Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 November 2020 – Microgravity Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 28, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 November 2020 – Microgravity Research
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 November 2020 - Microgravity Research

Five Expedition 64 astronauts had their day packed with microgravity research while the two cosmonauts had a light duty day aboard the International Space Station following last week’s spacewalk.
All seven crew members started the day measuring their body mass with an instrument that follows Newton’s second law of motion to account for the lack of gravity. Known as SLAMMD, or Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device, it applies a known force to an astronaut with the resulting acceleration used to calculate the person’s mass.

New station Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover continued studying how microgravity impacts dexterous manipulation today. Their inputs for the Grip study could help scientists and engineers develop safer, more advanced spacecraft systems and interfaces.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) removed a CubeSat deployer from the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock during Monday morning. During the afternoon, he configured life support hardware in the Harmony module.

NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker relaxed Monday morning before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring how to manufacture high quality, next generation fiber optic cables in space. Kate Rubins, on her second station mission, studied how water droplets behave in space to help engineers design improved spacecraft fuel and life support systems.

The two station cosmonauts worked on a pair of docked Russian Progress cargo ships, but otherwise relaxed Monday. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are winding down several days of cleaning their spacesuits and stowing their tools following Wednesday’s six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk.

On-Orbit Status Report


Drop Vibration: The crew set up the appropriate support hardware, dispensed the large water drops, and initiated the frequency scans and frequency tests. These tests occurred at several difference frequencies and on different substrates. Inertial Spreading with Vibration and Water Coalescence (Drop Vibration) examines the behavior of big liquid drops whose perimeter of contact, called the contact line, moves rapidly as the drops change shape either forced by vibration or freely by merger. These motions, fast and small on Earth, become slower and larger in microgravity and so can be more closely observed. Such observations improve the currently limited understanding of contact lines, important in applications such as self-cleaning surfaces, water harvesting devices, anti-frost coatings and the fabrication of semiconductors.

GRASP: In preparation for tomorrow’s science activities, the crew reviewed the On-board Training (OBT) package. The purpose of the Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance: Reaching and Grasping (GRASP) investigation is to better understand how the Central Nervous System (CNS) integrates information from different sensations (e.g. sight or hearing), encoded in different reference frames, in order to coordinate the hand with the visual environment. More specifically, the science team seeks to better understand if, and how, gravity acts as a reference frame for the control of reach-to-grasp.

Grip: Due to issues with the Grip sessions early last week, several recovery sessions were successfully performed today. The Grip experiment studies the long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements: oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements and tapping gestures.

ISS Experience Hardware Troubleshooting: Due to issues experienced with the ISS Experience data transfer last week, the crew replaced the data cable and performed subsequent troubleshooting and checkout for the SSC 25 (Station Support Computer 25). While WiFi connectivity could not be achieved, a manual off-load was successfully initiated. 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.

Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE): The crew performed the iodine analysis on the SERFE water sample collected on November 18th. Iodine is added to the water to control the growth of microorganisms, similar to the way chlorine is used in drinking water on Earth. This is part of the planned suite of tests to help characterize the SERFE system performance. SERFE demonstrates a new technology to remove heat from spacesuits and maintain appropriate temperatures for crew members and equipment during space walks. The technology uses evaporation of water for cooling. The SERFE system incorporates a Titanium and Hastelloy water loop that differs from previous space suit life support systems that use stainless steel. The investigation determines whether microgravity affects performance and evaluates the technology’s effect on contamination and corrosion of spacesuit material.

Space Fibers-2 installation: The crew gathered the appropriate hardware and installed the Space Fibers-2 system into Basic Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 10B. Following this, the ground will perform a series of checkouts on the system. Manufacturing Fiber Optic Cable in Microgravity (Space Fibers) evaluates a method for producing fiber optic cable from a blend of zirconium, barium, lanthanum, sodium and aluminum, called ZBLAN, in space. ZBLAN produces glass one hundred times more transparent than silica-based glass, exceptional for fiber optics. Microgravity suppresses mechanisms that commonly degrade fiber, and previous studies showed improved properties in fiber drawn in microgravity compared to that fabricated on the ground.


Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Tank Swap: The crew worked with MCC-H in order to terminate and uninstall an Oxygen NORS Recharge Tank and then install and initiate gas transfer on a Nitrogen NORS Recharge Tank. When installed, the NORS Recharge Tanks are used to fill the High Pressure Gas Tanks (HPGTs) that contain the station’s supply of needed gases for airlock operations, spacewalks, and atmospheric re-pressurizations. Empty NORS Recharge Tanks are stowed for return on a future vehicle cargo vehicle.

Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operations: The crew terminated the automated Charge-Discharge-Charge (C-D-C) maintenance cycle on a PGT Battery and two Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies (REBAs). The crew then initiated a new C-D-C maintenance cycle on four helmet light batteries and two REBAs in the BSA via the Battery Charger Assembly (BCA). The charging is typically terminated 3 days after this activity as C-D-C maintenance may take up to 65 hours to complete.

T2 Treadmill Maintenance: The crew coordinated with MCC-H to troubleshoot the T2 treadmill after it experienced a Space Station Power Control Module (SSPCM) trip late last week. The crew reconfigured the T2 Space Station Computer (SSC) power to the T2 rack, reinstalled the safety magnet, powered-on the T2 Rack, and then verified that the T2 Rack status was nominal. Upon successful completion of this task, MCC-H declared that T2 is GO for operations.

Completed Task List Activities:

Nanoracks A/L IMV Gather
OBT Cygnus Attached Phase Operations Review
PPFS Gas Hose Search
IFM Docking Mechanisms Accessories Kit Consolidate
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Incubator Removal
PMA2 Stowage Lining
ISS Crew Handover Self Study for New Crewmembers
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Oxygen Transfer Termination and Nitrogen Transfer Initiation
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Zero Calibration
Solar Array Rotary Joint (SARJ) Manager Application Cycle
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, 11/24 (GMT 329)

Drop Vibration
POLAR 3/8 desiccant swaps
Space Fibers-2
Standard Measures

Transfer Crew Dragon Cargo Operations
Crew Dragon Tablet Sync
JEMRMS WVE VLU Removing and Replacing
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
Node 3 Endcone Stowage Cleanout
EVA LREBA Operations Terminate & Initiate
Wednesday, 11/25 (GMT 330)

CBEF setup
Drop Vibration
Food Acceptability
JAXA microscope test sample removal
MTPCG prep
Space Fibers-2 stow

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation & Terminate
Emergency Health Maintenance System Contingency Drill Training
Nanoracks Airlock (NRAL) Jumper Mod Kit
NanoRacks Airlock (NRAL) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Fan Reversal
Siemen Switch-Deploy PLC
Node 3 Endcone Stowage Replace
Thursday, 11/26 (GMT 331)

Crew Off-Duty (Thanksgiving)

Crew Off-Duty (Thanksgiving)
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

GRASP experiment constraints reminder
Grip experiment constraints reminder
МО-8. Hardware Setup
Body Mass Measurement – BMMD
Drop Vibration MSG Setup and Frequency Scans
Grip setup in the SEATED configuration
Grip science performance in seated position
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
МО-8. Concluding ops
MELFI Overview OBT
NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer Removal from the MPEP
ISS Crew Orientation
LMM Sample Trash
Terminate discharge of the 2nd 825М3 Battery Pack # 1200601002 (00079435R) «ORLAN-MKS OPS» and initiate Pack 3 discharge # 1200601003 (00079434R)
MELFI Icebrick Remove
Leak check of 67P-to-SM [AO] hardware compartment interface.
Photograph sleep station in Dragon
Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP), Passive Capture Mechanism and MPEP Adapter Plate Removal from JEM AL Slide Table
Open [ПрК-СУ] transfer hatches
Handover of Increment 64 Crew
Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) Removal JEM Airlock Slide Table Support
Opening of Progress-[СУ] Transfer Hatch.
Installation of Quick Release Screw Clamps on SM Aft side
Progress 448 Deactivation, Air Duct Installation
Nikon camera sync with station time
GRASP Big Picture Words reading
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Drop Vibration Frequency Run and Subsequent Scan
Crew starts transfer of files of the session to Perspectives Zbook
POIC Overview OBT
Space Fibers-2 Crew Procedures and Big Picture Words Review
Crew retrieves data from Perspectives Zbook and plugs Hard Drive to SSC
Grip partial stowage
Space Fibers-2 Maintenance Work Area Preparation
Progress 444 Rodnik Water Tank БВ1 Bladder Compression (СО1)
СОЖ maintenance
Space Fibers-2 Hardware Session Gather
Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Oxygen Transfer Termination
Nanoracks Platform-1 Relocate
Extravehicular Actvity (EVA) EMU Data Recorder Removal
Space Fibers-2 Hardware Setup and Installation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
SERFE Water Sample Iodine Analysis
NORS N2 Tank Install part 1
Unstowing and installing the NORS N2 Tank to the AIK
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Termination

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