Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 October, 2021 – Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy Set to Leave

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 15, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 October, 2021 – Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy  Set to Leave
Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy conducts plasma crystal research. (June 18, 2021)

A veteran cosmonaut will soon lead two Russian spaceflight participants on a ride through Earth’s atmosphere to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan this weekend.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew stayed focused on a multitude of science, cargo, and maintenance activities throughout Thursday.

Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy will complete his third station mission when he undocks from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory on Saturday at 9:14 p.m. EDT inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. He, with the station’s two filmmaking guests Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko riding alongside him, will touchdown on the Kazakh steppe on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Novitskiy has been packing the Soyuz spacecraft for several days with station hardware, science samples and personal items. He has also been practicing Soyuz descent techniques and training for the departure maneuvers on a Russian computer. The three-time station resident, with assistance from cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, has also been testing a specialized suit, the lower body negative pressure suit, that may help his body adjust quickly to Earth’s gravity after 191 days in space.

The station’s three NASA flight engineers had their hands full today with a host of research and lab upkeep activities in the orbiting lab’s U.S. segment. Megan McArthur swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then performed simulated robotic tasks for a cognition test. Shane Kimbrough had some light plumbing duties during the morning before continuing cargo work inside the Cygnus space freighter. Mark Vande Hei, who is staying on the station for nearly a year, filmed a video about safety in space for students on Earth then worked on life support and networking gear.

The two international astronauts, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide, spent some time in their respective modules, Europe’s Columbus laboratory and Japan’s Kibo laboratory, ensuring smooth lab operations. Pesquet, of ESA (European Space Agency), serviced a variety of science freezers inside Columbus. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reorganized stowage space inside Kibo making room for new science gear soon to be delivered on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission.

Over in the station’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov worked on an exercise study and dismantled a radiation detector. Dubrov downloaded and checked radiation data then configured radiation sensors, or dosimeters.

On-Orbit Status Report


Behavioral Core Measures: A crewmember completed a ROBoT-r research session. The Standardized Behavioral Measures for Detecting Behavioral Health Risks during Exploration Missions (Behavioral Core Measures) experiment initially examined a suite of measurements to reliably assess the risk of adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions and psychiatric disorders during long-duration spaceflight, and evaluated the feasibility of those tests within the operational and time constraints of spaceflight for two crewmembers. Subsequent subjects perform a subset of the original activities to measure the performance capabilities of deconditioned crew members to complete either individual or crew telerobotic operations within the first 24 hours after landing. This information could help characterize what tasks a crewmember who has spent months in weightlessness can reasonably be expected to perform after landing on the surface of Mars.

Bio-Monitor: A crewmember disconnected the Bio-Monitor Data Unit from the Garment and connected the Data Unit to the Controller to transfer the data for downlink. 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 replaced the CIR Manifold #4 Bottle with a new bottle containing 30% C4H10 and 70% N2. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

Exploration ECLSS-TOILET: A crewmember installed the Pretreat Tank and Pretreat Hose onto the newly deployed Toilet system in Node 3. 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.

Touching Surfaces: A crewmember touched each Touch Array and reported results via the EveryWear application. Previous space research conducted during short-term flight experiments and long-term environmental monitoring on board orbiting space stations (such as MIR or the International Space Station) suggests that the relationship between humans and microbes is altered in the crewed habitat in space. This interdisciplinary project Touching Surfaces aims to investigate novel, laser-structured antimicrobial surfaces onboard the ISS. The realistic testing of the tailor-made nanostructured antimicrobial surface in space allows for the determination of the most suitable design for antimicrobial surfaces for terrestrial applications such as public transportation and clinical settings, as well as future human space mission and habitation design.


Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Stowage Consolidation: Today, the crew performed stowage consolidation ops in the JEM in order to prepare for the arrival of SpaceX-24 and the accompanying cargo.

Temperature and Humidity (THC) Keep-Out-Zone (KOZ) Clear: After the Safety Video Survey on August 6th, ground teams noticed that there were obstructions in the THC KOZ. Today, the crew worked to clear these obstructions out.

Escort and Familiarize Russian Spaceflight Participants (SFPs) with Cupola: Today, FE-6 worked with the Russian SFPs to familiarize them with the Cupola before filming. SFP-1 Klim Shipenko (director) and SFP-2 Yulia Peresild (actress) are filming scenes on-board the ISS for a movie called The Challenge. The filming will primarily take place on the Russian segment, but a small portion will be filmed on the USOS segment, in the Cupola.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) LAB Low Temperature Loop (LTL) Setpoint Change
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) Temperature Setpoint Change
Node 1 fan speed test part 3
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, October 15 (GMT 288)

Behavioral Core Measures test (NASA)
Immersive Exercise VR system charge
JAXA Video Take 10 (JAXA)
LSG port cycle
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)

Off Duty

64S Undock
Sunday, October 17 (GMT 290)

Probiotics (JAXA)

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
XF705 Camcorder Deploy of Floater Camcorders
Touching Event for the Touching Surfaces experiment
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Camcorder Video Cable Connection to IPU2 for Checkout Part 2
ESA Weekly crew conference
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation
XF705 Camcorder Deploy Stow
Temperature and Humidity Control Keep-Out-Zone Clear
Cargo Ops KTO Serial Number Report
JEM Stowage Consolidation
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Termination
Rebooting the AstroPi IR
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Combustion Integrated Rack Bottle Gather
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Open
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #4 Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Upper Rack Doors Close
FE-4, SFP1 and SFP2 familiarization with VYZOV experiment ops in Cupola
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Behavioral Core Measures ROBoT-r Testing
Environmental Health System (EHS) Personal CO2 Monitor Charging
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Russian SFP Cupola Escort
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Tool Stow
Program Management/ISS Crew Conference
MLM Crew Conference
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD)
XF705 Camcorder Cable Routing
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Downlink Message
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Bio-Monitor Wearables Data Transfer And Removal
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Glacier Desiccant Swap
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Polar Desiccant Swap
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Toilet Pre-Treat Tank Installation
Iceberg Desiccant Swap
Portable CO2 Monitor Power On and Deploy
Remove W3034 from AV-3 Rack in preparation for repair of cable.
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow

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