Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 1 March, 2022 – New Life Science Experiments

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 1, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 1 March, 2022 – New Life Science Experiments
Astronaut Kayla Barron harvests cotton cell samples. (Feb. 10, 2022)

A host of life science experiments is underway today as the Expedition 66 crew explores how living in space affects the human body.
The International Space Station is also gearing up this month for a pair of spacewalks to upgrade its power systems.

Skin, hearing, and mold were the main focus of today’s biology research aboard the orbiting lab. Blood, saliva, and urine sample collections were also on Tuesday’s schedule as scientists keep check of astronaut health.

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn looked at skin tissue samples to understand why microgravity accelerates skin aging in astronauts. Afterward, he cleaned the Life Science Glovebox and closed out operations for the experiment that seeks to prevent skin deterioration in space and improve skin conditions on Earth.

Marshburn also collected his blood and urine samples before stowing them in a science freezer. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei collected his saliva samples then stowed them for future analysis. Doctors on the ground observe the biological samples to gain insights into how the human body adapts to long-term microgravity. Vande Hei also activated the Space Biofilms experiment to learn how to control mold growth on the station to maintain spacecraft safety and crew health.

Scientists also want to understand how the station’s operating environment, including weightlessness itself, affects a crew member’s hearing. ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer participated in the Acoustic Diagnostics study during the afternoon that is monitoring any transitory or permanent hearing affects that might occur in crew members.

Two spacewalks are scheduled at the station for March 15 and 23 to ready the orbiting lab for a third set of roll out solar arrays. Vande Hei joined NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari and scrubbed cooling loops in a pair of U.S. spacesuits throughout Tuesday. Two astronauts will exit the station and set up a power channel for the first spacewalk then replace components and perform more upgrades on the second spacewalk.

NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron spent most of the day on an orbital plumbing demonstration. She worked in the Harmony module observing fill and drain cycles on two different Collapsible Contingency Urinal designs.

In the station’s Russian segment, Commander Anton Shkaplerov worked inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship readying the vehicle for its undocking on March 30. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov inspected the Zvezda service module then explored cell biology.

On-Orbit Status Report


Acoustic Diagnostics: A crewmember performed Acoustic Diagnostics (AUDIO) measurements. The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (Acoustic Diagnostics) investigation tests the hearing of ISS crew members before, during, and after flight. This study assesses the possible adverse effects of noise and the microgravity environment aboard the ISS on human hearing. The investigation compares the relationship between the detection of otoacoustic emissions, sounds naturally generated from within the inner ear, and hearing loss levels when exposed to noisy environments.

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF-L): Gas sensors were replaced, and a backup power box was configured for use by the CBEF-L. CBEF-L is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new subrack facility, which is an upgraded facility of the original CBEF currently aboard the ISS. CBEF-L provides new capabilities with additional new resources such as Full High-Definition video interface, Ethernet, 24 VDC power supply, and a larger diameter centrifugal test environment. By using the original CBEF and CBEF-L as one facility for the same experiment, the payload user is provided with an upgraded experimental environment that can handle the processing of more experimental samples for a wider array of experiments.

Colgate Skin Aging: A specified 6-Well Plate was retrieved from SABL-1 and installed into MSG for sampling and preservation of tissue samples. The Colgate hardware was then de-installed completing final operations of the Colgate Skin Aging experiment. Deterioration of skin tissue is a normal part of aging but occurs over decades. Microgravity leads to changes in the human body very similar to aging, but these changes happen much more quickly. Microgravity Effects on Skin Aging and Health (Colgate Skin Aging) uses a 3D model of engineered human skin cells to evaluate cellular and molecular changes in microgravity. These cells may serve as a valid model to rapidly assess products aimed at protecting skin from the aging process.

Electromagnetic Levitator (EML): A crewmember performed On-board Training (OBT) for the upcoming EML Gas Circulation Pump R&R. Electromagnetic Levitator (EML) is a facility composed of four inserts installed into the European Drawer Rack (EDR) for the electromagnetic levitation of samples. The experiment samples are installed in a dedicated Sample Chamber that is attached to EML, and can be replaced by new Sample Chambers for new experiment batches.

Life Sciences Glovebox (LSG): The LSG Front 10? Gloves/Sleeves were changed out. The LSG is a sealed work area that accommodates life science and technology investigations in a “workbench” type environment. Due to its larger size design, two crew members can work in the LSG simultaneously.

Space Biofilms: Space Biofilms BioCell sample Habitats were removed from cold stowage and placed into the LSG for initialization. The BioCell Habitats were then placed into SABL for incubation. The Characterization of Biofilm Formation, Growth, and Gene Expression on Different Materials and Environmental Conditions in Microgravity (Space Biofilms) investigation characterizes the mass, thickness, structure, and associated gene expression of biofilms (molds) that form in space by analyzing a fungal species grown on different materials. Biofilm formation can cause equipment malfunction and human illnesses, and could be a serious problem on future long-term human space missions.

Space Tango – Cubelab Satellite Demo: Two CubeLab Satellites were removed from TangoLab, activated, and photo documented. Space Tango – Cubelab Satellite Demonstrator tests a new attitude-control technology for small satellites, which is an integral part of future space missions. Conventional attitude control systems for large satellites are not suited for small satellites. The new technology is energy efficient, lightweight, and not subject to friction wear and could enhance the attitude maneuvering capabilities of small satellites.

Universal Intelligent Glass Optics (UNIGLO): UNIGLO hardware was gathered, and procedures were reviewed. UNIGLO tests the effects of microgravity on a glass optics module capable of processing various types of complex glasses. The module uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help adapt materials processing techniques to the microgravity environment and a sensor based on laser-doppler interferometry to measure the effects of microgravity on processing complex glasses for a variety of applications in space and on Earth.


Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) 3004/3015 EVA Prep: The crew removed the lithium-ion batteries from the EMU Battery Stowage Compartment, and performed EMU water loop scrubs as well as acquired and tested water samples for conductivity on EMU units 3004 and 3015. Additionally, the crew installed the ORU Scrubber to scrub and iodinate the water lines. EMU Loop Scrubs are required preventive maintenance needed to remove any chemical and biological contaminants from the EMU transport loop. The next activity performed by crew included an EVA Tool configuration, followed by water recharges on EMUs 3004 and 3015. The recharges ensure there is a full supply of fresh cooling water to each EMU suit. Additionally, the crew filled Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garments (LCVGs) with water from EMU water tanks.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Activities: IFM was performed to rotate the Lab Aft Rigid Elbow IMV Duct 180 to direct airflow into the Lab Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA). The crew then performed IFM for the Oxygen Generation System (OGS) to relabel the Caution Labels on the closeout panel to protect the OGS Avionics Air Assembly (AAA) Muffler Filter Block.

Completed Task List Activities:

AC Vacuum Reference Table Print
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

JEMRMS SFA Joint Zeroing and Deactivation
JEM Mode Transition from ROBO to STANDARD
MSS Powerup/Powerdown
SSRMS Walkoff
SPDM Unstow
PPS SARJ FDIR Configuration
MSS Hover Maneuver
MT Pre-Translation Check Out and Survey
MT Translation
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, March 2 (GMT 61)

DreamStar Crew interview (NASA)
EML GCP R&R prep (ESA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Ice Cubes Media Set Installation and checkout Activation and remove (ESA)
IGO (Intelligent Glass Optics) HW install (NASA)
Repository Saliva, urine and blood collection (NASA)
RR-18 Ops review (NASA)
SMART1 hardware gather and install on JEM iSEEP carrier (NASA)
Squares (NASA)

PMM1S4 Locker Cleanup
WHC Manual Fill
EVA Procedure Review for Extravehicular Crew
Thursday, March 3 (GMT 62)

Astrobee deact (NASA)
Cryo Chiller cartridge install (NASA)
EML GCP module remove and R&R (ESA)
IGO Lab Camera orient (NASA)
LSG Glove swap (NASA)
Repository Saliva, urine collect (NASA)
RR-18 restock ops and crew conf and access unit clean (NASA)
Squares (NASA)
Standard Measures Cognition test and Fecal setup (NASA)

EVA IROSA Strut Assembly
SSC 10 and 20 Swap
EVA Mod Kit Bag Preparation
Friday, March 4 (GMT 63)

CAL MTL leak check (NASA)
CCU ops (NASA)
DreamStar JEM HW Ops (NASA)
EasyMotion Data D/L (ESA)
EML GCP cleanup (ESA)
FLARE CPU install (JAXA)
IGO lab camera orient (NASA)
LSG front glove swap and setup for RR ops (NASA)
Repository Saliva collect (NASA)
Retina ops (ESA)
RR-18 Hab restock, access unit clean and ops (NASA)
Squares (NASA)
Standard Measures Body survey and collect and fecal collect (NASA)

EVA Equipment Lock Preparation
EVA Tool Configuring
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Collapsible Contingency Urinal In-Cabin Demo 3
Valve Throw for NORS
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery (BATT) Removal
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
JPM Common Gas Supply Equipment (CGSE) Gas Line Lower Gas Bottle Unit Open
LSG-Front Glove-Swap
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
LSG Work Volume Deploy/Stow
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Lab Aft Rigid Elbow Inter-Module Ventilation (IMV) Duct Rotation
Intelligent Glass Optics Hardware Gather/Review
Colgate Skin Aging Preservation Ops
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
DreamStar Crew Interview
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Down in Columbus
Acoustic Diagnostics Operations – Calibration and Measurement
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Up
DreamStar Hardware Operations
Acoustic Diagnostics Instrument Deinstallation and Stowage
Colgate Skin Aging MELFI Sample Insertion Operations Session
Acoustic Diagnostics EveryWear Questionnaire
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Space Biofilms Iceberg Sample Removal
HRF Generic Urine Collection
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Relabel
Space Biofilms Initialization Ops
Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
TangoLab CubeLab Satellite Activation and Checkout
EML Gas Circulation Pump Exchange
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
Colgate Skin Aging MSG Teardown
SQuARES Flexible Daily Imagery
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Liquid Cooling Ventilation Garment (LVCG) Water Fill
Astrobee Stowage Clear
HRF Generic Saliva Collection

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