Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September, 2021 – Moving a Soyuz to the New Science Module

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 22, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September, 2021 – Moving a Soyuz to the New Science Module
The city lights where Europe meets Asia. (Sept. 15, 2021)

Four Expedition 65 astronauts are swapping shifts today for a biology study exploring how long-term microgravity affects skin and the healing process.
The other three crewmates are gearing up for next week’s relocation of their Soyuz crew ship to the International Space Station’s newest science module.

Rodents launched to the station aboard the most recent SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission are being observed today inside the Kibo laboratory module. Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) kicked off the Rodent Research-1 Demonstration on Tuesday morning studying the mice inside Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough continued the rodent research work in the afternoon. The space biology study seeks to identify genes and observe cell functions that are impacted by weightlessness and affect skin processes. The rodents will be returned to Earth late next week on the Cargo Dragon vehicle for further examination.

The pace of traffic at the orbiting lab picks up next week as three crewmates prepare to move their Soyuz crew ship to a new port. Two days later, a U.S. resupply ship will be next when it departs the station to return to Earth loaded with cargo and science experiments.

Three station crew members will enter their Soyuz MS-18 crew ship next Tuesday and take a short ride to another port. The trio, led by cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy flanked by NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov, will first back away from the space-facing Poisk module at 8:21 a.m. EDT. They will do a half-circle around the station and dock less than 45 minutes later to Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

Next Thursday, the SpaceX Cargo Dragon will undock from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter at 9:05 a.m. It will splashdown off the coast of Florida about 14 hours later where SpaceX and NASA personnel will retrieve the vehicle and begin unpacking its precious cargo.

On-Orbit Status Report


Dreams: A crewmember doffed the headband upon wakeup and filled out a questionnaire. The unit was then recharged and redonned prior to sleep later in the day. Sleep plays a major role in human health and well-being. Insufficient sleep or sleep disorders can increase the risk of developing medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, and can impair task performance. The Sleep Monitoring in Space with Dry-EEG Headband (Dreams) is a technology demonstration investigation that utilizes the Dry-EEG Headband: an effective, affordable, and comfortable solution to monitor astronaut sleep quality during long-duration spaceflight aboard ISS.

Microbial Tracking-3: A crewmember collected ISS surface samples while photographing each location and placed the samples into cold stowage. The Quantifying Selection for Pathogenicity and Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria and Fungi on the ISS – a Microbial Tracking Study (Microbial Tracking-3 or MT-3) investigation continues a series focused on ongoing monitoring of pathogenicity (ability to cause disease) and antibiotic resistance in potentially disease-causing bacteria and fungi present on the International Space Station (ISS). The investigation aims to identify, analyze, and characterize pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance, and genomics to augment the NASA GeneLab with the statistical confidence to characterize microbes associated with closed habitation and predict those that may pose a threat to crew health.

Rodent Research-Demonstration 1 (RR-D1): Crewmembers performed Rodent Research Experiment 2 operations and completed the setup for Experiment 3 operations. Rodent Research-Demonstration 1 (RR-D1) validates equipment and procedures for surgical techniques related to the wound healing process. Normal skin function and wound healing are important for maintaining good health, but spaceflight may impair healing of wounds in astronauts. Results from this investigation are intended to support design of a subsequent study on the effects of spaceflight on wound healing.


In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace (R&R): The crew R&R’d the Pre-Treat Tank as part of nominal WHC preventative maintenance. Each tank contains five liters of pre-treat solution; a mix of acid, chromium oxide, and water, used for toilet flushing and required for nominal WHC operation.

Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA) Tether Repair: The crew repaired and secured the QD clip tethers on the PBA cylinder assembly. PBAs are stowed in specified locations throughout the U.S. and international modules and provide breathable O2, eye/nose/mouth protection, and two-way communications to a crewmember during a fire, rapid depressurization, or toxic spill event.

Acoustic Monitoring: Crew-worn acoustic monitors were set up and distributed to two crewmembers onboard the ISS and used to take sound measurements experienced by the crew. The acoustic monitoring sessions gather data to characterize any changes to the acoustic environment throughout the station.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) powerup
Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Materials on ISS Experiment (MISSE) Sample Carrier (MSC) Demate and Relocate
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Activation
Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) EFU Adapter Transfer to JEMAL
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, September 22 (GMT 265)

Astrobee Off (NASA)
CIR Manifold-4 Bottle Replace (NASA)
Dreams Headband DOFF, data xfer and stow (ESA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Industrial Crystallization Facility (ALT) stow (NASA)
ISS Experience Z-CAM final stow (NASA)
Microbial Tracking 3 Sample Collect (NASA)
MSL Low Grade Furnaces Sample Cartridge Removal (ESA)
RR-D1 Experiment setup and Hab Restock and Access Unit Clean (NASA)

Environmental Health System (EHS) Acoustic Monitor Setup
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Microbial Capture Device (MCD) and Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
Dragon cargo ops
Crew Dragon Tablet Sync
Thursday, September 23 (GMT 266)

BIOMOLE ops part 3 (NASA)
EarthKAM 85mm Lens Change (NASA)
Eklosion Message and Photo (ESA)
ESA EPO- Touch Surface (ESA)
Lumina Data Transfer (ESA)
Microbial Tracking 3 Sample Collect (NASA)
RR-D1 3A Biopsy (NASA)
STaARS BS12 Sample Removal and MELI insert (NASA)
Standard Measures Presleep Questionnaire (NASA)

Soyuz (64S) redocking training
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Dragon cargo ops
Friday, September 24 (GMT 267)

BIOMOLE MinION hardware stow (NASA)
EarthKAM Node 2 Shutdown and stow (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
HRF1 PC1 Troubleshoot (NASA)
Microbial Tracking 3 Sample collect with video (NASA)
Mochii Hardware removal (NASA)
PILOTE VR Troubleshoot (ESA)
RR-D1 3B Biopsy (NASA)
Standard Measures Postsleep Questionnaire (NASA)
Thermal Amine Sampling (NASA)

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU) Disassembly
Dragon cargo ops
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Medical equipment closeout
Microbial Tracking-3 Environmental Sample Collection
Repair PBA Tethers
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
EarthKAM Troubleshooting
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Desiccant Wheel (DESWHL) Remove and Replace (R&R)
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Shell Replace (RPLC)
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Locker Replace (RPLC)
Rodent Research Experiment 2
Remove Toilet Pretreat Tank
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery (BATT) Removal
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Init
In-Flight Maintenance Thermal Amine Scrubber Power-up
Photo TV Battery Charge Deactivation
Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation Light Test
Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap
LSG Secondary Crew Restraint Fold
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Fold
Dragon Polar 6 Rattling Noise Troubleshooting
Dreams Dry-EEG Headband Setup

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