Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 February, 2021 – New Cargo Airlock Setup

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 13, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 February, 2021 – New Cargo Airlock Setup
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 February, 2021 - New Cargo Airlock Setup.

The Expedition 64 crew continued setting up a new science and cargo airlock for operations today since its installation last year on the International Space Station.
The orbital residents also researched how microgravity affects humans, plants and physics.

The station’s Tranquility module was expanded in December with the addition of the new NanoRacks Bishop airlock. Flight Engineer Kate Rubins is finalizing its configuration today by connecting cables and installing components so Bishop can begin service. She was assisted by fellow NASA astronauts Shannon Walker and Victor Glover who began stowing cargo inside Bishop for the first time.

Glover started the morning with NASA Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins inside Europe’s Columbus laboratory module researching how the human nervous system adapts to weightlessness. The duo took turns seated in a specialized chair performing a series of dexterous manipulation tasks for the GRIP study. Insights may help engineers and doctors develop better spacecraft interfaces and treat neurological conditions on Earth.

Hopkins then spent the afternoon demonstrating hydroponics for the Plant Water Management study as a way to sustain plants in microgravity from germination through harvest. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi jotted down his meals for the Nutrition study before swapping samples for a crystal growth/semiconductor study.

Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov were back on exercise research today studying how the lack of gravity impacts the effectiveness of a workout. The duo strapped sensors to themselves measuring their heart and breathing rate as they jogged on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill.

On-Orbit Status Report


ASTRORAD Vest: In a continuation of the Astrorad series of activities, the crew donned and doffed the payload hardware and then answered a survey. The AstroRad vest is a personal protective equipment (PPE) device which functions as a radiation shield for astronauts. The AstroRad shields astronauts from space-borne ionizing radiation in an efficient way, provides operational simplification, and allows for the use of recycled material on-board the vehicle. The concept behind the AstroRad evolved from a commercially available device, the 360 Gamma shield, made by StemRad Ltd., which is an effective wearable shield for first responders to radiation incidents on the Earth.

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR/LMM)/Light Microscopy Module/ACE-T12: The crew removed the processed ACE-TR (ellipsoid) module and installed a new ACE-T12 module. Advanced Colloids Experiment-Nanoparticle Haloing (ACE-T-12) involves design and assembly of complex three-dimensional (3D) structures from colloids, or particles of different sizes suspended in a fluid. It employs a recently discovered technique, Nanoparticle Haloing (NPH), which uses highly charged nanoparticles to stabilize much larger, non-charged particles. Allowing these structures to form in microgravity provides insight into the relationship between shape, surface charge, and concentration of particles and particle interactions.

GRIP: The crew set up the hardware and performed the activities associated with the ‘seated science 2’ (SCI-2) session. In this session, the crew is in an upright seated posture and performs the tasks: friction, discrete (with eyes open/closed) and collisions as guided by the GRIP software. The GRIP experiment studies the long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements: oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements and tapping gestures.

HRF Veg Questionnaire: The crewmembers completed the HRF Veg Questionnaires. Crew members take surveys to evaluate their moods and assess any psychological benefits from interacting with plants in the spaceflight environment. Pick-and-eat Salad-crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System is a hybrid experiment with plant research, as well as human organoleptic and behavioral research.

Plant Water Management (PWM): The crew set up the appropriate hardware and performed part 1 of the hydroponics series of experiment operations. This will attempt to demonstrate the first stable microgravity hydroponic watering method ever using a unique, open capillary watering channel and a simulated plant. The PWM investigation demonstrates passive measures for controlling fluid delivery and uptake in plant growth systems. Reduced gravity creates challenges in providing adequate fluid and nutrition for plant growth. This investigation examines using other physical properties such as surface tension, wetting and system geometry to replace the role of gravity.

Solid Combustion Experiment Module (SCEM): In a continuation of the activities to set up the SCEM/FLARE hardware, the crew manipulated several gas valves. Fundamental Research on International Standard of Fire Safety in Space – Base for Safety of Future Manned Missions (FLARE), a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) investigation, explores the flammability of materials in microgravity. Various solid fuels are burned under different conditions and observed inside a flow tunnel. Microgravity significantly affects combustion phenomena and results are expected to contribute to the improvement of fire safety in space.

Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA): The crew performed the steps necessary to remove the processed science ampoule and install a new one. The objective of the SUBSA investigation is to advance understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth. It offers a gradient freeze furnace for materials science investigations that can reach 850°C. Samples are contained in transparent quartz or ceramic ampoules with high definition video imaging available in real-time along with remote commanding of thermal control parameters. The SUBSA hardware has supported several different investigations over the years. SUBSA is currently supporting Indium Iodide crystal growth samples and Aluminum samples.


NanoRacks Airlock (NRAL) Final Vestibule Outfitting: The crew performed activities to configure the Node 3 Port vestibule for final NRAL vestibule outfitting. These activities included installing VBA covers, installing NRAL IP Camera covers, installing IMV ducts and NRAL kickplates, and re-installing the CPAs.

Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM) Gas Trap Manual Valves Reconfiguration: The crew set the Thermal Control Assembly Low Temperature Loop (TCA L) Gas Trap Manual Valves for Gas Trap operations. They also activated the heater for Gas Trap.

Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Fluid System Servicer (FSS) JPM Refill: The crew used the FSS to add ITCS coolant to the JPM Low Temperature Loop (LTL) Pump Package Assembly (PPA) accumulator. Once the refill was completed, they drained and stowed the FSS and associated jumpers.

Completed Task List Activities:

CMS CEVIS Time update
T2 Extender Strap Removal
WHC KTO Replace
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Columbus Smoke Detector ABIT synchronization
PRO CIR Activation Commanding
FSS Refill Support [ABORTED]
Plant Water Management Hydroponics Operations
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, February 12 (GMT 043)

3DMM Node 3 Sample Collection, Antimicrobial Coatings Touch, Food Acceptability, Food Physiology, GRIP, HRF Veg questionnaire, JCAP remove, LIDAL Relocate, Plant Water Management Hydroponics Operations, SCEM/FLARE, SUBSA Sample Exchange

N3 Endcone Stowage Replace
OBT Cygnus Rendezvous Review
EVA Battery install
Saturday, February 13 (GMT 044)

Crew is off duty today.
Sunday, February 14 (GMT 045)

Crew is off duty today.
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Solid Combustion (SCEM) Valve operations Part 1
Astrobee On
GRIP science performance in seated position
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules OBT
Nanoracks Airlock (NRAL) Vestibule Outfitting
Crew starts transfer of files of the session to Perspectives Zbook
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Cable Routing [DEFERRED]
Temporary relocate stowage at JPM1D1.
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Fluid System Servicer (FSS) JPM Refill
Crew retrieves data from Perspectives Zbook and plugs Hard Drive to SSC
Extravehicular activity systems operation data file update
A/L Adapter Plate (JCAP) and NanoRacks Kaber Plate (STEP) Gather
Node 2 Low Temperature Loop (LTL) Gas Trap Plug Replacement
Plant Water Management Hydroponics Operations
Rodent Research Locker Relocate
Lab Low Temperature Loop (LTL) Gas Trap Plug Replacement
NanoRacks Airlock Stowage
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Radiation Environment Monitor 2 (REM2) reseat
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Sample Exchange
ASTRORAD Vest Survey 1
Visual and functional inspections of the CSA-CP Probes on ISS.
ACE-T12 Module Configuration
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Fluid System Servicer (FSS) Fluid Control and Pump Assembly (FCPA) Drain
EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Closeout [DEFERRED]
Nanoracks Platform-1 Relocate
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Power Checkout [DEFERRED]
Transfer of Samples(s) from Glacier to Glacier
Restow NRAL Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)

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