Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 February, 2021 – Spacewalk Completed

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 5, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 February, 2021 – Spacewalk Completed
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 February, 2021 - Spacewalk Completed

NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover concluded their spacewalk at 1:16 p.m. EST, after 7 hours and 4 minutes.
In the third spacewalk of the year outside the International Space Station, the two NASA astronauts began work to install modification kits required for upcoming solar array upgrades.

The duo worked near the farthest set of existing solar arrays on the station’s left (port) side, known as P6. Glover built a bracket structure and worked with Rubins to attach the bracket and support struts to the mast canister, the base, of one of the P6 solar arrays, known as 2B. One of the bolts did not fully engage on the first attempt, so Rubins used a power drill to back it out and reseat it, then used a ratchet wrench to tighten the bolt, reaching a safe configuration. The bolt likely will need to be secured further before installing one of the new solar arrays that will be delivered to the space station later this year aboard SpaceX’s 22nd commercial resupply services mission.

Rubins and Glover then moved to begin identical assembly work for the bracket for the second of the P6 solar array pair, known as 4B. They completed the construction of upper support hardware and secured it to the space station’s exterior structure until work can be completed on the next spacewalk on Friday, March 5.

To ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond as well as utilization and commercialization, NASA is augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays. The new solar arrays, a larger version of the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) technology, will be positioned in front of six of the current arrays, ultimately increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts. The current solar arrays are functioning well but have begun to show signs of degradation, as expected, as they were designed for a 15-year service life.

This was the third career spacewalk for both Rubins and Glover. Rubins has now spent a total of 19 hours and 50 minutes spacewalking. Glover now has spent a total of 19 hours and 20 minutes spacewalking.

Space station crew members have conducted 235 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 61 days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes working outside the station.

During the spacewalk March 5, Rubins and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi will venture outside the orbiting outpost to complete the installation of the 4B array modification kit and are expected to tackle additional work, including the venting of ammonia from the Early Ammonia System.

On-Orbit Status Report

USOS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) #71 – ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) Prep: Today, EV1 Kate Rubins and EV2 Victor Glover performed a 7 hour 4 minute EVA and completed the following tasks in support of the IROSA Prep EVA:

Build the 2B Upper Bracket
Install the 2B Center Pad to Mast Canister
Install the 2B Left Struts
Install 2B Right Struts, MLIs, and Clamps
Build the 4B Upper Bracket
The EV Crew was unable to fully tighten the bolts on the 2B structure during the EVA. Ground teams determined that the 2B structure did not require a tie down, but the site will need to be revisited during a following EVA to complete the bolt tightening. Due to the overrun of the 2B installation operations, the installation of the 4B Center Pad to Mast Canister and the 4B Right Lower Strut were not completed and will need to be completed during a following EVA.


Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Fluids and Combustion Facility: The crew set the CIR Valve Timers on the front of the Optics Bench. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

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.

Packed Bed Reactor Experiment (PBRE): The crew inspected the MSG Work Volume for any water release from the PBRE Vent Hose. The PBRE studies the behavior of gases and liquids when they flow simultaneously through a column filled with fixed porous media. The porous media or “packing” can be made of different shapes and materials and are used widely in chemical engineering as a means to enhance the contact between two immiscible fluid phases (e.g., liquid-gas, water-oil, etc.). Packed columns can serve as reactors, scrubbers, strippers, etc. in systems where efficient interphase contact is desired, both on Earth and in space.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: On Saturday, the crew performed several activities in preparation for the ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) EVA. The crew performed tool configurations, tool audits, and equipment lock preparations. The crew also reviewed the EVA procedures and participated in a conference with the ground.

Cygnus Cargo Operations: Both today and Saturday, the crew completed cargo transfer operations between the ISS and the Cygnus Northrup Grumman (NG)-15 vehicle.

Safety Video Survey: Today the crew completed a video of the ISS interior volume to allow ground teams to assess current vehicle configuration as well as identify any areas of concern related to ventilation blockage, flammability hazards, emergency egress paths, access to fire ports and safety equipment. This survey is performed approximately every six months.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

IROSA Prep EVA Commanding and Support
Nominal Ground Commanding
Look Ahead Plan

Monday, March 1 (GMT 060)

ICF USB remove (NASA)
RTPCG2 card print (NASA)
SABL-3 tray insert (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
EKAM Node2 setup and act (Joint)
EPM ESEM4 switch on (ESA)

EVA Debrief Conference
EVA Procedure & DOUG Review
ROBO Procedure Conference
EVA QD Training Review
OGS H2 Sensor R&R
Tuesday, March 2 (GMT 061)

BioAnalyzer setup and stow (CSA)
Ribosome Proofing CBEF Humidifier Install (JAXA)
AWP HRF2 setup and data d/l (NASA)
RTPCG2 Plate loading (NASA)
PBRE Water Inspect (NASA)
AHOSS hardware setup (NASA)
BPA cable install (NASA)
SERFE sample process (NASA)
AC Photo (NASA)

Dragon Tablet Sync
Cygnus Cargo Ops
EVA Procedure Review & Conference
EVA Tool Configuration
EMU Resize
EMU H2O Recharge
Wednesday, March 3 (GMT 062)

Facet Cell installation into SCOF
BPA Install & Hose Route
Spaceborne Computer-2 Installation

EVA Ammonia OBT
EVA Procedure Conference
EVA Cuff Print
EVA Tool Configuration
WHC Piping R&R
IMV Flow Measure
This Weekend’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

End of GoPro SM-AGAT-U55 charging and stowage
Relocate PBAs for upcoming EVA
Extravehicular Activity Pistol Grip Tool Battery Installation
Crew Dragon Hatch Seal Cleaning
PELLE. Download & placement before US EVA
Equipment Lock (E-LK) Preparation
Micro-16 MELFI Media Retrieve
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Photo TV Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Camera Turnaround
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Audit
Microscope Reposition Preparation
Combustion Integrated Rack Valve Timer Set
PBRE/MSG Water Release Inspection/Cleanup
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Micro-16 Experiment Setup
Micro-16 Initiation and Loading Operations
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) iPad Preparation
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
Micro-16 Microscopy Operations
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Down in Columbus
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
Micro-16 MELFI Culture Return Bag Insertion
Microscope Reposition Post Ops
Micro-16 SABL USB Drive Install
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
USOS EVA Comm Config
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Preparation
Micro-16 SABL USB Drive Remove
Monitoring shutter closure on SM windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 14
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Purge
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Prebreathe
Crewlock Depress
Crewlock Egress
IROSA Prep EVA Operations
Experiment Ops Video Recording
EVA Crew Lock Ingress
Crewlock Pre Repress
Crewlock Repress
Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Post-EVA Activities (IN WORK)
Comm reconfig for nominal ops after USOS EVA (IN WORK)

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