Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 February, 2021

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 24, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 February, 2021
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 February, 2021.

The Expedition 64 crew is making final preparations today for the arrival of a U.S. resupply ship while keeping up the momentum of space research.
The next two spacewalks also have been scheduled to continue hardware installations and upgrades at the International Space Station.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter is counting down to its launch from Virginia on Saturday at 12:36 p.m. EST to the orbiting lab. It will rendezvous with the station on Monday when Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) commands the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Cygnus at about 4:40 a.m. NASA Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins will monitor Cygnus’ approach and rendezvous as it reaches a point about 10 meters from the station.

The duo practiced a variety of robotics maneuvers on a computer today to capture Cygnus. The training simulates different approach scenarios for the U.S. space freighter as the astronauts familiarize themselves with the necessary robotic capture techniques.

Two more spacewalks are planned at the orbiting lab on Feb. 28 and March 5. On the first spacewalk, NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover will set up the station for upcoming solar array upgrades. For the second spacewalk, Rubins will be joined by Noguchi for maintenance on coolant and communication systems.

Today’s science work on the station encompassed physics, biology and human research. Flight Engineer Shannon Walker set up hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox to explore how liquids and gases behave together in space for the Packed Bed Reactor Experiment. Rubins continued swabbing station surfaces to collect microbe samples for DNA sequencing and analysis. Glover joined Noguchi wearing virtual reality helmets for a study researching how time perception and cognition is affected in weightlessness.

In the station’s Russian segment, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov serviced an array of life support systems and electronics gear. Cargo transfers from the ISS Progress 77 cargo craft are also ongoing.

On-Orbit Status Report


3DMM: The crew continued the sample collections, this time in the Node 3 area. Surfaces in the space station contain microbes and associated biomolecules excreted by these microorganisms. Three-dimensional Microbial Mapping of ISS Environment (3DMM) uses DNA sequencing and other analyses to construct a 3D map of bacteria and bacterial products throughout the station. The team also plans to characterize how these microbes respond at a molecular level to specific stress conditions, including altered gravity and atmospheric composition.

Antimicrobial Coatings (Boeing Environment Responding Antimicrobial Coatings or AC): The crew touched each coupon on AC placard and 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.

PBRE-WR: The crew performed the setup for the PBRE-WR experiment hardware in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox). The setup was successful, and initial difficulties with telemetry were resolved. PBRE-WR (Packed Bed Reactor Experiment-Water Recovery) 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.

The ISS Experience: The crew set up the ISS Experience hardware and recorded details regarding the ISS Experience external camera installed on the JEM airlock slide table. The International Space Station Experience (The ISS Experience) is a cinematic virtual reality (VR) series documenting life and research aboard the space station. Filmed over multiple months, the immersive VR series documents different crew activities – from science conducted aboard the station to preparation for a spacewalk. The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

Plant Water Management: The crew performed the activities necessary to stow the PWM experiment hardware. The ground team was very happy with the science performed. The Plant Water Management investigation demonstrates passive measures for controlling fluid delivery and uptake in plant growth systems. Reduced gravity creates challenges in providing adequate fluid and nutrition for plant growth. This investigation examines using other physical properties such as surface tension, wetting and system geometry to replace the role of gravity.

Time Perception: The crew set up the appropriate hardware and participated in a Time Perception science session. The accurate perception of objects in the environment is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks. Time perception in microgravity is also fundamental to motion perception, sound localization, speech, and fine motor coordination. The Time Perception in Microgravity experiment quantifies the subjective changes in time perception in humans during and after long-duration exposure to microgravity.


Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) ZBook Hard Drive Remove and Replace (R&R): The crew removed the failed SAMS-II Control Unit ZBook hard drive and replaced it with an operable hard drive from inventory. Once the R&R was complete, the crew loaded the SAMS software onto the hard drive from a USB. SAMS-II measures vibrations and transient acceleration disturbances resulting from ISS vehicle activities, ISS systems operations, experiment operations, crew movements, and ISS structure thermal expansion and contraction.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuration: The crew performed several tool inspections and configurations in preparation for the IROSA Prep EVA. The crew inspected unmounted and mounted RETs, equipment hooks, door/handle rivets, door eyelets, and IVA bungees. The crew also configured dual tether point hardware, strut bag/IPA mod kits, and EVA cable reel bags.

Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 2: FE-10 and FE-12 completed a ROBoT simulation in preparation for NG-15 berthing operations. In this session, the crew ran through multiple vehicle capture scenarios with the SSRMS to gain proficiency. NG-15 is scheduled for launch on Saturday, February 20, 2021 and berthing on Monday, February 22, 2021.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

NORS N2 Repressurization
ROBoT Simulation Setup and Support
Look Ahead Plan

Saturday, February 20 (GMT 051)

No utilization activities

Overlay Camera Calibration
Crew Off-duty
Sunday, February 21 (GMT 052)

ISS Experience stow

Crew Off-duty
Monday, February 22 (GMT 053)

Antimicrobial Coatings Touch, MELFI 1 Ice Brick Insert 1, Mochii Power Vacuum Check

NG-15 Berthing Operations
SAFER Training
Dual Canon Li-Ion Battery Charger Swap
WHC Pre-Treat Tank R&R
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Standard Measures Post-sleep Questionnaire
Three Dimensional Microbial Monitoring (3DMM) Node 3 Sample Collection
PCS Laptop Relocate
Time experiment science
Atmosphere Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Resupply System (NORS) Valve (VLV) Configuration (Config)
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
DOSIS Main Box LED Check
PBRE Adapter Plate Inspection and Cleaning
Plant Water Management Hardware Stow
Station Support Computer (SSC) Hardware Search
JAXA Kibo Utilization Symposium Video Conference Communication Check
SM ПСС (Caution & Warning Panel) Onboard System Reconfig
Progress 445 (DC1) priority and US cargo transfers and IMS Ops
Vozdukh Deactivation
ISS Experience JEM Setup
3DMM MELFI Sample Insertion
Replacement of BITS2-12 ТА968МА and TA985M devices
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Stow
SAMS CU HD Swap Load
Packed Bed Reactor Experiment Historical Documentation Photos
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Nitrogen Manual Valve Open
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update
Food Acceptability Survey
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension and Retraction
KABER Installation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
EVA Battery Charger Gather
Maintenance of hatch sealing mechanisms of DC1 Passive Docking Assembly [АСП] and Progress 445 Active Docking Assembly [ACA]
ISS Experience EVA Z-Cam Installation to the JEM Airlock Slide Table
Photography of Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring Unit [БКДО] position on MRM2 through SM window No.13
Photo of a scuff mark left by Progress/Soyuz Active Docking Mechanism Probes and DC1 Passive Docking Mechanism (АСП) receiving cone after Progress 445 Docking
Downlink Photos of Docking Cone Internal Surface via OCA
Tightening MRM1-FGB screw clamps
Start Charging Scalar DG-3X Battery
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 2
Acoustic Monitor Setup
RS C&W recovery reconfig
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill
Activation of VOZDUKH Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem [СОА]
FOTOBIOREACTOR. Visual inspection with photography
ISS HAM Service Module Pass Kenwood
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Lithium Rechargeable (EVA) Battery Assembly (LREBA) Operations (OPS) Terminate (TERM)
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Partial Stow
Airborne Particulate Monitor Status Check
Terminate recharge of Scalar DG-3X battery

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