Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 June, 2021 – Another Spacewalk Completed

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 28, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 June, 2021 – Another Spacewalk Completed
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 June, 2021.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet concluded their spacewalk at 2:37 p.m. EDT, after 6 hours and 45 minutes.
In the ninth spacewalk of the year outside the International Space Station, the two astronauts installed and deployed a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6).

Kimbrough and Pesquet successfully removed the array from its position in the flight support equipment, maneuvered it into position, connected the electrical cables, and released it to extend the solar array to its fully deployed position at the 4B power channel. After deployment, Pesquet also retrieved an articulating portable foot restraint (APFR) to bring inside the space station.

During two spacewalks June 16 and 20, Kimbrough and Pesquet installed and deployed a new array on 2B power channel also on the port 6 truss. Both new solar arrays are providing good power generation. Each new iROSA is expected to produce more than 20 kilowatts of electricity.

NASA is augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays to ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond as well as utilization and commercialization.

This was the ninth spacewalk for Kimbrough, the fifth for Pesquet, and the fifth they conducted together. Kimbrough has now spent a total of 59 hours and 28 minutes spacewalking, and Pesquet’s total spacewalking time is 33 hours exactly.

Space station crew members have conducted 241 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days, 7 hours, and 41 minutes working outside the station.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. In that time, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

On-Orbit Status Report

United States On-orbit Segment (USOS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) #76 – ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (IROSA) 4B Install: Today, EV1 (Thomas Pesquet) and EV2 (Shane Kimbrough) performed a 6-hour and 45-minute EVA and completed the following tasks with the support of Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) operations provided by M1 (Megan McArthur) and M2 (Mark Vande Hei) for the IROSA 4B Install EVA:

Release IROSA from the Flight Support Equipment (FSE)
Install IROSA on the Port 6 (P6) 4B Mast Canister
Connect IROSA Electrical Connectors
Deploy P6 4B IROSA
Retrieve Articulating Portable Foot Restraint (APFR) 3 and Return Intravehicle (IV)
Ground teams confirmed that the P6 4B IROSA is performing nominally and supplying power to the 4B power channel. A full characterization of the P6 4B IROSA capability will be performed in September during Equinox testing. At full capability, the P6 4B IROSA is expected to provide up to 20kW of power in addition to the ~8kW of power provided by the legacy P6 4B ISS Solar Array totaling ~28kW for the 4B power channel. The P6 4B IROSA is the second of six IROSA installations planned for station upgrades. The next set of IROSAs are will be delivered to the ISS on Cargo Dragon SpaceX-25 which is planned to launch in 2022.


Confocal Space Microscopy: The crew routed the thermal container cables for the Confocal Microscope and the ground performed a checkout of the connectivity. The Confocal Space Microscope is a JAXA facility that provides fluorescence images of biological samples aboard the ISS. Confocal Space Microscopy uses spatial filtering techniques to eliminate out-of-focus light or glare in specimens whose thickness exceeds the immediate plane of focus. With the Confocal Microscope, data can be obtained on the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue structure and functions in real-time.

Oral Biofilms in Space (OBiS): The crew hydrated the OBiS Assembly session Packs 17-20 with Fluid Bag 2 into the Fluid Chamber and restowed into the Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) for incubation. Fluid Bag 2 is a fluid medium containing chemicals designed to promote bacterial growth along with oral care bioactives within the Fluid Chamber. OBiS studies the effect of gravity on the behavior of oral bacteria, including the structure of the bacterial community, and changes in bacterial response to common oral care agents. The findings could support development of novel treatments to fight oral diseases such as caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis. The investigation also could provide insights into how microgravity affects the microbiome of other mucosal surfaces in the body.

Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4): The crew executed two Run 4 operations by catching clouds of particles inside the PK-4 chamber using the PK-4 Human Computer Interface (HCI) software on the European Physiology Module (EPM) laptop. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between ESA and Roscosmos performing research in the field of “Complex Plasmas”. Complex Plasmas are low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. The micro-particles become highly charged in the plasma and interact strongly with each other, which can lead to a self-organized structure of the micro-particles, so-called plasma crystals. Experiments in the facility aim to study transport properties, thermodynamics, kinetics and statistical physics, non-linear waves, and instabilities in Complex Plasmas.


Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) and Insert Filter (IF) Remove & Replace (R&R): The crew completed routine maintenance to R&R the UR/IF. Following the R&R, the crew cleaned the WHC power supply, reactivated WHC, and performed a leak check to close out the activity.

Cargo Dragon Operations: The crew performed cargo operations for Cargo Dragon SpaceX-22 (SpX-22). SpX-22 undock is scheduled for July 6th to return cargo and payloads to the ground.

Completed Task List Activities:

Photo/TV Node 1 Cable Swap
WHC [KTO] and Solid Waste Receptacle R&R
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

IROSA 4B EVA Ground Commanding & Support
Post-EVA ISS Configuration Commanding (In Work)
Look Ahead Plan

Saturday, June 26 (GMT 177)

APEX-07 Harvest (NASA)
OBiS Bag3 (17-20) Initiation (NASA)
PK-4 HD Pack and Closeout (Joint)
SlingShot Control Box Install (NASA)

EVA Debrief
EVA Recovery Activities
SpX-22 Cargo Operations
Cygnus Departure OBT
Sunday, June 27 (GMT 178)

Repository Urine and Blood setup (NASA)

Crew Off-Duty
Monday, June 28 (GMT 179)

Slingshot Bracket and Deployer Install (NASA)
Microbial Tracking -3 Sample Collect (NASA)
InSPACE-4 Historical Photo (NASA)
Industrial Crystallization Single Chamber Swap (NASA)
RTPCG-2 Plate Load 2C1
Behavioral Core Measures Test (NASA)
EML Argon Gas Valve Configuration and Open (joint)

EVA Recovery Activities
NG-15 Departure Preparations
SpX-22 Cargo Operations
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Confocal Space Microscopy Cable Reconfiguration, Cable Connect, and Cable Check
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
IROSA 4B Install EVA
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
HMS Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
MERLIN OBiS Assemblies Removal, Flow Reconfiguration, and Biofilms Session Pack Insertion
Network Attached Storage Hard Drive Reseat
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Post-EVA Activities (In Work)

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