Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 9 February, 2023 – Orbital Plumbing

By SpaceRef Editor
Status Report
February 10, 2023
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NASA Space Station Status Report 9 February, 2023 – Orbital Plumbing
Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev replaces orbital plumbing components.

The Expedition 68 crew is looking forward to a delivery mission that will arrive at the International Space Station this weekend. Meanwhile, space science and orbital plumbing took up the orbital residents’ day as well as more cleanup work following last week’s spacewalk.

Nearly three tons of food, fuel, and supplies, is on its way to replenish the seven residents living aboard the orbital outpost. The ISS Progress 83 (83P) resupply ship launched at 1:15 a.m. EST on Thursday and is orbiting Earth racing toward the space station. The 83P will automatically dock to the Zvezda module’s rear port at 3:49 a.m. on Saturday beginning a six-month stay at the station. NASA TV will cover the space freighter’s arrival live on the agency’s app and website.

NASA Flight Engineer Josh Cassada began his day with brain research attaching sensors to his head and chest to measure his blood flow for the Cerebral Autoregulation investigation. The research takes place inside the Kibo laboratory module and explores how the brain regulates blood pressure in weightlessness.

Astronauts Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) kicked off their day collecting blood and urine samples for processing and stowage. The duo, with Cassada, then took turns cleaning cooling loops inside a pair of Extravehicular Mobility Units, or spacesuits. Cassada also serviced the emergency jetpacks that spacewalkers would use to maneuver back to the station in the unlikely event they became untethered from the station.

Wakata also worked a couple of hours inside the Kibo lab removing the water recovery system from inside the module’s multipurpose small payload rack. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio spent a good portion of his day replacing components in the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, the station’s bathroom, located inside the Tranquility module. Rubio then ended his work day tending to tomato plants growing inside the Veggie space botany facility located in the Columbus laboratory module.

Roscosmos Flight Engineers Dmitri Petelin and Anna Kikina continued researching how microgravity affects the digestive system. The duo placed electrodes on themselves and conducted ultrasound scans of their gastrointestinal system shortly after breakfast. Station Commander Sergey Prokopyev spent some time inside the Columbus lab configuring video hardware that records how clouds of highly charged particles, or plasma crystals, behave in microgravity. He then spent the rest of the afternoon in the Zvezda service module working on maintenance activities.

On-Orbit Status Report


Plasma Kristall-4 (PK-4): The PK-4 system was configured to transfer experiment data for subsequent downlink. PK-4 is a scientific collaboration between 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.

Standard Measures: Samples were collected in support of the Standard Measures investigation. Spaceflight Standard Measures (Standard Measures) collects a set of core measurements related to many human spaceflight risks from astronauts before, during, and after long-duration missions. The aim is to ensure consistent capture of an optimized, minimal set of measures from crew members until the end of the ISS Program in order to characterize the adaptive responses to and risks of living in space. These measures populate a data repository to enable high-level monitoring of countermeasure effectiveness and meaningful interpretation of health and performance outcomes, and support future research on planetary missions.

Veg-05: The plants growing in the two Veggie facilities were inspected, watered as needed, and photographed. The experiment is growing Red Robin dwarf tomatoes for a little over three months and will perform multiple harvests of the fruits produced. The Pick-and-Eat Salad-Crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System (Veg-05) investigation is the next step in efforts to address the need for a continuous fresh-food production system in space.


83 Progress (83P) Launch: This morning at 12:15 AM CT, 83P launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying food, fuel, and supplies to the ISS. An automated docking to the ISS Service Module aft docking port will occur on Saturday, February 11th at approximately 2:49 AM CT after completing a 34-orbit rendezvous. 

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Hydraulic Components Remove and Replace (R&R): As part of regular maintenance, the crew removed the Urine Valve Block, urine lines, and urine pressure sensors, and then performed the component replacements and system checkout. This maintenance activity occurs every three years in order to change out the WHC water components due to hardware life expirations, or as needed to improve system performance.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub: The crew performed ionic and particulate filtration (scrubbing) and biocidal maintenance (iodination) of EMUs 3004 and 3009 as well as Airlock (A/L) cooling water loops. Conductivity readings and a water sample were taken from the cooling loop following the 70-minute scrub. Finally, crew terminated, deconfigured, and checked out the EMUs. EMU loop scrubs are required preventative maintenance needed to remove any chemical and biological contaminants from the EMU cooling loop. The EMU is and independent anthropomorphic system that provides environmental protection, mobility, life support, and communications for the crewmember to perform an EVA in Earth orbit.

Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Checkout: A checkout of the SAFER and Test Module seals was performed to satisfy two year on-orbit maintenance requirements, which included measurement of the SAFER regulator pressure under flow and no-flow conditions, performance of a leak check, and measurement of the relief valve crack and reseating of the pressure. Essentially a “life jacket” for spacewalks, SAFER is a self-contained maneuvering unit that is worn like a backpack. The system relies on small jet thrusters to let an astronaut move around in space.

EVA Metal Oxide (METOX) Simulator Filter R&R: The METOX simulator filters were removed in all four METOX simulator units. The METOX simulators allow the EMUs to operate without a METOX canister for fan-pump separator dry-out, reducing METOX regeneration and tracking. It is used for intravehicular activity only.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Treadmill 2 (T2) Acoustic Blanket: As part of noise reduction efforts in Node 3, the crew removed, inspected, reconfigured, and reinstalled the four acoustic blankets near the T2 exercise volume.

RS Water Transfers: Per documented agreements between NASA and IP Russia, the crew continues to transfer water from the USOS to the RS. Surplus water in the USOS was transferred from the Contingency Water Container – Iodine (CWC-I) to an ЕДВ. An ЕДВ is intended for short-term storage and manual water transportation between facilities.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • None

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

  • UHF 1 Activation/Deactivation
  • ACS HP Oxygen Valve Open/Close

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, February 10 (GMT 041)

  • BioLab Cold Spot Sponge Exchange
  • Cardiobreath
  • Cerebral Autoregulation
  • Lumina Data Transfer
  • MSRR/MSL SCA Exchange
  • Neural Integration System Wanted Poster
  • Repository Collect
  • Rodent Research Habitat Stow
  • Standard Measures


  • COL Payload Laptop LAN
  • Toilet Operations
  • SAFER Operations
  • Node 2 Unstow
  • CQ Fuse Inspection
  • Dragon Conf
  • 4BCO2 BPW

Saturday, February 11 (GMT 042)

  • Plant Habitat-03A Water Management
  • Veg-05 check


  • Toilet Ops

Sunday, February 12 (GMT 043)

  • DCB Transfer to MRM1
  • MELFI Icebrick Pack


  • Crew Choice Event
  • Toilet Ops

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

  • HRF Generic Collection
  • HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion
  • HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Setup and Frozen Collection
  • Cerebral Autoregulation Data Measurement
  • In Flight Maintenance (IFM) WHC Hydraulic Components R&R
  • Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
  • Toilet Leak Inspection
  • PLT5-MMA Connection Check
  • Sphere Cam Solid State Drive Changeout
  • Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS) Removal Part 1
  • EMU Cooling Loop Maintenance
  • SAFER Checkout with Test Module
  • EVA High-Definition EMU Camera Assembly (HECA) Initiation/Termination
  • Toilet System Daily Questionnaire
  • Toilet System Pretreat Dose Check
  • VEG-05 Plant Check/Water
  • EHS T2 Acoustic Blanket Removal, Inspection, and Installation
  • EVA METOX Simulator Filter R&R
  • [In work] Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation
  • VEG-05 Root Mat Fill
  • Payload Data Router configuration
  • CB/ISS Crew Conference
  • [Aborted] Cupola Scratch Pane 2 R&R
  • [Aborted] Cupola Window Cleaning
  • Wanted Poster: 3.0 CTB 5039
  • Crew Choice Event
  • Flight Director/ISS Crew Conference
  • Standard Measures Pre-Sleep Questionnaire

SpaceRef staff editor.