Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 March, 2021 – Preparing to Move the Dragon

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 3, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 March, 2021 – Preparing to Move the Dragon
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 31 March, 2021 - Preparing to Move the Dragon.

Four Expedition 64 astronauts are getting ready to move their SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle to another docking port on the International Space Station next week.
The orbital residents also continued advanced research into space agriculture and the human nervous system.

Resilience, the docked commercial crew craft from SpaceX, will taxi four astronauts from the Harmony module’s forward-facing port to its zenith, or space-facing port, on Monday at 6:30 a.m. EDT. The autonomous relocation maneuver will take about 45 minutes with NASA TV beginning its live coverage at 6 a.m.

Crew-1 Commander Michael Hopkins is riding along with Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi. The astronauts checked their Crew Dragon flight suits and communications gear during the afternoon. The quartet needs to be on the vehicle in the unlikely event Resilience is unable to redock. This assures there aren’t more crewmembers on the station than seats available on docked crew ships.

Meanwhile, the station crew kept up its space botany work today testing hydroponics as a way to maintain and grow crops in microgravity. NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins kicked off her day with the Plant Water Management study as Hopkins took over the activities after lunch time.

Hopkins and Glover were also back in the Columbus laboratory module exploring how weightlessness affects their grip force and up/down movements. The experiment requires the astronauts to strap themselves in a specialized seat and perform a series of dexterous manipulation exercises. Observations could improve the design of spacecraft interfaces and offer deeper insights into the human nervous system in different gravity environments.

Walker was on Crew Medical Officer duties during the morning scanning Glover’s neck, shoulder and leg veins with the Ultrasound-2 device. She then spent the afternoon setting up alternate sleep accommodations ahead of the Expedition 65 crew arrival on April 9 when 10 people will be on the station for just over a week.

Station Commander Sergey Ryzhikov spent the day collecting water samples from Russian life support systems and checking smoke detectors. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov cleaned ventilation systems and transferred water from the docked Progress 77 resupply ship.

On-Orbit Status Report


Actiwatch Plus: The crew removed Actiwatch Plus devices from a USB Hub connected to the HRF Payload Drawer on HRF Rack, verified the displays match the expected state of the hardware, and restowed them in the Actiwatch Plus Kit. Crew then stows remaining hardware. This is the charging and data download activity. The Actiwatch is a waterproof, nonintrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember. The device contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a signal as the subject moves. The data are stored in nonvolatile memory within the Actiwatch until they are downloaded for analysis.

Plant Water Management: The crew performed day 2 Wedge tests and Cylinder Tests. The Plant Water Management investigation demonstrates passive measures for controlling fluid delivery and uptake in plant growth systems. Reduced gravity creates challenges in providing adequate fluid and nutrition for plant growth. This investigation examines using other physical properties such as surface tension, wetting and system geometry to replace the role of gravity.

Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE): The crew extracted approximately 300ml of water from SERFE (Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment) and inserted the sample into cold stowage for post-flight analysis on the ground. SERFE demonstrates a new technology to remove heat from spacesuits and maintain appropriate temperatures for crew members 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.

Transparent Alloys: The crew exchanged the Transparent Alloys Cartridge and Data Disk. The Transparent Alloys study is a group of investigations consisting of: SEBA: to study the morphological instabilities of directional solidified, transparent binary eutectic alloys under purely diffusive conditions. SETA: to study the pattern formation during univariant eutectic reaction in directional solidification in transparent ternary alloys. CETSOL: to identify growth regimes (columnar or equiaxed or mixed) and physical mechanisms in dependence of the experimental parameters (solidification velocity, temperature gradient) for diffusive heat and mass transport and without gravity effects. METCOMP: to research on layered structures in peritectic systems by in-situ observation.


EVA Battery Operations Terminal (EBOT) Big Picture Words Review: In preparation for tomorrow’s scheduled EBOT modification activities, the crew completed a Big Picture review of the task. The crew will replace the Battery Charger Assembly (BCA) and Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) in the Airlock Avionics Rack. EBOT is designed to charge Lithium-Ion batteries for Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), Pistol Grip Tools (PGTs), and Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies (REBAs) and is made up of three new Chargers that replace the four battery chargers in the BSA and a new EVA Battery Stowage Compartment that replaces the old BSA.

Zero-G Stowage Rack (ZSR) Modification for Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA): The crew completed modifications of a ZSR to support installation of the CASA hardware. CASA installation will be completed over the next couple weeks. Once installed CASA will be able to support use as a stowage compartment or for crew sleep.

Crew-1 Dragon Suit Checkout: The Crew-1 crew completed a checkout to confirm suit fit and operability prior to Dragon departure currently scheduled on April 28. The checkout included suit fit and zipper check, verification of earpieces using Dragon audio, and a general suit inspection.

On-Board Training (OBT) Crew-1 Dragon Relocation: In preparation for next Monday’s scheduled relocation of the Crew-1 vehicle from N2 forward to N2 zenith, FE-3 reviewed training videos for Crewed Dragon undock and Crewed Dragon docking.

Solar Array Wing (SAW) Max Power Testing: The bi-annual SAW max power testing is currently under way. Yesterday, teams completed cycling through all of the power channels to characterize the power generation of each channel. Today, teams transitioned to the Voltage Max Power (VMP) portion of the testing to characterize the voltage set points for the Sequential Shunt Units (SSUs). Testing is expected to complete tomorrow after which teams will take the data collected for in-depth analysis and recommendations.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Payloads ops support
WHC ops support
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, April 1 (GMT 091)

CSA Blood collect (CSA)
ESA EPO Paxi robotic (ESA)
GRIP Supine #3 (ESA)
KOBAIRO Water refill (JAXA)
RTPCG-2 Plate load (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva and fecal collect (NASA)
ISS Experience EVA lens focus (NASA)
Astrobee Mapping (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
WORF Bumpshield Install (NASA)

Dragon OBT
Friday, April 2 (GMT 092)

GRASP seated session (ESA)
SCEM Insert-2 (JAXA)
MOCHII Mechanical inspection (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva body and Fecal collect (NASA)
AC Touch (NASA)
Veggie Monitoring photo (NASA)

Express Rack AAA fan cleaning
OBT Crew Dragon conference
Lab work light deploy
Saturday, April 3 (GMT 093)

Standard Measures Saliva collect (NASA)
ECLSS Brine Processor System Placement (NASA

Crew off duty
Sunday, April 4 (GMT 094)

Standard Measures Saliva setup (NASA)

Dragon departure prep
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
GRASP experiment constraints reminder
GRIP experiment constraints reminder
Roll Up and Stow Sleep Bag
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Reminder 1 CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection
GRASP experiment constraints reminder
GRIP experiment constraints reminder
Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Standard Measures Body Sampling Stow
JEM Common Gas Support Equipment (CGSE) Upper Ar Gas Supply Stop.
GRIP science performance in seated position
Liquid condensate sampling up to ??? (use bags for drinks)
Waste and Hygiene Compartment Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace
iWatch Charge for SpX CREW DRAGON
IFM EVA Battery Stowage Compartment Modifications Task Review
GRIP science performance in seated position
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Setup
Portable 4TB HDD Removal from Mission Data Recorder
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan Prep
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Venous Thromboemboelism (VTE) Scan Prep
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan performed by a Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Antimicrobial Coatings Touch
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan performed by a Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Post Exam
SERFE Water Sampling for Post Flight Analysis
SERFE MELFI insertion
SERFE CWC-I Remove and Replace
IFM EVA Battery Stowage Compartment Modifications Task Review
Standard Measures Fecal Collection
Plant Water Management 3&4 Big Picture Words
EVA Battery Stowage Compartment (BSC) Hardware Gather
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Plant Water Management 3&4 Cylinder Test Operations
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Stow
CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
CASA Preparations
???? configuration for MRM2
Remove SpX-CREW DRAGON iWatch from charger
Plant Water Management 3&4 Hardware Stow
???? reconfiguration in MRM2
Crew Dragon Forward Monthly PCS Checkout
Crew Dragon Suit Checkout
Emergency RS ISS VHF-1 Comm Checkout from USOS
Deploy Sleeping Bag in Dragon

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