Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 24 March, 2022 – Going Home

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 24, 2022
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station Status Report 24 March, 2022 – Going Home
ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer during a spacewalk. (Mar. 23, 2022)

The Expedition 66 crew is turning its attention to the departure of three crew members late next week following the completion of a pair of spacewalks.
The International Space Station is also gearing up to welcome the first private astronaut mission aboard a SpaceX Dragon vehicle in early April.

Two astronauts had medical checkups and a light duty day today following Wednesday’s spacewalk to install thermal gear and electronics components on the orbiting lab. Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer spent a few moments Thursday morning getting blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate and breathing checks. The duo spent six hours and 54 minutes on Wednesday working outside the orbital lab readying it for a third roll-out solar array and connecting cables to the Bartolomeo science platform on the Columbus laboratory module. They were joined Thursday afternoon by NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Tom Marshburn for a conference with spacewalk specialists on the ground.

The four astronauts also called down to mission controllers and discussed the upcoming private astronaut mission from Axiom currently targeted for launch no earlier than April 3. NASA, SpaceX, and Axiom mission managers will hold a media teleconference one hour after NASA’s Flight Readiness Review, or approximately Friday at 6 p.m. EDT following their flight readiness review. Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria will command the Axiom-1 mission with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour vehicle.

In the meantime, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei is nearing his return to Earth with cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov on March 30. The trio will enter the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship, undock from the Rassvet module, and parachute to landing in Kazakhstan. Vande Hei will land with a NASA-record breaking 355 days in space surpassing former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s single spaceflight record of 340 days.

Shkaplerov continued packing the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship while Dubrov helped the station’s three newest crew members get familiar with space station systems. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev with first time space-flyers Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev are in the first week of six-and-a-half month mission that began on March 18 when they arrived aboard the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship.

On-Orbit Status Report


Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF): Four Plant Experiment Units were removed from the 1-G CBEF Incubator Unit Centrifuge. The CBEF, a JAXA subrack facility, is an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. CBEF is housed in the Saibo (living cell) Experiment Rack with the Clean Bench (CB).

Confocal Space Microscopy: Two USB cables were connected to the Payload Laptop Terminal 5 (PLT5) as part of the Confocal Space Microscopy Setup. The Confocal Space Microscope (Confocal Microscope) is a JAXA facility that provides fluorescence images of biological samples aboard the ISS. Confocal microscopy uses spatial filtering techniques to eliminate out-of-focus light or glare in specimens with thicknesses exceeding the immediate plane of focus. With the Confocal Microscope, data can be obtained on the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue structure and functions in real-time.

JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer-21 (J-SSOD-21): Photos were taken of the J-SSOD-21 deployed satellite KITSUNE from Launcher 2 (Wide) and IHI-SAT from Launcher 1 (Single). The J-SSOD provides a novel and safe small satellite launching capability to the ISS. The J-SSOD is a unique satellite launcher, handled by the JEM Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which provides containment and deployment mechanisms for several individual small satellites. Once J-SSOD, including satellite install cases with small satellites, is installed onto the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) by crew members, it is passed through the JEM Airlock for retrieval, positioning, and deployment by the JEMRMS.

Light Ions Detector for ALTEA (LIDAL): A crewmember moved the Light Ions Detector in support of the crew gaining access to the COL1D1 Rack Front in order to support upcoming ESA/GRIP activities. The capability of Anomalous Long Term Effects in Astronauts (ALTEA) to measure the linear energy transfer (LET) of protons and helium and the kinetic energy of protons and heavy ions is to be upgraded by the addition of a new time of flight (TOF) system detector called the Light Ions Detector for ALTEA (LIDAL). LIDAL upgrades the ability of ALTEA to make measurements that can be converted, by dedicated software in real-time, into radiation risk coefficients – effectively enabling ALTEA to become the first ever dosimetric (risk meter) aboard the ISS.

Plant Habitat-05: Photos were taken of the Plant Habitat-05 plates. Unlocking the Cotton Genome to Precision Genetics (Plant Habitat-05) cultivates several cotton genotypes that differ in their ability to regenerate into whole plants from undifferentiated masses of cells known as a calli. Cotton is highly resistant to the process of plant regeneration, making it difficult to engineer stable, reproducing plants that have specific or enhanced traits such as drought resistance. The investigation could provide a better understanding of this behavior and a pathway to avert this problem.

Saibo: The CO2 Quick Disconnect (QD) was removed from the Saibo Rack. The Saibo Experiment Rack (Saibo) which means “living cell,” includes a Clean Bench glovebox with a microscope that is capable of isolating the organisms being studied, and a Cell Biology Experiment Facility that includes an incubator and centrifuges.


Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Activities: Post-EVA activities were completed after yesterday’s successful Radiator Beam Valve Module (RBVM) Jumper Install EVA. The crew performed a relocation of Station Support Computer (SSC) 12, an EVA debrief, Robotic Workstation (RWS) teardown to uninstall the Cupola Crew Restraint and power down the Display and Control Panels, and downlink of video files from the EVA GoPro and camera stowage.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill and Inspection: Today, the crew initiated a manual fill of the WHC E??-?? (Water Container) using a Post-Flight Analysis Bag to capture any pressure relief to protect the dose pump, and analyzed the Urine Collection Device (UCD). The ???-CB is intended for short-term storage and manual water transportation between facilities. The WHC Pump Separator and associated hoses were also inspected due to a recent increase in Check Separator indications and slow startup. After successfully filling the E??-?? and completing the inspection, the crew returned the WHC to nominal use.

Crew Arrival Preparations: In preparation for the arrival of the Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) crew, crew preference supplies were staged, and onboard crew reviewed the PAM Familiarization Big Picture Words and held a corresponding conference to prepare for PAM operations.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

JEMRMS Ground Control Main Arm Maneuver to Small Satellite Deploy Position
MCC-H Transition to Standard Mode
RWS Reconfiguration
MT Pre-Translation Check Out and Survey
MT Translation
MSS Maneuver
MCC-H Transition to External Ops Mode
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, March 25 (GMT 84)

CAL MTL Jumper Lk Check (NASA)
CBEF-Slide Rail Remove (JAXA)
EasyMotion Data D/L (ESA)
GRIP Seated Ops (ESA)
Standard Measures Saliva, Body and Fecal Collect, Cognition Test (NASA)
TOUCHS Deinstall (ESA)

EHS Acoustic Monitor Setup
Crew Departure Prep
EVA Airlock Deconfiguration
EVA Battery Ops
Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
EVA Camera Disassembly
IFM CQ Starboard Cleaning
EVA Tool Stow
Crew Dragon Tablet Sync/Stow
IMS Conference
OBT ISS Emergency HW Familiarization
SSC 10 and 22 Swap
T2 Daily Inspect
Saturday, March 26 (GMT 85)

Standard Measures Saliva Collect (NASA)

Soyuz Nominal Descent Training
EVA Tool Stow
Sunday, March 27 (GMT 86)

Standard Measures Saliva collect and Urine setup (NASA)

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

HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey
Standard Measures Body Sampling Collection
Standard Measures Body Sampling Stow
Insertion of Russian experiments blood samples into MELFI
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Crew Worn Measurements
EML Reprogramming Cable Installation/Removal
EML High Speed Camera Lens Switch
ISS HAM Kenwood Radio Power Up
Columbus Payload Power Switching Box (PPSB) reconfiguration
Light Ions Detector Move 2
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Post EVA Examination – Subject
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Post EVA Examination – Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Post-EVA Periodic Health Status Examination – Stow
Actiwatch Plus HRF Rack 1 Setup/Stow
Insert USB thumb drive into ELC5
Confocal Space Microscopy (Microscope) and Payload Laptop Terminal 5 (PLT5) Setup
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Plant Experiment Unit 1G Removal
ESA Weekly crew conference
Experiment Laptop Terminal 2 Close Out
Return SSC (Station Support Computer) 12 to location from where it came prior to EVA
Saibo Rack CO2 QD Removal
JEMRMS Small Satellite Deployment Observation
Remove USB thumb drive from ELC5 and Label
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Debrief for US EVA
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in JEM
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pump Separator Inspection
Relocate PBAs
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Photo/TV Extravehicular Activity (EVA) GoPro Downlink and Stow
Polar Desiccant Swap
Columbus Bay Clean-up
Plant Habitat-05 Experiment Plate Photos
Crew Arrival Preparations
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Standard Measures Fecal Collection
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) Familiarization Big Picture Words Review
Treadmill 2 Daily Inspection
Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) Familiarization Conference
Acoustic Monitor Battery Swap
HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.