Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 June, 2021 – New Solar Arrays to be Installed Tomorrow

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 19, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 June, 2021 – New Solar Arrays to be Installed Tomorrow
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 June, 2021 - New Solar Arrays to be Installed Tomorrow.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to exit the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Wednesday for a spacewalk to install and deploy the first of six new solar arrays to help power the orbiting laboratory.
Live coverage of the spacewalk will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning June 16 at 6:30 a.m. EDT, with the crew members scheduled to set their spacesuits to battery power about 8 a.m., signifying the start of their spacewalk.

During the planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk, Kimbrough and Pesquet will work on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6) to upgrade the 2B power channel with the installation and deployment of an ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSAs).

Two of the new solar arrays arrived at the station in the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft as part of the company’s 22nd commercial resupply services mission to the station. On June 10, operators in the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center used the station’s robotic Canadarm2 to extract the solar arrays from Dragon’s trunk in preparation for the installation. On Sunday, June 20, Kimbrough and Pesquet will install the second array to upgrade the 4B power channel on the P6 truss.

The new solar arrays will augment the existing arrays, which are functioning well but have begun to show signs of expected degradation as they have operated beyond their designed 15-year service life. The first pair of solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years.

This will be the 239th spacewalk in support of space station assembly. Pesquet will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), with red stripes on his spacesuit, while Kimbrough will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), with an unmarked suit. Canadarm2 will be used to maneuver the arrays into place, commanded from inside the station by NASA astronaut Megan McArthur with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei serving as backup.

The spacewalks will be the seventh and eighth for Kimbrough, and the third and fourth for Pesquet. The pair arrived for a six-month science mission at the space station April 24 with NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour.

On-Orbit Status Report


Oral Biofilms in Space (OBIS): The crew hydrated the OBIS assembly session packs 6-10 with fluid flow from Fluid Bag 1 into the Fluid Chamber for 30 minutes. The mixture was allowed to sit for 4 hours and then the fluid flow was reinitiated. The session packs were then incubated for 20 hours. Fluid Bag 1 is a fluid medium containing chemicals designed to promote bacterial growth within the Fluid Chamber. Effect of Environmental Stressors on Oral Biofilm Growth and Treatment (Oral Biofilms in Space) studies the effect of gravity on the behavior of oral bacteria, including the structure of the bacterial community, and changes in bacterial response to common oral care agents. The findings could support development of novel treatments to fight oral diseases such as caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis. The investigation also could provide insights into how microgravity affects the microbiome of other mucosal surfaces in the body.


Mobile Base System (MBS) Payload/Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Accommodation (POA) Video Recovered – Over the weekend, teams developed a command-from-scratch to work around a software error in Mobile Servicing System (MSS) version 10.2 which prevented POA video from being routed to the ground. The new commands were tested, approved yesterday morning, and successfully executed on-board yesterday afternoon. POA video is now available for ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) Flight Support Equipment (FSE) POA removal and installation tasks in support of this week’s EVAs.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The crew performed several activities in preparation for tomorrow’s 2B IROSA install EVA. The crew setup the Equipment Lock (E-LK) and Robotic Workstation (RWS), installed batteries into the EVA Pistol Grip Tool (PGT) and performed an EVA tool audit. Lastly, they completed a procedure review and conference with ISS ground teams.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Ground support for RSA water transfer
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Vacuum Leak Check [ACTIVE]
Look Ahead Plan:

Wednesday, June 16 (GMT 167)

OBIS Bag2 initiate (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)

Thursday, June 17 (GMT 168)

OBIS Bag3 initiate (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
ManD print of AstroVest parts (NASA)
Lyo-2 Sample stow and install (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)
Standard Measures Presleep Question (NASA)
NRCSD-20 Deployer removal (NASA)

EVA tether inspection
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB)/Metal Oxide (METOX) Installation
EVA debrief
Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) charge
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace
Friday, June 18 (GMT 169)

JAXA Moderate Temp PCG Sample prep (JAXA)
AC Touch (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
NanoRacks Module-83 Photo (NASA)
Standard Measures Post Sleep Question (NASA)
PK-4 disk audit (Joint)

Robotics Procedure Review
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
EVA tool configuration
ROBoT training
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Pre EVA Examination
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Robotics Procedure Review
Equipment Lock (E-LK) Preparation
Extravehicular Activity Station Support Computer Relocate
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Extravehicular Activity Pistol Grip Tool Battery Installation
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Audit
Solid Combustion (SCEM) OS Troubleshoot
Oral Biofilms In Space (OBiS) Assembly Hydration
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Oral Biofilms In Space (OBiS) Fluid Chamber Power Down
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Artemis HEREA Power Down
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) iPad Contingency Procedures preparation
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Setup
RSA Water Transfer
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Oral Biofilms In Space (OBiS) Fluid Chamber Power On
Oral Biofilms In Space (OBiS) MERLIN OBiS Assemblies Insertion

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