Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 15 April, 2022 – SpaceX Crew-4 Mission Soon

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 16, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 15 April, 2022 – SpaceX Crew-4 Mission Soon
SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts participate in a training session. (Nov. 28, 2021)

The Expedition 67 crew is heading into a busy period next week that begins with a Russian spacewalk, followed by the departure of four private astronauts and the launch of the SpaceX Crew-4 mission.
Meanwhile, the residents aboard the International Space Station continued a broad array of research to understand what happens to the human body during a long-term space flight.

Two cosmonauts are getting ready for Monday’s spacewalk set to begin at 10:25 a.m. EDT to activate the European Robotic Arm (ERA) on the outside of the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev will go into the weekend reviewing their procedures planned for the six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk. On Monday, the duo will exit the Poisk module, translate to Nauka, and install the ERA control panel and other components on the outside of the orbiting lab’s Russian segment.

The next day, four Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) astronauts will end their space research and education mission aboard the orbiting lab. Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will lead Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy inside Space Dragon Endeavour when they undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on Tuesday at 10:35 a.m. The private foursome will splashdown off the coast of Florida on Wednesday morning completing a 12-day mission in space.

The Ax-1 quartet had a packed schedule on Friday conducting a host of microgravity science. Lopez-Alegria and Connor took turns scanning each other’s heart using the Ultrasound 2 device for the Cardioprotection study. Stibbe explored genetic identification and tested the comfort of a specialized radiation protection vest. Pathy continued his Earth photography sessions while also testing a different vest that monitors vital signs in real-time while an astronaut comfortably works on the station.

The four Expedition 67 astronauts from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) continued their complement of space research and lab maintenance while assisting the Ax-1 crew. Commander Tom Marshburn scanned the eyes of Pathy using medical imaging gear to understand how weightlessness affects an astronaut’s vision. Flight Engineer Raja Chari packed cargo inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance and inspected the vehicle’s hatch while NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron spent Friday cleaning crew quarters and performing orbital plumbing duties. Astronaut Matthias Maurer videotaped an educational event for German students demonstrating the CIMON mobile artificial intelligence companion.

Finally, four SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts are in quarantine counting down to a liftoff aboard the Dragon Freedom crew ship from Florida at 5:26 a.m. EDT on April 23. Commander Kjell Lindgren will lead Pilot Robert Hines and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti on a ride to the station’s Harmony module where they will dock just over 24 hours later.

On-Orbit Status Report

Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) Axiom-1:

Public Affairs Office (PAO), Payload, and Commercial Activities: The Ax-1 crew completed activities associated with several ISS National Lab sponsored payloads including Cardioprotection, Nano ISS Antenna, TESSERAE, CRISPR, Earth Observation, and Sansori. Private Astronauts Larry Connor and Eytan Stibbe performed four ESA-sponsored PAO ICE Cubes media events. Mike LA and Larry Connor captured still and video imagery of approved commercial activities.


AstroRad Vest (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember donned the AstroRad Vest and completed the Question-and-Answer sessions. Comfort and Human Factors AstroRad Radiation Garment Evaluation (CHARGE) (AstroRad Vest) tests a special vest designed to protect astronauts from radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events (SPEs). Astronauts provide input on the garment as they wear it while performing daily tasks, including how easy it is to put on, how it fits and feels, and the range of motion it allows. Garment developers can use this input to improve design, and the use of the vest will protect crewmembers on missions to the Moon and Mars.

Bio-Monitor (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember set up and donned the Garment and Headband and connected the Data Unit to the Garment and Bio-Monitor Application. Bio-Monitor is a Canadian onboard instrument that serves as a platform for scientific experiments on the ISS. The instrument performs on-orbit monitoring of crew member physiological parameters, with wearable sensors that only minimally interfere with crewmember daily activities.

Cardioprotection (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember set up the camera, configured the Ultrasound 2 equipment, and performed ultrasound scans. The Space Frontier and Extraterrestrial Cardioprotection (Cardioprotection Ax-1) performs cardiovascular evaluations on Ax-1 crewmembers. Human research in space has, to date, focused on professional astronauts, but as spaceflight opportunities expand, more diverse populations experience exposure to the space environment. The study supports protection of heart health in this expanding population.

Crew Interactive MObile companioN (CIMON): An ISS crewmember performed two educational interactive events with German schools and children from the KinderHerz Foundation using the CIMON hardware. The Pilot Study with CIMON is a technology demonstration project and an observational study that aims to obtain the first insights into the effects on crew support by an artificial intelligence (AI), in terms of efficiency and acceptance during long-term missions in space. Spaceflight missions put the crew under a substantial amount of stress and workload, and it is thought that AI could provide operational support to crewmembers.

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember used pipettes to load the CRISPR-Ax 96-Well Plate and installed the Well Plate into the Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory (SABL) for incubation. 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.

Sleep in Space (Changes in Sleep and the Microbiome) (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember collected surface samples in various ISS locations and prepped the samples for cold stowage. 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.

Tessellated Electromagnetic Space Structures for the Exploration of Reconfigurable, Adaptive, Environments (TESSERAE) (Ax-1): An Ax-1 crewmember set up the TESSERAE hardware for tile assembly operations. TESSERAE (Ax-1) tests self-assembly and docking of an autonomous, self-assembling robotic swarm of tiles in microgravity. The investigation helps assess the feasibility of satellite and space habitat construction on-orbit to support future missions to the Moon and Mars and space tourism in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

H2 Sensor Tech Demo (H2ST) Install: Following yesterday’s installation of the H2ST, the crew powered up the H2ST. The crew then installed the Drift Check Kit Assembly to the H2ST and performed a drift check of the H2 sensors. The Drift Check Kit Assembly was removed after calibration was performed. The H2ST setup will allow ground teams to collect Arcturus data prior to the upcoming Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) and Life Support Rack (LSR).


Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove and Replace (R&R) and Dose Pump Inspection: The crew R&R’d the Pre-Treat Tank as part of nominal WHC preventative maintenance. Each tank contains five liters of pre-treat solution, a mix of acid, chromium oxide, and water, used for toilet flushing and required for nominal WHC operation to prevent crystallization of urea in urine and mitigate microbial growth. Additionally, the crew inspected the WHC dose pump for leaked pre-treat and found none. Since the current dose pump has been operating for over two years, which is well beyond its operational warranty of six-months, the risk of pre-treat leaking was deemed credible. Until the dose pump can be R&R’d in a future activity, the crew will perform periodic inspections.

Crew Quarters (CQ) Port Cleaning: In preparation for Crew-3 departure, the crew cleaned the intake and exhaust ducts, fans, and airflow sensors in the Port CQ. Due to the large amounts of dust seen during previous CQ cleanings, the crew removed all relevant panels, temporarily stowed them, and then cleaned all areas at once.

Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Screen Install: The crew installed a temporary Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Cone Screen at the OGS rack front to cover the OGS Cabin Air Inlet. Use of the temporary Cone Screen will provide an added layer of protection in preventing foreign object debris (FOD) from getting to the OGS Avionics Air Assembly (AAA) until a new filter block, which will be delivered on Crew-4, can be installed. FOD collecting at the AAA inlet reduces the flow in the rack and would allow for O2 to build in the rack if a leak developed.

Dragon Zenith Docking System Hatch Seal Inspection & Cleaning: The crew inspected the Dragon zenith docking hatch seal and vestibule for FOD and cleaned as needed. Liberated FOD could compromise the International Docking Adapter (IDA) seal surface during undock. This inspection was for Crew Dragon Endeavour, the vehicle for the Ax-1 crew, in preparation for undock next week.

Robotic Operations: Yesterday, the Mobile Transporter (MT) was translated from Worksite 4 (WS4) to WS6, and the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) was walked off from the Mobile Base System (MBS) to unstow the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) from the MBS before being maneuvered to an overnight parking configuration. Today, Robotics Ground Operators maneuvered the SSRMS from the overnight park into position to support Day 1 of 2 of the MSS survey of Crew Dragon Endurance. This survey will consist of a detailed inspection of the vehicle’s Thermal Protection System (TPS). Day 2 of this survey will be performed tomorrow. TPS inspections are performed on returning vehicles prior to undock from the ISS to ensure the vehicle is in a good configuration for re-entry.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

CQ Activation
MSS Survey of Crew-3 Dragon [In Work]
Look Ahead Plan

Saturday, April 16 (GMT 106)

Aging and Heart Health Habitat Swap (Ax-1)
AstroRad Doff (Ax-1)
At Home in Space Journals (Ax-1)
Bio-Monitor HW Changeout and Calibration (Ax-1/NASA)
Cardio Protection Urine Collect (Ax-1)
CRISPR Plate Removal (Ax-1)
Earth Obs (Ax-1)
Monitoring Stress Data Transfer and Photo (Ax-1)
Nano ISS Antenna Calibration and Stow (Ax-1)
NanoRacks Module 9 Ops #3 (Ax-1)
NanoRacks Module 102 Photo (Ax-1)
Neurowellness Hardware Ops (Ax-1/NASA)
Photocatalyst Filter Check (Ax-1)
Sleep in Space Data and Questionnaire (Ax-1)

ISS Crew Off-Duty
Sunday, April 17 (GMT 107)

Actiwatch Setup (Ax-1)
Bio-Monitor HW Calibration, Exercise, Doff and HW Stow (Ax-1/NASA)
Microbiome in Space Urine Collect (Ax-1)
Photocatalyst Filter Check (Ax-1/NASA)
Reflective Eye Test Data Prep (Ax-1)
Snowcone Powerdown and HW Remove (Ax-1)
Standard Measures Urine Setup (NASA)

ISS Crew Off-Duty
Monday, April 18 (GMT 108)

CIMON Setup Education Quiz and KinderHerz (ESA)
Photocatalyst Filter Check (Ax-1/NASA)
SERFE Water Sample (NASA)

PEPS Inspection
Exercise Equipment Gather
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

CIMON Unpack and Deployment On Bogen Arm
Dragon Cargo Transfer
Question-and-Answer with CIMON
PAM Facilitator Time
Ax-1 Bio-Monitor Data Unit Battery Replacement and Synchronization Using Controller
CIMON Battery Exchange
Video with CIMON for the KinderHerz Foundation
CQ Port Cleaning
Checkout of the Node 1 Wireless Access Point (WAP) with CIMON
CIMON Disconnection, Clean-up, and Stow
CIMON Battery Charging
OGS Screen Install
Cell Biology Experiment Facility Left (CBEF-L) Fastener Measurement
Sansori Ax-1 Optical Coherence Tomography 2 (OCT-2) Hardware Setup
Human Research Facility (HRF) Electroretinograph Functional Checkout
Sansori Ax-1 OCT-2 Just-In-Time Training
Environmental Health System (EHS) Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Stow Operation
Sansori Ax-1 OCT-2 Exam
HRF Pneumotonometer Functional Checkout
H2ST Power Up
WHC Dose Pump Inspection
Cold Atom Lab (CAL) Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) Jumper Leak Check
WHC Pre-Treat Tank R&R
Sansori Ax-1 OCT-2 Hardware Stow
TESSERAE Hardware Gather
MERLIN 3 Icebrick Insert
H2ST Drift Check
Dragon Station Support Computer (SSC) 22 Swap
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Dragon Zenith Docking System Hatch Seal Inspection & Cleaning
Orthostatic Intolerance Garment (OIG) Fitcheck Setup
PAO Event in JEM
OIG Fitcheck
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
OIG Fitcheck Stow
Life Science Glovebox (LSG) Work Volume Deploy

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