Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 July, 2021 – Time Perception Research

By Marc Boucher
Press Release
July 14, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 July, 2021 – Time Perception Research
NASA astronaut Megan McArthur prepares frozen research samples.

Nanoparticles, time perception and peppers topped the science schedule aboard the International Space Station on Monday.
Life support maintenance and cargo operations rounded out the day for the Expedition 65 crew aboard the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur began her day swapping oxygen and fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack that supports safe research into fuels, flames and soot in microgravity. She also set up a camera pointing outside a window inside the Harmony module to support the EarthKAM student-controlled experiment.

McArthur also joined astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Thomas Pesquet and took turns running operations for the InSPACE-4 study throughout the day. The physics experiment investigates ways to harness nanoparticles to fabricate new and advanced materials.

Pesquet also partnered with Commander Akihiko Hoshide wearing virtual reality goggles and clicking a trackball for the TIME experiment. The study observes how living in space affects an astronaut’s cognitive performance and perception of time.

Space botany has been a years-long pursuit on the station as NASA and its international partners learn to support astronauts on long-term spaceflights. Today, NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough configured the Advanced Plant Habitat and filled it with water to support growing peppers in space for the first time.

Vande Hei focused on lab maintenance tasks today starting with servicing a carbon removal device in station’s U.S. segment. The two-time station resident also worked on the Unity module’s common berthing mechanism then organized U.S. tools located inside Russia’s Zarya module.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy photographed the condition of the Pirs docking compartment today ahead of its undocking and disposal later this month. First-time cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov concentrated on cargo transfers and inventory updates inside the ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.

On-Orbit Status Report


Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) – Fluids and Combustion Facility: The crew removed the O2 Bottle from the CIR Manifold #2 rack and replaced it with a high percentage oxygen bottle containing 85% O2 and 15% N2. The crew also replaced the fuel bottle in the CIR Manifold #4 rack with a bottle containing 100% C2H6 (Ethane). The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

EarthKAM (Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools): The crew performed the setup and activation of EarthKAM hardware components in Node 2 for the start of the Summer Mission-75 session. EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from an on-orbit crew’s perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges, and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The EarthKAM team then posts these photographs on the Internet for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world.

Time Perception in Microgravity: The crew set up the appropriate hardware and participated in a Time Perception science session. The accurate perception of objects in the environment is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks. Time perception in microgravity is also fundamental to motion perception, sound localization, speech, and fine motor coordination. The Time Perception in Microgravity experiment quantifies the subjective changes in time perception in humans during and after long-duration exposure to microgravity.

Freezer-Refrigerator Of STirling cycle (FROST): The crew installed ice pack cases into the FROST1 facility. The FROST facility is an active freezer/refrigerator used aboard the ISS. FROST offers cold stowage capability inside of the JEM. It is commonly used to support the Low Temperature Protein Crystal Growth (LTPCG) experiment.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Ellipsoids (InSPACE-4): The crew distributed particles within the sample vial and initiated four experiment runs using the new alternate method for particle distribution. InSPACE-4 studies the assembly of tiny structures from colloids using magnetic fields. These structures change the properties of the assembled material, such as its mechanical response to or interaction with light and heat. Microgravity allows observation of these assembly processes free of confining sample walls and sedimentation and during timescales not possible using simulated microgravity. Results could provide insight into how to harness nanoparticles to fabricate and manufacture new materials.

Plant Habitat-04: The crew installed a science carrier into the facility to initiate an experiment run. The crew also injected water into the distribution reservoir as part of post-priming operations. Microgravity Growth of New Mexico Hatch Green Chile as a Technical Display of Advanced Plant Habitat’s Capabilities (Plant Habitat-04) demonstrates using the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) by growing peppers in space for the first time. An excellent source of Vitamin C, peppers are more difficult to cultivate than many possible space crops because they take longer to germinate, grow, and develop fruit. The investigation includes microbial analysis to improve understanding of plant-microbe interactions in space and assessment of flavor and texture, which vary based on the growth environment and care such as amount of watering.

Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory (SABL): The crew removed the CO2 Incubator Controller from SABL-1. The SABL supports a wide variety of investigations in the life, physical, and material sciences with a focus on supporting research of biological systems and processes. It has over 23 liters of temperature-controlled volume with LED lighting to support scientific hardware and investigations. It can be fitted to provide 5% CO2 (or any required concentration of CO2) for cell cultures, or other types of investigations, and has two USB 2.0 ports and two Ethernet LAN connections. It also has switchable 28 VDC and 5 VDC power supplies for investigation use.

Life Sciences Glovebox (LSG): The crew performed a setup of the LSG camera to allow ground teams to perform a checkout of the system in preparation for future Rodent Research operations. The LSG is a sealed work area that accommodates life science and technology investigations in a “workbench” type environment. Due to its larger size design, two crewmembers can work in the LSG simultaneously.


Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA) Measurements: The crew took acoustic and airflow measurements in order to verify CASA’s capability for crew habitability. The crew gathered clothing articles and placed them near the CASA outlet vent to determine if they could inadvertently cause blockage. Next, the crew used an acoustic monitor in COL and CASA to verify alarm audibility. CASA is a crew accommodation located in COL that can host a 5th United States On-orbit Segment (USOS) when needed during periods of increased crew capacity. When not used as a crew accommodation, CASA is used for storage.

LAB Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Maintenance Preparations: The crew reviewed procedures and gathered equipment in preparation for the Removal and Replacement (R&R) of the rear desiccant/absorbent bed in the LAB CDRA CO2 scrubber that will take place this week. Over time, the adsorbent material inside the CDRA beds breaks down creating dust which eventually reduces the airflow to the point where CDRA is no longer operable. The maintenance activities this week will remove the degraded bed from the LAB CDRA and replace it with a new spare. The removed bed will be disassembled and cleaned at a later date. CDRA maintains cabin carbon dioxide partial pressure levels within specified limits, while minimizing air and water losses to space.

Emergency Mask Review On-Board Training (OBT): The Endeavour crew completed an Emergency mask OBT in order to practice emergency mask don/purge techniques in the event of an ISS contingency.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Glove Photos: The crew took a large quantity of photos of EMU gloves and downlinked them in support of the development of a machine learning algorithm which may be used to perform post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) glove reviews in the future. More photo sessions will be scheduled to increase the data set available for the development of the Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Completed Task List Activities:

SpX-22 CD Transfer
Node 1 Barcodes Sheet Update
WHC KTO Replace
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

IDA-Z MLI Survey
LAB CDRA Deactivation and Node 3 CDRA Activation
CASA Acoustic Measurement Support
EPS System Configurations for High Solar Beta (On-going)
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, July 13 (GMT 194)

JAXA Video Take-4 (JAXA)
InSPACE-4 Runs 19-21 (NASA)
Cell Science-04 Tardigrade Inject (NASA)
CAL Sidekick C/O and S7 R&R Preparation (NASA)

CDRA Components & Chassis Remove
PMM End-cone Cleanup
Wednesday, July 14 (GMT 195)

Crew Off-Duty

Crew Off-Duty
Thursday, July 15 (GMT 196)

EKAM Node 2 85 Lens Change (NASA)
HRFVEG Question (NASA)
InSPACE-4 Runs 22-24 (NASA)
Astrobee Perching Arm Remove (NASA)
Standard Measures Pre-sleep Question (NASA)

CDRA Components Replace
AAA Fan Checkout
Crew Dragon Suit Checkouts
Crew Dragon Relocation OBT
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

InSPACE-4 Experiment Run Ops
JEM Stowage Cargo Relocation
AMS Laptop Power Cycle
CASA Acoustic Test
EXPRESS Rack 5 Laptop Computer Power Cycle
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) LAB CDRA Procedure Review
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
FROST Ice Pack Case Installation to FROST
Time experiment science
Mission Data Recorder Laptop Configuration Portable 4TB HDD R&R
Plant Habitat-04 Science Carrier Installation
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
Plug-In Plan (PiP) AC Inverter Secure
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Incubator Removal
HRF Rack 1 Supply Kit Resupply
LSG J406 USB 3.0 Feedthrough Install
LSG Glovebox Camera Setup
IFM LAB CDRA Equipment Gather
Gather CWC-Iodine
EarthKAM Node 2 Setup and Activation
EVA Glove Photos
LSG Glovebox Camera Teardown
Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Center Disk Cover (CDC) Repair
FGB USOS Hardware Cleanup
Plant Habitat-04 Water Refill
Integrated Emergency Mask Procedure Review

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