Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 October, 2021 – Russian Cargo Ship Arrives

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 2, 2021
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 October, 2021 – Russian Cargo Ship Arrives
Two Russian spaceships are pictured docked to the station. (Oct. 24, 2021)

An uncrewed Russian Progress 79 spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station’s Zvezda module at 9:31 p.m. EDT, two days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Carrying almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 66 crew, the Progress 79 resupply spacecraft will spend about seven months at the station.

On-Orbit Status Report


HRF Veg taste test: The crew completed a Veg Taste Test Survey while sampling the New Mexico Hatch Chile Peppers grown in the Advanced Plant Habitat during the Plant Habitat-04 experiment. The Pick-and-Eat Salad-Crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System investigation is a phased research project that includes Veg-04A, Veg-04B, Veg-05, and HRF Veg. This work addresses the need for a system to produce healthy, fresh food on future long-duration exploration missions to supplement the standard pre-packaged astronaut diet. HRF Veg uses psychological surveys and crew evaluations of the flavor and appeal of plants grown for other investigations on the ISS to focus on the overall behavioral health benefits to crew members of having various plants and fresh food in space.

Plant Habitat-04 harvest: Following approximately 3 months of growth, today the crew performed the first harvest for the Hatch Chile Peppers. Microgravity Growth of New Mexico Hatch Green Chile as a Technical Display of Advanced Plant Habitat’s Capabilities (Plant Habitat-04) demonstrates using the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) by growing peppers in space for the first time. An excellent source of Vitamin C, peppers are more difficult to cultivate than many possible space crops because they take longer to germinate, grow, and develop fruit. The investigation includes microbial analysis to improve understanding of plant-microbe interactions in space and assessment of flavor and texture, which vary based on the growth environment and care such as amount of watering.

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.

Ring Sheared Drop-2 (RSD): Following a completion of a majority of the science activities, the RSD experiment hardware was removed from the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) and stowed. Recent troubleshooting indicates a failure of the spin motor, but the failure occurred during the processing of the final science sample. The Ring Sheared Drop investigation examines the formation and flow of amyloids without the complications associated with the solid walls of a container, because in microgravity, surface tension provides containment of the liquid. Fibrous, extracellular protein deposits found in organs and tissues; amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Results could contribute to better understanding of these diseases as well as to development of advanced materials.

Toilet: The crew verified adequate pretreat dosing from the Dose Pump, inspected the cover on the Toilet Conductivity Sensor inlet and outlet for any pretreated urine leaks, and then filled out a questionnaire. The Toilet System is an Exploration Tech Demo that has evolved into a permanent USOS system. The Toilet has the same basic design as the Orion Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). The Toilet System will be the primary WMS for USOS for up to 90-crew-days and interfaces with the Urine Transfer System (UTS) to allow concurrent WHC/Toilet operations.

Vascular Aging: In a continuation of the Vascular Aging science gathering this week, the crew marked the Superficial Femoral Artery location on the right leg and performed ultrasound scans on the marked area. 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 Endeavor crew performed activities in preparation for the Crew-2 undock and return, including Crew Dragon Emergency Hardware Transfer, Dragon Locker Install, and Crew Dragon Suit Checkout. Crew-2 is scheduled to undock and return on November 4th.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove and Replace (R&R): Today, the crew R&Red the Pre-Treat Tank in the WHC as part of nominal preventative maintenance. Each tank contains five liters of pre-treat solution, a mix of acid, chromium oxide, and water which is used for toilet flushing and required for nominal WHC operation.

Urine Transfer System (UTS) Backup EDV Installation: Today, the crew installed the spare Toilet EDV Adapter and Backup EDV to UTS. The newly installed EDV will be the new UTS Backup EDV and will be stowed in the proper UTS Backup EDV location at NOD3D5.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Crew-2 Emer Air Supply Removal
ER4 Locker Install
Dragon Locker Install
Crew-2 Emer Equipment Install
Dragon Critical Transducer Reboot
Crew Dragon Awake Mode Checkout
Progress automated rendezvous and docking
Progress Video Downlink
Progress stationkeeping and final approach
Progress Docking
Look Ahead Plan

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

Cargo Dragon Station Support Computer Relocate
Monday, November 1 (GMT 305)

Actiwatch don
HRF urine setup
MELFI OBT and icebrick insert
Toilet questionnaire

ISS Safety Briefing and Crew Handover
Dragon Forward – Station Support Computer Return
Internal Audio Subsystem (IAS) Crew Quarter (CQ) Audio Cable Configuration
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
iWatch Charge for SpX CREW DRAGON
Charging D4 Battery for return
Crew Departure Prep
Campout Sleeping Bag Deploy
CASA Outfitting
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Urine Collection Female
Solar Particle Event Check-in
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup and Frozen Blood Collection Subject
Vascular Aging Ultrasound Echo Unit Setup
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection
Crew prep for PAO
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in JEM
EveryWear App Configuration
IMS conference (S-band)
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quaters (CQ) Overhead Cleaning
Vascular Aging Resting Ultrasound Scan
Vascular Aging Resting Ultrasound Scan Subject
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Stow
Crew-2 Emer Air Supply Removal
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Down in Columbus
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
ER4 Locker Install
Plant Habitat-04 Plant Harvest #1 Procedure Review
Dragon Locker Install
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
Plant Habitat-02 Plant Harvest #1
Toilet System Pretreat Dose Check
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace
Crew-2 Emer Equipment Install
Node 3 Toilet Leak Inspection
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
Toilet System Daily Questionnaire
Ring Sheared Drop Hardware Stow
Vascular Aging Ultrasound Echo Unit Stow
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Deck Cleaning
Plant Habitat-04 MELFI Insertion #1
Plant Habitat-04 Consumption Preparation
RSD MELFI Sample Insertion
MELFI Icebrick Gather
Microgravity Science Glovebox Power Down
Urine Transfer System Backup EDV Install
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update
Crew Dragon Suit Checkout
Contingency Water Container Iodinated Relocate
Airborne Particulate Monitor Status Check
HRF Veg Taste Test and Survey
USOS Window Shutter Close

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