours for the Bio-Monitor experiment that monitors an astronaut's health without interfering with mobility. Watkins also checked her blood pressure throughout the day for the Vascular Echo study that examines changes in blood vessels and cardiac activity in microgravity.

The station's three cosmonauts from Roscosmos focused on their list of science and maintenance tasks in the orbiting lab's Russian segment. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov updated software and replaced a laptop computer then explored ways to improve communications between station crew members and mission controllers from around the world. Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev joined each other Tuesday morning and serviced exercise gear. The duo then split up to work on broadband communications gear and inventory tools.

On-Orbit Status Report

Crew-Observed Noise: This afternoon, the crew reported hearing a sound in the IDA Forward PMA2 area. The sound was compared to previous sounds reported in AR 9920, which is related to thermal gradients caused by high Beta periods and the Dragon Nose Cone shadowing on PMA2. The crew reviewed the recording from previous instances and confirmed the noise was in family. The engineering teams evaluated crew reports and subsequent noises on following orbits and confirmed that this was an expected result of the high Beta. Ground teams will incorporate this new Beta range and ISS attitude into the documented expected ranges.

Payloads:

Actiwatch: An Actiwatch Plus unit was hooked up to the Human Research Facility (HRF)-2 rack using a USB Hub in preparation for ground commanding and battery charging. The Actiwatch is a waterproof, non-intrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember and contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a signal as the subject moves. The data is stored in non-volatile memory within the Actiwatch until they are downloaded for analysis.

Surface Avatar: A crewmember inserted the USB Key into the USB Port on experiment laptop to prepare the bootable disk for Surface Avatar operations. The key was labeled as Surface Avatar and then stowed. Several properties of the orbit-to-ground scenario are also applicable to terrestrial operation. For example, a high-latency or lossy data connection, the mix of structured and unstructured environments, and the types of tasks (e.g., traversing, manipulation of mechanical parts) are characteristic to scenarios such as arctic exploration, search and rescue in disaster zones and under-sea maintenance. Insights from these studies will be also applicable here. For example, gravity and wind act on objects on a planet's surface which are not felt on orbit. In a similar way, when operating an object underwater, buoyancy, lift and drag forces act on the object which are not found in the operator's environment.

Vascular Aging: Blood pressure measurements were also taken, and the data was downloaded. Emerging data point towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crew members, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Space Environment Causes Acceleration of Vascular Aging: Roles of Hypogravity, Nutrition, and Radiation (Vascular Aging) investigation, ultrasounds of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crewmembers are analyzed.

eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS): The lights interval settings were adjusted for the XROOTS operations and the Seed Cartridges were installed into Root Modules placed into XROOTS to begin 30-day growout of plants. The XROOTS investigation uses hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth media. Video and still images enable evaluation of multiple independent growth chambers for the entire plant life cycle from seed germination through maturity. Results could identify suitable methods to produce crops on a larger scale for future space missions.

Systems:

Environmental Health System (EHS) Operations: Today, the ISS crew performed periodic EHS water sampling by collecting water samples from the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) for in-flight and post-flight analysis. In-flight samples were used to perform a Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) analysis that measures the amount of organic constituents in the potable water. The crew also tested the water samples for the presence of Coliform bacteria utilizing a Coliform test bag. These tests are used to determine if the drinking water is still safe for crew consumption.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Activities: Several EMU activities were performed beginning with an EVA Secondary Oxygen Pack (SOP) study in order to status EMU 3015 and the forward plan for its return. The crew installed EMUs 3009 and 3015 upside down on the aft and forward EMU Don/Doff Assemblies (EDDAs) to provide clearance to remove the SOPs. An on-orbit swap of the SOPs between EMUs 3009 and 3015 was performed and a checkout of EMU 3015 was completed in order to return the older SOP along with EMU 3015, and to provide EMU 3009 with the newer SOP unit. This activity will be completed along with checkout of the SOP on 3009 at a later date. Lastly, the EMU Data Recorder (EDaR) box, antenna, and antenna cable were removed from EMU 3015 in preparation for return.

Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2 (Boe-OFT2) Mission Prep: In preparation for the arrival of Boe-OFT-2, the crew reviewed videos of the Starliner software during nominal and off-nominal Starliner approaches as part of an overview of vehicle monitoring for Starliner rendezvous. A Robotic Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) self-study was also completed including onboard training required for crew to reset Space Station Robotic Manipulator System (SSRMS) proficiency.

Completed Task List Activities:

Recorded Greeting Request (GMT 136)
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

EMU SOP Swap
EHDC Checkout
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, May 18 (GMT 138)
Payloads:

Snowcone HW install (NASA)
Standard Measures Blood urine, body fecal urine collect (NASA)
Vascular-Aging BioMonitor removal and stow (CSA)
Systems:

ARED Car Install
OBT CST-100 OFT-2 Rendezvous Monitoring CBT 2/Conference
CHeCS Emergency Health Maintenance System Contingency Drill Training
Thursday, May 19 (GMT 139)
Payloads:

ANITA-NL Sample (ESA)
LUMINA data transfer (ESA)
Standard Measures Blood, saliva, urine, body, fecal collect (NASA)
Vascular-Aging BioMonitor stow and Glucose setup (CSA)
WICO Ballistocardiography don and doff and questionnaire (ESA)
XROOTS fluid (NASA)
Systems:

Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
EHS - Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
IFM WRS Hardware Gather
OFT-2 Arrival Prep
WHC Stall Volume Cleanup
Friday, May 20 (GMT 140)
Payloads:

AstroPi Imagery ops (ESA)
CAL MTL Jumper leak chk (NASA)
ISS HAM pass (NASA)
MATISS-3 Install (ESA)
Standard Measures Blood, saliva, urine, body, fecal collect (NASA)
Vascular-Aging blood collect and Glucose measurement (CSA)
XROOTS Plant chk (NASA)
Systems:

LAB and CUP RWS Setup
Water Containment Testing
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Columbus Cabin photo audit
OFT-2 Arrival Ops
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Gradient Heating Furnace (GHF) Heating Units Insulation resistance Measurement
Standard Measures Cognition Testing
Environmental Health System (EHS) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect
ExtraVehicular Activity Secondary Oxygen Pack Study
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
USB Stick into EICL USB Port
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Extravehicular Activity Extravehicular Mobility Unit Flip
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Secondary Oxygen Pack (SOP) Swap
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
[Aborted] Bio-Monitor Wearables Change Out
[Aborted] Bio-Monitor Breathing Volume Calibration
Environmental Health System (EHS) Coliform Water Processing
Stow Surface Avatar USB
ExtraVehicular Activity Data Recorder Remove
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Russian Remote Laptop Check/Verification
On-Board Training (OBT) CST-100 OFT Rendezvous Monitoring CBT 1
ExPRESS Rack 2 Labtop Cabling Check
XROOTS MWA Preparation
XROOTS Light Setup
On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Self Study
[Aborted] Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup
XROOTS Experiment Install
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in JEM
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Setup
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Crew Time Payback
Standard Measures Fecal Collection Video Review
Microgravity Science Glovebox Activation
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Stow
Astrobee Off
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Mobil-O-Graph Unit Power Off
HRF Generic Saliva Collection

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