Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 November 2020 – Study for Improving Spacesuit Thermal and Water Controls

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 4, 2020
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 November 2020 – Study for Improving Spacesuit Thermal and Water Controls
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins sets up a small satellite deployer.

Botany and technology research were the primary science objectives on Tuesday aboard the International Space Station.
The Expedition 64 crew is also stepping up preparations for an upcoming spacewalk.

Scientists on the ground use the orbiting lab’s microgravity environment to explore phenomena that can’t be observed or are degraded on Earth’s surface. The research observations on the station provide insights that can improve health and advance industry on Earth and in space.

Space botany is a critical research area as researchers and mission managers plan and learn to sustain crews on long-term missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Today, Flight Engineer Kate Rubins installed a science carrier, or tray that plants grow in, and then added water inside the Advanced Plant Habitat located in Europe’s Columbus laboratory module.

Rubins then moved on to a technology study seeking ways to improve spacesuit thermal and water controls. She reviewed procedures and installed gear for the experiment demonstrating how evaporating water cools the suits and avoids contamination and corrosion of suit components.

The crew’s first spacewalk is planned for Nov. 18 outside the station’s Russian segment. Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov spent Tuesday organizing their spacewalk tools and preparing Orlan spacesuit components in the Poisk module’s airlock. The Russian duo will spend about six hours during the spacewalk working on maintenance and science tasks.

On-orbit Status Report


Plant Habitat-02 – The crew completed the Plant Habitat-02 Science Carrier Installation, which was previously partially completed. Photos of the entire Science Carrier quadrants and of the final configuration of the unit inside the Growth Chamber were taken. A water refill was also completed. Assessment of Nutritional Value and Growth Parameters of Space-grown Plants (Plant Habitat-02) cultivates radishes as a model plant that is nutritious and edible, has a short cultivation time, and is genetically similar to Arabidopsis, a plant frequently studied in microgravity. Developing the capability for food production in space requires understanding cultivation conditions such as intensity and spectral composition of light and the effects of the culture medium or soil. This research could help optimize plant growth in the unique environment of space, as well as evaluation of nutrition and taste of the plants.

Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE) – The crew reviewed procedures for the SERFE installation and then performed a degassing of the Contingency Water Container – Iodine (CWC-Iodine) bag in preparation for filling water from the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Supply line that will eventually be transferred to the SERFE unit to start the experiment run. SERFE demonstrates a new technology to remove heat from spacesuits and maintain appropriate temperatures for crewmembers and equipment during space walks. The technology uses evaporation of water for cooling. The investigation determines whether microgravity affects performance and evaluates the technology’s effect on contamination and corrosion of spacesuit material.

Electro-static Levitation Furnace (ELF) – The crew exchanged the used Unit Air Gas Bottle with a new bottle supplying air for the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved.


Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis – The ISS crew performed periodic EHS water sampling by collecting water samples from the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) for in-flight and post-flight analysis. In-flight samples were used to perform a Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) analysis that measures the amount of organic constituents in the potable water. This test is used to determine if the drinking water is safe for crew consumption.

Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap – The crew replaced the batteries in all 3 of the Crew-worn acoustic monitors that were set up and distributed to the crew onboard the ISS. The acoustic monitoring sessions gather data to characterize any changes to the acoustic environment throughout the station.

Completed Task List Activities:

IPad Flight Group 10 Velcro
iPad Flight Group 10 Deploy & Flight Group 9 Stow
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Columbus IMV Return Fan activation/deactivation
Supported Plant Habitat Science Carrier Installation #1
Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) Activation [Planned this evening]
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, 11/04 (GMT 309)

SERFE Hardware install (NASA)
Rhodium Science Ambient sample removal & transfer to CS (NASA)
EML GAS vlv open (Joint)

On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Proficiency
Environmental Health System (EHS) Acoustic Monitor Setup
Thursday, 11/05 (GMT 310)

NRCSD Deploy photo (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)

CDRA Selector Valve R&R
US EVA Tool Transfer
Regenerative ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain
Friday, 11/06 (GMT 311)

SERFE Water Sample collect (NASA)
EKAM Node 2 setup and act (NASA)

SSC Client Troubleshooting for SSC 11
CMS T2 6 Month Maintenance
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
Comm Assets Setup for MRM2 Comm
EVA Hardware and Tools Gather.
Plant Habitat Science Carrier Installation #1
On MCC Go Re-mate Cables on ??TC2-12 ??? Data Formatting Unit. ????2-12 ??? Board ? Test.
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Replacement
Swap Lo P O2 Supply from HPGT to NORS
Environmental Health System (EHS) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect
Preparation of Orlan ORUs, Auxiliary and Personal Hardware.
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Avionics Air Assembly (AAA) Flow Measurement
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Gather
SERFE Installation Procedure Review
Plant Habitat Water Refill
Preparation of ???-4 Smoke Detectors Pins in MRM1 for Cleaning.
Central Post Laptop Scheduled Monthly Maintenance. Log Files Downlink via OCA.
??? maintenance
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA) with EarQ Software Setup and Test
Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap

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