Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 15 June, 2022 – Fluid Physics, Astrobees, Actiwatches and More

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
June 15, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 15 June, 2022 – Fluid Physics, Astrobees, Actiwatches and More
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti works on U.S. spacesuits. (May 11, 2022)

The International Space Station hummed with research activity today as the Expedition 67 crew members continued exploring how microgravity affects the human body.
The orbital residents also tested ways autonomous robots can assist astronauts and researched how fuel behaves in the weightless environment of space.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines worked throughout Wednesday processing blood and urine samples collected from crew members and stowing them in a science freezer for later analysis. The astronaut also configured wrist-worn sleep monitoring devices, known as Actiwatches, that station residents wear periodically for research purposes. Data, including sleep-wake activity and light exposure, is downloaded to scientists on Earth to review how living in space affects an astronaut’s sleep cycle.

The Astrobee robotic free-flyers were activated today inside the Kibo laboratory module. NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins outfitted the toaster-sized robotic assistants with acoustic monitors and let them autonomously fly around Kibo for a technology demonstration. The experiment tests using listening techniques to monitor the health of spacecraft systems and detect potential issues.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren kicked off his day configuring video cables inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility before photographing landmarks over Europe and Asia. Afterward, he partnered with Watkins after lunchtime for cargo operations inside the Cygnus space freighter. The private resupply ship from Northrop Grumman is due to complete its station mission at the end of June.

On Saturday, Cygnus is slated to complete its first reboost of the International Space Station. Cygnus’s gimbaled delta velocity engine will be used to adjust the space station’s orbit through a reboost of the altitude of the orbital outpost. The maneuver will last 10 minutes and 53 seconds and raise the station’s altitude by 0.7 miles. This Cygnus mission is the first to feature this enhanced capability as a standard service for NASA, following a test of the maneuver which was performed in 2018 during Cygnus’s ninth resupply mission.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti studied fluid physics using distilled water and a specialized low-viscous liquid inside the Columbus laboratory module today. The Fluidics experiment explores ways to optimize fuel management in satellites and may even provide insights on the behavior of Earth’s ocean waves.

Commander Oleg Artemyev continued partnering today with Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov to learn how to exercise more effectively in weightlessness. Artemyev also charged video camera and laptop computer batteries while Korsakov serviced Russian life support equipment. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev researched piloting and robotic techniques for future planetary missions then attached a sensor to himself to measure his cardiac activity for 24 hours.

On-Orbit Status Report


Actiwatch: Eight Actiwatches were setup on Human Resource Facility 2 (HRF2) rack for battery charge and data downlinks. The Actiwatch is a waterproof, non-intrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember and contains a miniature uniaxial accelerometer that produces a signal as the subject moves. The data is stored in non-volatile memory within the Actiwatch until they are downloaded for analysis.

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF-L): Video cables were connected between CBEF and Image Processing Unit 2 (IPU2). CBEF-L is a new JAXA 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.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO): The crew utilized the Window Observation Research Facility (WORF) window to perform CEO Operations. CEO utilizes crewmembers on the ISS to photograph the Earth using digital handheld cameras from their unique point of view located over 200 miles above the surface. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. A major emphasis of CEO is to monitor events needing immediate (disaster-level) response in support of the International Disaster Charter (IDC) (coordinated through the US Geological Survey). CEO imagery provides researchers on Earth with key data to understand the planet from the perspective of the ISS. Crew members have been photographing Earth from space since the early Mercury missions beginning in 1961. The images taken from the ISS ensure this record remains unbroken.

FLUIDICS: The FLUIDICS hardware was installed and partially setup. The measurement of liquid displacement within a sphere in microgravity relates to a given kinematic representation of a spacecraft’s fuel tank. The Fluid Dynamics in Space (FLUIDICS) investigation evaluates the Center of Mass (CoM) position regarding a temperature gradient on a representation of a fuel tank. The observation of capillary wave turbulence on the surface of a fluid layer in a low-gravity environment can provide insights into measuring the existing volume in a sphere.

SoundSee Mission: A crewmember installed the SoundSee hardware onto an Astrobee unit and took sound level measurements of the acoustic environment in the JEM. The Investigation of Deep Audio Analytics on the ISS (SoundSee Mission) tests monitoring of the acoustic environment using an audio sensor on Astrobee, a mobile robotic platform aboard the space station. Microphones collect acoustic information, and the Astrobee determines the sensor’s position. The system can detect anomalies in the sound of components inside a machine, providing autonomous monitoring of the health of infrastructure such as life support and exercise equipment.


InterModule Ventilation (IMV) Cleaning: Today, the crew cleaned the Node 3 Aft-Port IMV Fan, IMV Silencer inlets, and IMV Grille in order to improve airflow into BEAM. The IMV flow rates must be great enough to ensure that the IMV fan is operating outside of the stall region which reduces airflow and increases fan acoustic noise. Excessive dust buildup can cause this phenomenon. Following the cleaning, the crew used the Velocicalc tool to verify there is now adequate air flow through the Node 3 Aft Port IMV.

Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew continued cargo transfer operations between the ISS and Cygnus cargo vehicle, NG-17, loading items like common trash for disposal. NG-17 is planned for unberth later this month where it will depart the ISS for an eventual destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Station Support Computer (SSC) Audit and Ethernet Cable Fix: The crew audited the SSC System laptops by snapping photos of the deployed configuration to assist ground teams with SSC tracking and support of any hardware-related anomalies. The crew fixed or replaced any broken Ethernet cables in use for SSC Clients.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

HRF Rack 2 PC Remote Desktop Protocol Commanding
Life Support Rack Valve Check
Cold Atom Lab Ops Commanding and Downlink
Crew Dragon Freedom Weekly Quiescent Checkout
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, June 16 (GMT 167)

HRF Centrifuge Spin Test and Tube Removal (NASA)
Lumina Reboot and Data Transfer (ESA)
Repository Urine Collect and Blood Setup (NASA)
Transparent Alloy Switch Cover T/S, H/W Relocate and Stow (NASA)
XROOTS Plant Check, Fluid Recovery and Nutrient Fill (NASA)

Handover Recording for Daily Crew Life
Station Reorganization
Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Cleanup Activity
Friday, June 17 (GMT 168)

Astrobee Undock Ops (NASA)
Cold Atom Lab QD Check and Jumper Leak Check (NASA)
ELF GBU Replace (JAXA)
ER4 Software Closeout (NASA)
JEM Airlock Capture Mech Install (JAXA)
Repository blood and Urine Collect (NASA)

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Short Extravehicular Mobility Unit (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE) Return Preparation
EVA Helmet Troubleshooting
Photo/TV D5 Camera Sensor Cleaning
Saturday, June 18 (GMT 169)

Astrobee Off (NASA)
XROOTS Fluid Recovery (NASA)

Crew Off Duty Day
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Astrobee Prep
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 2 Setup, Stow, and Swap
Cell Biology Experiment Facility Video Cable Connection to IPU2
Crew Earth Observation Operations
Emergency Operations (EMER) Chip Measurement System (CMS) Battery Changeout
ESA Weekly Crew Conference
Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) PhotoTV (P/TV) Exercise Session
Fluidics Hardware Installation
Fluidics Run 1 Execution
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Urine Collection
Node 3 Aft Port IMV Fan Cleaning
Internal Wireless Instrumentation System (IWIS) Remote Sensing Unit (RSU) Troubleshooting
Emergency Mask OBT
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Social Media Event
PAO Video Recording
PAO Event
SoundSee Data Collection 4 Ops
SSC Audit and Ethernet Cable Fix
IMV Flow Measurement Survey Part 2
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations

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