NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 April, 2021 - Next Crew Launching Friday


NASA Weekly ISS Space to Ground Report for 6 April, 2021 - Next Crew Launching Friday.

The first of two crews launching to the International Space Station in April will blast off from Kazakhstan on Friday.

The Soyuz MS-18 rocket rolled out to its launch pad this morning as three new Expedition 65 crew members get ready for their long-term space research mission.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov will flank Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy inside the new Soyuz crew ship. They will lift off Friday at 3:42 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and take a near three-and-a-half hour ride to the station, orbiting Earth twice.

After the new crew docks to the Rassvet module and opens the hatches, there will be 10 people occupying the orbiting lab until the crew they are replacing, the Expedition 64 trio, returns to Earth a week later. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will complete her mission on April 16 with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov. They will undock from the station's Poisk module inside the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship completing a 185-day mission and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan.

Onboard the station, the current seven-member crew is busy conducting advanced space science benefitting humans on and off the Earth. The orbital septet is also gearing up to accommodate the two April crew swaps when there will be as many as eleven people occupying the space station.

NASA Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover were back inside Europe's Columbus laboratory module exploring how microgravity affects the human nervous system. Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi worked on biology hardware servicing components inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility and the Confocal Space Microscope.

Noguchi also joined Rubins during the afternoon and set up extra sleep accommodations inside the Columbus lab. NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker routed cables that charge U.S. spacesuit batteries inside the Quest airlock.

On-Orbit Status Report


Cell Biology Experiment Facility - Left (CBEF-L): In support of the SAIBO logistics and maintenance configuration G, the crew verified various cable connections related to a temperature sensor. CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

GRASP: The crew performed multiple GRASP sessions including VV, VM, MM protocols in the quasi free-floating configuration. The purpose of the Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance: Reaching and Grasping (GRASP) investigation is to better understand how the central nervous system (CNS) integrates information from different sensations (e.g. sight or hearing), encoded in different reference frames, in order to coordinate the hand with the visual environment. More specifically, the science team seeks to better understand if, and how, gravity acts as a reference frame for the control of reach-to-grasp.

VV = Visual - Visual (visual stimulus - visual response)

VM = Visual - Manual (visual stimulus - manual response)

MM = Manual - Manual (manual stimulus - manual response)

ISS HAM: The crew participated in an ISS HAM pass with the School of Information Technology & Mathematical Sciences in the City of Salisbury. The school was officially opened in 2000 with around 80 students but has grown over the years to its current number of 765. It's It is a very multicultural school with approximately 45 nationalities represented in its student population. ISS Ham Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.

RTPCG-2 Microscopy observation: The crew set up the microscope, observed and took imagery of the sample wells, and then returned the samples to SABL. RTPCG-2 demonstrates new methods for producing high-quality protein crystals in microgravity. Previous work has shown that microgravity produces high-quality protein crystals that can be analyzed to identify possible targets for drugs to treat disease. RTPCG-2 produces high-quality protein crystals for up to eight proteins for detailed analysis back on Earth.

T2AR Sidekick and Decal install: As a continuation of the T2AR setup, the crew applied reference images (decals) at the proper location. They also configured the T2AR sidekick system. Autonomous Systems and Operations (T2 Treadmill Augmented Reality Procedures or simply T2AR) conducts tests using augmented reality to help crew members perform inspection and maintenance on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT). The ability to perform such tasks without assistance from Mission Control is vital for future space exploration such as a mission to Mars, where significant time delays occur in communications between space and ground. Using augmented reality to guide astronauts through complex spacecraft maintenance and repair activities also reduces the time needed for training and task performance.

VEG Water Bag Audit: The crew audited the quantity of Veggie water bags remaining or orbit. This will allow the ground team to determine if any additional bags need to be flown to support future plant growth experiments. The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe source of fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation. The Veggie provides lighting and nutrient delivery and utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and as a source of carbon dioxide to promote growth. Veggie is also used for fundamental space biology experiments such as the series Advanced Plant Experiments (APEX) and educational space biology activities.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Modification: The crew attempted to install the EBOT on February 10, however there was an interference between the EBOT Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) and an Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) water line within the Airlock Avionic Rack. The BSC was modified and the interference was eliminated. Today, the crew successfully installed the BSC and routed the cables. Batteries are scheduled to be inserted for charging operations tomorrow.

Zero-G Stowage Rack (ZSR) Modification for Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA): CASA is a crew accommodation to allow for long duration stay, permanent shelter, privacy, rest and relaxation, and storage of personal items for a fifth crew member as well as stowage when a 5thcrewmember is not present. CASA is going to be installed at a COL ZSR rack, however ground teams discovered that there is an interference between the Knee Brace Bracket at the back of the module and the CASA Radiation Shield. Today the crew successfully executed a cutting procedure using a drill and chisel to remove a roughly 1 cm cubed portion of the high density polyethylene material on the CASA panel 6 to eliminate the area of interference. CASA installation is scheduled for tomorrow.

Crew Arrival Preparations: The crew began gathering and staging suitcases and other preference items for the crew scheduled to arrive on 64S this Friday.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Payloads ops support
EBOT cable routing support
CASA ops support
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, April 7 (GMT 097)

AC Touch, JEMAL slide table reconfig, RR locker removal and install, Standard Measures, TangoLab2, Vascular Aging, Veggie Monitoring Analyzer Photo
Japanese Experiment Logistics Module Hygiene Cover Build and Install
CASA Install
Extravehicular Activity Battery Installation
Thursday, April 8 (GMT 098)

FLUIDICS run 1, Food Acceptability, JAXA Video Take 8, ManD Print removal and stow, Micro-16 Final Load and microscopy ops, MISSE MSC install to JERMAL slide table, MSRR/KERMIT photo, PLDR deact, RTPCG-2, Standard Measures, Vascular Aging Glucose setup
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Hard Upper Torso (HUT) On-Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) Remove and Replace (R&R)
COLUMBUS Deck 1 and 2 clean-up
Calibrate and deploy Personal CO2 Monitors
Friday, April 9 (GMT 099)

AC touch, Astrobee/Gecko, AstroPi, CIR manifold bottle exchange, ELF sample holder exchange, Fluidics, Food Acceptability, Food Physiology, Nanoracks Rotational Dynamics ball deflate, PLDR card exchange, POLAR 3/5 desiccant swap, RTPCG-2, Standard Measures, Vascular Aging

64S launch/dock
ISS Safety Briefing
FRIDGE 2 reconfig
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Recharging Soyuz 747 Samsung PC battery, start
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
GRASP configuration change from seated to Quasi free floating
Photo TV Node 1 High Definition (HD) Video Setup
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Access A/L1F1 Rack
GRASP science performance in quasi free floating configuration
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Centrifuge Removal and Checking Connectors and Sensors
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Installation
Checking connectors and sensors and Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Centrifuge Installation
GRASP science performance in quasi free floating configuration
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Cable Routing
Microscope Reposition Preparation
Attaching Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Incubator Unit 1 (IU1) Vent Cap
GRASP science performance in quasi free floating configuration
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Big Picture Words (BPW) Procedure Review
Confocal Space Microscopy Temp Logger Exchange
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
GRASP science performance in quasi free floating configuration
Real-time Protein Crystal Growth Microscopy Plate S/N B1, Row C, Day 7
ISS HAM Service Module Pass Kenwood
Crew Quarters (CQ) Preparation for Deactivation
Real-time Protein Crystal Growth Microscopy Plate S/N B2, Row C, Day 7
GRASP science performance in quasi free floating configuration
Microscope Reposition Post Ops
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Cable Routing
GRASP science performance in quasi free floating configuration
T2 Augmented Reality Sidekick Configuration
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Big Picture Words (BPW) Procedure Review
Crew Quarters (CQ) Preparation for Deactivation
Veggie Water Bag Audit
Crew Quarters (CQ) Preparation for Deactivation
SSC (Station Support Computer) 23 move and transition to wireless
Hardware pre-pack for return and disposal on Soyuz 747. Note 14
Crew Alternate Sleep Accomodation (CASA) Panel Modification Gather
Crew Alternate Sleep Accomodation (CASA) Panel Modification
Crew departure preparation
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Closeout
GRASP stow
Private Psychological Conference (PPC)
Crew Arrival Preparations
Crew stows GRIP Supine Bag in COL1O0
SSC (Station Support Computer)23 move back to Dragon
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Power Checkout
Photo T/V (P/TV) High Definition Node 1 Video Stow

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