Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 26 February, 2021 – Sunday Spacewalk Upcoming

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 5, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 26 February, 2021 – Sunday Spacewalk Upcoming
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 26 February, 2021 - Sunday Spacewalk Upcoming.

The Expedition 64 crew is in final preparations for Sunday’s spacewalk to ready the International Space Station for new solar arrays.
The orbital residents are also tending to plants and observing worms to continue learning how space affects biology.

NASA Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power on Sunday at around 6 a.m. EST signifying the start of the year’s third spacewalk. The duo will exit the station and spend about six-and-a-half hours upgrading power channels that will support new solar arrays to be delivered on upcoming SpaceX Dragon cargo missions. NASA TV begins its live spacewalk coverage at 4:30 a.m.

Rubins and Glover organized their spacewalk tools, checked their spacesuit tethers, and readied the U.S. Quest airlock today. On Saturday, they will finalize their preparations with assistance from Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi and hold a conference with spacewalk experts in Mission Control.

Friday’s research activities included watering plants and more worm observations. Noguchi refilled a water chamber then photographed the fast-growing, aroma-rich plants used for traditional medicine and food flavoring. NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker set up a microscope that Hopkins would use during the afternoon to observe worms for a gene expression and muscle strength study.

The crew’s two cosmonauts focused their activities in the Russian segment of the orbital lab today. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov worked on batteries and cameras. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov had a fitness test on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill then serviced a variety of Russian science gear.

On-Orbit Status Report


AstroRad Vest: A crewmember donned the AstroRad vest during Cargo transfer operations and completed a survey. The AstroRad vest is a personal protective equipment (PPE) device which functions as a radiation shield for astronauts. The AstroRad shields astronauts from space-borne ionizing radiation in an efficient way, provides operational simplification, and allows for the use of recycled material on-board the vehicle. The concept behind the AstroRad evolved from a commercially available device, the 360 Gamma shield, made by StemRad Ltd., which is an effective wearable shield for first responders to radiation incidents on the Earth.

EPM (European Physiology Modules): The crew removed and replaced the EPM Science Module Support Computer (SMSC). The EPM is designed to investigate the effects of short- and long-duration space flight on the human body. It includes equipment for neuroscientific, cardiovascular, and physiological studies.

Asian Herb in Space: The crew refilled water into the Plant Chamber and observed the Asian Herb plants for any change in status. Microgravity affects the growth of plants and understanding the nature of these changes is important for future missions that will rely on plants for food. Asian Herb in Space studies fast-growing plants used for traditional medicine and flavoring food, examining differences in their aroma that may result from microgravity-related cellular changes. This investigation benefits future plant growth efforts in space, and provides new information on the formation of aroma compounds in common herbs.

CBEF-L (Cell Biology Experiment Facility-L): The crew reconfigured the CBEF-ALT Ethernet cable. CBEF-L is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new subrack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original CBEF currently aboard the 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.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) Fluids and Combustion Facility: The crew prepared the CIR for the second part of the FOMA Calibration by opening the Manifold Bottle valves. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack): The crew removed the failed IPSU-G Image processor drive from the FIR facility. The FIR is a complementary fluid physics research facility designed to host investigations in areas such as colloids, gels, bubbles, wetting and capillary action, and phase changes, including boiling and condensation.

ICF (Industrial Crystals Facility): The crew installed the Single Crystal Growth Chamber (SCGC) into the ICF facility. 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.

JAXA EPO (Education Payload Operations): A crewmember recorded a video message for the TV news program “News23”. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Public Relations Activity (JAXA EPO) includes conducting cultural activities such as writing reports about and filming video of activities aboard the International Space Station (ISS). These tools can help inform the public about the importance of the ISS, JAXA’s Kibo module, and human spaceflight.

Micro-16: The crew performed Micro-16 sample loading and video imaging using the BioServe Microscope. Loss of muscle mass and strength present a major challenge for astronauts on future long space voyages. Determining Muscle Strength in Space-flown Caenorhabditis elegans (Micro-16) uses this tiny worm to test whether decreased expression of muscle proteins is associated with decreased strength. The research team developed a new device to measure muscle strength in multiple generations of space-reared C. elegans worms and compare that strength to postflight muscle gene expression analyses.

SAMS-II (Space Acceleration Measurement System-II): The SAMS sensors were relocated into the LAB module in support of Industrial Crystal Facility operations. Space Acceleration Measurement System-II (SAMS-II) is an ongoing study of the small forces (vibrations and accelerations) on the International Space Station (ISS) resulting from the operation of hardware, crew activities, dockings and maneuvering. Results generalize the types of vibrations affecting vibration-sensitive experiments and structural life of ISS. Investigators and Structural Analysts seek to better understand the vibration environment on the ISS using SAMS-II data and assessing station loads and dynamics.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The crew performed several activities in preparation for the ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) EVA. The crew performed a fitcheck of the EVA bags, tools and both Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) in the Quest Air Lock to simulate the EVA operations. The crew also printed out IROSA Prep EVA cuff pages for their EMU suits to use as a reference during the EVA. Finally, the crew completed configurations of EVA specific tooling. The IROSA Prep EVA (USOS EVA 71) is scheduled for Sunday, February 28th and egress is expected at 5:05 AM CST.

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 4 of 4)
JEMAL Depressurization and Vent
Look Ahead Plan

Saturday, February 27 (GMT 058)

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

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

No payload activities

Cygnus Cargo Ops
Monday, March 1 (GMT 060)

ICF USB remove (NASA)
RTPCG2 card print (NASA)
SABL-3 tray insert (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
RFID Marker Tag install (NASA)
EKAM Node2 setup and act (Joint)

EVA Debrief Conference
EVA and ROBO Procedure Review
EVA QD Training Review
OGS Water Sample
OGS H2 Sensor R&R
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Replacement
Terminate SM-AGAT-U55 (2) power bank charging and GoPro setup in ???
RFID Recon Marker Tag Installation
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF-ALT) Ethernet cable reconfiguration 2
JAXA Video Taking Part 5
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Asian Herb Watering
Space Acceleration Measurement System Sensor Relocate
Solid Combustion Experiment Module (SCEM) Power Cable Connection
Fluids Integrated Rack Lamp Replacement 2
PBRE/MSG Water Release Inspection/Cleanup
IMS audit and photography of FGB flexible container FGB kits
Eddy Current Meter Stow
????1, ????2 dust filter replacement and MRM1 Gas-Liquid Heat Exchanger (???) cleaning (???1???_4_424_1 bag 435-20 (00071061R). Reflect deltas in the IMS)
Combustion Integrated Rack FOMA Calibration Valve Open
Scalar DG-3X Battery Charging
TangoLab s/n 01 Card Troubleshooting
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Micro-16 Sample Run
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Gather items from NG-15 for EPM SMSMC R&R activities.
Terminate charging of Scalar DG-3X battery
EPM Science Module Support Computer (SMSC) Replacement
Air Lock Fit Check
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
Iceberg Desiccant Swap
TV conference with the guests of Space Literary Lounge Word and Space
AstroRad Vest Session and Survey
IDENTIFIKATSIYA. Copy ???-? micro-accelerometer data to laptop
ISS HAM Service Module Pass Kenwood
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cuff Checklist Print
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Miograph Set operation test
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Icebrick Stow
Food Acceptability Survey
Industrial Crystallization Facility (ICF) Single Crystal Growth Chamber (SCGC) Install
Vacuum cleaning ??1 and ??2 air ducts in MRM2
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Station Support Computer (SSC) Relocate
Terminate SM-GLS-U02 (2) power bank charging for GoPro
Microscope Reposition
NMS Laptop UltraBay Hard Drive Reseat
??-??? hatch closure in SM

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