Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 October, 2021 – Eye Checks, Science, and and Soyuz Crew Departure Preparations

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
October 8, 2021
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 October, 2021 – Eye Checks, Science, and and Soyuz Crew Departure Preparations
The seven-member Expedition 65 crew gathers for a portrait. (Oct. 4, 2021)

The Expedition 65 crew had a busy day on Thursday with eye checks, space science, and Soyuz crew departure preparations on the schedule.
The 10 residents aboard the International Space Station also joined each other in the afternoon to review emergency procedures.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Shane Kimbrough swapped roles as crew medical officer today during a series of eye exams. Vande Hei kicked off the first session Thursday morning using an ultrasound device scanning the eyes of fellow astronauts Kimbrough, Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide, and Commander Thomas Pesquet. Kimbrough took charge in the afternoon measuring fluid pressure in his crewmates eyes then using near-infrared imaging gear to examine their retinas.

Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) started his day replacing electrical components inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) installed a research device that will enable the observation of fluid physics and materials science experiments at high temperatures.

Veteran cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Anton Shkaplerov checked computers and electronics gear inside the docked Soyuz MS-18 and Soyuz MS-19 crew ships. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov joined Novitskiy and Shkaplerov and also assisted the two spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko with their filmmaking activities today.

Novitskiy will command the Soyuz MS-18 back to Earth in just over a week with the two filmmakers. Shkaplerov will complete his mission at the end of March next year inside the Soyuz MS-19 leading Vande Hei and Dubrov back home after their near year-long mission.

All 10 residents aboard the station joined each other for an hourlong session in the afternoon to review their roles and responsibilities in the unlikely event of an emergency on the station. They located safety gear, ensured the crew vehicles were ready for an evacuation, and practiced communication and coordination with mission control centers around the world.

On-Orbit Status Report


Actiwatch Plus: A crewmember connected up to four Actiwatch Plus devices to the HRF Payload Drawer on HRF Rack 2 for charging and data transfer. 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.

Device for the study of Critical Liquids and Crystallization Alice-Like Insert (DECLIC-ALI): A crewmember installed the third re-flight of the DECLIC instrument, hard drive, and the ALICE-LIKE Insert (ALI) into EXPRESS Rack 8. DECLIC-ALI studies liquids at the verge of boiling. The flow of heat during boiling events is different in microgravity than it is on Earth. Understanding how heat flows in fluids at the verge of boiling will help scientists develop cooling systems for use in microgravity.

Immersive Exercise: A crewmember performed the setup of the Immersive Exercise hardware, run an exercise session, fill the questionnaire and restowed the hardware items. The Immersive Exercise project focuses on the development of a virtual reality (VR) environment for biking sessions aboard the ISS. The VR equipment is interfaced with the current bicycle exerciser aboard the ISS, Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS), located in the United States “Destiny” Laboratory Module.

Portable Pulmonary Function System (PPFS): The crew performed troubleshooting steps to recover from observed problems that occurred during the Max CEVIS activity on GMT 272, where Portable PFS became unresponsive. The PPFS, provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), is new equipment added to the already developed European Pressurized Module (EPM) pool of instruments. The Portable PFS is an evolution to the existing Pulmonary Function System (PFS). The PFS is the EPM contribution to NASA’s Human Research Facility (HRF) and supports a wide range of respiratory and cardiovascular measurements.

Space Acceleration Measurement System-II (SAMS-II): A crewmember activated the SAMS-II Control Unit. Space Acceleration Measurement System-II (SAMS-II) is an ongoing study of the small forces (vibrations and accelerations) on the International Space Station (ISS) resulting from the operation of hardware, crew activities, dockings and maneuvering. Results generalize the types of vibrations affecting vibration-sensitive experiments and structural life of ISS. Investigators and Structural Analysts seek to better understand the vibration environment on the ISS using SAMS-II data and assessing station loads and dynamics.

Technology Box: A crewmember performed troubleshooting activities prior in preparation of Technology Box operations. The main objective of Technology Box (Tetr’ISS) is to conduct experiments gathered in support equipment called ‘Platform’, to illustrate science principles based on physics and chemistry. For this mission, Tetr’ISS contains the Chladni’s Figures experiment: a physical science experiment to observe the sound waves in 3D thanks to fine particles organized according to nodes and antinodes.

Touching Surfaces: A crewmember performed touching operations on the Touch Array and reported 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.


Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review: All crewmembers and spaceflight participants participated in an Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review today. Items of discussion included procedure strategy and intent, communication and coordination, crew accountability, access to escape vehicles, Safe Haven, segment expertise, buddy system, PPE, and the ISS Commander’s responsibilities. Due to the complex nature of emergencies in space, it is imperative that each crewmember and spaceflight participant is familiar with the various emergency procedures and strategies in place.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Powerup
Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Unstow
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Translate Config
Attitude Control System (ACS) Software Thruster Disable
Mobile Transporter (MT) Pre-Translation Check Out and Survey
Mobile Transporter (MT) Translation
Attitude Control System (ACS) Software Thruster Enable
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, October 8 (GMT 281)

Astrobee Perching Arm Install, stowage clear and crew conf and Astrobatics session (NASA)
BioLab Laptop checkout (ESA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Food Physiology Brief (NASA)
HRF1 Supply Inventory (NASA)
JAXA Water Recovery Pump3 Exchange (JAXA)
Technology Box Data transfer (ESA)
TELLAS (Tele-Luminescence) ops (JAXA)

N1 20-Port JSL Switch Deploy
CASA Outfit
N3 Endcone Cleanout
PAO Events
NRAL Stowage Cleanout
Photo/TV N2 HD Encoder Ethernet Cable Swap
EVA Mag Gather
Saturday, October 9 (GMT 282)


Sunday, October 10 (GMT 283)


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

Technology Box troubleshooting activity
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Wireless VR Headset and items retrieval for Immersive Exercise
Touching Event for the Touching Surfaces experiment
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
DECLIC Hardware Gather.
DECLIC Instrument Installation
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup Alternate
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 2 Power On
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan Prep
Space Acceleration Measurement System Control Unit Activation
Environmental Health System (EHS) Personal CO2 Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
DECLIC Removable Hard Disk Drive Installation
DECLIC ALICE-LIKE Insert Installation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan performed by a Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Set up and run Immersive Exercise session
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Post Exam
Food Acceptability Survey
HMS Tonometry Test Setup
HMS Tonometry – Practice
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Stow Alternate
HMS Tonometry Test Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
HMS Tonometry Test Subject
HMS Tonometry Test Stow
Portable PFS Partial Set-up
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Setup
Astrobee Prep
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
Portable PFS Troubleshooting
Urine Transfer System Backup EDV Swap
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Prep
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – OCT2 Exam – Operator
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Exam – Subject
Portable PFS Stow
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT2 Stow
Deploy Sleeping Bag in Dragon

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