Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 10 February, 2022 – Busy Human Research Activities

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 11, 2022
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 10 February, 2022 – Busy Human Research Activities
Astronaut Kayla Barron cleans the Cell Biology Experiment Facility. (Feb. 2, 2022)

A host of human research activities dominated Thursday’s research schedule aboard the International Space Station.
The Expedition 66 crew members explored how living in microgravity affects sense of orientation, visual function, and the spine.

At the beginning of the day, NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron gathered again in the Columbus laboratory module for the GRIP study. The duo took turns strapping themselves in a specialized seat for the second time this week gripping a control device in response to dynamic events to explore how microgravity affects an astronaut’s sense of motion and orientation. They will have one more session on Friday for the experiment that may inform the design of future spacecraft interfaces.

Chari later spent the afternoon on a series of spinal exams with Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency). The astronauts swapped roles as crew medical officer marking their lower, or lumbar spinal section. Then with remote guidance from doctors on the ground, the duo took turns scanning each other’s lumbar spinal section with the Ultrasound 2 device for insights into how the skeletal system adapts to weightlessness.

Matthias first started the day with NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn conducting biology research inside the Kibo laboratory module. The duo performed operations using the Life Science Glovebox investigating how spaceflight affects visual function by examining changes in the vascular system of the retina and tissue remodeling.

Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, who is on his way to breaking the NASA astronaut single spaceflight record, spent Thursday configuring hardware to support a pair of fire safety experiments. He was inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module setting up the Combustion Integrated Rack to support upcoming operations for the SoFIE, or Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction, studies.

Working in the orbiting lab’s Russian segment, Commander Anton Shkaplerov studied advanced ways to detect Earth landmarks for photography sessions. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked throughout the day installing components and setting up crew cabins inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

On-Orbit Status Report


Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): The crew performed steps in support of the multi-part rack reconfiguration from the Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) experiment insert to the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction (SoFIE) experiment insert. Specifically, the crew exchanged bottles at Manifold 2 and 4, exchanged the adsorber cartridge, set the CIR valve timers, and disconnected the static mixer hose inside the CIR combustion chamber. SoFIE is a hardware insert for CIR that will enable a wide range of solid-material combustion and fire suppression studies, providing common infrastructure including sample holders, flow control, test sections, external radiant heaters, igniters, and diagnostics for multiple investigations. While SoFIE initially meets the requirements of five investigations, is intended for use by any researchers who propose related solid combustion studies to NASA in the future.

Food Physiology: A diet briefing was attended in support of the Food Physiology investigation. The Integrated Impact of Diet on Human Immune Response, the Gut Microbiota, and Nutritional Status During Adaptation to Spaceflight (Food Physiology) experiment is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators. These factors are interlinked, but diet is the only one that can be easily and meaningfully altered on Earth or during flight. This investigation aims to document the effect of dietary improvements on human physiology and the ability of those improvements to enhance adaptation to spaceflight.

Grip: In a continuation of the sessions started earlier this week, two sessions of Grip Seated Science 2 were performed. From an upright seated posture, the crew performed experiment tasks looking at friction, discrete (with eyes open/closed), and collisions. The Grip experiment studies the long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements: oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements and tapping gestures.

ISS Ham Pass: The crew participated in an ISS Ham pass with Gewerbliche Schulen Donaueschingen, Donaueschingen, Germany. Questions asked by the students included what happens if there is a leak in ISS, opportunities the crew must relax, and what concerns the crew has from living in space. 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.

Plant Habitat-05: Harvest 3 was performed today, which is around 45 days into the growth cycle of the experiment. The fourth and final harvest is planned around Day 90 of the experiment. Unlocking the Cotton Genome to Precision Genetics (Plant Habitat-05) cultivates several cotton genotypes that differ in their ability to regenerate into whole plants from undifferentiated masses of cells known as a calli. Cotton is highly resistant to the process of plant regeneration, making it difficult to engineer stable, reproducing plants that have specific or enhanced traits such as drought resistance. The investigation could provide a better understanding of this behavior and a pathway to avert this problem.

Rodent Research-18 (RR-18): The RR-18 experiment continued today with activities including a habitat restock and access unit cleaning. Astronauts returning from space can experience eye problems, along with headaches and blurred vision. Scientists suspect environmental conditions during spaceflight lead to oxidative stress that adversely affects the eye structure and function. Space Flight Environment Induces Remodeling of Vascular Network and Glia-vascular Communication in Mouse Retina (Rodent Research-18) investigates how spaceflight affects visual function, examining changes in the vascular system of the retina, tissue remodeling and cell-cell interactions in mice.

Touching Surfaces: The crew performed a periodic touching of the Touch Arrays which are deployed in five different locations in the US segment of ISS. Previous space research conducted during short-term flight experiments and long-term environmental monitoring on board orbiting space stations (such as MIR or the ISS) 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.


Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluations: The HMS monitors crew health, responds to crew illness or injury, provides preventive health care, and provides stabilization and emergency transport between vehicles. Today the crew completed Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluations using an otoscope for ear imagery and other tools for measuring and recording the crew’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Lumbar Spine Scan: The crew performed routine ultrasound scans today to collect data that will help medical researchers characterize the effects of spaceflight on the spine and how spinal alterations leading to back pain and potential injury can be avoided. Ground based pre- and post-flight Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and high-fidelity ultrasound, combined with in-flight ultrasound, are used to characterize and assign a mission health risk to microgravity-associated spinal alterations for back pain and potential injury.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA): TOCA primarily serves as a third level of redundancy safety control for the Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Water Processor for potable water by monitoring total organic carbon (TOC) and total inorganic carbon (TIC) concentration levels, a general indication of overall water quality. To check the accuracy of the TOCA calibration, the crew used a sample bag with a known amount of TOC and TIC. The crew recorded this calibration data for tracking and systems analysis.

Water and Recovery System (WRS) Iodinated Contingency Water Container (CWC-I): The CWC is a soft container with an inner bladder that can store a variety of liquids including humidity condensate, wastewater, and other unique fluids such as Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) wastewater. Iodine is used for disinfection. The crew set up the CWC-I Transfer Station and then activated the Fluid Transfer Pump to transfer fluid to a Water Storage System (WSS) Water Resupply Tank (RST). This assembly utilizes a Microbial Check Valve and Water Check Valve Hose to maintain the potable integrity of the CWC-I.

Dragon / LAB Space Station Computer (SSC) Swap: SSCs are the laptops associated with non-command activities onboard the ISS. Today, the crew moved SSC 10 from Dragon to LAB and moved SSC 20 from LAB to Dragon. SSCs are swapped regularly to ensure that International Procedures Viewer (IPV) backups are applied to SSCs remaining in Dragon for emergency situations.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Walkoff Maneuver Node 2 Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF)
Space Station Robotic Manipulator System (SSRMS) Latching End Effector (LEE) High-Definition Survey
Structural Dynamics Measurement System (SDMS) Data Dump
CWC-I Transfer to Waste Water Bus
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, February 11 (GMT 42)

CIR Hardware Return
EML Gas Valve Close
GRIP-Supine Science 3 and Stow
Plant Habitat-05 MELFI Insert
Standard Measures Post-Sleep Questionnaire
Veggie PONDS Water Fill and Photos
Wireless Compose-2 Ballistocardiograph

Water and Recovery System (WRS) CWC-I (Iodinated Contingency Water Container) Degas
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) #2 Procedure Review for Extravehicular Crew
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics and Rendezvous Reviews
Saturday, February 12 (GMT 43)


Crew Off-Duty
Sunday, February 13 (GMT 44)


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

Biochemical Urine Test
GRIP Science Performance in Seated Position
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation
Life Science Glovebox (LSG) Work Volume Deploy/Stow, Primary Crew Restraint Fold/Unfold, Front Glove-Swap
Temp Logger (Twelve) Measurement Data Transfer to Experiment Laptop Terminal 2 (ELT2)
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
BCR/RFID Scanner Charge
RFID GFCI Cable Swap
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Meas Exp Unit A Detachment and Humidifier 2 Closeout
Node 2 O2 Cap Repair
Touching Event for the Touching Surfaces Experiment
Rodent Research Habitat Restock
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
SQuARE Fixed Daily Imagery
Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Rack Doors Open, Optics Bench Translation Out
CIR Optics Bench Configuration #1 for SoFIE
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check, Data Record
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Lumbar Spine Scan
Plant Habitat-05 Plant Harvest #3
Station Support Computer (SSC) 10 and 20 Swap
CWC-Iodine Waste Water Bus Transfer
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Standard Measures Pre-Sleep Questionnaire

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