Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 12 April, 2022 – Research Today Includes Biology, Physics and Earth Observations

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 12, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 12 April, 2022 – Research Today Includes Biology, Physics and Earth Observations
The 11-person crew aboard the International Space Station. (Apr. 9, 2022)

The 11 astronauts and cosmonauts living aboard the International Space Station today worked on a multitude of science experiments that may improve life for humans on and off the Earth.
The space research on the orbiting lab ran the gamut of biology, physics and Earth observations.

Expedition 67 Commander Tom Marshburn set up a glucometer and blood tubes to explore how living in weightlessness affects insulin resistance for the Vascular Aging study. He also continued helping the four Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) astronauts get up to speed with operations aboard the space station.

Flight Engineer Raja Chari of NASA configured Actiwatches that monitor light conditions and an astronaut’s activities to help doctors understand a crew member’s wake-sleep in space. NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron worked inside the Life Science Glovebox and set up the Fluidic Space Optics experiment that could impact the development of space telescopes. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer collected air samples for chemical analysis then set up blood collection hardware for the Myotones muscle biomechanics study.

Veteran astronaut and Ax-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria researched how space affects brain activity and increases the risk of cancer. Ax-1 Pilot Larry Connor also explored brain dynamics, then installed a miniature antenna demonstration, and held an educational event with students on Earth.

The two Ax-1 Mission Specialists also had a full schedule researching a variety of space phenomena throughout the orbiting lab on Tuesday. Israeli crew member Eytan Stibbe assisted Connor with the antenna work then focused on the space liquid behavior study that Barron had set up earlier. Mark Pathy from Canada photographed Earth landmarks from inside the cupola then explored holoportation while wearing an augmented reality headset.

The station’s three cosmonauts from Roscosmos focused on their contingent of activities throughout the orbiting lab’s Russian segment. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev worked on cargo activities inside the ISS Progress 79 resupply ship, then joined first time space-flyer Sergey Korsakov and trained for operations of the European Robotic Arm. New cosmonaut Denis Matveev studied advanced Earth photography techniques and worked on maintenance activities.

On-Orbit Status Report

Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) Axiom-1 (Ax-1):

Public Affairs Office (PAO) and Payload Activities: Multiple NASA-sponsored and ESA-sponsored PAO events were performed, including one PAO event between L. Conner and CNBC, and 13 Ice Cube Media Set events, one of which was shortened due to technical difficulties. The Ax-1 crew completed ISS National Lab sponsored payload activities including: Neurowellness, Tumor Oraganoids, Nano ISS Antenna, SLAMMD, CRISPR, Fluidic Space Optics, and Holoportation. M. Pathy completed the CEVIS handover to prepare for the future BioMonitor payload activity using CEVIS.


Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air-2 (ANITA-2): Air samples were manually collected from an assigned ISS location for chemical analysis by the ANITA-2 hardware. ANITA-2 is a compact gas analyzer which can analyze and quantify 33 trace contaminants in the atmosphere aboard the ISS automatically. ANITA-2 can also detect the presence of unknown substances which can be evaluated later on the ground.

Nano ISS Antenna (Ax-1): The Ax-1 crew calibrated and photographed the Nano ISS Antenna after the antenna was deployed. Nano ISS Antenna tests deployment of a folded antenna used to provide high bandwidth communications. Miniaturized satellite electronics and sensors can provide valuable scientific and navigation capabilities, but small, simple antennas cannot transmit large quantities of data, limiting the usability of small satellites.

Holoportation Behavioral (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember completed a second two-way Holoportation session. Aexa’s Holographic Teleportation Behavioral (Holoportation Behavioral) demonstrates two-way communications between Ax-1 PAM crew and the ground using a mixed-reality application. The technology includes a HoloLens 2 Artificial Reality headset and HoloWizard mixed reality application to provide users 360-degree holographic images of each other. This capability represents a significant advancement in communication for remote settings.

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) (Ax-1): The Ax-1 crew removed and trashed a plate from the NanoRacks Plate Reader. CRISPR is a genome editing system that allows its users to detect and manipulate specific DNA and RNA sequences in living cells of diverse species. This technology could provide rapid and accurate detection of pathogens and contaminants on future long-term space missions.

Fluidic Space Optics (Ax-1): The Ax-1 crew injected various types of liquid polymer into bounding frames and cured them to create optical lenses inside the Life Sciences Glovebox (LSG). An ISS crewmember assisted in setup of the LSG, Fluidic Space Optics hardware, and photo documentation. Fluidic Space Optics, studies liquid behavior in microgravity. It examines how this environment affects deployment and solidification of liquid polymers into optical components, serving as a proof of concept for large scale liquid space telescopes. The investigation also provides an educational demonstration of the physics of fluid mechanics in microgravity.

Modeling Tumor Organoids (Ax-1): The Ax-1 crew performed microscopy imagery of samples. Modeling Tumor Organoids demonstrates processes for on-orbit pre-cancer and cancer cell culture, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and real-time data transfer in support of future pre-cancer and cancer stem cell research. The investigation seeks to develop immune dysfunction and pre-cancer stem cell predictive models. Such models could inform and accelerate the development of countermeasures and enhance crew safety on future space missions as well as provide tools for detection of, and therapies for, pre-cancer, cancer and a variety of other diseases on Earth.

Neurowellness in Space (Ax-1): A couple of Ax-1 crewmembers donned the Neurowellness hardware and performed cognitive operations. Neurowellness in Space is a Technology Demonstration into the Viability of Long-term Monitoring of Brain Dynamics and Cognitive Function in Space Eco-Systems using a portable electroencephalography (EEG) headset to measure differences in brain activity in microgravity. The device measures both ongoing and task-related brain activity. Data on microgravity-induced differences in cognitive performance could help predict neural changes on future long-term space missions.

Changes in Sleep and the Microbiome-Ax-1 (Sleep in Space): The Ax-1 crew completed a Sleep questionnaire and took body measurements. Sleep in Space examines sleep quantity and quality of astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. The investigation also examines effects on the human gut microbiome or microbial community and the environmental microbiome, and records factors associated with cardiac and metabolic health, including body mass index, heart rate, and blood glucose. Sleep contributes to overall health and well-being; inadequate sleep can increase risk of certain diseases.

Vascular Aging: The Glucometer, blood tubes, and additional equipment were setup in preparation for the Vascular Aging Glucose Test protocol. Emerging data point towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crew members, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Space Environment Causes Acceleration of Vascular Aging: Roles of Hypogravity, Nutrition, and Radiation (Vascular Aging) investigation, ultrasounds of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crew members are analyzed.


Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Bench Cleat Remove and Replace (R&R): The crew removed and replaces the four mounting cleats on the ARED bench. This task is a standard preventative maintenance activity performed every 3-years.

Battery Pack Testing: Last night two battery packs were recharged using the Universal Battery Charger (UBC). This morning the crew confirmed that the batteries did not recharge as expected, the battery packs have been labeled as “suspect”. The crew started the recharge cycle on two additional battery packs this morning.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Zero Calibration
Four Bed CO2 (4BCO2) System Leak Check
Ax-1 PAO Event
Look Ahead Plan

Wednesday, April 13 (GMT 103)

Actiwatch setup (NASA)
Acoustic Diagnostics Measurement (ESA)
At Home In Space (Ax-1)
Bio-Monitor Data Download (Ax-1)
CIMON Sound Check and Battery Charge (ESA)
EarthObs (Ax-1)
Fluid Space Optics Sample Removal (Ax-1)
ISS HAM (Ax-1)
Microgravity Pain Sensation (Ax-1)
Modeling Tumor Organoids (Ax-1)
Monitoring Stress (Ax-1)
Myotones Blood Collect (ESA)
NanoRacks Module 9 Ops (Ax-1)
NutrISS Enable (ESA)
Photocatalyst (Ax-1)
Sleep in Space (Ax-1)
Standard Measures Presleep Questionnaire (NASA)
Vascular Aging Glucose readings (CSA)

Crew-3 Departure Preparation
EHS Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
Battery Pack Testing Part 3
Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Tank Pre-Pack
Thursday, April 14 (GMT 104)

Actiwatch Setup (NASA)
Aging and Heart Health Habitat Insert 2 (Ax-1)
Myotones Measurements (ESA)
Metabolic Space Battery Charge (Ax-1)
NutrISS Enable (ESA)
Neurowellness Hardware Ops (Ax-1)
Standard Measures Postsleep Questionnaire (NASA)

Crew-3 Departure Preparation
IFM H2 Sensor Tech Demo Installation
Battery Pack Testing Part 4
EHS Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) WRS Sample Analysis
IFM Crew Quarters (CQ) Overhead Cleaning
Friday, April 15 (GMT 105)

Aging and Heart Health Habitat Swap (Ax-1)
Cold Atom Lab (CAL) MTL Check (NASA)
Myotones Stow (ESA)
Metabolic Space Experiment (Ax-1)
TESS HW Gather (Ax-1)

Crew-3 Departure Preparation
IFM WHC Pre-Treat Tank Remove and Replace (R&R)
IFM Crew Quarters Port Cleaning
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Clear OPTIMIS Tablet Application Log File
ANITA-2 Non-Local Sampling Parts 1 and 2
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup
PAM Faciliator Time
Crew Dragon Tablet Sync
Crew Dragon Tablet Stow
Restow ISS Sewing Kit after PAM crew use.
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Swap
ARED Bench Cleat Replacement
CEVIS Crew Handover
DeWalt Battery Pack Testing Part 2
PAO Social Media Event
Labeling USB Card Reader
Myotones HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
LSG Front Glove Swap
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Fluidic Space Optics Gather-1
Fluidic Space Optics LSG Assist Part 1
Vascular Aging Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Big Picture Words Review
Toilet Seat R&R
CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection Hardware Setup
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Stow
Vascular Aging Glucose Test Setup
Vascular Aging FRIDGE Item Insertion
Polar Multiple Desiccant Swap
Fluidic Space Optics Historical Photography
NutrISS ESA Nutritional Assessment
Fluidic Space Optics LSG Assist Part 2 [Deferred]

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