Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 24 February, 2022 – After Delivery, New Research to Start

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 24, 2022
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status Report 24 February, 2022 – After Delivery, New Research to Start
Cygnus is in the grip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. (Feb. 21, 2022)

Spacewalk preparations and cancer research were among the activities scheduled aboard the International Space Station on Thursday.
The Expedition 66 crew also unpacked a U.S. cargo craft and explored using virtual reality while exercising.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron began readying the U.S. Quest airlock and collecting tools ahead of a pair of spacewalks planned for mid-March. The duo also reviewed step-by-step spacewalk procedures on a computer using 3D graphics. NASA is continuing to set up the space station’s truss structure for a third set of roll out solar arrays augmenting the orbiting lab’s power system.

Chari earlier partnered with ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer investigating how living in space affects visual function. NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn assisted the duo with the research in the morning before spending the afternoon troubleshooting components on the COLBERT treadmill. Maurer ended his day wearing virtual reality goggles while pedaling on an exercise cycle to learn how to improve the work out experience in space.

A new cancer study started this week after arriving aboard the Cygnus space freighter on Monday. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei set up the Life Science Glovebox on Wednesday and began observing tumor cells shipped inside a Cygnus science freezer. On Thursday, Vande Hei continued servicing those samples to better understand the onset and progression of cancer and potentially improve treatments on Earth.

Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos was back on plasma physics research Thursday and also transferred cargo from Russia’s ISS Progress 80 cargo craft. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov inspected Russian station modules before exploring ways to maximize space exercise. The duo rounded out the day with eye scans using the Ultrasound 2 device with remote guidance from doctors on the ground.

On-Orbit Status Report


Immersive Exercise: A crewmember gathered Immersive Exercise related hardware, performed a virtual reality (VR) headset calibration, ran the exercise session, filled out the questionnaire, and stowed items per the stowage notes. The Immersive Exercise project focuses on the development of a 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.

MicroQuin 3D Tumor: MicroQuin 3D Tumor hardware was placed into the LSG (Life Science Glovebox) and Injections were performed on BioCells for Habitat B. Investigation of Key Signaling Cascades Involved in Tumorigenesis and Their Responsiveness to a New Therapeutic Using a 3D In Vitro Tumor Model (MicroQuin 3D Tumor) examines the effects of a drug on breast and prostate cancer cells. In microgravity, the cells can grow in a three-dimensional model, which makes it easier to characterize their structure, gene expression, and cell signaling and response to the drug. Results could provide new insight into the role of a protein in the cells that is targeted by the drug.

Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4): A crewmember swapped the data harddrives and initiated run #4. The gas supply valves were shut off and the video monitor was deinstalled. Plasma Krystall-4 (PK-4) is a scientific collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), performing research in the field of Complex Plasmas: low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. The micro-particles become highly charged in the plasma and interact strongly with each other, which can lead to a self-organized structure of the micro-particles: so-called plasma crystals. Experiments in the facility aim to study Transport Properties, Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Statistical Physics, and Non-linear waves and Instabilities in the plasmas.

Rodent Research-18 (RR-18): RR-18 activities were performed, and a Rodent habitat was restocked. 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.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: In support of two EVAs scheduled for next month, the crew performed an Articulating Portable Foot Restraint (APFR) Tool Build. The APFR is a commonly used foot restraint tool that helps the astronauts stay in place while performing maintenance during spacewalks. It features a boot plate with toe loops to help secure the boot of an Extravehicular Mobility Suit (EMU). Today the crew wrapped a crowfoot tool in Kapton tape and completed a fit check on the pitch knob of the APFR. The crew also reviewed Portable Onboard Computers (POC) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software and unstowed hardware from the Airlock not needed for the upcoming EVAs.

Treadmill 2 (T2) Isolator Inspection: As part of on-going troubleshooting on the T2 Rack, the crew rotated the rack from its overnight stow configuration and installed new isolators.

Emergency Simulation On-Board Training (OBT): Today the crew reviewed Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality to make sure systems are functional and their training is fresh in case there is an emergency on the space station. Tomorrow, the crew will perform emergency response drills.

Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew continued offloading science experiments, crew provisions, and hardware from the recently berthed Cygnus cargo vehicle. The Cygnus will remain at the space station until the end of May, and once it is offloaded, the crew will begin filling it with items for disposal.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan: Today, the crew performed eye exams using ultrasound equipment. Eye exams are performed regularly on-board in order to monitor crewmembers eye health. Eyesight is one of the many aspects of the human body that is affected by long-duration stays in a microgravity environment.

Dragon / LAB Space Station Computer (SSC) Swap: SSCs are the laptops used onboard by crew members onboard the ISS to access timelines and procedures and perform other tasks. 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.

Four Bed CO2 Scrubber Flight Software Update

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, February 25 (GMT 56)

Cold Atom Lab MTL Leak Check (NASA)
Colgate Skin Media Change and Preservation (NASA)
EasyMotion Power Box Charge (ESA)
MQ3D fixations HAB B (NASA)
PK-4 Data HD Change and Pack for Return (ESA-joint)
RR-18 Access Unit Clean (NASA)
SABL-2 CO2 Controller Remove (NASA)

Training for Emergency Response On-Board ISS
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
EVA Battery Operations
Saturday, February 26 (GMT 57)

Astrobee perching Arm Install (NASA)
Plant Hab-05 Media Transfer (NASA)
Repository Urine Setup (NASA)

Crew Off-Duty
Sunday, February 27 (GMT 58)

Colgate Skin Media Change (NASA)
Phospho-Aging Sample Inserts (NASA)
Repository Urine and Blood Collect (NASA)

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

Extravehicular Activity Articulating Portable Foot Restraint Tool Build
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Icebrick Stow
MicroQuin 3D Tumor Media Injection Ops, MELFI Sample Retrieve, SABL Insert
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Touching Event for the Touching Surfaces experiment
Dragon Tablet Checkout
Environmental Health System (EHS) – Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
Treadmill 2 (T2) Rack Rotate
Rodent Research Habitat Restock
Food Acceptability Survey
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 2 Power On
Eddy Current Meter Gather
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Unfold, Fold, Front Glove Swap
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – ESA Nutritional Assessment
SQuARES Flexible Daily Imagery
Swap SSC (Station Support Computer) 10 and 20 Swap
Wireless VR Headset Troubleshooting, Calibration and Items Retrieval for Immersive Exercise
Portable Onboard Computers (POC) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software Review
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Airlock Unstow
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
CCE Preparation

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