Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 October, 2021 – SpaceX Crew 3 Launch set for Halloween

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 29, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 October, 2021 – SpaceX Crew 3 Launch set for Halloween
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance at the launch pad.

Four commercial crew astronauts await their launch to join the Expedition 66 crew this weekend as a Russian space cargo mission is on its way to the International Space Station.
Meanwhile, the seven station residents orbiting the Earth today are headlong into a series of life science and physics experiments.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Crew Dragon Endurance attached at top, stands at its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Crew-3 mission, with its four commercial crew astronauts inside Endurance, will blast off on Sunday at 2:21 a.m. EDT for a 22-hour ride to the orbiting lab.

Crew-3 Commander Raja Chari, along with Pilot Thomas Marshburn and Mission Specialists Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer, will automatically dock inside Endurance to the Harmony module’s forward docking port on Monday at 12:10 a.m. The quartet will then open the hatches at 1:45 a.m., enter the station, and begin a six-month orbital research mission as Expedition 66 flight engineers.

Back in space, the ISS Progress 79 resupply ship, with nearly three tons of food, fuel and supplies packed inside, is racing toward the station after launching Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT from Kazakhstan. Cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov will be on duty Friday monitoring the Progress 79’s arrival when it automatically docks to the Zvezda service module’s aft port on at 9:34 p.m.

The Roscosmos duo practiced and reviewed procedures on a computer in Zvezda for Friday’s Progress 79 arrival. Dubrov also continued his space exercise research while Shkaplerov was back on plasma-dust structures physics research.

While the station awaits the new cargo and crewmates, the orbital residents continued their intense schedule of advanced microgravity research.

Flight Engineers Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough and Akihiko Hoshide collected and stowed their blood samples for a pair of human research studies this morning. One long-running study looks at how an astronaut’s body adapts to microgravity before, during and after a space mission. The other observes the cardiovascular health risks of a long-term spaceflight.

Commander Thomas Pesquet and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked in the Columbus laboratory module on different science maintenance tasks. Pesquet restocked the Human Research Facility with electrodes, needles, and biological sample kits. Vande Hei reinstalled the Light Ions Detector, an advanced radiation detection device, that provides data into the health risk astronauts are exposed to.

On-Orbit Status Repport


Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): The crew gathered the appropriate hardware and installed the APM in the US lab at the LAB1D1 location. Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate matter, currently no measurement capability verifies whether these requirements are met. The Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM) demonstrates an instrument for measuring and quantifying the concentration of both small and large particles in spacecraft air. The data can be used to create a map of air quality in terms of particles and shed light on the sources of such particles.

Light Ions Detector for ALTEA (LIDAL): The LIDAL hardware was removed last week in support of the ESA Water on-off Valve-8 (WOOV8) replacement. Although further WOOV8 activities will be required, they will not occur for another 1-2 weeks, so LIDAL was reinstalled to resume science gathering. The capability of the original Anomalous Long Term Effects in Astronauts (ALTEA) to measure the linear energy transfer (LET) of protons and helium and the kinetic energy of protons and heavy ions was upgraded by the addition of the time of flight (TOF) system detector called LIDAL. LIDAL upgrades the ability of ALTEA to make measurements that can be converted, by dedicated software in real-time, into radiation risk coefficients – effectively enabling ALTEA to become the first ever dosimetric “risk meter” aboard the International Space Station.

Manufacturing Device (ManD): The crew removed the printed object, cleaned the extruder print nozzle, photographed, and stow the printed object. The Manufacturing Device enables the production of components on the ISS for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the ManD printer that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. ManD is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.

Plasma Kristall-4 (PK-4): The crew continued the PK-4 science campaign 13 by initiating several science runs. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of Complex Plasmas: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. The main feature of the PK-4 facility (in comparison with its predecessors onboard the ISS, such as PK-3 and PK-3+) is a new concept of its discharge chamber. Application of a combined discharge that consists of a direct current discharge, inductive HF discharge and capacitive HF discharge allows varying the topology of studied plasma-dust formations in a wide range.

Vascular Aging: The crew collected blood samples and performed a glucose tolerance test in support of the Vascular Aging investigation. Although the session went well, the ground will need to work through some data transfer issues. Emerging data point towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crew members, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Space Environment Causes Acceleration of Vascular Aging: Roles of Hypogravity, Nutrition, and Radiation (Vascular Aging) investigation, ultrasounds of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crew members are analyzed.


Dragon Return Prep: Today, the Crew-2 Dragon crew performed activities in preparation for the Crew-2 undock and return, including Dragon Prepack and Dragon Rendezvous OBT. The Dragon2 Crew-2 is scheduled to undock and return on November 4th.

Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Installation: The crew installed REBA Li-Ion Batteries into EMU 3015 (Aft EDDA) and EMU 3004 (Fwd EDDA).

Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) Filter Installation: The crew removed the Brine Processor Temporary Filter and installed the new Exhaust Filter Housing and Filter to scrub odor from Brine Processor in Node 3. The BPA is designed to improve water recycling on the ISS and boost the efficiency of water recycling for the Artemis generation.

Remote Power Control Module (RPCM) LAB1S6 Removed and Replaced (R&R): The crew completed the R&R RPCM LAB1S6 which powers the Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA)/Low-Temperature Loop (LTL)/Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) Thermal Control System (TCS) Rack.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Vacuum System (VS) Limit Configuration
Station Suport Computer Crew-3 Configuration
PRO MERLIN 5 AAA Activation Commanding
Dragon Rendezvous/ OBT Conference
Initiate a Brine Processor Dewatering Cycle
Automated Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Selection (ATS) Pre-positioned Load (PPL) Loading
Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Thermal Amine Scrubber (TAS) Activation
Lab Common Cabin Air Assembly Configuration
Secondary Power Systems Remote Power Controller Firmware Boot Delay Update
Video System Port 1 Upper Outboard Luminaire Checkout
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, October 29 (GMT 302)

HRF Veg taste test
MELFI icebrick gather
Plant Habitat-04 harvest
PK-4 experiment runs
Ring Sheared Drop-2 remove from MSG and stow
Standard Measures
Vascular Aging

iPad Crew-3 Preparation
Crew-2 Departure Prep
Dragon Emergency Hardware Transfer and Install
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank R&R
CQ Overhead and Deck Cleaning
Dragon Suit Checkout
Saturday, October 30 (GMT 303)

MELFI dewar clean and icebrick insert
Toilet daily questionnaire

Crew Off-Duty Day
Sunday, October 31 (GMT 304)

HRP saliva collect and urine collection setup

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

Vascular Aging SALI Item Removal
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup and Frozen Blood Collection Subject
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
Vascular Aging Glucometer Reading And Drink Consumption [Deferred]
Standard Measures Post-Sleep Questionnaire
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configure and Run
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Photodocumenting the Soft Matter Dynamics Power Harness connectors
HRF Generic Urine Collection Female
Vascular Aging Glucometer Reading
PCS Laptop Relocate
Environmental Health System (EHS) Acoustic Monitor Setup
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operator
Vascular Aging HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Subject
Vascular Aging Glucometer Reading And Data Transfer
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configuration
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
CSA Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Spin Conclude
CSA Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
HRF Rack 1 Supply Kit Resupply
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude and Stow
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Toilet System Daily Questionnaire
Light Ions Detector Reinstall 2
Emergency Equipment Staging
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
NOD1S4 Reorganization
Conference on details of Progress 447 docking. Tagup with specialists
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Config JEM Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in JEM
Station Support Computer 6 Shell Swap
Luer Adapter Flush
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update
Extravehicular Activity Battery Removal/Installation
Cleaning ventilation screens on FGB interior panels 116, 316, 231, 431
Crew Arrival Preparations
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Initiate
Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Installation
Countermeasures Systems (CMS) Exercise Equipment Gather
Photo/TV Saw Mast Hardware Gather
Photo TV SAW MAST port Survey
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
Polar Desiccant Swap
Plant Habitat-04 MWA Preparation
Plant Habitat-04 Harvest #1 Hardware Gather
Preventive Maintenance of SM Ventilation Subsystem. Group ?
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) Filter Gather
APM Hardware Gather
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) Filter Installation
On Board Training (OBT) Dragon Forward Rendezvous Review
Dragon Rendezvous/ OBT Conference
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Crew Dragon Handheld Gas Detector T/S
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Airborne Particulate Monitor LAB Install
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Remote Power Control Module (RPCM) LAB1S6 Remove and Replace
Solar Array Survey Equipment Stow
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap
CCE Preparation
Crew Choice Event Set Up
Crew Choice Event

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