Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 November, 2021 – Crew-2 Splashdown Delayed

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 4, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 November, 2021 – Crew-2 Splashdown Delayed
An aurora dimly intersects with Earth's airglow. (Oct. 30, 2021)

Human research and combustion science were the main focus of the Expedition 66 crew today.
The International Space Station residents are also ensuring a U.S. spaceship and a Russian module stay in tip-top shape.

Two astronauts started their day on Wednesday collecting blood to help scientists understand how living in weightlessness impacts the human body. Commander Thomas Pesquet and Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough drew then spun their blood samples in a centrifuge before placing them in a science freezer for later analysis.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei collected his urine sample this morning before stowing it inside another science freezer. Akihiko Hoshide, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), reviewed a variety of tests he will perform upon returning to Earth, including blood draws, a computer robotics simulation, and a fitness exam.

Vande Hei then moved on and replaced experiment controllers inside the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), a research device that enables safe experiments with fuel, flames, and soot in microgravity. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur swapped oxygen bottles inside the CIR to ensure ongoing combustion research operations.

Kimbrough of NASA also spent the afternoon charging touchscreen tablets and checking seat components inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. He will lead McArthur, Hoshide and Pesquet back to Earth inside Endeavour when NASA and SpaceX finalize a splashdown date off the coast of Florida this month.

In the station’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov continued checking circuit connections between the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module and the Zvezda service module. Veteran cosmonaut and four-time station visitor Anton Shkaplerov serviced communications and electronics gear throughout the day on Wednesday.

On-Orbit Status Report


ACME (Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments): A crewmember performed the second part of configuration for Flame Design part 2 by replacing two ACME controllers and setting the CIR Valve Timers to limit oxygen flow. The ACME project is a set of six independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted in the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR). ACME’s primary and secondary goals are (1) improved fuel efficiency and reduced pollutant production in practical combustion on Earth, and (2) spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack): A crewmember replaced the Manifold #2 CIR High Percentage Oxygen Bottle with a new bottle containing 85% O2 and 15% N2. The CIR Manifold #4 Bottle was also replaced with a new bottle containing 100% C2H4. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel, and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

Touching Surfaces: A crewmember performed touch operations for each Touch Array and reported the data via the EveryWear application. Previous space research conducted during short-term flight experiments and long-term environmental monitoring on board orbiting space stations (such as MIR or the International Space Station) suggests that the relationship between humans and microbes is altered in the crewed habitat in space. This interdisciplinary project Touching Surfaces aims to investigate novel, laser-structured antimicrobial surfaces onboard the ISS. The realistic testing of the tailor-made nanostructured antimicrobial surface in space allows for the determination of the most suitable design for antimicrobial surfaces for terrestrial applications such as public transportation and clinical settings, as well as future human space mission and habitation design.


Toilet Stall Fitcheck: Today, the crew performed a fitcheck of the handrail offset bracket on the port side wall of the Toilet Stall. This was due to concerns of the handrails being in the ARED Operational Worksite and very close to the dynamic envelope. As part of the fitcheck the crew performed ARED sweep tests and took measurements at each handrail placement.

Crew Dragon Tablet Sync and Stow: The crew charged and synced their SpaceX provided iPads and ensured the iPads were able to connect to both the onboard CrewNet and the newly installed CloudNet. This sync also updated emergency deorbit data as well as other data from SpaceX using CrewNet. Upon completion of the sync and charging, the crew stowed the tablets.

Air Quality Monitor (AQM) Inspect: The crew performed an inspection of the AQM2 to assess the airflow going in to the electronics cooling fan by comparing the unit to AQM1. In early October, BME observed the case temperature of AQM2 was unusually high and software displayed a temperature error. At that time, the crew cleared any fan blockages. Today’s inspection was to verify no additional impacts to the hardware from the blockage and runs at elevated temperatures. The AQM is part of the Environmental Health System (EHS) as an Intravehicular Activity (IVA) atmospheric monitor that is used to detect and measure Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) In Flight Maintenance (IFM): As part of regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, the crew performed a manual WHC flush tank fill. By using a post-flight analysis bag to capture any pressure relief, also known as the burp, they depressurized the flush water tank and water valve block to protect the dose pump. This pump is critical as it injects the pre-treat required to properly recycle waste urine.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Dragon Wakeup Checkout Ground Support
FPMU Deactivation
CIR Rack Bottle Exchange Ground Support
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, November 4 (GMT 308)

EarthKam Node 2 lens change (Joint)
MAND print removal and stow (NASA)

LAB REM2 Location Adjustment
PEPS Inspect
Photo TV Clean Up
Friday, November 5 (GMT 309)

Actiwatch Plus setup (NASA)
DOSIS-3D Deinstall (ESA)
Food Physiology Diet Brief (NASA)
MAND Print removal (NASA)
Probiotics Saliva setup and questionnaire (JAXA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)

Dragon Cargo Ops
SSC System Vent Clean
Crew Waste Management System (WMS) Supply Transfer
Dragon Departure OBT
Dragon Departure Review
Saturday, November 6 (GMT 310)

Actiwatch Plus check (NASA)
Food Physiology Fecal collect and processing (NASA)
Functional Immune Saliva collect (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)
Repository Urine and blood collect (NASA)

P/TV Flyaround Camera Config
Crew Arrival Prep
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Roll Up and Stow Sleep Bag
HRF Generic Saliva/Blood/Urine Collection with Centrifuge & MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
ACME Chamber Insert Configuration
Discharge Air PBA 1052 with low pressure
Belair Wireless Access Point Antenna Handover
Environmental Health System (EHS) Personal CO2 Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
Replacement of the SM BelAir WAP antenna
JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS) M-14 Leak Check
Belair Wireless Access Point Handover
ESA Weekly crew conference
Touching Event for the Touching Surfaces experiment
Inspection activities to be executed in addition to T2 monthly inspection (T2AR).
Food Acceptability Survey
Video recording of greeting addresses
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #2 and #4 Bottle Replacement
United States Orbital Segment (USOS) Stowage Cleanup
Fitcheck of Handrail Offset Bracket on Toilet Stall
Crew Dragon Tablet Sync & Stow
Toilet System Pretreat Dose Check [ABORTED]
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 2
Station Support Computer Network Attached Storage Hard Drive Reseat
Photo TV D5 Camera Sensor Cleaning
Solidification Using Baffles in Sealed Ampoules OBT
Crew Dragon Handheld Gas Detector Activation
Crew Dragon Seat Actuator Checkout
Unseal MegaHEPA Filter in Crew Dragon
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiation/Termination
Air Quality Monitor Power On & Inspection
Dragon MegaHEPA Seals Install
Deploy Sleeping Bag in Dragon

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