Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 9 February, 2022 – Manipulating Objects in Space

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 10, 2022
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 9 February, 2022 – Manipulating Objects in Space
Astronaut Matthias Maurer explores how concrete hardens in microgravity. (Feb. 1, 2022)

Wednesday’s main research aboard the International Space Station is exploring how astronauts manipulate objects and move around in weightlessness.
The Expedition 66 crew is also getting ready for a pair of resupply missions due to launch next week.

Grabbing an object and moving around is different in space than on Earth. Scientists are studying how astronauts adjust to the microgravity environment with possible implications for spacecraft interfaces designed for future missions to planets, moons, or asteroids. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron took turns and strapped themselves into a specialized seat in the Columbus laboratory module for the GRIP study on Wednesday. The duo then performed a series of movements while gripping a control device helping researchers understand how astronauts respond to different dynamic events.

Astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) began packing up gear for disposal on the next U.S. Cygnus space freighter to visit the space station. Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft is due to launch Feb. 19 from Virginia and arrive at the orbital lab two days later for a robotic capture and installation to the Unity module. NASA TV will broadcast both events live on the agency’s website and the NASA app.

NASA Flight Engineers Thomas Marshburn and Mark Vande Hei spent Wednesday mostly on lab maintenance tasks. Marshburn worked on plumbing duties in the Tranquility module swapping components inside the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, the orbiting lab’s bathroom. Vande Hei set up life support system tanks for remote draining by ground teams, refilled plant water bags, and finally serviced a biology research device that can generate artificial gravity.

Russia’s next cargo mission is due to blast off from Kazakhstan on Feb. 14 at 11:25 p.m. EST and autonomously dock to the Poisk module just over two days later. The ISS Progress 80 cargo craft from Roscosmos will deliver almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to replenish the station crew.

Commander Anton Shkaplerov worked inside the current cargo craft docked to the station transferring fluids into the ISS Progress 79. The four-time station veteran also assisted Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov as he explored how to maximize a workout in microgravity.

On-Orbit Status Report


Grip: After reviewing the big picture words and setting up the appropriate hardware, two sessions of Grip seated science 1 were performed. From an upright seated posture, the crew performed experiment tasks looking at friction, oscillations, targeted and sensors verification. 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.

Materials Science Research Rack/Materials Science Laboratory (MSRR/MSL): The crew gained access to the furnace area, removed the processed sample, and inserted the next Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive and Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions (MICAST) Sample Cartridge Assembly (SCA) to be processed. The MICAST experiment aims to deepen the understanding of the physical principles that govern solidification processes in metal alloys.

Multi-use Variable Platform (MVP) Plant-01 Remove: Following the completion of the second MVP-Plant-01 science run, the Experiment Modules were removed and prepared for return to the ground for analysis. The ground team has reported that based on internal MVP camera views, they believe none of the plants germinated. Plant RNA Regulation Redux in MVP (MVP-Plant-01) profiles and monitors shoot and root development in plants in microgravity, in order to understand the molecular mechanisms and regulatory networks behind how plants sense and adapt to changes in their environment. This understanding could contribute to the design of plants better able to withstand adverse environmental conditions, including long-duration spaceflight.

Nutrition Monitoring for the International Space Station (NutrISS): The crew set up the NutrISS bioimpedance device and performed a measurement session with the device. They also filled out the questionnaire related to the session. Long-duration spaceflight induces relevant changes in body composition and a loss of body mass. In the NutrISS investigation, a periodic assessment of body composition (body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass) during spaceflight aboard the ISS is carried out using a dedicated bio-impedance analysis device to allow for the measurement of long-term energy balance modification over time. It is hypothesized that an adjusted diet maintaining a near-neutral energy balance, and/or increasing protein, intake can limit microgravity-induced bone and muscle loss.

Wireless Compose-2: The connection between Comm Module and the SmartTex shirt data cable was checked, and the LED status of the SmartTex Processing Unit was verified. This was performed as a troubleshooting measure for the Wireless Compose-2 Ballistocardiography data issues. The main scientific goal of the Wireless Communication Network (Wireless Compose-2) investigation is to provide a flexible and adaptable wireless network infrastructure to conduct and execute low-power, low-weight, and wireless experiments on the ISS. For this demonstration, Wireless Compose-2 operates several experiments, including an experiment to examine the impact of the space environment on the cardiovascular system. Additionally, Wireless Compose-2 demonstrates newly developed impulse radio ultra-wide-band (IR-UWB) hardware to enable precise localization applications and to analyze the energy harvesting potential on the ISS.


In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Hydraulic Components Remove and Replace (R&R): The WHC is a Russian built metabolic waste disposal system that has been modified to fit within a standard USOS sized rack. In accordance with regular maintenance activities, the crew replaced urine hydraulic components of the WHC. These components included the urine valve block, urine lines, and urine pressure sensors. The urine output by the WHC is fed directly into the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) and is purified to create potable water.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: Today the crew set up the drain of the installed Recycle Tank via the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Fill/Drain Valve into an EDV (water container) using the Urine Transfer System (UTS). The UPA works by using a Vapor-Compression Distillation (VCD) process to separate product water from the wastewater feed using rotation and low pressure. The Recycle Tank filters and accumulates solids and solid precipitates in the wastewater stream.

US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock (A/L) Audit: Ahead of the two upcoming EVAs in March, the crew performed an audit of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) components located in the A/L. The audit ensured the EMU protective covers, sizing rings, lower arms, and stowage bags were located, properly stored, and available for retrieval for future activities.

Cygnus Trash Gather: Today the crew pre-gathered some items for disposal on NG-17. NG-17 is a Cygnus cargo spacecraft scheduled to berth with the space station on February 21st. This vehicle will deliver science experiments, crew provisions, equipment, and other important items to the station. Once unloaded, the crew will reload the vehicle with trash and other items for disposal.

Water Recovery System (WRS) Iodine Compatible Water Container (CWC-Iodine) Fill: A CWC-I is a water bag which stores up to 50 lbs of iodinated water. These bags are used for the ISS Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Water Recovery and Management (WRM) system and to house water suitable for Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge. To fill these containers, the crew transferred water from the Potable Bus into a CWC-Iodine using the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) which nominally dispenses de-iodinated water. The Water Processor Assembly (WPA) was configured to isolate the Potable Bus upon reaching a target offload. The crew monitored the offload time as a secondary control to protect the CWC-Iodine from over pressurization.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Hover Maneuver and Walkoff to Lab PDGF
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Support
Crew Dragon System Checkout
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Fan Deactivation
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, February 10 (GMT 41)

CBEF-L Configuration
CIR/ACME to SOFIE Reconfig Prep
Food Physiology Diet Brief
GRIP-Seated Science 2
Plant Habitat-05 Harvest 3
Rodent Research-18 Habitat Restock and Access Unit Clean
Standard Measures Pre-Sleep Questionnaire
Temperature Logger Data Transfer
Touching Surfaces

HMS Periodic Health Status (PHS)
HMS Lumbar Spine Ultrasounds
Station Support Computer (SSC) 10 and 20 Swap
Friday, February 11 (GMT 42)

CIR Hardware Return
EML Gas Valve Close
GRIP-Supine Science 3
MVP Plant-01 Bonus Run Setup
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
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Body Mass Measurement – BMMD
NUTRISS MO8 Questionnaire
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Measurement
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Hydraulic Components Remove and Replace (R&R)
GRIP Big Picture Words reading
PDH (Payload Data Handling unit) R&R
GRIP science performance in seated position
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
CIR Session Review for SoFIE #1
Wireless Compose (WICO) Ballistocardiography (BCG) Data Troubleshooting
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Hardware Gather
JPM Common Gas Supply Equipment (CGSE) Video Review
JPM Common Gas Supply Equipment (CGSE) Gas Line Switch [ABORTED]
SQuARE Fixed Daily Imagery
Material Science Laboratory (MSL) Sample Cartridge Assembly (SCA) Exchange
Food Acceptability Survey
Plant Habitat Water Bag Refill
Astrobee Stowage Clear
US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Audit of A/LO0
Cygnus Trash Gather
CWC-Iodine Fill
Emergency RS ISS VHF-1 Comm Checkout from USOS
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap [ABORTED]
External Recycle Tank Leak Check
Multi-use Variable Platform (MVP) Desiccant Replace, Historical Documentation Photography, Module Remove

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.