Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 February, 2021

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 7, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 February, 2021
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 February, 2021.

Two spacewalkers and their assistants are winding down today following two spacewalks in less than a week.
There was also a harvest today aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 64 crew learns about space agriculture.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover completed their second spacewalk together on Monday wrapping up a years-long effort to upgrade the station’s power system. They relaxed Tuesday morning before spending the afternoon on a spacewalk conference and space botany.

The duo joined astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA and called down to spacewalk engineers after lunchtime today. The quartet briefed the specialists on any concerns or issues they had during the Jan. 27 and Feb. 1 spacewalks.

Hopkins spent the rest of the afternoon harvesting plants growing inside the Columbus laboratory module’s Veggie facility. Afterward, he joined his astronaut crewmates including Flight Engineer Shannon Walker and snacked on the freshly picked pak choi, wasabi mustard, kale, and red romaine for a taste test.

In the station’s Russian segment, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov worked on computers, life science hardware and Zarya module maintenance. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov worked on orbital plumbing tasks and radiation checks then work on a pair of Earth observation experiments.

On-Orbit Status Report


Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L (CBEF-L): The crew connected video, power and data cables to the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Control Equipment (CE). CBEF-L is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new subrack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

Veg-03: The crew harvested plants from the VEG-03J plants and stowed them for science return and then used the harvested VEG-03I plants for taste sampling and consumption. Photos of harvested plants were downlinked to the Science teams. Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. But future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food, so understanding how plants respond to microgravity is an important step toward that goal. Veg-03 uses the Veggie plant growth facility to cultivate Extra Dwarf Pak Choi, Amara Mustard and Red Romaine Lettuce using Seed Film which are harvested on-orbit with samples returned to Earth for testing.

Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): The crew re-oriented the Airborne Particulate Monitor in at the NOD3A3 location so that the inlet pointing Zenith is now pointing Nadir. Air quality in crewed spacecraft is important for keeping astronauts healthy and comfortable. Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate matter, currently no measurement capability verifies whether these requirements are met. The Airborne Particulate Monitor (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.

Astrobee: The crew performed repair tasks of the Astrobee Docking Station Assembly which included swapping out a suspected memory card. 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.


Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Activities: The crew completed multiple post-EVA activities after yesterday’s successful ISS upgrades II EVA. Their activities included a post-EVA debrief conference with the EVA ground teams, an Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) swap and EMU battery charge. The crew also performed water recharges on EMUs 3006 and 3009; the recharges ensure there is a full supply of fresh cooling water to each EMU suit. Additionally, the crew performed a Full Water Tank dump and fill to purge gas buildup in the EMU Water Tanks.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Atmospheric Control and Supply Nitrogen Repress
PRO CIR Activation Commanding
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Maneuver
Mobile Transporter (MT) Translation
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Troubleshooting
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, February 3 (GMT 034)

CBEF ELT2 laptop setup (JAXA)
HRF VEG questionnaire (NASA)
ISS Experience ZCAM setup on MWA for download T/S (NASA)
ACME H/W replace and CIR hardware return (NASA)
Astrobee OBT review (NASA)
3DMM COL sample collect (NASA)
EML Gas Vlv (Joint)

ETVCG teardown
EVA loop scrub
EVA HUT gather
Crew-1 emergency departure refresher OBT
Thursday, February 4 (GMT 035)

SCEM (FLARE) Igniter R&R and Insert2 install (JAXA)
JAXA Mission Data Recorder Laptop config (JAXA)
CBEF-G Sample-tray insert (JAXA)
MVP desiccant replace (JAXA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
NanoRacks Platform-2 &3 relocate (NASA)
Capillary Structures SRB 4Cell ops (NASA)
HRF VEG POMS questionnaire (NASA)
AstroRad Don (NASA)
ISS Experience Stow (NASA)
Astrobee Crew conf and Perching Arm install (NASA)

EVA Airlock reconfig
Crew-1 Deorbit entry and landing contingency refresher OBT
Friday, February 5 (GMT 036)

AC Touch (NASA)
HRF VEG POMS Questionnaire (NASA)
AstroRad doff and survey (NASA)
HRF Urine setup

Today’s Planned Activities:

All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

EDV Fill from Toilet connection Setup
JEM Cell Biology Experiment Facility Alternative Reconfigulation A Part 5
Teardown the EDV Fill transfer configuration
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Extra Vehiculare Activity (EVA) Post-EVA Glove Photos
EVA Glove Photo Downlink
Airborne Particulate Monitor Node 3 Relocation
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Initiation
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Debrief for US EVA
Node 3 NRAL Vestibule Outfit
ASTROBEE Dock Repair
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Full Water Tank Dump and Fill
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap
Combustion Integrated Rack Hardware Gather
VEG-03 Harvest
VEG-03 Clean and Dry

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.