Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 August, 2021 – Gearing up for Three Spacewalks

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 19, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 August, 2021 – Gearing up for Three Spacewalks
Spacewalker Thomas Pesquet of ESA. (June 25, 2021)

All seven Expedition 65 crew members are gearing up three spacewalks the first of which is set to start next week.
Two astronauts will go on the first spacewalk then two cosmonauts will conduct the second and third spacewalks. The other three crewmates will provide support to the spacewalkers.

The first spacewalk on Aug. 24 will see Commander Akihiko Hoshide and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei spend about six hours and 50 minutes setting up the Port-4 (P4) truss structure for future Roll-Out Solar Array installation work. They will install a modification kit on P4 that prepares the site for the third of six new solar arrays planned for the station.

Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet reviewed their spacewalk support roles today including controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm and helping the duo in and out of their U.S. spacesuits. Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough also spent several hours Wednesday morning assembling the solar array modification kit that Hoshide and Vande Hei will install next week.

On the other side of the station in the Russian segment, cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are preparing for two of their own spacewalks planned for early September. They are continuing to organize their spacewalk tools and equipment in the Poisk module’s airlock. The duo will exit Poisk for both excursions and ready the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module for science operations.

On-Orbit Status Report


Astrobee: The crew removed the Perching Arm from an Astrobee Freeflyer Honey in preparation of ReSWARM operations. Astrobee is made up of three free-flying, cube-shaped robots which are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

Cell Gravisensing: A crewmember performed a closeout of the Confocal Space Microscopy for Cell Gravisensing Experiment. The Elucidation of the Gravisensing Mechanism in Single Cells (Cell Gravisensing) investigation studies how cells sense gravity. While recent research has revealed that individual animal cells can detect gravity, the mechanism for this sensing is largely unknown. This investigation analyzes changes in tension in cell stress fibers during spaceflight as a possible mechanism.

Lumina (Fiber-optic Active Dosimeter): A crewmember installed the LUMINA device in front of the European Physiology Module (EPM) rack, and performed data transfer and parameter calibrations via the EveryWear App using the crew iPad. Lumina is an active fiber dosimeter that monitors, in real-time, the received radiation dose by exploiting the capacity of optical fibers to darken when exposed to radiation. The dosimeter provides reliable dose measurements in complex environments such as the ones associated with electrons, protons, gamma-ray or X-ray photons or neutrons.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparation: In preparation for the IROSA 4A preparation EVA currently scheduled for August 24th, the crew completed the EVA Procedure Reviews, IROSA Mod Kit 1 Unpack and Stow in EVA bag, EVA Procedure Conference, EVA SAFER VRT and EVA Tool Configuration.

Node 3 Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) 5 Power Cable W3727 Connector Troubleshooting: Today, the crew performed troubleshooting steps on the Node 3 UOP5, during which the DDCUs N31B and N34A were powered off. The troubleshooting was completed, and the N3 UOP5 checkout was successful. The N3 UOP5 was installed on GMT 127, but was no joy upon powerup. Voltage and resistance checks were done on GMT 188 and showed that there was no voltage at the connectors and infinite resistance which indicated that the cable was either damaged or not connected at the RPCM. UOPs aboard the ISS are used to provide power and data connectivity to portable equipment.

Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER): As part of the EVA Prep, the EVA crew performed their SAFER training by utilizing the VRT equipment. This lesson provides a review of the SAFER components and procedures, as well as hands-on experience in a virtual reality environment using SAFER to perform self-rescue operations.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Node 3 UOP Installation Powerdown
Crew Dragon weekly checkout
Caution and Warning (C&W) Hardware Panel Verification
Post Node 3 UOP Installation Repower
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, August 19 (GMT 231)

Anti-Atrophy Medium Exchange (JAXA)
Astrobee Prep (NASA)
Behavioral Core Measures (NASA)
Eklosion Install (ESA)
Lumina Data Transfer (ESA)
Manufacturing Device print removal (NASA)
MSL SCA Exchange B3 #4 (ESA)
Repository Urine and Blood Collect (NASA)
RESWARM setup and Checkout (NASA)
Ring Shear Drop Syringe Removal and install (NASA)

EVA Prep
Cygnus Cargo Ops
Acoustic Monitoring
CASA Keep Out Zone (KOZ) Label Installation
Friday, August 20 (GMT 232)

Cardinal Muscle Microscopy (NASA)
Cool Flames ACME bottle change (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Lumina Data Transfer (ESA)
Plant Habitat-04 Debris removal Procedure (NASA)
Repository Urine Collect (NASA)

EVA Prep
SpX-23 Dragon Rendezvous Prep
Saturday, August 21 (GMT 233)

Cardinal Muscle BioCell Fixation (NASA)
Repository Urine setup (NASA)
Astrobee off (NASA)

EVA Prep
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Power on the Adlink Mini PC
Astrobee Perching Arm Removal
Behavioral Core Measures ROBoT-r Test
Caution and Warning (C&W) Hardware Panel Verification
Cell Gravisensing Fixation Cartridge Bag MELFI Retrieval
Cell Gravisensing-1 Confocal Space Microscopy (Mycroscope) Closesout
ARED Powerup
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Icebrick Stow
Cupola Window Shutter Close
Double Cargo Transfer Bag Fit Check
ExPRESS Rack 6 CLS Software Finish
ExPRESS Rack 6 CLS Software Start
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Food Acceptability Survey
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Profile of Mood States (POMS) Questionnaire
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
IROSA Mod Kit 1 Unpack
LUMINA device installation, data transfer and parameters calibration
Power down NOD3 Plug-in Plan (PIP) hardware
Repower Plug-in Plan (PIP) hardware in NOD3.
Joint Station Local Area Network (LAN) (JSL) Network Information for JSL Administration (NINJA) Swap
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Activation QD Connection
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter (HOPA) Operations
OGS HOPA Operations Equipment Gather
Video recording of greetings
Ring-Sheared Drop MELFI Sample Retrieve
Sidekick Gather Charge
Sidekick Setup
Sidekick Stow
Treadmill 2 SSC Powerup
Node 3 Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) 5 Power Cable W3727 Connector Troubleshooting
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations

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