Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 13 December, 2022 – Advanced Microgravity Research

By SpaceRef Editor
Status Report
December 14, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 13 December, 2022 – Advanced Microgravity Research
Astronaut Nicole Mann removes a small satellite deployer. (Dec. 9, 2022)

Two Expedition 68 crew members are making final preparations before exiting the International Space Station on Wednesday for the 12th spacewalk of the year. Meanwhile, the rest of the orbital residents kept up with advanced microgravity research operations.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev will join Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin to begin a spacewalk at 9:20 p.m. EST on Wednesday. The duo will exit the Poisk module’s airlock and transfer a radiator from the Rassvet module then connect it to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Roscosmos cosmonauts configured their Orlan spacesuits and reviewed their timeline today to prepare for the seven-hour spacewalk. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina joined the pair for the spacewalk review. She will assist the spacewalkers on Wednesday as she operates the European robotic arm maneuvering the radiator from Rassvet to Nauka.

As the spacewalk preparations were ongoing, a variety of life science was under way aboard the orbital lab throughout Tuesday. NASA Flight Engineers Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada kicked off Tuesday collecting their blood samples for processing and analysis. Mann then moved on and took turns with NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio nourishing biological samples for a study that explores how bones heal in space.

Cassada also unloaded life support gear from inside the Cygnus space freighter and activated the hardware inside the Quest airlock. Rubio began his day connecting components inside the Combustion Integrated Rack, a flames and fuels research device, before aiding Cassada with the Cygnus cargo transfers.

Astronaut Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) spent Tuesday morning inside the Kibo laboratory module servicing the NanoRacks External Platform that places and exposes experiments to the vacuum of space outside the station. The veteran station resident wrapped up his day setting up the Liquid Behavior investigation to study fluids in microgravity possibly advancing the design of space systems such as life support, vehicles, and fuel tanks.

On-Orbit Status Report


Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): CIR Absorber Cartridge QDs (Quick Disconnects) were reconnected. The CIR includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity.

Dose Distribution Inside the International Space Station-3D (DOSIS-3D): DOSTEL-2 data and power cables were removed from DOSIS Main Box in preparation for hardware return. ISS crewmembers are continually exposed to varying levels of radiation which can be harmful to their health. DOSIS-3D uses several active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses inside the ISS. The goal is a three-dimensional radiation map covering all sections of the ISS.

JAXA Low Temp Protein Crystallization Growth (PCG): JAXA PCG Container was retrieved from the FROST (Freezer-Refrigerator Of STirling cycle). Photos were taken and the crew checked for screws inside, and then re-stowed it into the FROST. The objective of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Low Temperature Protein Crystallization Growth (JAXA Low Temp PCG) investigation is to grow high quality protein crystals in microgravity. The crystals are returned to Earth to determine protein structures in detail; the structures are used to develop pharmaceutical drugs, and to explore the mystery of our lives. The protein samples are launched to the ISS by a SpaceX Dragon Cargo Vehicle and crystallized at 4°C using the counter-diffusion method.

Liquid Behavior: Liquid Behavior Box A was setup for Run-1. Fluid behavior in the micro/low-gravity environment is different from the behavior on Earth, and the fluid behavior in the system sometimes affects its performance. The Observation of Liquid Behavior in Partial G Environment investigation provides important information for engineers and scientists to better predict how liquid behaves in the low gravity environment for the optimal design of equipment for future space activities.

NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) Inserts: The LiSR (Longwave Infrared Sensing demonstratoR) hardware was removed, and the IAEA hardware was installed. Feasibility Study on Seed Irradiation in Space for Induced Genetic Diversity and Plant Mutation Breeding (NanoRacks-IAEA) exposes seeds of two plant species to microgravity and cosmic radiation inside and outside of the ISS for three to seven months. After return to Earth, the seeds are germinated, and the biology and genome of the plants evaluated. Using radiation to induce genetic variations is commonly used to help select for desirable traits in plants. Results may advance breeding to develop crop varieties able to withstand increasingly harsh growing environments on Earth created by climate change.


Atmospheric Control System (ACS) Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Oxygen Transfer Operations: Today, the crew started with the gather of a new NORS Tank in preparation of installation. In part 1, the crew first terminated O2 Gas Transfer from NORS and configured for NORS O2 Teardown. Then the crew prepared the area for the new O2 tank. Finally, the crew installed the NORS O2 Recharge Tank to the ISS Airlock oxygen tanks via equalization. NORS tanks and their support fixtures are designed to be plugged into the station’s existing air supply network to refill the tanks that were used before and brought up aboard space shuttles. 

Completed Task List Activities:

  • EVA FPS Tool Stow (GMT 345/346)
  • IFM WAP Repair

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

  • Hardline O2 Unavailable
  • Update the IOS on Routers
  • ARS TAS Vacuum Leak Check
  • NanoRacks External Platform Hardware SWAP
  • JEM Airlock Depressurization and Vent

Look Ahead Plan

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 Helmet Operations
  • EVA DOUG Review
  • RS EVA 56

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

Friday, December 16 (GMT 350)

  • JAXA JWRS Valve Change (JAXA)
  • MELFI Icebrick Insert (NASA)
  • Portable Pulmonary Function System Calibrate (ESA)
  • Sphere Camera-1 Assembly


  • EHS PWD Sample Collect
  • OBT EVA ROBoT Session
  • US EVA Helmet Light Install
  • US EVA REBA Checkout
  • US EVA Battery Checkout
  • ROBO Procedure Conference

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

  • HRF Generic Urine Collection and Reclamation
  • HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operations
  • Cable Disconnection After All Solid State Li-ion Battery Charge
  • Loss of ISS Attitude Control (LOAC) Procedure Review After Update
  • CIR Upper Rack Doors Open and Close
  • Portable Onboard Computers (POC) Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) Software Review
  • CIR Absorber Cartridge Mate
  • NanoRacks External Platform Operations Review
  • Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup and Stow
  • MELFI Ice Brick Gather
  • MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 1
  • NanoRacks External Platform Hardware Gather and Swap
  • ACS NORS Oxygen Transfer Termination and Initiation
  • NREP Camcorder Video Setup
  • JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to and Retraction from JPM Side
  • Charging EVA Camera D4 Battery
  • NanoRacks External Platform Removal from the ST
  • Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
  • NanoRacks External Platform Module-15 Install
  • Thermal Amine A/C Reset
  • Liquid Behavior Experiment Familiarization and Item Gathering
  • JAXA LT PCG Sample Preparation
  • Dosis DOSTEL-2 and Cables Removal
  • Liquid Behavior Box A Installation to Cell Biology Experiment Facility – Left (CBEF-L)
  • ISS HAM Radio Power Down in Service Module
  • Standard Measures Pre-Sleep Questionnaire

SpaceRef staff editor.