Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status April 27, 2021 – Command Change

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 1, 2021
Filed under , , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status April 27, 2021 – Command Change
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status April 27, 2021 - Command Change.

The International Space Station has a new commander today as four astronauts prepare for their return to Earth this Saturday.
The orbital residents will also send off a Russian cargo craft on Tuesday evening, completing its year-long stay at the orbital lab.

The four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts have a new splashdown date after mission managers waved off Wednesday’s planned departure due to weather conditions at the landing site. The quartet of Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, is now targeting a splashdown off the coast of Florida for Saturday at 11:36 a.m. EDT.

NASA TV will begin its continuous live coverage at 3:30 p.m. Friday starting with hatch closure of the Crew Dragon Resilience set for 3:50 p.m. Resilience with its four-person crew will then autonomously undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter at 5:55 p.m. completing a 164-day station research mission.

Walker handed over station command to today Akihiko Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) during the traditional change of command ceremony. Hoshide, Japan’s second station commander, will now lead Expedition 65 until October of this year.

Hoshide arrived at the orbital lab on April 24 aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour with SpaceX Crew-2. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough commanded Endeavour riding alongside Pilot Megan McArthur and Mission Specialists Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet during the near 24-hour trip that began with a launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Staying on the orbiting lab with the four Crew-2 astronauts are NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. The trio docked to the station’s Rassvet module inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship on April 9 and will stay on orbit until October.

Russia’s ISS Progress 75 cargo craft has been packed with trash and discarded gear and its hatch closed for an undocking today at 7:11 p.m. It will leave the Zvezda service module’s aft port and spend another day orbiting Earth on its own before reentering Earth’s atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean for a fiery, but safe destruction.

On-Orbit Status Report

75P Departure: Today at 6:11 PM CST, 75 Progress (75P) is set to depart from the SM-Aft port of the International Space Station. The Russian cargo vehicle will stay in orbit for roughly 25 hours before beginning its deorbit burn at 7:01 PM CT on Wednesday 4/28, before re-entering the atmosphere for re-entry disposal at 7:36 PM CST. 75P was launched to station on April 25, 2020.

Change of Command Ceremony: Today at 12:25 PM CST, the ISS crew performed a Change of Command Ceremony so that Endeavour Crewmember Akihiko Hoshide will become the commander (CDR) of the International Space Station. Former Commander and Resilience Crewmember Shannon Walker will resume her previous “FE-13” designation as she and her crew prepare for departure from the ISS on Friday 4/30 as part of the Resilience Crew Undock.

Resilience Crew Undocking Delay: It has been decided, due to inclement weather at the landing zone, that the Resilience Crew Undocking that was scheduled for Wednesday 4/28 is to be postponed until no earlier than Friday 4/30.


MSL SCA-Batch3b-ESA: The crew removed the used MSL Sample Cartridge and installed the new 3B Sample Cartridge. Crew then prepared the facility for the next experiment run. The Materials Science Lab Batch 3b (MSL SCA-Batch 3b-ESA) serves two projects investigating how different phases organize in a structure when metallic alloys are solidified. The Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive and Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions (MICAST) experiment aims to deepen the understanding of the physical principles that govern solidification processes in metal alloys. The Columnar-to-Equiaxed Transition in Solidification Processing (CETSOL) experiment aims to deepen the understanding of the physical principles that govern solidification processes in metal alloys.

Vascular Echo: The Blood Pressure Bio-Monitor wearable hardware was doffed and stowed completing a 13-hr data collection run. Cardiac and Vessel Structure and Function with Long-Duration Space Flight and Recovery (Vascular Echo) examines changes in blood vessels, and the heart, while the crewmembers are in space as well as follows their recovery on return to Earth. The results could provide insight into potential countermeasures to help maintain crewmember health and quality of life for everyone.


Crew-1 Dragon Prop Checkout: This morning ground teams performed a Dragon hotfire thruster test as a part of the propulsion system checkout in preparation for Crew-1 undock, now scheduled for 4/30. Both Port and Starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joints (SARJs) and Beta Gimble Assemblies (BGAs) 2B and 4A were positioned in support of the test. Arrays were brought back to nominal stage configuration (autotracking) after completion of the test.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Crew Dragon Prop Checkout
Crew Dragon System Undock Activation
PRO MSRR Deactivation Commanding
Columbus FSL high rate data downlink
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, April 28 (GMT 118)

AC touch (NASA)
Vascular Aging BioMonitor Stow (CSA)
Phospho Aging blood and urine collections (JAXA)
GRIP Supine session and partial stow (ESA)
Standard Measures Ambient Blood and questionnaire (NASA)
Food Physiology Fecal processing and HISD photo (NASA)
Story Time in Space-8 Software install (NASA)

Deroute SSC 23 drag-through cables and temp stow
On Board Training (OBT) ROBoT T&C Self Study
ADLINK Troubleshooting Gather activity
Contingency Manual Fluid Transfer from EDV to Resupply Tank
Thursday, April 29 (GMT 119)

GRASP Seated session (ESA)
Phospho Aging Blood and Urine collect (JAXA)
ACME Controller replace (NASA)
Story Time in Space Experiment with Thermal White Sphere (NASA_

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace
ACME Controller Replace 1
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Friday, April 30 (GMT 120)

Crew Off Duty Day

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

Bio-Monitor Wearables Data Transfer and Removal
Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow
Campout Sleeping Bag Deploy / Stow
Change of Command
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Crew Dragon Seat Actuator Checkout
Deactivation of TV system monitoring equipment, Close applications and downlink MPEG2 multicast and MPEG2 unicast recorded data via OCA
Deploy Sleeping Bag in Dragon
Dragon Camera Uncover
Dragon MegaHEPA Seals Install
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
Handover of Increment 65 Crew
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
IMS delta file prep
Material Science Laboratory Procedure Review
Material Science Laboratory SQF Exchange
MSL SCA Exchange Big Picture Words Review
On board Training Cygnus Emergency Procedure Review
Phospho-Aging HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection – Operator
Polar Transfer to Crew Dragon (from EXPRESS Rack) Overview
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Roll Up and Stow Sleep Bag
Standard Measures Cognition Testing
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Ops
Unseal MegaHEPA Filter in Crew Dragon
Vascular Aging 13-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Conclude

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