Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 October, 2021 – Exercising Wearing Virtual Reality Goggles

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 15, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 October, 2021 – Exercising Wearing Virtual Reality Goggles
Astronaut Megan McArthur poses with an AstroBee robotic free-flyer.

Exercising wearing virtual reality goggles, replacing spacesuit components, and getting ready for this weekend’s crew departure were the main objectives for the Expedition 65 crew today.
The residents aboard the International Space Station also juggled ongoing research and maintenance tasks amidst Russian filmmaking activities.

Daily exercise in microgravity is vital to maintain bone and muscle health in the weightless environment of the orbiting lab. Scientists are studying whether virtual reality may add an extra dimension of pleasure and satisfaction for a crew member during an exercise session in space. Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) put on a virtual reality headset and strapped himself on to an exercise bike Wednesday morning for the Immersive Exercise study. The virtual reality sequence, including audio, is synchronized with the pedaling speed to increase the immersive sensation.

Pesquet then spent the afternoon with NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough working on a U.S. spacesuit. The duo swapped components to resize the spacesuit and checked out the suit’s communications gear.

Kimbrough earlier swapped out fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack before cleaning up the seven-windowed cupola. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur spent her day deploying camcorders inside the Harmony module where the SpaceX Crew Dragon is docked.

In the Unity module, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei set up networking hardware and software then moved on to cargo work inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter. Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) cleaned smoke alarms in the Kibo laboratory module then worked on botany and life science activities.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy is preparing for his return to Earth this weekend inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Joining him for this morning’s Soyuz descent training session were Russian spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko. Novitskiy will lead the duo aboard the Soyuz to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov spent Wednesday morning studying future spacecraft piloting and robotic techniques. First time space-flyer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos photographed Shkaplerov during the session. The duo, including Novitskiy, then spent the afternoon on filmmaking activities with their two Russian space station guests.

On-Orbit Status Report


Bio-Monitor: A crewmember disconnected the Bio-Monitor Data Unit from the Garment and doffed and hung the Headband and Garment out to dry. The crewmember then donned a spare Garment and Headband and connected the Data Unit to the spare Garment. Bio-Monitor is a Canadian onboard instrument that serves as a platform for scientific experiments on the ISS. The instrument performs on-orbit monitoring of crew member physiological parameters, with wearable sensors that only minimally interfere with crew member daily activities.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): A crewmember replace the CIR Manifold #2 Bottle with a new bottle containing 40% O2 and 60% N2. The Manifold #4 Bottle was also replaced with a new bottle containing 30% C3H8 and 70% N2. These bottle changes are in preparation of continued Cool Flame experiment runs. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel, and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

Immersive Exercise: A crewmember performed the setup for the Immersive Exercise related hardware, ran the session, completed the questionnaire, and stowed items. The Immersive Exercise project focuses on the development of a virtual reality (VR) environment for biking sessions aboard the ISS. The VR equipment is interfaced with the current bicycle exerciser aboard the ISS, Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS), located in the United States “Destiny” Laboratory Module.

ISS HAM: A crewmember initiated and ISS HAM contact with Ecole Louis Armand AND Institut Universitaire de Technologie, Ca rquefou AND Collège Les Sables D‟Or, Thouare Sur Loire, France. 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.

Vascular Aging: A crewmember closed out the Vascular Aging 13-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring session and downloaded the data from the Mobil-O-Graph Unit. 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 crew members are analyzed.


Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Hard Upper Torso (HUT) On-Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) R&R and HUT Degas: Today, the crew performed a HUT swap on EMU S/N 3004. The R&R was performed to downsize the HUT from an extra-large (XL) to a medium (M) in preparation for the Expedition 66 crew. After installation, the crew degassed the newly installed HUT and performed comm checkouts.

JSL 20-Port Switch Installation: Today, the crew set up two, 20-port Network Switches (S/N 1003, 1004) at NOD1D3 for the ground (PLUTO) to load the required configuration software on both switches. S/N 1003 will be loaded with a NOD3 configuration and S/N 1004 will be loaded with a Base configuration. After loading is complete, both switch units were stowed for later use.

XF705 Camcorder Deploy: Today, the crew deployed the new XF705 camcorders in Node 3, Node 1, the Lab, Node 2, and the Columbus Module. These camcorders can record 4k/UHD Video and can have enough storage for approximately an hour of recording.

JPM Cabin Smoke Detector Cleaning: Today, the crew cleaned the JPM Cabin Smoke Detector b (JPM Cabin SD b) by using the IVA Connector Cleaner Tool Kit and associated IVA N2 Cartridge (N2 Bottle) to supply bursts of N2 to remove particles. The smoke detectors sample the atmosphere within racks and in the open cabin for particles that might correspond to smoke from a fire. The SDs use a light sensing sampling chamber or probe and rely on forced airflow to propagate any smoke particles that may be present in the atmosphere.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Attitude Control System (ACS) Software Thruster Disable
Attitude Control System (ACS) Software Thruster Enable
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Walkoff Maneuver
Crew Dragon System Checkout
SSRMS Direct Drive Test
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, October 14 (GMT 287)

Behavioral Core Measures ROBOT test (NASA)
Bio-Monitor data transfer and stow (CSA)
CIR manifold 4 bottle exchange (NASA)
GLACIER desiccant swap
IPU2 Camcorder connect (JAXA)
POLAR desiccant swap
Standard Measures Saliva, body and fecal collect and presleep question (NASA)
TOILET PT tank install

Clear Temperature and Humidity Control Keep Out Zone
Spaceflight Participant Cupola Escort and Familiarization
Cargo Ops
PAO Events
Setup XF305 Camcorder for real-time downlink
JEM Stowage Consolidation
Friday, October 15 (GMT 288)

Behavioral Core Measures test (NASA)
Bio-Monitor stow (CSA)
Immersive Exercise VR system charge
JAXA Video Take 10 (JAXA)
LSG glove port R&R (NASA)
NanoRacks CubeSat-21 Deployer removal (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect and Cognition test (NASA)
STPH5 – ICE Photo (NASA)
TOILET outfit and daily use (NASA)
Vascular Aging Scan (CSA)

Spaceflight Participant Cupola Escort and Familiarization
Airlock Closeout Panel A/L1D0 Installation
Cargo Ops
EVA Battery File Transfer
Saturday, October 16 (GMT 289)


64S Undock
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Wireless VR Headset and items retrieval for Immersive Exercise
Set up and run Immersive Exercise session
XF705 Camcorder Deploy Hardware Gather
XF705 Camcorder Battery Charger Deploy
XF705 Camcorder Deploy in Node 3
JPM Cabin Smoke Detector b Cleaning
XF705 Camcorder Deploy in Node 1
XF705 Camcorder Deploy in LAB
20-port Network Switch setup for config installations
XF705 Camcorder Deploy in Node 2
SD b Cleaning Closeout
XF705 Camcorder Deploy in Columbus
Vascular Aging 13-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Conclude
Polar Multiple Desiccant Swap
Combustion Integrated Rack Bottle Gather
Microgravity Measurement Apparatus (MMA) Parallel Adapter fix on PLT3
XF705 Camcorder Deploy of Floater Camcorders [Deferred]
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Open
Combustion Integrated Rack Valve Timer Set
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #2 Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Close
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Bag Culture shooting and close out
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Bag Culture Sample Iceberg Insert
Cupola Cleanup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
XF705 Camcorder Deploy Stow [Deferred]
Food Acceptability Survey
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Hard Upper Torso (HUT) On-Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) Remove and Replace (R&R)
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Bio-Monitor Wearables Change Out
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Hard Upper Torso (HUT) Degas
COL Hardware Trash
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Dragon/ISS Undock Crew Conference
Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow

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