Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 March, 2021 – Emergency Drill

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 19, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 March, 2021 – Emergency Drill
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 15 March, 2021 - Emergency Drill.

After a weekend that included the 237th spacewalk in support of assembly and maintenance for the International Space Station, featuring spacewalkers and NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins, the Expedition 64 crew members got back to the business of science, switching out hardware and working around a comprehensive emergency drill on Monday.
Running through the emergency drill, the crewmates practiced their roles during various emergency scenarios, such as who would manage the procedures, gather equipment, and close hatches, all while maintaining constant communication with teams on the ground in Mission Control.

NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker performed post-spacewalk recharge maintenance to the Extravehicular Mobility Unit suits used in Saturday’s excursion, stowing them for later use.

Astronaut Kate Rubins worked to set up experiment hardware for Transparent Alloys, an ESA (European Space Agency) investigation focusing on microstructure evolution by comparing the effects of Earth’s gravity to microgravity, pinpointing the correlation in particle size, growth dynamics, and fluid flow.

Meanwhile, Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spent time removing and replacing hardware — the Artificial Vision Unit — in the station’s cupola, where the crew often spends time observing natural Earth phenomena from their unique vantage approximately 250 miles above.

The crew wrapped up their workday with the Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM), installing instrument hardware and taking photo documentation. Air quality in crewed spacecraft is important for astronaut health and comfort, and the APM measures the concentration of both small and large particles in the air. Captured data will eventually be used to create a detailed mapping of the air quality aboard the space station, shedding light on the sources of different air particles and how they behave in this one-of-a-kind laboratory off the planet.

On-Orbit Status Report

Antimicrobial Coatings (AC) Touch: Per standard procedure, the crew touched both the coated and uncoated coupons for this long-term investigation, and then took photos of the experiment. Boeing Environment Responding Antimicrobial Coatings tests an antimicrobial coating on several different materials that represent high-touch surfaces. Some microbes change characteristics in microgravity, which could create new risks to crew health and spacecraft systems as well as creating the possibility of contaminating other planetary bodies. The samples remain in space approximately six months then return to Earth for analysis.

Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): The crew removed the APM from Node 1 and relocated it to Lab. This hardware is routinely moved to different locations to allow monitoring of the particulate environment in those areas. Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate matter, currently no measurement capability verifies whether these requirements are met. APM demonstrates an instrument for measuring and quantifying the concentration of both small and large particles in spacecraft air. The data can be used to create a map of air quality in terms of particles and shed light on the sources of such particles.

Bio-Monitor: In support of the Bio-Monitor controller update activities, the crew set up the Bio Monitor hardware. Bio-Monitor is a Canadian on-board 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.

International Commercial Experiment Cubes (ICE Cubes) Facility: The crew removed and replaced a Solid State Drive (SSD) in the ICE cubes facility. The ICE Cubes Facility is a capable experiment platform that offers flexibility to host many different experiments for research, technology demonstration or educational objectives. During flight, users are able to have near real-time telemetry and telecommanding capabilities with the Experiment Cube from any location with an internet connection. The ICE Cubes service provides fast and direct access to the ISS for any country, any institute or any entity.

Myotones: In preparation for Myotones experiment operations later in the week, the crew charged the hand-held Myotones device using a USB charger. The Myotones investigation observes the biochemical properties of muscles during long-term exposure to the spaceflight environment. Results from this investigation are expected to provide insight into principles of human resting muscle tone, which could lead to the development of new strategies for alternative treatments for rehabilitation both on Earth and for future space missions.

Packed Bed Reactor Experiment-Water Recovery (PBRE-WR): Following the completion of the PBRE-WR series of experiment runs, the crew removed the experiment hardware from the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox (MSG) and stowed it. PBRE-WR examines flow rates of gas and liquid through a filtering substrate in the space station water processor, replacing oxygen with nitrogen. This investigation could help identify optimum conditions and enhance accuracy of models that predict simultaneous flow of gas and liquid (two-phase flow) in microgravity.

Ribosome Profiling: The crew performed the final preparation steps for the Ribosome Profiling experiment ops. This experiment arrived on Northrup Grumman-14 and will continue through the rest of this week. Since life on Earth emerged about 4 billion years ago, living species have evolutionally adjusted to Earth’s gravity. However, how cells utilize gravity for their gene expression has remained largely unknown. The Genome-wide Survey of Translational Control in Microgravity (Ribosome Profiling) investigation aims to provide insight into how gravity impacts gene expression, with a special focus on translation regulation utilizing a state-of-art technique called “ribosome profiling”.

Transparent Alloys: Following the removal of the PBRE-WR experiment hardware from MSG earlier in the day, the crew installed the Transparent Alloys hardware in the MSG. A set of five experiments take place in Transparent Alloys to improve the understanding of melting-solidification processes in plastics, which usually serves to gain experience on physical phenomena involved in metallic alloy processing.

Wanted poster – Mobil-o-graph: The crew printed a wanted poster to help with the location of the missing Mobil-o-graph hardware. Unfortunately, the item was unable to be found. Mobil-o-graph is hardware used to support the CSA Vascular Aging investigation which looks at linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation.


Emergency Simulation On-Board Training (OBT): Using a simulator, today all seven crewmembers participated in an OBT for emergency scenarios that included a rapid depressurization event in the FGB and a Node 1 rack fire. The training consisted of the following:

Practiced ISS emergency response with crew and ground roles based on information provided by simulator displays.
Physically translated through ISS to the appropriate response locations to visualize the use of station equipment and interfaces.
Practiced procedure execution and associated decision making based on cues provided by the simulator.
Practiced communication and coordination with Mission Control Center (MCC)-Houston and MCC-Moscow as required for a given emergency scenario.
Following the drill, the crew discussed results internally prior to a conference with ground teams to evaluate the event.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Cupola Artificial Vision Unit (AVU) Remove & Replace (R&R) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Swap: The crew performed an R&R of the Cupola AVU and swapped the dummy HDD from the new AVU with a new HDD module assembly. This activity is in support of converting the Cupola AVU to an Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Application Computer Unit (MACU) which will provide new capabilities to the MSS Robotics Workstation. A checkout will be performed once the correct MSS software is available on the ISS.

IFM Node 2 Area Smoke Detector (ASD)-1 Wire Harness Install: The crew installed the new Node 2 ASD-1 wire harness which bypasses the damaged connector on the original wire harness. Next, the ground performed a checkout of both ASDs in Node 2 and confirmed good functionality.

IFM Galley Rack Troubleshooting: The crew performed troubleshooting on the Galley Rack in Node 1 to determine if an Upper Attachment Mechanism (UAM) is lodged in the Knee Brace Assembly (KBA), preventing the rack from rotating. The crew visually inspected the UAM for interference and confirmed that the hardware no longer appears to be in conflict. Next, the crew rotated the rack down and removed the KBA. The crew then restored the rack to the upright configuration and verified the rack’s rigidity.

Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Activities: The crew performed several activities to prepare EVA equipment for long-term stowage. First, the crew recharged Extravehicular Mobility Unit feedwater tanks to satisfy maintenance requirements for on-orbit stowage using iodinated water from a Contingency Water Container – Iodinated (CWC-I). The crew also downlinked High Definition EMU Camera Assembly (HECA) video files from the ISS Upgrades 3.5 EVA. Finally, the crew deconfigured the Airlock and prepared EMUs and other EVA equipment for long-term stowage.

Completed Task List Activities:

CGBA-4 Fire Port Label
Crew Dragon Gas Detector Inspection
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

OBT ISS Emergency Simulation
JEMAL & JEMRMS Commanding
EMU H2O Recharge Support
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, March 16 (GMT 075)

CIR Bottle Replace
Grape Microbiota
ICE Cubes Facility
Ribosome Profiling

T2 Monthly Inspection
Soyuz Relocation OBT
RGN Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
Wednesday, March 17 (GMT 076)

AC Touch
CGBA4 Label
Ribosome Profiling
Standard Measures

EVA Tool Stow
EMU Loop Scrub & Iodinate
LIDAL Uninstall
Thursday, March 18 (GMT 077)

Asian Herbs in Space
Food Acceptability
HUNCH Tape dispenser
J-SSOD-16 Removal
LSR Maintenance
Ribosome Profiling
Standard Measures

Cygnus Cargo Ops
EMU Loop Scrub & Iodinate
EVA Tool Stow
THC IMV Flow Measure
LIDAL Relocate
63S Relocation Prep
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

??-8. Hardware Setup
Body Mass Measurement – BMMD
Packed Bed Reactor Experiment Hardware Stow
MRM1 comm config to support tagup
SEPARATSIA. Recovery of ???-?-?? Hardware
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
Ribosome Profiling Preparations
Regeneration of ??? ?2 Micropurification Cartridge (init)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Profile of Mood States (POMS) Questionnaire
??? Laptops (T61P) antivirus software refresh
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test (Aborted)
KORREKTSIYA. VOZVRAT (“Return”) Thermal Bag Fit Check in Soyuz 747 Specialist conference (Aborted)
Galley Rack Upper Attachment Mechanism Troubleshooting
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Wiping interior and internal surfaces of ISS RS with Fungistat (Aborted)
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 2 Area Smoke Detector (SD) Wire Harness Installation
Removal of ICE Cubes data SSD and replacement by Sytem SSD
MSG Hardware Inspect
Transparent Alloys Hardware Setup and Cartridge Installation
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Cupola Artificial Vision Unit (AVU) Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Swap
Wanted Poster for Mobil-O-Graph Kit
Comm reconfig for nominal ops
High Definition EMU Camera Assembly Terminate
MELFI 2 Sample Trash
Bio-Monitor Controller Setup
Myotones Device Charging using Multi-Port USB Charger
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
Emergency OBT Simulator Drill Comm Configuration
Training for Emergency Response On-board ISS
Emergency OBT Simulator Drill – Internal Crew Debrief
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from NG-15
CSA-CP Activation and Checkout (Part 2)
Cyclops ICE Experiment Photos
Station Support Computer (SSC) Relocate Post Extravehicular Activity (EVA)
Airborne Particulate Monitor LAB Install
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Air Lock Deconfiguration
On-board Training (OBT) ISS Emergency Drill Conference On-board Training (OBT) ISS Emergency Drill Conference
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Soyuz 747 Samsung Tablet Recharge, Initiate

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