Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 January, 2021 – Light Duty but Schedule Ramping Up

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
January 8, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 January, 2021 – Light Duty but Schedule Ramping Up
The United States east coast looking towards the Florida.

The Expedition 64 crew had a light duty day Thursday following a busy holiday season filled with space research and U.S. cargo ship departure preparations.
Soon the astronauts will be ramping up for a set of International Space Station maintenance and upgrades spacewalks planned for January and February.

Final science experiments are wrapping up this week waiting to be packed inside the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and returned to Earth no earlier than Monday for analysis. NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins stowed microbial cultures in science freezers today that will soon be loaded inside the Cargo Dragon. The samples will be analyzed by scientists on the ground to understand the microbial risk to a spacecraft’s environment.

The Dragon is due to undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter on Monday at 9:25 a.m. EST live on NASA TV. Rubins will be on duty Monday monitoring Dragon’s undocking as it departs the station carrying several tons of hardware and completed space studies. NASA and SpaceX engineers will be on hand to retrieve the Dragon after its splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

A pair of spacewalks is targeted for the end of January for upgrades on the outside of the orbiting lab. U.S. astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will be ramping up their preparations for the two spacewalks over the next several days. The duo will be outfitting science hardware on Europe’s Columbus laboratory module during the first spacewalk and will upgrade high definition video and camera gear on the second.

Two more spacewalks are planned in February for electrical work and to set up experimental hardware for a technology demonstration.

On-Orbit Status Report


Veg-03: The crew opened wicks on each Veg-03 Plant Pillow. Organisms grow differently in space, from single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. But future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food, so understanding how plants respond to microgravity is an important step toward that goal. Veg-03 uses the Veggie plant growth facility to cultivate Extra Dwarf Pak Choi, Amara Mustard and Red Romaine Lettuce using Seed Film which are harvested on-orbit with samples returned to Earth for testing.

Bacterial Adhesion and Corrosion (BAC): The crew performed fixations and samplings on the BAC cell habitats. BAC explores the formation under microgravity conditions of multi-species biofilms, which may behave differently from single-species biofilms. This investigation identifies the bacterial genes used during biofilm growth, examines whether these biofilms can corrode stainless steel, and evaluates the effectiveness of a silver-based disinfectant. The microorganisms in biofilms can become resistant to traditional cleaning chemicals, leading to contamination of water treatment systems, damage to equipment, and potential health risks to astronauts.

Completed Task List Activities:

VEG questionnaire
Backup EDV swap
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Robotics MAC commissioning
Payloads ops support
Look Ahead Plan
Friday, January 8 (GMT 008)

BioAsteroid Deinstall (ESA)
KUBIK 5, 6 Deinstall (ESA)
MicroMonitor Water sample collect (JAXA)
Food Accept Survey (NASA)
Antimicrobial Coatings pad touch ops(NASA)
Repository: Saliva collect and Urine setup (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)
BAC Cell fixation (NASA)

EVA procedure review/conference
Collapsible Contingency Urinal in-cabin demo
Saturday, January 9 (GMT 009)

NanoRack Module 9 mixture ops 5 (NASA)
CommuBios Hardware pack (NASA)
Rodent Transfer setup (NASA)
Food Physiology Historical photo and Fecal setup and collect and ambient blood setup (NASA)
MVP module removal (NASA)
Food Physiology Saliva setup and collect (NASA)
Repository Urine collect (NASA)
Cardinal Heart Media change (NASA)
STaARS Bio-4 MELFI insert (NASA)

Sunday, January 10 (GMT 010)

PAUL Hardware removal and TangoLab mission 19 cube removal
Repository saliva and urine collect (NASA)
Food Physiology Historical photo and fecal processing (NASA)
Rodent Live animal return (NASA)
Rodent Habitat stow (NASA)
Food Physiology: ambient blood collect (NASA)
POLAR 8 dragon insert (NASA)

Dragon cargo transfer ops
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
BAC MELFI Sample Retrieve
VEG-03 Wick Open
Bacterial Adhesion and Corrosion Fixation
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
BAC MELFI Sample Insertion
BAC MELFI Sample Insertion
Rodent Research Sample Relocation
Bacterial Adhesion and Corrosion Fixation
BAC MELFI Sample Insertion
PAO Preparation
Station Support Computer (SSC) 21 Relocate.
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Food Acceptability Survey
Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap

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