Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 September, 2021 – Soyuz MS-18 Spacecraft Moved

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 29, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 September, 2021 – Soyuz MS-18 Spacecraft Moved
The International Space Station configuration as of Sept. 28, 2021, with the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Credit: NASA.

The spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, commander of the Soyuz, and Pyotr Dubrov along with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, docked at 9:04 a.m. EDT.

It is the first time a spacecraft has attached to the new Nauka module, which arrived at the station in July, and is the 20th Soyuz port relocation in station history and the first since March 2021.

The relocation frees the Rassvet port for the arrival October 5 of another Soyuz spacecraft, designated Soyuz MS-19, which will carry Soyuz commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.

Vande Hei and Dubrov are scheduled to remain aboard the station until March 2022. At the time of his return, Vande Hei will have set the record for the longest single spaceflight for an American. Novitskiy, Shipenko, and Peresild are scheduled to return to Earth in October aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

On-Orbit Status Report

64S Soyuz Port Relocation: Today, the 64S crew boarded the 64S Soyuz and undocked from the ISS Mini-Research Module (MRM)-1 at 07:21 AM CT. The 64S Crew then redocked to the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) at 08:04 AM CT. Prior to undocking, the crew performed leak checks on the vestibule and hatches between the descent and habitation modules. Once docked to MLM, the crew repeated leak checks, then ingressed the ISS at 11:22 AM CT. This relocation was performed to clear the MRM-1 docking port for the 65S Soyuz, which is scheduled to dock to the ISS on October 5th, 2021.


BioFilms: The crew removed the processed Experiment Containers from their cold stowage location, inserted them into bubble-wrap bags to prep for return, and then placed them back in cold stowage. The goal of the Biofilm Inhibition On Flight Equipment and On Board the ISS Using Microbiologically Lethal Metal Surfaces (ESA-Biofilms) investigation is to compare how biofilms are formed in low gravity, in a liquid environment on inhibiting and non-inhibiting metal surfaces, for the purposes of spacecraft sanitation and crew health. Various species of bacteria are tested not only on different metallic surfaces (copper, stainless steel, and brass), but also on an array of different laser-etched surface treatments to ascertain whether topological differences influence biofilm formation in space. Through this investigation, teams will learn about what surface types hold the highest antimicrobial properties which can contribute to knowledge when designing future spacecraft surfaces to safeguard crew health.

Eklosion: The crew participated in an Eklosion experiment session by observing the flower, taking photos, and reading some of the messages included with the experiment. The Eklosion investigation utilizes a vase, inspired by the VEGGIE plant growth facility, specially designed for use in the microgravity environment aboard the ISS. Eklosion contains within its hull small messages and smells from Earth for the psychological benefit of the crew member who conducts the investigation. In the experiment, the crew grows a Marigold flower (Tagetes patula).

Lumina: Using a crew iPad, the crew changed parameters for the Lumina device as appropriate. Lumina is an active fiber dosimeter that monitors, in real-time, the received radiation dose by exploiting the capacity of optical fibers to darken when exposed to radiation. The dosimeter provides reliable dose measurements in complex environments such as the ones associated with electrons, protons, gamma-ray, X-ray, photons, or neutrons.

J-SSOD-19 install part 1: The crew began the multi-day J-SSOD-19 installation by installing the 2 deployers onto the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP). The JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) provides a novel, safe, and small satellite launching capability to the ISS. The J-SSOD is a unique satellite launcher, handled by the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which provides containment and deployment mechanisms for several individual small satellites.

Nanoracks Module-9 ops 5: The crew gathered tubes 2, 5, 6, 7 from Nanoracks Module-9 box s/n 1053 and opened the blue clamp on all 4 tubes to deactivate them. Flowing this, all 4 tubes were restowed. NanoRacks Module-9 consists of multiple student experiments housed within a NanoRacks Module container in individual Mixture Tubes. Some experiments require crew interaction to remove clamps to mix materials to activate and/or deactivate the experiments. The experiments within the module are returned to the ground for analysis

Rodent Research-Demonstration 1 (RR-D1): The crew performed Rodent Research Experiment 3D operations, and then stowed and cleaned the appropriate hardware. RR-D1 validates equipment and procedures for surgical techniques related to the wound healing process. Normal skin function and wound healing are important for maintaining good health, but spaceflight may impair healing of wounds in astronauts. Results from this investigation are intended to support design of a subsequent study on the effects of spaceflight on wound healing.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Logistics Reader Remove and Replace (R&R): The crew removed the non-functional RFID logistics reader in the lab and replaced it with a spare. RFID Logistics aims to utilize RFID enabled tags on hardware throughout the ISS to assist in the tracking of hardware as it is moved around the ISS.

Cargo Dragon Cargo Operations: The crew continued to perform cargo transfer operations for Cargo Dragon SpaceX-23 (SpX-23) undock. The crew transferred and installed two Polars from the ISS into Cargo Dragon. SpX-23 undock is scheduled for September 30th to return cargo and payloads to the ground.

Max Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS): The crew completed a Max CEVIS session today which is used by the medical community to evaluate astronauts’ aerobic fitness. The test is performed every 90 days and upon the crew’s arrival and departure from the ISS.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

ISS configuration for 64S relocate
64S relocate ground support
ISS reconfiguration for nominal operations
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, September 29 (GMT 272)

Cold Stowage packing review
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology Fecal collect, Saliva and Urine Collect and blood setup
Kibo Robot Programming Challenge-2 Final Round

Dragon cargo transfer
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurement Survey
Thursday, September 30 (GMT 273)

Astrobee off
Cold Stowage DCB packing
CBEF UOP cable connection
ESA EPO Touching Surfaces
Food Physiology blood, urine and Saliva collect
J-SSOD-19 install part 2 and 3
FSL laser troubleshooting
Plant Habitat-04 Debris Removal and Water refill
Ring Sheared Drop-2 sample new retrieve from MELFI
Standard Measures cognition

SpX-23 undock
Dragon cargo transfer
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Changeout
ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain
Friday, October 1 (GMT 274)

ELF Tether attach, Holder change, Fastener R&R and Cartridge install
Food Acceptability
Food Physiology MELFI transfer
JEM Water Recovery System
Rodent Research closeout

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) scan
T2 Snubber Inspection
THC IMV Flow Measurement Survey
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Nanoracks Module-9 Ops Session 5
Robot Programming Challenge Briefing for Final Round
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) Multi (2 Deployer) onto Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) Installation Part 1
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Restow
REALM Radio Frequency Identification Embedded Reader Remove and Replace
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Pack
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Soyuz (64S) redocking
LSG Work Volume Deploy
LUMINA data transfer and parameters changes with EveryWear
MERLIN hardware retrieval and packing
Rodent Research Experiment 3 Day D
??? 64S – MLM hatch opening leak check after redocking
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS
?? ??? hatch open after 64S redocking
Crew Active Dosimeter Don
Emergency Equipment Transfer to MLM
Eklosion pictures
Cargo Transfer to Dragon
Polar Express Rack Uninstall, Transfer, Handover and Dragon Install
Polar Transfer to Dragon (from EXPRESS Rack) Overview
Polar Express Rack Uninstall, Transfer and Handover
Countermeasures System (CMS) Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Conclude
Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) Nitrogen Manual Valve Open

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