- Press Release
- Nov 26, 2022
NASA Space Station Status Report 2 November, 2022 – Cygnus Space Freighter Ready for Launch
The Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus space freighter has rolled out to the launchpad in Virginia counting down to its launch toward the International Space Station.
While the Expedition 68 crew members await the new cargo mission, they studied blood flow to the brain, inspected space exercise gear, and prepared for future spacewalks.
Northrop Grumman’s next cargo mission is due to launch to the orbiting lab from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sunday at 5:50 a.m. EST. The company’s Cygnus resupply ship, atop its Antares rocket booster, is loaded with about 8,200 pounds of crew supplies and station hardware, including new microgravity experiments benefitting humans on and off the Earth.
NASA Flight Engineers Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada will be at the robotics controls ready to capture Cygnus with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives at 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday. Both astronauts have been preparing for the Cygnus mission reviewing and practicing robotic capture maneuvers on a computer. Mann will command the Canadarm2 to capture Cygnus, while Cassada backs her up monitoring its approach and rendezvous.
Mann started her day attaching sensors to herself and researching how the brain regulates blood flow in weightlessness. Observations may help crew members adjust quicker when returning to Earth’s gravity and provide insights into blood pressure conditions. Afterward, Mann joined Cassada and inspected the station’s COLBERT treadmill located in the Tranquility module which enables astronauts to maintain musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health in space.
Astronauts Frank Rubio of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) partnered together on Wednesday servicing spacesuits in the Quest airlock. The duo cleaned the suits’ cooling loops, performed leak checks, and examined a variety of suit components. Rubio later rearranged the Unity module to make space for the arriving Cygnus cargo, while Wakata cleaned up the XROOTS space botany facility following this week’s tomato and pea harvest.
Two cosmonauts are reviewing procedures for upcoming spacewalks before the end of the year. Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin spent a few hours today training to exit the station in their Orlan spacesuits and continue outfitting and readying the European robotic arm for future payload operations. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anna Kikina spent her day on life support and electronics maintenance while practicing advanced Earth photography techniques.
On-Orbit Status Report
X2R1 Transition Activities: As part of the X2R21 software updates occurring this week, ground teams loaded and transitioned the Power Management Controller Unit (PMCU) Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) to PMCA R7 and the N3-1 MDM to N3SYS1 R5. Today’s X2R21 activities will conclude with ground teams loading the CCS R21 Timeliner files to all three Command and Control (C&C) Mass Storage Devices (MSDs). The X2R21 software updates will provide support for new vehicles such as the HTV-X1 and DCC-1, add safing for rack relocation activities, provide commanding and mode swap capabilities, and provide a number of other generic system improvements.
Cerebral Autoregulation: The Cardiolab Portable Doppler (CDL PDOP) and Laptop were powered on, and measurements were taken. The hardware was closed out by disconnecting cables and stowing the equipment. As the body’s most important organ, the brain needs a strong and reliable blood supply, so the brain is capable of self-regulating blood flow even when the heart and blood vessels cannot maintain an ideal blood pressure. The Cerebral Autoregulation investigation tests whether this self-regulation improves in the microgravity environment of space. Non-invasive tests measure blood flow in the brain before, during, and after a long-duration spaceflight, and provide new insights into how the brain safeguards its blood supply in a challenging environment.
Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG): MSG was inspected by the crew and activated to verify readiness for future operations. MSG is a rack-level payload facility located in the LAB Module on the ISS. MSG provides resources such as power, data, video, heat rejection, vacuum, nitrogen, and containment for investigations. The facility is well suited for handling hazardous materials when crew are present and is capable of accommodating both physical science and biological research payloads.
eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS): XROOTS was removed for stowage, and the Veggie baseplate was reassembled to the nominal Veggie configuration. The Cabin Fan, Veggie unit interior, and Cabin Fan Intake Vents were cleaned. The XROOTS investigation uses hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth media. Video and still images enable evaluation of multiple independent growth chambers for the entire plant life cycle from seed germination through maturity. Results could identify suitable methods to produce crops on a larger scale for future space missions.
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: Today, the crew continued preparations for upcoming USOS EVAs. They performed an Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) loop scrub of EMU 3013, tested water samples for conductivity, and initiated iodination. Although EMU 3009 was also prepared for the loop scrub, the crew encountered an issue with the EMU and did not perform the scrub. Ground teams are investigating. Additionally, the crew installed the Hard Upper Torso (HUT) ORU Scrubber to the spare HUT 2036 to scrub and iodinate the spare HUT water lines. EMU Loop Scrubs are required preventive maintenance needed to remove any chemical and biological contaminants from the EMU transport loop.
Treadmill 2 (T2) 6-Month Maintenance: Today, the crew performed the 6-month preventive maintenance for T2. The crew inspected the isolators, bottom snubbers, and tread belt slats and screws before photographing the grease distribution on both drive shafts. They then photographed the lining of the snubber cups, vacuumed around the treadmill, and inspected the MTL hoses and T2 umbilical panel. An unmanned activation and checkout (ACO) with acoustic monitoring was completed. After reviewing the data, ground specialists have verified T2 remains GO for exercise.
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill Initiate & Terminate: As part of regularly scheduled maintenance, the crew initiated a manual fill of the WHC ЕДВ-СВ (Water Container) using a post-flight analysis bag to capture any pressure relief to protect the dose pump. The ЕДВ-СВ is intended for short-term storage and manual water transportation between facilities. After successfully filling the ЕДВ-СВ, the crew returned the WHC to nominal use.
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) WHC Fan Remove and Replace (R&R): Today, the crew performed an R&R of the WHC Fan Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) after the WHC ACY Fan control panel auto switch tripped overnight. WHC is the Russian built metabolic waste disposal system that has been modified to fit within a standard USOS sized rack.
Robotics Workstation (RWS) Display and Control Panel (DCP) Checkout: The crew completed a checkout to verify critical RWS functionality in preparation for upcoming robotics operations. The Mobile Servicing System (MSS) is a robotic system that provides construction, maintenance, and payload handling capabilities on the ISS, and the RWS is the operator interface the crew and ground teams use to perform MSS robotics operations.
Completed Task List Activities:
- IFM WHC Fan R&R
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
- PMCA R7 Load to PMCU MDM
- ETHOS Systems Configuration for N3-1 MDM Deactivation
- N3-1 MDM R5 Transition
- CCS R21 Timeliner Uplink [In-Progress]
- Crew Dragon Endurance Monthly Wakeup
Look Ahead Plan
Thursday, November 3 (GMT 307)
- ELF Item Photo (JAXA)
- FLUIDICS HDD (ESA)
- Food Physiology Diet Brief (NASA)
- Lumina Reboot and Data Xfer (ESA)
- MSG M6 Plug Remove (NASA)
- MD Print Removal (NASA)
- Repository Urine Setup (NASA)
- OBT ISS EMER Simulation
- EVA SAFER Practice
- EVA Equipment Lock Preparation Part 1
- OBT Cygnus Offset Grapple
- IFM WHC PT Tank R&R
Friday, November 4 (GMT 308)
- ECHO Maintenance (ESA)
- JAXA Video Take 2 (JAXA)
- SCEM (FLARE) Closeout (JAXA)
- EVA EMU OFV
- OBT Cygnus ROBoT Session 2
- Node 1 CBCS Installation and Checkout
- Cygnus Vehicle Ops OBT
Saturday, November 5 (GMT 309)
- Crew Off-Duty
- Crew Off-Duty
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
- HRF Generic Urine Collection
- HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
- HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection
- Cerebral Autoregulation Data Measurement
- WHC Manual Fill Initiate & Terminate
- EMU Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
- HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Configure and Run
- HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Conclude and Stow
- EMU HUT Scrubber Install
- Microgravity Science Glovebox Activation
- Cerebral Autoregulation Closeout
- T2 6-Month Maintenance
- Cygnus Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) Equipment Gather
- T2 Grease Photo
- Experiment Laptop Terminal 2 (ELT2) Cables Connection
- XROOTS MWA Preparation
- EMU Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
- EDV Inspection
- HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion
- Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
- XROOTS Facility Removal and Stow
- Photo/TV T2 ACO Video Setup
- Acoustic Monitor Setup for T2 ACO
- T2 Uncrewed ACO
- Photo/TV T2 ACO Video Stow
- Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer
- EMU Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
- RWS DCP Checkout
- Closing Cupola Window Shutters
- VEGGIE Hardware Cleaning
- SSC Relocations to CQ-3 and NOD2
- EMU HUT Scrubber Deconfiguration
- Node 1 Deck 2 Stowage Removal
- Caution and Warning (C&W) Hardware Panel Verification
- EMU HUT Stow [Deferred]
- Review Emergency OBT Simulator Functionality
- Resupply Air Tank Setup and Initiation
- Astrobee Off