Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 12 December, 2022 – More Spacewalks this Week

By SpaceRef Editor
Status Report
December 13, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 12 December, 2022 – More Spacewalks this Week
Astronaut Frank Rubio works on the Combustion Integrated Rack. (Dec. 7, 2022)

Two spacewalks are planned in the next several days outside the International Space Station for the Expedition 68 crew. Meanwhile, science was still ongoing at the beginning of the week with space botany and physics work aboard the orbiting lab.

On Wednesday at 9:20 p.m. EST, Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin will exit the Poisk module’s airlock in their Orlan spacesuits. They will spend about seven hours transferring a radiator from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina will be inside Nauka supporting the spacewalking duo by operating the European robotic arm.

Prokopyev and Petelin spent Monday getting their suits and the Poisk airlock ready for Wednesday’s excursion. The duo configured their spacesuits’ life support and communications components then collected and organized the tools they will use during the spacewalk. They also closed the hatch and performed leak checks on the ISS Progress 82 resupply ship which is docked to Poisk just outside its airlock. Kikina primarily spent the day on life support and ventilation maintenance.

NASA Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio will have their spacewalk together on Monday, Dec. 19. They will install their second roll-out solar array, or International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA), on the Port-4 (P4) truss segment. They installed their first iROSA on Dec. 3 on the station’s Starboard-4 truss segment opposite of the P4.

The two NASA astronauts spent some time on Monday reviewing the iROSA installation procedures and discussing the spacewalk with mission controllers on the ground. Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also participated in the review and the ground conference and will assist the two spacewalkers next week.

Cassada kicked off the workweek watering dwarf tomatoes growing inside the Veggie space botany facility for the Veg-05 experiment. Wakata transported physics research hardware from the Cygnus resupply ship to a research rack inside the Kibo laboratory module. Rubio collected carbon dioxide samples from life support hardware. Mann also assisted the cosmonauts helping them get their tools ready for Wednesday’s spacewalk.

On-Orbit Status Report


Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF): The Air Gas Bottle Unit was removed and an Argon Gas Bottle Unit Argon was installed. The ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate/melt/solidify materials by container less processing techniques using the Electrostatic Levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured, and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved. The ELF is located in the JEM Multipurpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in the Kibo Module.

Fixed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Smart Sensing: RFID Smart Sensing Drawer Monitor System Tags were installed onto NOD1O4 and NOD1S4 Zero-Gravity Storage Rack doors. RFID readers and antennas have operated on the ISS since 2017 and were installed on a robotic free-flying Astrobee in January 2021. RFID-Enabled Autonomous Logistics Management-3 (REALM-3) (RFID Smart Sensing) builds on this work, by extending the reach of RFID signals behind stowage racks and placing motion sensors imbedded in RFID tags on rack doors. Results could increase the accuracy of RFID inventory and item location.

STaARS BioScience-15: Hermetic Microplate samples were inserted into a Box Module and placed into the MELFI-1 cold stowage facility. STaARS BioScience-15 will be a mission to analyze cell biological changes due to the effects of microgravity to aid in the development of diagnostics and treatments for certain types of bone disease and cancers. The goal of this investigation is to confirm previous findings, specifically the inhibition of growth of aggressive cancer cells in a microgravity environment.


USOS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: Today, the crew started with a review of all detailed procedures and references package in preparation of the upcoming 4A ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) Install on December 19th. They then participated in a conference with ground teams to further discuss final operations, get ahead tasks, and EVA timelines. During this EVA the EV crew will install a fourth IROSA to the 4A power channel on the port truss of the ISS in hopes of generating more power to the ISS.

Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Four Bed Carbon Dioxide (4BCO2) Scrubber Samples: Prior to sampling, the crew set up hardware by installing the Quick Disconnect (QD) Sampling Adapter to the rack. The crew then performed sampling of CO2 effluent from the 4BCO2 Scrubber. 4BCO2 is a full-scale CO2 removal Flight Demonstration Unit (FDU) capable of supporting exploration sized crews. The system operates similarly to current Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) with two cycles to concurrently scrub air. 

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Lab Robotics Workstation (RWS) Display and Control Panel (DCP) Cable Inspection: Today, the crew troubleshooted previous issues seen on the Lab RWS DCP. In order to recreate the failure mode, the crew manipulated the Lab RWS Trackball and associated buttons to try to reproduce the problem. The Trackball cable was demated from the bottom of DCP, inspected, and left secured out of the way. The primary purpose of the RWS is to provide the capability to control and monitor Mobile Servicing System (MSS) equipment to an Intravehicular (IV) crewmember located in the pressured modules of the ISS or to flight controllers on the ground. 

IFM Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace (R&R): The crew R&R’d the Pre-Treat Tank in the WHC. This process included configuring the new Pre-Treat Tank, removing the old one, replacing with the new one, maintenance checkout, and a functionality test. The WHC is a modified ACY (Russian Toilet) system that was altered to integrated into the USOS rack. The urine output by the WHC is fed directly into the UPA and is purified to create potable water.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • WHC KTO Replace

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

  • ACS Oxygen Leak Check
  • MCE Oracle Patch
  • Configure PIC Authentication on all CISCO ASR1001X Routers
  • CCS SMCC Data Dump
  • EVA Procedure Conference
  • NORS O2 Repress
  • ARS 4BCO2 Scrubber Sample Support

Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, December 13 (GMT 347)

  • Actiwatch Plus HRF2 Setup (NASA)
  • CIR Absorber Cartridge Reconnect (NASA)
  • JAXA LT PCG check (JAXA)
  • Liquid  Behavior Gather and Install, Run 1 (JAXA)
  • MELFI Icebricks Install (NASA)
  • NREP Payload Module-13 Removal and Module-15 Install (NASA)
  • Repository Urine and Blood Collect (NASA)
  • RR-25 Hab Restock (NASA)
  • Standard Measures Pre Sleep Questionnaire (NASA)


  • EVA DOUG Review
  • NORS Gather
  • ACS NORS Oxygen Transfer Initiation and Termination
  • Orlan Light and Video Camera Install

Wednesday, December 14 (GMT 348)

  • JAXA JWRS Equipment Exchange Part 2 (JAXA)
  • Liquid Behavior Run 2 (JAXA)
  • Plant Hab-03A Review (NASA)
  • Repository Urine and Blood (NASA)
  • Rodent Access Unit Clean (NASA)
  • Standard Measures Post Sleep Questionnaire (NASA)


  • COL HD VCA-1 R&R
  • EVA Procedure Review
  • EVA Procedure Conference
  • EVA FPS Tool Stow
  • EVA Helmet Operations

Thursday, December 15 (GMT 349)

  • CBEF-L Box LTL Valve Close (JAXA)
  • Liquid Behavior Closeout (JAXA)
  • MELFI Icebrick Install (NASA)
  • Plant Hab-03A Water Fill (NASA)
  • SABL CO2 Controller Install (NASA)
  • Spaceborne Computer 2 Data Recording (NASA)
  • Standard Measures Pre Sleep Questionnaire (NASA)
  • VEG-05 Wick Open and Plant Check (NASA)


  • IFM Thermal Amine Scrubber Control Unit Removal
  • EVA Tool Configuration
  • Dragon Powered Cargo Pallet Sleeve Troubleshooting
  • EMU Cuff Checklist Incorporation

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

  • Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System O2 Repress Part 1
  • ARS 4BCO2 Scrubber Samples
  • COL Payload Laptop 2 Stow
  • Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) CYGNUS Cargo Transfer
  • ELF Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Replacement
  • Emergency Operations (EMER) Chip Measurement System (CMS) Battery Change Out
  • EVA Battery (BATT) Removal
  • EVA Procedures Print, Review, and Conference
  • HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
  • HRF Generic Urine Collection Setup
  • IFM Lab RWS DCP Cable Inspection
  • IFM WHC Pre-Treat Tank R&R
  • Setup For Charging All Solid State Li-ion Battery
  • Photo TV (P/TV) Camera Setup
  • Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in JEM
  • PAO Config JEM Setup
  • PAO Preparation
  • (P/TV) Battery Charge Operations
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Logistics Tag Install
  • Robotics Procedure Print and Review
  • Russian EVA Tool Gather and Transfer
  • STaARS BioScience-15 MELFI Sample Insertion
  • Retrieve STaARS BioScience-15 Hermetic Microplate
  • VEG-05 Experiment Install [Aborted]
  • XF705 Camcorder Setup

SpaceRef staff editor.