Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 21 March, 2022 – Crew Now at 10

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 21, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 21 March, 2022 – Crew Now at 10
The Soyuz MS-21 crew ship (upper left) with three cosmonauts aboard approaches the space station for a docking on March 18.

The International Space Station is hosting 10 individuals after the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship arrived Friday carrying three new crew members.
As the new crewmates adjust to life on the station, the rest of the Expedition 66 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk and continuing microgravity research this week.

The station’s three newest crew members are getting used to life on orbit as they begin a six-and-a-half-month mission in Earth orbit. Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsakov, and Denis Matveev docked to the station’s Prichal module on Friday less than three-and-a-half hours after launching from Kazakhstan. Artemyev is starting his third mission at the orbiting lab having last visited in 2018 when he was an Expedition 55-56 Flight Engineer. Korsakov and Matveev are on their first space flight and will spend the next few days getting up to speed with station systems and safety procedures.

Two astronauts are getting ready for a spacewalk set to begin on Wednesday at 8:50 a.m. EDT. NASA astronaut Raja Chari and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer will spend about six-and-a-half hours installing new thermal system and electronics components on the station’s U.S. segment. The duo spent Monday organizing their spacewalk tools and attaching checklists to their U.S. spacesuit cuffs.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron were on science duty on Monday working on a pair of different experiments. Vande Hei explored how microbes grow in space to keeps crews healthy and spacecraft systems safe. Barron serviced samples for the Hicari crystal growth study that seeks to improve the development of solar cells and semiconductor-based electronics.

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn spent the day on a variety of orbital plumbing and life support maintenance tasks. He also joined Chari for a conference with mission controllers as they plan to return to Earth with Barron and Maurer aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance next month.

Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov continued evaluating a specialized suit, the lower body negative pressure suit, for its ability to counteract the effects of weightlessness on the human body. Doctors are studying the suit’s ability to offset space-caused head and eye pressure by drawing fluids toward the legs and feet while expanding veins and tissues.

On-Orbit Status Report


Acoustic Diagnostics: The crew participated in an Acoustic Diagnostics session. This activity captures both sound level data every second as well as an audio recording for the duration of the measurement. The crew then completed a questionnaire. The Acoustic Upgraded Diagnostics In-Orbit (AUDIO) (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.

EXPRESS Rack (EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments for Space Station Racks) 11B: The crew disconnected USB Serial Port Adapter and RS232 cable connections between ER11B and the EXPRESS-6 laptop. ER11B Health & Status (H&S) was lost on GMT 070 and these cable connections were made as a temporary fix. Further troubleshooting successfully restored H&S, and the cables are no longer needed. The EXPRESS Racks support science experiments in any discipline by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water, and other items needed to operate science experiments in space.

Hicari-2: The Hicari-2 sample cartridges were loaded into the Gradient Heating Furnace (GHF) sample holder. The materials science investigation, Growth of Homogeneous SiGe Crystals in Microgravity by the Travelling Liquidous Zone (TLZ) Method (Hicari), aims to verify the crystal-growth by the TLZ method and to produce high-quality crystals of Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) semiconductor using the JEM-GHF. Once this method is established, it is expected to be applied for developing more efficient solar cells and semiconductor-based electronics.

ISS HAM: The crew participated in an ISS Ham pass with Students from Toyonaka High School, Toyonaka, Japan. The school is designated as one of the Global Leader’s High Schools (GLHS) and is also one of the Super Science High Schools. ISS HAM Radio provides opportunities to engage and educate students, teachers, parents and other members of the community in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a means to communicate between astronauts and the ground HAM radio units.

Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER): The crew connected cables to ExPRESS Laptop Computer 5 (ELC5) in support of future Orbiting High-energy Monitor Alert Network (OHMAN) payload operations and then photographed the installed cables. OHMAN uses an application loaded on ELC5 to communicate live x-ray pointing data from JAXA’s Monitor of All sky X-ray Image (MAXI) payload to NASA’s NICER payload. Operations are planned to begin no earlier than next week. The NICER payload studies the extraordinary physics of stars, providing new insights into their nature and behavior.

Space Biofilms: The last of the three fixation activities for the Space Biofilms-2 experiment was performed by the crew. Fixation refers to a group of techniques which are used to preserve various aspects of the samples for later analysis. 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.

Sampling Quadrangle Assemblages Research Experiment (SQuARE): The crew photographed each of the six photo locations in the COL, JEM, NODE1, NODE2, NODE3, and LAB. ISS Archaeological Project – SQuARE focuses on different kinds of material culture – objects and built spaces together with their symbolic and social meanings. Results could help define the significance of material culture in a space habitat and ultimately help space agencies understand how different objects and spaces are used over time.

Standard Measures: The crew collected body and fecal samples and set up for tomorrow’s saliva collections. The aim of the investigation is to ensure consistent capture of an optimized, minimal set of measures from crewmembers until the end of the ISS Program in order to characterize the adaptive responses to and risks of living in space. Among other things, the ground teams perform analyses for metabolic and chemistry panels, immune function, microbiome, etc. These measures populate a data repository to enable high-level monitoring of countermeasure effectiveness and meaningful interpretation of health and performance outcomes and support future research on planetary missions.

Space Tango – Cubelab Satellite Demo: The TangoLab CubeLab Satellite Activation and Checkout was performed by removing one CubeLab Satellite from TangoLab, thereby activating it. The crew then reattached the CubeLab Satellite to its card and placed it back into the TangoLab for charging. Space Tango – Cubelab Satellite Demonstrator tests a new attitude-control technology for small satellites, which is an integral part of future space missions as 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.

Touching Surfaces: The crew performed the weekly surface touching event. Previous space research conducted during short-term flight experiments and long-term environmental monitoring on board orbiting space stations (such as MIR or the ISS) suggests that the relationship between humans and microbes is altered in the crewed habitat in space. This interdisciplinary project Touching Surfaces aims to investigate novel, laser-structured antimicrobial surfaces onboard the ISS. The realistic testing of the tailor-made nanostructured antimicrobial surface in space allows for the determination of the most suitable design for antimicrobial surfaces for terrestrial applications such as public transportation and clinical settings, as well as future human space mission and habitation design.


Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Filter Remove & Replace (R&R): The crew replaced the PWD’s Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) water filter and cleaned the exhaust fan outlets on the rear of the PWD. Both the fan cleaning and filter R&R are regularly scheduled preventive maintenance required to keep the PWD functioning nominally.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: Today, the crew set up the recycle tank to drain via the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Fill Drain Valve into the Brine Processor using the Urine Transfer System (UTS). Following the setup, the ground performed the tank drain using the UTS. Once the ground specialists completed the transfer, the crew verified the recycle tank was empty, terminated the drain, and repositioned the fill/drain valve to force fill the recycle tank using UTS. The crew also swapped the ??? in the offload ??? spot of the UTS.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparation Activities: Activities continued in preparation for Wednesday’s Radiator Beam Valve Module (RBVM) Jumper Install EVA. The crew set up the D5 EVA Camera configuration and completed the EVA NASA Zero-Gravity Lever (NZGL) Familiarization Review. The crew also printed the EVA Cuff Checklist and configured EVA Tools. The Cuff Checklist is a small book with an elastic band to allow EV crew to wear it on their wrist. The book always contains a set of pages for EVA Mobility Unit (EMU) contingency responses and pages for task-specific information to be printed and taped.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: The crew performed an analysis of the WRS using the TOCA. The TOCA unit oxidizes organic carbon species present in the water to carbon dioxide gas and measures the concentration using nondispersive infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the potable water using the TOCA occurs on a weekly basis. The crew also replaced the TOCA Waste Water Bag (WWB) to preclude any overfill prior to the next run.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Brine Processor (BPA) Filter R&R: As part of regularly scheduled preventive maintenance, the crew replaced the BPA Exhaust Filter prior to the next process cycle. The filter scrubs the odor from the air leaving the Brine Processor.

Completed Task List Activities:

Crew-3 Dragon Undock Review
Treadmill 2 Isolator Taping
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

STP-H8 Payload Developer Commanding
JEM GHF File Uplink/Downlink
JEM Airlock and ACDU-RC Activation
JEM Airlock VB-RC Activation
JEM Airlock Depressurization and vent
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, March 22 (GMT 81)

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Plant Experiment Unit Micro-G Installation
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Down in Columbus & Service Module
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes & HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Rack 1 PC 1 USB Software Load Installation Preparation/Conclude
Intelligent Glass Optics Sample Exchange
Rodent Research Inventory Audit Part1
SQuARES Photo Location Removal

PGT Battery Install
E-LK Prep
EVA Tool Config/Audit
EVA Procedure Review/Conference
Wednesday, March 23 (GMT 82)

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Plant Experiment Unit 1G Installation
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Plant Experiment Unit Micro-G Removal
Food Acceptability Survey
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes & HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
NanoRacks Mainframe Alpha Module Removal, Polar Insertion, Photography
Rodent Research Inventory Audit Part 2

RBVM Jumper Install EVA
WRS Waste Tank/Condensate Sample
Crew Departure Prep
Thursday, March 24 (GMT 83)

COLUMBUS Bay 1, 2, 3 clean-up
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Up
Experiment Laptop Terminal 2 Close Out
EML High Speed Camera Lens Switch
EML Reprogramming Cable installation/removal
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
Confocal Space Microscopy (Microscope) and Payload Laptop Terminal 5 (PLT5) Setup
JEMRMS Small Satellite Deployment Observation
Light Ions Detector Move 2
Polar Desiccant Swap
Saibo Rack CO2 QD Removal
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection, Fecal Collection, Stow, & Survey

EVA Debrief
RWS Teardown
EMU Water Recharge
PAM Familiarization BPW Review
EVA GoPro Downlink and Stow
COL Bay Cleanup
Crew Departure Prep
PAM Familiarization Conference
HECA Terminate
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection
Standard Measures Body Sampling Stow
Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Filter Remove and Replace (R&R)
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Standard Measures Fecal Collection
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Down in Columbus
Acoustic Diagnostics Operations – Calibration and Measurement
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Up
Acoustic Diagnostics Data Copy
Acoustic Diagnostics Instrument Deinstallation and Stowage
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
LSG Work Volume Deploy/Stow
Acoustic Diagnostics EveryWear Questionnaire
Photo TV Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Camera Turnaround
COL Payload Laptop ZBooks Replug
SOKOL leak check prior redocking
Touching Event for the Touching Surfaces experiment
Wireless Compose SD Card Data Transfer
Cold Atom Lab MTL Jumper Leak Check
EXPRESS-11 Cable Remove
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer OHMAN Setup
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) NASA Zero-Gravity Lever (NZGL) Familiarization
Gradient Heating Furnace (GHF) HICARI2 Cartridge Ops
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
LSG Primary Crew Restraint Unfold/Fold
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Setup
TangoLab CubeLab Satellite Activation and Checkout
Space Biofilms Fixation 3 Ops
Dragon Pre-Departure Conference
EVA Cuff Checklist Print
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) SM Transfer Tunnel (???) Strain Gauge Protective Layer Install
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
[deferred] Photo TV GoPro Setup
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in Columbus
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Brine Processor (BPA) Filter Remove and Replace (R&R)
ISS Crew Orientation
Countermeasures System (CMS) T2 Inspection
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
ISS Crew departure preparation
Space Biofilms MELFI Sample Insertion Operations Session 3
Space Biofilms Iceberg Sample Removal/Insert
Increment 66 Safety Video Follow-Up
SQuARES Flexible Daily Imagery
HRF Generic Saliva Collection

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