Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 June, 2021 – Pair of Spacewalks Coming Up

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 8, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 June, 2021 – Pair of Spacewalks Coming Up
Expedition 65 astronauts test spacesuits.

The Expedition 65 crew members are helping researchers today understand how living in space affects the human body.
Two astronauts are also getting ready for a pair of spacewalks while the SpaceX Cargo Dragon continues being unpacked at the International Space Station.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei joined Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for vein scans using electrodes and the Ultrasound-2 device on Tuesday. The duo took turns scanning each other’s heart, neck, shoulder and leg veins for the Vascular Echo study that investigates cardiovascular health in space.

Vande Hei later assisted NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur unloading a variety of cargo delivered aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon. The duo started the day with the rest of their crewmates, including astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, reviewing safety procedures necessary while Dragon is docked at the station.

Kimbrough and Pesquet continue gearing up for two spacewalks planned for June 16 and 20 to install a new pair of solar arrays recently delivered in the Cargo Dragon’s unpressurized trunk. The duo first checked out spacesuit helmet cameras and lights then reviewed their spacewalk procedures using specialized 3-D software today.

Over in the orbiting lab’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov explored ways to improve exercise in space to maintain crew health. The duo later completed reconfiguring the Poisk module where last week’s seven-hour and 19-minute spacewalk was staged.

On-Orbit Status Report


FIR/LMM (Fluids Integrated Rack/Light Microscopy Module): Following the completion of several weeks of observations of the ACE-T-2 science module, the crew performed the steps necessary to remove ACE-T-2 and install the ACE-T-11 science module. Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature Control and Gradient Sample-11 (ACE-T-11) involves the design and assembly of complex three-dimensional (3D) structures from colloids, or small particles suspended within a fluid medium, and control of particle density and phase behavior. Such structures are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and important for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Assembling structures in microgravity provides insight into the relation between particle shape, crystal symmetry, density, and other fundamental factors.

CIR/ACME (Combustion Integrated Rack/Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments): The crew replaced a 40% O2, 60% N2manifold bottle with another bottle of the same composition. This was performed in support of the CFI-G part 1 (Cool Flames Investigation with Gases) experiment. Cool diffusion flames were discovered during droplet combustion experiments aboard the ISS in 2012, and this initiated a rapidly growing field of combustion research. A cool flame is one that burns at about 600 degrees Celsius. A typical candle is about three-and-a-half times hotter, burning at around 1,400 degrees Celsius. Most internal combustion engines are designed using computer models that neglect cool flame chemistry, but ignition and flame propagation in engines depend on cool flame chemistry. Cool flame chemistry also has a significant impact on fuel octane and cetane numbers, whose understanding has large economic consequences.

Iceberg-2 installation and Iceberg-1 t/s: The crew installed Iceberg-2 and performed troubleshooting steps for Iceberg-1. Iceberg-1 made a louder-than-expected buzzing noise when commanded to its 4 degree °C setpoint last week. Iceberg is a Double Locker equivalent designed for EXPRESS Rack operation and provides additional cold stowage resources aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The units provide an operating range of +4°C to -95°C. Iceberg is similar to the Glacier and Polar units currently in use but provides additional volume to help reduce the number of EXPRESS Rack locations needed.

Oral Biofilms in Space: The crew continued the Oral Biofilms investigation session which began on Monday of this week, introducing either oral care bioactives or fixatives by reconfiguring flow through the Fluid Chambers in the Oral Biofilms Session Packs. Two of the four session packs started yesterday had to be trashed due to bag disconnections in the experiment. Effect of Environmental Stressors on Oral Biofilm Growth and Treatment (Oral Biofilms in Space) studies the effect of gravity on the behavior of oral bacteria, including the structure of the bacterial community, and changes in bacterial response to common oral care agents. The findings could support development of novel treatments to fight oral diseases such as caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis. The investigation also could provide insights into how microgravity affects the microbiome of other mucosal surfaces in the body.

SABL3 cable adjust: The crew checked the power module cable for proper routing and corrected as necessary. During this activity, they noted a gap in the internal sealing foam that was larger than another SABL unit and sent picture to the ground for assessment. The Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory (SABL) supports a wide variety of investigations in the life, physical and material sciences with a focus on supporting research of biological systems and processes. It has over 23 liters of temperature-controlled volume with LED lighting for scientific hardware and investigations. It can be fitted to provide 5% CO2 (or any required concentration of CO2) for cell cultures or other types of investigations and has two USB 2.0 ports and two ethernet LAN connections. It also has switchable 28vdc and 5vdc power supplies for investigation use.

TICTOC: As a continuation of the experiment which started this past weekend, the crew set up the appropriate hardware and took photos of the 12 plant growth chambers. The ground teams will use the images to evaluate the status of the growing plants. Target, the retail store, is funding the investigation Targeting Improved Cotton Through On-orbit Cultivation (TICTOC) that studies how root system architecture affects plant resilience to stress, water-use efficiency, and carbon sequestration during the critical phase of seedling establishment. Roots play a central role in plant stress resistance and survival, but their growth patterns depend upon gravity. This investigation examines how environmental factors and genes control development of roots in the absence of gravity.

Vascular Aging: The crew marked the location of the right leg femoral artery for the experiment subject, attached ECG electrodes to the subject, and performed the appropriate ultrasound scans per experiment protocol. 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.


Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday, the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and stowed the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM). Today, they translated the Mobile Transporter (MT) to worksite 4 and used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to perform a survey of the SpX-22 Cargo Dragon trunk.

Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Node 3 Maintenance Canister Installation: The crew began with removing the ITCS Node 3 Gas Trap Plug and then proceeded with the installation of the ITCS maintenance canister. The canister was installed at two available QDs in order to replenish Ortho-Phthaladehyde (OPA) into the Node 3 ITCS. The maintenance canister will remain installed for 28 hours to allow for dispersal of OPA and thermal equalization of the canister.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The crew performed EVA activities for the upcoming IROSA EVA on Wednesday, June 16. They installed the HD EMU Camera Assembly (HECA) and the EVA Helmet Interchangeable Portable (EHIP) light onto their EMU helmets. They also reviewed the upcoming EVAs in the Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software and initiated a second cycle of EMU Metal Oxide cartridge regeneration.

Completed Task List Activities:

Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Solid Waste Container R&R
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Mobile Transporter (MT) Translation
Dragon Trunk Survey [Active]
Airlock Configuration for METOX Regeneration
Look Ahead Plan:

Wednesday, June 9 (GMT 160)

AC Touch
HRF blood/urine collection (repository)
Kidney Cells-02
Oral Biofilms

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Fluid Transfer from EDV to Resupply Tank Using the Brine Transfer Hose
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Thursday, June 10 (GMT 161)

AC Touch
Bioculture system install
Food Acceptability
HRF blood/urine collection (repository)
HRF supply inventory
TIME Perception

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Node 3 Gas Trap Plug Replace
Deck Crew Quarters Exhaust Airflow Sensor Remove and Replace
Friday, June 11 (GMT 162)

Food Acceptability
FSL/Board exchange
FSL/Soft Matter Dynamics
GLACIER logistics
Iceberg-2 desiccant swap
Kidney Cells-02
ManD print remove
Molecular Muscle Experiment-2
NanoRacks Module 93 photo

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Node 3 Return to Ground Sampling
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

SABL 3 Cable Adjustment
SpaceX-22 Dragon Emergency Response Review
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Node 3 Gas Trap Plug Removal
TICTOC MWA Preparation
TICTOC Science Photography
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #2 Bottle Replacement
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Node 3 Maintenance Canister Installation
Glacier (Unpowered) Remove from Express Rack
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Vascular Aging Resting Ultrasound Scan
Oral Biofilms In Space (OBiS) Flow Reconfiguration
PBA Pressure Gauge Photos
Iceberg Express Rack Install
Vascular Aging CDL Holter Arterial Blood Pressure Measurement
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Scan Prep
Polar Desiccant Swap
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Configure the Toilet System for a pause in operations.
Fluids Integrated Rack Doors Open
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from SpX-22
ACE-T11 Module Configuration
EVA HD EMU Camera (HECA) Installation
Iceberg Check
Dragon Cargo Transfer
EVA HD EMU Camera (HECA) File Transfer Initiation
Portable Onboard Computers (POC) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software Review
LSG Work Volume Deploy
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation

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