Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 1 December, 2022 – New Botany Experiment

By SpaceRef Editor
Status Report
December 2, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 1 December, 2022 – New Botany Experiment
Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains. (Nov. 30, 2022)

The Expedition 68 crew began installing a new space botany experiment today while gearing up for a spacewalk planned for this weekend. The orbital residents are also continuing their research into the nervous system, unpacking a U.S. cargo craft, and keeping up International Space Station systems.

NASA and its international partners have been learning how to grow fresh food on the orbiting lab for several years. Today, NASA Flight Engineer Nicole Mann began installing the new Veg-05 space agriculture study that will soon grow dwarf tomatoes with the astronauts testing fertilizer techniques, microbial food safety, nutritional value, and taste. Growing fresh food during future missions farther away from Earth may promote crew morale and reduce crew dependency on space cargo missions.

Veteran station astronaut Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) serviced microbe samples being observed for the Neural Integration System biotechnology experiment. Wakata fed the microbes inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a specialized incubator with an artificial gravity generator, for the study that may provide insights into neuromuscular conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Mann and Wakata later joined NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio and continued preparing for a spacewalk planned to start at 7:25 a.m. EST on Saturday. The quartet reviewed the steps Cassada and Rubio will use to install a roll-out solar array on the station’s Starboard- 4 truss segment during the seven-hour excursion. Mann and Wakata will be inside the station supporting the duo before, during, and after the spacewalk.

The roll-out-solar array, also known as an International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array, or iROSA, was extracted from inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship’s unpressurized trunk by ground controllers remotely commanding the Canadarm2 robotic arm. The iROSA was then placed on a starboard truss structure attachment point. From there, the spacewalkers will retrieve the roll-out solar array on Saturday and install it on the starboard truss segment. The new iROSA is augmenting the space station’s power generation system.

The space station’s three cosmonauts spent Thursday servicing a variety of life support hardware and space station gear. Roscosmos Commander Sergey Prokopyev began the day checking cameras and their components before cleaning the Zvezda service module’s ventilation system. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin completed his 24-hour heart monitoring activity on Thursday morning then worked on Ethernet cable connections and orbital plumbing gear. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina spent the day maintaining an assortment of station systems and their components ensuring the orbiting lab operates in tip-top shape.

On-Orbit Status Report


Human Research Facility Veggie Facility (HRF Veg): Profile of Mood States (POMS) short form questionnaires was completed.  The Pick-and-Eat Salad-Crop Productivity, Nutritional Value, and Acceptability to Supplement the ISS Food System investigation is a phased research project that includes Veg-04A, Veg-04B, Veg-05, and HRF Veg. This work addresses the need for a system to produce healthy, fresh food on future long-duration exploration missions to supplement the standard pre-packaged astronaut diet. HRF Veg uses psychological surveys and crew evaluations of the flavor and appeal of plants grown for other investigations on the ISS to focus on the overall behavioral health benefits to crew members of having various plants and fresh food in space.

Neural Integration System (NIS):  Samples were setup in the Confocal Space Microscope for observations. First feeding and fixation for Micro-G and 1-G samples in the CBEF-L was performed. Effect of the Space Environment on the NIS and aging of the Model Animal C. elegans (NIS) uses this nematode to examine how microgravity affects the nervous system. Previous space experiments have shown that C. elegans experiences muscle atrophy as well as reduced motor activity and metabolism in microgravity. Research also has shown that space can affect the nervous system and neural networks may transmit the effects of microgravity throughout the body. Results could support development of countermeasures to protect crew members on future space missions and contribute to better health for Earth’s aging population.

Veg-05 Light Meter Install:  A light meter was installed into the Veggie Facility to obtain accurate light measurements and to allow light setting adjustments for both Veggie Locker-1 and Veggie Locker-3 in preparation for Veg-05.  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. A healthy, nutritious diet is essential for long-duration exploration missions, which means that the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet may need to be supplemented by fresh foods during flight; the Veggie Vegetable Production System (Veggie) has begun testing aboard the ISS to help meet this need, and leafy greens have successfully been grown in spaceflight. The research of Veg-05 expands crop variety to dwarf tomatoes and focuses on the impact of light quality and fertilizer on fruit production, microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioral health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation-Asymmetric Sawtooth and Cavity-Enhanced Nucleation-Driven Transport (PFMI-ASCENT): The PFMI Laptop was setup for high-speed camera control.  PFMI-ASCENT demonstrates a passive cooling system for electronic devices in microgravity using a micro structured surface. When fluids boil over flat heated surfaces in microgravity, vapor bubbles grow larger in size, causing poor heat transfer that can lead to damage of devices. Adding microscopic ratchets on the surface may passively enable mobility of vapor bubbles and prevent this damage.


On-board Training (OBT) EVA Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session: The crew completed the training and review sessions for the 3A ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) using the OBT guide for ROBoT simulation setup/reconfigs. Each crew member role-played their assigned roles during the EVA focusing on communication, clearances, and abort/terminate plan. The crew then participated in a robotics procedure conference with ground teams.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge: The crew recharged the EMU feedwater tanks with iodinated water from the Payload Water Reservoir (PWR). A small quantity of water was dumped into a Contingency Water Container (CWC) from the feedwater tanks to provide ullage for condensate collection during the next EMU pre-breathe. The EMU is the suit that provides environmental protection, mobility, life support, and communications for a crewmember during an (EVA).

Completed Task List Activities:

  • None

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

  • EMU Data Recorder Operations
  • CCS S-band TLM Housekeeping
  • RS MPEG2 Video
  • PRO MSG Facility Activation Commanding

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, December 2 (GMT 336)

  • SIS EC Transfer to Iceberg Facility (ESA)
  • J-SSOD-23 Deploy Observation (JAXA)
  • TangoLab-4 (Mission 30) (NASA)


  • EVA Tool Configuration
  • EVA Procedure Review
  • E-LK Preparation

Saturday, December 3 (GMT 337)

  • None



Sunday, December 4 (GMT 338)

  • Osteogenic Cells EC Deinstallation (ESA)


  • EVA Procedure Review
  • EVA Debrief and Procedure Conference
  • EMU Water Recharge
  • EVA Battery Operations

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

  • Photo TV Battery Charge Initiation and Swap
  • Veggie Light Meter Install
  • XF705 Camcorder Setup
  • Neural Integration Observation Preparations and Closeout
  • Repairs and recovery of [СРВ-УМ] urine water regeneration system
  • Neural Integration System Item Gathering for Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L)
  • Neural Integration System Feeding Syringe Kit and Fixation Bag Kit B Retrieval from MELFI +2 degrees C Part 1
  • Neural Integration System Sample Feeding and Fixation 1st for Micro-G and 1G
  • Transfer Crew Dragon Cargo Operations
  • Russian (RS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Transfer (XFER)
  • Neural Integration System Sample Return Bag A (S/N 001) Installation into MELFI +2 degrees C Part1
  • Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cuff Checklist Incorporation
  • Environmental Health System (EHS) – Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion (CSA-CP) Checkout
  • Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in JEM
  • OPTIMIS Tablet Login
  • Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
  • Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
  • Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
  • On-board Training (OBT) EVA Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session
  • Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Icebrick Stow
  • Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
  • Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Conference
  • Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation Laptop Deploy
  • Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS EveryWear (EVW) Medication and Nutrition Tracking
  • Microgravity Science Glovebox Activation
  • Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
  • Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 System (T2) Monthly Inspection
  • Neural Integration System Sample Installation into MELFI -95 degrees C
  • HRF Operations Profile of Mood States Short Form Questionnaire

SpaceRef staff editor.