Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 February, 2021 – Space Manufacturing Techniques

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 27, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 February, 2021 – Space Manufacturing Techniques
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi trains on the robotics work station.

Two NASA astronauts are getting their tools and spacesuits ready for Sunday’s spacewalk to ready the International Space Station for new solar arrays.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Expedition 64 crew focused on a variety of space research on Thursday.

NASA Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover are finalizing their preparations for a planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk set to begin Sunday at 6 a.m. EST. NASA TV will begin its live spacewalk beginning at 4:30 a.m.

Rubins and Glover configured spacewalk tools and checked U.S. spacesuits today before calling down to experts in Mission Control to report on their readiness. The duo today also continued reviewing the spacewalk procedures they will use to upgrade power channels that will soon support new solar arrays. Those solar arrays will be shipped on upcoming Space Dragon cargo missions for installation this year.

Science is always ongoing aboard the space station, not just with crew inputs but also remotely from scientists on the ground. Results and insights help improve industry, business and medicine on Earth and in space.

Worms are being observed on the station after their arrival on Monday inside the Cygnus resupply ship from Northrop Grumman. Astronauts Shannon Walker and Michael Hopkins examined the tiny worms with a microscope to explore how microgravity affects gene expression and muscle strength.

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi worked on advanced space science hardware to explore different space manufacturing techniques. He first installed the new Industrial Crystallization Facility that will demonstrate commercial crystal production available only in space. Next, he checked samples inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace that investigates the thermophysical properties of commercial materials exposed to extreme temperatures.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov split their day working on batteries, cameras and laptop computers.

On-Orbit Status Report


CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) Fluids and Combustion Facility: The crew set the CIR FOMA Calibration Valve to the close position as part of preparation steps for performing the first part of the FOMA Calibration. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

Electro-static Levitation Furnace (ELF): The crew removed and replaced the Fixation Fastener No. 6 for ELF and installed a sample cartridge. ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved.

ICF (Industrial Crystals Facility): The crew installed the ICF Facility and mated the power, data and Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) connections and then took photos. The ICF is a small chamber that allows crystals to grow over time into large crystals appropriate for use in science labs on Earth. When grown in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station, the crystals are of much higher quality than those currently grown on Earth.

Tohoku 2021: The crew recorded a message to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku Great East Japan Earthquake and recovery efforts. Tohoku Reconstruction Space Mission 2021 (TOHOKU2021) sends a message from Japan via the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” to the entire world, thanking people for their assistance with reconstruction following the East Japan Great Earthquake and Tsunami and passing on memories and lessons learned to the next generation. Ten years have passed since the disaster, which affected more than 40 cities.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphic (DOUG) Review: The crew performed a visual review of the ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) Prep EVA using the Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphic (DOUG) software. This session allows the crew to view the step-by-step sequence of a specific EVA. Entire translation paths can be highlighted and displayed for review by crew members prior to performing an EVA.

EVA Preparations: The crew performed several activities in preparation for the IROSA Prep EVA. The crew continued to configure tools for the upcoming EVA and resized Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) 3009. Additionally, the crew reviewed EVA procedures and participated in an EVA procedure conference with ground teams. The IROSA Prep EVA is scheduled for Sunday, February 28th.

Inflight Maintenance Hatch Seal Inspection: The crew completed a cleaning and inspection of the Node 1 aft, port, starboard, and forward hatch seals, hatch plate sealing surfaces, and crank handle mechanisms for FOD or damage. The seal conditions were nominal.

Completed Task List Activities:

IROSA Prep EVA Procedure Review
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

X2R19 Software Transition Commanding (Day 3 of 4)
COL Smoke Detector ABIT Synchronization
EVA Procedure Conference
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, February 26 (GMT 057)

PBRE Water inspect (NASA)
CBEF Ethernet cable reconnect (JAXA)
ICF SCGC Module install and SAMS sensor relocate to COL (NASA)
CIR FOMA Calibration prep part 2 (NASA)
FIR- IPSUG Drive removal (NASA)
Micro-16 Experiment setup and load and imaging (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Asian Herb Watering (JAXA)
JAXA video Take 5 (JAXA)
FLARE (SCEM) Power cable connect (JAXA)
AC Touch (NASA)

Cygnus Cargo Ops
EVA Tool Config
EVA Cuff Checklist Print
EVA A/L Fitcheck
Offload EDV Changeout
RT Drain/Fill via UTS
Saturday, February 27 (GMT 058)

PBRE Water inspect (NASA)
M16 USB drive removal (NASA)
CIR vlv Timer set (NASA)
ISS HAM powerdowns (NASA)

Dragon Hatch Clean
Cygnus Cargo Ops
EVA Procedure Review and Conference
EVA Equipment Lock Prep
EVA Tool Config and Audit
Sunday, February 28 (GMT 059)

No payload activities

Cygnus Cargo Ops
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software Review
Micro-16 MELFI Media Retrieve
Photo TV Battery Charge Initiation
PBRE/MSG Water Release Inspection/Cleanup
MELFI 1 Ice Brick Insert 2
??? ?2 Absorption Cartridge Regeneration (termination)
Routine monthly maintenance of the Central Post laptop. Downlink Log-files via OCA
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
ACDU-RC Power Reconfiguration and Power Up
Industrial Crystallization Facility (ICF) Installation
Pille dosimeter readings download
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
TOHOKU2021 Operations
Combustion Integrated Rack FOMA Calibration Valve Close
Draining water from several ??? into one
Food Acceptability Survey
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Micro-16 Initiation and Loading Operations
Scalar DG-3X Battery Charging
Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) Audit
Charging EVA Camera D4 Battery
Micro-16 Microscopy Initial Operations
Preventive Maintenance of FS1 Laptop
Removal of GoPro cameras, video downlink via ??? and Installation SM-GLS-U02 (2) and SM-AGAT-U55 (2) power bank for charging
Routine monthly maintenance of BRI and cleaning ??? fan screen
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Resize
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Fixation fastener R&R and sample Holder Change including Debris Bag R&R
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Eddy Current Meter Stow
Hatch Seal Inspection
Acoustic Monitor Stow
Micro-16 MELFI Culture Return Bag Insertion (DEFERRED)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Plant Water Management Video Downlink
Inspection of voltage converter ??28-120 (behind SM panel 231?)
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Terminate SM-GLS-U02 (2) power bank charging for GoPro
Microscope Reposition Post Ops

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