Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 March, 2021 – Friday Spacewalk Set

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 5, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 March, 2021 – Friday Spacewalk Set
Spacewalk preparations in the Quest airlock.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi are scheduled to exit the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Friday for a spacewalk to complete the installation of solar array modification kits, which were started during the Feb. 28 spacewalk in preparation for solar array upgrades.
The pair will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7 a.m. EST tomorrow, signifying the start of their spacewalk, which is expected to last about six and a half hours. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website at 5:30 a.m.

Rubins and fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover began work to install modification kits on the farthest set of solar rays on the station’s Port-6 truss structure during the recent spacewalk. Noguchi will join Rubins in tomorrow’s spacewalk to complete the installation and configuration of the kits in preparation for new solar arrays. The new solar arrays, which will be delivered to the space station on upcoming SpaceX Dragon cargo missions, are a larger version of the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) technology and will ultimately increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.

This will be the 236th spacewalk in support of space station assembly. Rubins will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) and wear a spacesuit bearing red stripes. Noguchi will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing a suit with no stripes.

Rubins arrived at the space station Oct. 14, 2020, aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and Noguchi arrived at the space station in November as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission. This will be the fourth career spacewalk for each astronaut.

Roscosmos Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov continued work this week to seal a crack in the service module of the Zvezda compartment aboard the International Space Station. This was part of ongoing work to isolate and fix the source of a slight increase above the standard cabin air leak rate aboard the station teams have been investigating over the last year. The crew is in no danger, and the space station has ample consumables aboard to manage and maintain the nominal environment.

To seal the crack, the crew will drill holes in the tips of the cracks to prevent any potential future growth. The cracks will then be sealed right away with two types of sealing paste. Several more layers of paste will be applied with a reinforcement patch, which will be covered with another layer of sealing paste.

After completing the crack repair work, a series of leak checks will be performed.

The metal pieces, instrument data and photos collected will all be sent back to Earth for further analysis.

On-Orbit Status Report


Exploration Environmental Control and Life Support System: Brine Processor System (BPA): The crew installed the BPA hardware. The Exploration ECLSS: BPA is designed to improve water recycling on the ISS and boosts the efficiency of water recycling for the Artemis generation.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): The crew performed a lens changeout of the EarthKAM camera hardware. EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew’s perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The EarthKAM team then posts these photographs on the Internet for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world.

High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) Tape Dispenser: A Crewmember recorded video of the installation and usage of the HUNCH Tape Dispenser. The HUNCH Tape Dispenser was developed to aid crew in controlling rolls of the two most commonly used tapes on the ISS. By providing a tape dispenser that can be operated with one hand, crew can hold other equipment while cutting the needed tape or pull off longer strips without the tape sticking back onto itself (two hands).

Mochii: To help us further diagnose Mochii Microscope’s powering issues first experienced some time ago, the crew continued multimeter measurements on the Umbilical Cables. Mochii is a miniature scanning electron microscope (SEM) with spectroscopy to conduct real-time, on-site imaging and compositional measurements of particles on the International Space Station (ISS). Such particles can cause vehicle and equipment malfunctions and threaten crew health, but currently, samples must be returned to Earth for analysis, leaving crew and vehicle at risk. Mochii also provides a powerful new analysis platform to support novel microgravity science and engineering.

Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE): The crew visually checked a SERFE water sample within the Microbial Capture Device (MCD) after approximately 48 hours of incubation and reported observations to the ground. No microbial colonies were identified. 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.

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR): The crew installed the Imagery processor spare hard drive into the primary position as part of steps to recover functionality and commanding for FIR operations. The FIR is a complementary fluid physics research facility designed to host investigations in areas such as colloids, gels, bubbles, wetting and capillary action, and phase changes, including boiling and condensation.

ISS HAM: Trouble shooting efforts continue with the crew connecting the Columbus module ISS HAM antenna to different ports in order to establish a connection with the ground. ISS Ham Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The crew completed several activities in preparation for the ISS Upgrades III EVA. The crew configured EVA tools, audited the EVA tools, reviewed procedures, and printed cuff pages for their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs). Additionally, the crew prepared their EMUs and the Airlock for the EVA. The ISS Upgrades III EVA (United States On-orbit Segment EVA 72) is scheduled for Friday, March 5th.

Completed Task List Activities:

EVA GoPro Battery Charging
EVA GoPro Setup
WHC KTO Replace
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

SARJ Locking and Unlocking for PRK drilling activity
EPS Safing for BPA cable Install and PPSB Fuse Removal
ISS Upgrades III Inhibit Pad
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, March 5 (GMT 064)

HRF-1 Rack handle R&R (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
AC-Touch (NASA)
PBRE water check (NASA)
HRF-1 sply Inventory (NASA)

ISS Upgrades III EVA
ECLSS PEPS Inspection
JSL Node 3 Gigabit Ethernet Routing
Saturday, March 6 (GMT 065)

Crew Off-Duty

EVA Debrief Conference
EMU H2O Recharge
Sunday, March 7 (GMT 066)

Crew Off-Duty

Crew Off-Duty
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cuff Checklist Print
24-hour ECG Recording (start)
FIR Image Processor Hard Drive Replace
PILLE sensors gathering and setup for USOS EVA
Food Acceptability Survey
Equipment Lock (E-LK) Preparation
PBRE/MSG Water Release Inspection/Cleanup
Relocation of ISS Leak Kit to Service Module in support of PrK ops.
ISS HAM Antenna Cable Change 3 & 4
EVA Pistol Grip Battery Install
Disconnection of Life Support Rack Hose from Z-Panel
NOD3O3 Stowage Clear
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Brine Processor Installation
Columbus PPSB Fuses Removal
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check and Data Record
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Sealing fracture 1 in the hull of the SM ??? – Fracture isolation and hole sealing with glue (Part 1)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Audit
SERFE Water Sample MCD Data Record & MELFI insertion
SM air sampling using ??-1? sampler
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Conference
Sealing fracture 1 in the hull of the SM ??? – Locating fracture and sealing hole with glue (Part 2)
HUNCH Tape Dispenser Install and Documentation
Mochii Power Vaccuum Supply Fan Output Check
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) iPad Contingency Procedures preparation
Sealing fracture 1 in the hull of the SM ??? – Surface prep and application of sealant (second coat)
Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA) Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Relocate
ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
EarthKAM, Camera lens change in Node 2
Relocation of ISS Leak Kit from Service Module to PMA1

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