Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 November, 2021 – Variety of Microgravity Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 2, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 November, 2021 – Variety of Microgravity Research
Expedition 66 Flight Engineers pose with chile peppers. (Oct. 29, 2021)

The seven Expedition 66 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station focused on a variety of microgravity research today while preparing to split up this month.
Back on Earth, four commercial crew astronauts are preparing for their launch to the orbiting lab from Kennedy Space Center.

NASA Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur have been packing the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. The duo will return to Earth later this month inside Endeavour with Mission Specialists Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet. They will complete their mission in space which began in April when they splashdown off the coast of Florida.

Hoshide, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), worked inside the Kibo laboratory module relocating a microbe sensor before checking out the console that controls the Japanese robotic arm. Station Commander Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) put on a virtual reality headset for the Pilote technology demonstration and explored the ergonomics of robotic and spacecraft interfaces. The international duo also spent some time Monday packing personal items inside Endeavour for the ride back home.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, who is staying on the station until April for a near yearlong mission, spent most of Monday working on the Fluids Integrated Rack. He set up components inside the physics research device to support operations for the new Fluids Boiling and Condensation Experiment.

The two cosmonauts working in the orbiting lab’s Russian segment spent their day on cargo transfers and science module connections. Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov packed and unpacked cargo today in the ISS Progress 78 and 79 resupply ships. The duo also checked and measured circuit connections between the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module and the Zvezda service module.

Down in Florida, three NASA astronauts and one ESA astronaut of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission are now targeting their launch to the space station inside the Crew Dragon Endurance for no earlier than Nov. 6. Commander Raja Chari, with Pilot Thomas Marshburn, will lead Mission Specialists Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer inside Endurance when it lifts off carrying the foursome to their new home in space where they will stay for six months.

Om-Orbit Status Report


Exploration ECLSS-TOILET: A crewmember completed a weekly survey on the Toilet System to provide feedback on system functionality and crew observations. The Toilet ??? was also changed out and the crewmember checked the Toilet System for adequate Pretreat dosing from the Dose Pump. The Toilet System is an Exploration Tech Demo that has evolved into a permanent USOS system. The Toilet has the same basic design as the Orion Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). The Toilet System will be the primary WMS for USOS for up to 90-crew-days and interfaces with the Urine Transfer System (UTS) to allow concurrent WHC/Toilet operations.

FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack): A crewmember performed Quick Disconnect water line hose maintenance on the FIR lines and also configured the back of the FIR optics bench in preparation for Flow Boiling Condensation Experiment (FBCE) hardware including installing required cables. The FIR is a complementary fluid physics research facility designed to host investigations in areas such as colloids, gels, bubbles, wetting and capillary action, and phase changes, including boiling and condensation.

Pilote: A crewmember performed PILOTE science run. In order to test the ergonomics of a multisensory interface for controlling robotic arms and spacecraft, it is necessary to perform the trials in microgravity. Performing the test on Earth would lead to a design of a work station using terrestrial ergonomic principles that do not correspond to conditions experienced on a spacecraft in orbit. The Pilote investigation tests the effectiveness of novel control schemes for the remote operation of robotic arms and space vehicles, using virtual reality and a new class of user-machine interfaces based on haptics.


Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: The crew performed an analysis of the water processing assembly (WPA) using the TOCA. The TOCA unit oxidizes organic carbon species present in the water to carbon dioxide gas and measures the concentration using nondispersive infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the potable water using the TOCA occurs on a weekly basis. The crew replaced the TOCA Waste Water Bag (WWB) just prior to the sample collection to preclude overfill.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Hatch Seal Inspections: The crew cleaned and inspected the JPM Starboard, Node 2 (Aft, Port, Starboard, Forward), COL Port and Lab (Forward, Aft) hatch seals, hatch plate sealing surfaces, and crank handles for damage or Foreign Object Debris (FOD) as part of standard preventive maintenance.

Completed Task List Activities:

Toilet Urine Filter Remove & Replacement
Transfer 79 Progress USOS Unpack
Toilet Fecal Canister Remove & Replacement
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

JEMRMS Console Bus Checkout Ground Support
Automated Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Selection (ATS) Pre-Positioned (PPL) Loading
Internal Audio Subsystem (IAS) Russian to USOS Communication Configuration
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, November 2 (GMT 306)

APM Status Check (NASA)
CIR ACME Hardware replace part 1 (NASA)
HRF VEG Questionnaire (NASA)
EarthKam setup and Act (Joint)
EPM Laptop t/s (ESA)
FIR LMM Hardware return (NASA)
Lumina data Transfer (ESA)
POLAR transfers (NASA)
Repository Urine and blood Collect (NASA)
SpaceDuino card transfer and HW removal (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)
TOILET Dose chk (NASA)

USOS Cable Management
Deploy AC ZBook Power Chain
Deploy (2) Multi-Port USB Chargers
Wednesday, November 3 (GMT 307)

CIR ACME Hardware replace part 2 (NASA)
CIR O2 and Manifold 4 Bottle Exchange (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Food Physiology Fecal process (NASA)
HRF VEG Questionnaire (NASA)
MAND Print Removal and stow (NASA)
Probiotics Fecal ops (JAXA)
Repository Urine and blood Collect (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)
TOILET Dose chk (NASA)

Cargo Dragon Station Support Computer Relocate
AQM Troubleshooting
Dragon Table Sync and Stow
Thursday, November 4 (GMT 308)

EarthKam Node 2 lens change (Joint)
Food Physiology photo and Fecal collect (NASA)
HRF VEG Questionnaire (NASA)
Probiotics Capsule stow, Urine/blood setup (JAXA)
Repository Frozen blood Collect (NASA)
Standard Measures Ambient blood and Saliva collect (NASA)

Activities under review due to major replan
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Personal Medication Stow
JEM Microbe Sensor Relocation
EDV Build
Toilet System Weekly Questionnaire
EDV Swap for Toilet use during Crew Handover
EDV Transfer Hose R&R when connected to Offload EDV with UTS
Unidentified Item Stow
Toilet System Pretreat Dose Check
iWatch Charge for SpX CREW DRAGON
Virtual Reality Headset charge
Half CTB Locate
JEMRMS RLT2 Activation Before JEMRMS Console C/O
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Fluids Integration Rack (FIR) Quick Disconnect (QD) Maintenance
JEMRMS Console Checkout
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record
JEMRMS Deactivation Preparation After JEMRMS C/O
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Fluids Integrated Rack Hardware Gather
Remove SpX-CREW DRAGON iWatch from charger
Relocation of items from NOD2O2
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
FIR Bench Configuration
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Treadmill 2 (T2) Augmented Reality Gather
Wireless VR Headset troubleshooting performance
Hatch Seal Inspection
PILOTE Science
Long-duration Crew Compensation
Treadmill 2 Augmented Reality On Orbit Training [ABORTED]
T2 Monthly Maintenance performed with Sidekick [ABORTED]
Crewmember fills out questionnaire following T2 Maintenance with Augmented Reality [ABORTED]
Stow Sidekick After Use [ABORTED]

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.