Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 May, 2021 – Water Processing Assembly Repaired

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 24, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 May, 2021 – Water Processing Assembly Repaired
ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet works inside the Tranquility module. (May 17, 2021)

The station’s Water Processing Assembly (WPA), located in the Tranquility module, was reactivated today and is operating at full functionality after crew members successfully completed repair work throughout the week.
The WPA was powered off last week due to a suspected leak.

This hardware is used to recycle water from multiple sources into clean, drinkable water for crew members aboard the International Space Station. The space station serves a vital role in testing and maturing life support technologies that will be required for future missions to the Moon and Mars. Repairs provide invaluable data to engineers refining these systems for use in future spacecraft and missions.

The Expedition 65 crew wrapped up its workweek continuing to research the immune system and preparing for next month’s spacewalk. There was also a bit of magic on the orbital lab today to illustrate the challenges of living in space.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Megan McArthur were back on the Celestial Immunity study during Friday afternoon. The duo took turns working in the Life Sciences Glovebox where the experiment takes place. The experiment may help scientists understand how weightlessness affects donor cell samples compared to cell cultures harvested on Earth. Observations may lead to new insights possibly improving vaccines and disease treatments on the ground.

McArthur started her day inside BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, stowing cargo and servicing sensors. She was assisted throughout Friday morning inside the five-year-old module by fellow flight engineers Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency).

Kimbrough spent the first part of the afternoon packing trash for disposal aboard the U.S. Cygnus space freighter. He wrapped up his day in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module swapping samples for a physics study exploring ways to improve the production of semiconductor crystals.

Pesquet spent most of his morning in the Columbus laboratory module videotaping himself performing magic tracks for the Illusion educational study. The experiment sponsored by ESA illustrates how visual perception and the central nervous system are impacted in microgravity.

The next spacewalk at the orbital lab is planned for June 2. The two Roscosmos flight engineers, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, will work outside in the vacuum of space for external maintenance and science experiment installations for about six-and-a-half hours. The duo spent most of Friday getting their spacewalking tools and Orlan spacesuits ready for their first career excursions.

On-Orbit Status Report

CBEF-L (Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L): The crew replaced the CBEF 1G Vent Fan Cable with new one. 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.

Celestial Immunity: The crew retrieved Vented Bags containing a 24-Well Plate, pulled samples from the 24-Well Plate, and repacked hardware for return. Dissecting the Influence of Gravity on Human Immune Function in Adults and the Elderly (Celestial Immunity) builds on earlier studies to evaluate how gravity affects functional immune response, from innate mechanisms of defense to adaptive responses. It uses peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from both elderly and younger adult donors to facilitate the study of possible age-associated effects. The investigation could uncover novel immune pathways useful for the development of new vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat existing and emerging human diseases.

DOSIS-3D: The crew repositioned the DOSIS Main Box to its original location. International Space Station crewmembers are continually exposed to varying levels of radiation which can be harmful to their health. Dose Distribution Inside the International Space Station – 3D (DOSIS-3D) uses several active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses inside the ISS. The goal is a three-dimensional radiation map covering all sections of the ISS.

SUBSA (Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules): A crewmember removed SUBSA Ampoule from the SUBSA Thermal Chamber and install a new SUBSA Science Ampoule. The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) facility objective is to advance understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth. SUBSA offers a gradient freeze furnace for materials science investigations that can reach 850°C. Samples are contained in transparent quartz or ceramic ampoules with high definition video imaging available in real time, along with remote commanding of thermal control parameters.

Vascular Aging: A crewmember complete the Blood Pressure monitor session by doffing the Vascular Echo Mobil-O-Graph Cuff and uploading the recorded 13-hour Blood Pressure data to the EPM Laptop, then stow Mobil-O-Graph Kit. Emerging data point towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crew members, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Space Environment Causes Acceleration of Vascular Aging: Roles of Hypogravity, Nutrition, and Radiation (Vascular Aging) investigation, ultrasounds of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crew members are analyzed.

Illusion: A crewmember recorded an Illusion Experiment script and message to introduce the project. The Illusion activity aims to perform close-up magic tricks (illusions) specific for the microgravity environment aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The mechanism of the illusion is explained on video, and used to introduce the solids mechanics and central nervous system (CNS) challenges in microgravity, as well as for a neuroscience research program conducted by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) of France.

MSL SCA-Batch3a-ESA: The crew removed the used MSL LGF Sample Cartridge, installed the next Sample Cartridge and prepared the facility for a sample run. The Materials Science Lab Batch 3a (MSL SCA-Batch 3a-ESA) serves two projects investigating how different phases organize in a structure when metallic alloys are solidified. The Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive and Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions (MICAST) experiment aims to deepen the understanding of the physical principles that govern solidification processes in metal alloys. The Columnar-to-Equiaxed Transition in Solidification Processing (CETSOL) experiment aims to deepen the understanding of the physical principles that govern solidification processes in metal alloys.


JEM Inter Module Ventilation (IMV) Cleaning: Today, Crew cleaned the JEM Pressurized Module (JPM) IMV Starboard Forward Fan and IMV Grille. The JPM IMV Starboard Forward Fan and IMV Grille must be temporarily removed for this cleaning. The IMV flow rates must be great enough to ensure that the IMV fan is operating outside of the stall region which reduces airflow and increases fan acoustic noise, and excessive dust buildup can cause this phenomenon. The effectivity of today’s cleaning will be checked during the next set of IMV flow measurements.

Crew Dragon Tablet Sync, Test, and Stow: Today, Crew charged and synced their SpaceX provided iPads and ensured that the iPads were able to connect to both the onboard CrewNet and the newly installed CloudNet. This sync also updated emergency deorbit data as well as other data from SpaceX using CrewNet. This also began the charging period of this group of iPads before they subsequently stowed.

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Ingress: Today, Crew ingressed into the BEAM module and restowed hardware to backfill items removed on GMT 137. In order to ingress into BEAM, the ARED was folded up, and the BEAM Hatch was uninstalled to allow crew access. After the ingress, restow, and activities inside the BEAM were completed, the BEAM Hatch was reinstalled and the ARED was unfolded back into its nominal position.

BEAM Sensor Splitter Swap: Today while ingressed into the BEAM, Crew swapped the Sensor Splitter between Distributed Impact Detection System (DIDS) and the Wireless Temperature System (WTS) in order to troubleshoot the WTS.

Environmental Health System (EHS) – Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection: Today, Crew took samples of ISS air for microbes using the Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) with Petri Dishes inside of the BEAM. Crew then also took surface samples for microbial analysis.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Oxygen Generation Assembly Flush
External High Definition Camera (EHDC) Sensor Assessment
Columbus FSL high rate data downlink.
Look Ahead Plan:

Saturday, May 22 (GMT 142)

Celestial Immunity Plate Sample 2 (NASA)

Crew Off-Duty Day
Weekly Cleaning
Sunday, May 23 (GMT 143)

Repository Urine Setup (NASA)

Crew Off-Duty Day
Monday, May 24 (GMT 144)

CBEF-L Centrifuge removal and install (JAXA)
Repository Urine collect (NASA)
TOILET Assemble, connect and installation and outfitting and activation (NASA)
RTCPG-2 card print and Plate C1/A load (NASA)
AC touch and photo (NASA)
SUBSA sample exchange (NASA)
Celestial Immunity plate sample 3 (NASA)

Toilet Assembly
Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Nitrogen Transfer Initiation
RS and USOS EVA Tool Gather
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
BEAM Cleanup and Egress
BEAM Hardware Stow
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Ingress
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Node 3 Aft Stow
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Node 3 Aft Unstow
BEAM Sensor Splitter Swap
Bio-Monitor Hardware Stow
CBEF Vent Fan Cable Checkout
CBEF Vent Fan Cable R&R
Celestial Immunity MELFI Sample Insertion
Celestial Immunity Plate First Sampling
Celestial Immunity Plate Second Sampling
ARED Platform Partial Fold
ARED Platform Unfold Back to Nominal Position
DOSIS Main Box repositioning
Crew Dragon Tablet Stow and Sync
CrewNet Test with Dragon Tablet Sync
BEAM MAS/SSK Sample Stow
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Surface Sampler Kit (SSK) and Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Gather
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Collection/Incubation
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis [Aborted]
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record [Aborted]
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Wastewater Bag (WWB) Changeout [Aborted]
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
HRF Rack 2 Centrifuge Drawer Troubleshooting
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Stow
Illusion Recording #1, #2
Support Illusion recording
IMS conference (S-band)
JEM Inter Module Ventilation (IMV) Cleaning
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Unfold
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 2
Material Science Laboratory SQF Exchange
Payload Trash Gather
Polar Desiccant Swap
Probiotics Question
Probiotics Saliva Sample MELFI Insertion
Probiotics Saliva Operations
Reconfigure hoses so WHC can feed directly into UPA
Standard Measures Cognition Testing
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Historical Documentation Photos
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules Sample Exchange
Toilet Operations Big Picture Words Review
Urine Transfer System Backup EDV Swap
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Install
Vascular Aging 13-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Conclude
WHC Malfunctions Cue Card Pen & Ink Update
XF305 Camcorder Setup

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