Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 28 February, 2022 – The Week Starts with Robotics, Spacesuits, and Advanced Research Equipment

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
February 28, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 28 February, 2022 – The Week Starts with Robotics, Spacesuits, and Advanced Research Equipment
NASA astronaut and Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Kayla Barron is pictured after removing a thermal blanket that covered the hatch to the Cygnus space freighter. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 66 crew kicked off the week working on robotics, spacesuits, and advanced research equipment.
The International Space Station is also orbiting higher to get ready for a crew swap at the end of March.

Flight Engineers Raja Chari of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) started Monday collecting their blood samples then stowing them for future analysis. The duo then split up, as Chari spent the afternoon studying robotics mobility using the cube-shaped, toaster-sized Astrobee free-flyer. The Astrobatics investigation explores using hopping maneuvers to minimize propellant to inform future robotic missions. Maurer set up the Fluid Science Laboratory for the PASTA experiment that has implications for commercial applications such as pharmaceuticals, oil and fuels, paints and coatings, and more.

The crew is also revving up for a pair of spacewalks in mid-March to continue modifying the orbiting lab’s power systems. Maurer and NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn worked on U.S. spacesuit jet packs that an astronaut could use to maneuver to safety in the unlikely event of becoming untethered from the station. Marshburn also reviewed plans to assist spacewalkers from inside the space station including suit up procedures, hardware checks and a communications gear overview.

Orbital maintenance is key in space ensuring the station’s multitude of systems, including research and life support, operate safely and continuously. Astronaut Kayla Barron of NASA worked on payload components that support science experiments outside the space station’s Kibo laboratory module on its exposed facility unit. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei spent some time unpacking cargo from the Cygnus space freighter before swapping out gear inside the U.S. oxygen generation assembly.

The space station is orbiting slightly higher after Russia’s ISS Progress 79 cargo craft fired its engines for eight minutes on Friday evening. The orbital reboost maneuver puts the station at the proper altitude for the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship launch on March 18 and Vande Hei’s return to Earth on March 30 with cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship.

On-Orbit Status Report


Astrobatics: Astrobatics Skins hardware was installed onto the Astrobee and the crew assisted the ground team in performing science runs. Astrobee Maneuvering by Robotic Manipulator Hopping (Astrobatics) demonstrates the Astrobee robotic vehicles using robotic manipulators to execute a hopping or self-toss maneuver as the primary mean of propulsion, making it mostly propellantless. Astrobee performs increasingly complex maneuvers between handrails using its perching arm to demonstrate vehicle dynamic modeling and guidance and control of the robot. These maneuvers may be incorporated into future robotic missions and advanced terrestrial robotic applications.

Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) Soft Matter Dynamics & Compacted Granulars: The ruggedized Soft Matter Dynamics (SMD) Experiment Container was installed into the FSL Rack. FSL Soft Matter Dynamics – Hydrodynamics of Wet Foams (Foam Coarsening) aims to investigate bubble size and rearrangement dynamics for “wet foams”. Microgravity offers the opportunity to investigate such “wet” foams, which cannot be stabilized on Earth because of drainage. Moreover, microgravity conditions are essential to study rearrangement phenomena, such as coarsening and coalescence, disentangled from drainage.

ISS HAM: An ISS HAM contact was made with Carter G. Woodson Middle School, Hopewell, Virginia. 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.

Wireless Compose-2: A crewmember took photos of both Communication Modules and both Processing Units of the SmartShirts. The main scientific goal of the Wireless Communication Network (Wireless Compose-2) investigation is to provide a flexible and adaptable wireless network infrastructure to conduct and execute low-power, low-weight, and wireless experiments on the ISS. For this demonstration, Wireless Compose-2 operates several experiments, including an experiment to examine the impact of the space environment on the cardiovascular system. Additionally, Wireless Compose-2 demonstrates newly developed impulse radio ultra-wide- band (IR-UWB) hardware to enable precise localization applications and to analyze the energy harvesting potential on the ISS.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: The 3A ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) Prep EVA is scheduled to take place on March 15th, and today, the crew reviewed the EVA timeline, procedures, and emergency protocols. The crew reviewed spacesuit donning and doffing and the In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) pre-breathe protocols they will perform prior to egress through the Airlock. To prepare for emergencies, the crew also practiced attaching the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) to their spacesuits.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) Nitrogen Purge On-orbit Replacement Unit (ORU) Remove & Replace (R&R): The OGA, which is part of the Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), produces oxygen via electrolysis using iodinated water from the Water Processing Assembly (WPA). After the team tried troubleshooting the OGA Nitrogen Purge unit with no joy, the crew performed an R&R procedure to return the system to nominal operations.

SpaceX Crew Dragon On-Board Training (OBT) Refreshers: With Crew-3 scheduled to undock next month, the crew reviewed emergency procedures involving Emergency Departure, Free-Flight Depress Response, and Free-Flight Fire Response. These reviews provide refresher training to ensure the crew can act fast should an emergency occur.

Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Inspection: Today, the ISS crew completed regularly scheduled maintenance on the ARED Vibration Isolation System (VIS) Rails and Rollers, Upper Stop Cables, and X-Rotation Dashpots. The crew also provided feedback on ARED performance while the ARED Lift Bar was moving between Lower Stops and Upper Stops. This quarterly maintenance allows the ARED exercise device to keep operating nominally as well as verifying if any wear and tear exists on the hardware.

Cygnus Stowage Operations: The crew continued NG-17 Cygnus cargo operations today. They unpacked four ISS Medical Accessories Kits (IMAKs) and resupplied five ISS Medical Packs, two Ammonia Response Medical Kits, and one Specialty IMAK.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Operations: The TOCA ensures overall potable water quality by monitoring the total organic carbon (TOC) concentration levels in the Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Water Processor Assembly (WPA). Today, the crew recorded data from TOCA WPA via Water Sample Hose analysis and changed out the Waste Water Bag (WWB) as part of nominal procedures.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection: The crew inspects the AED and its associated consumables on a monthly basis. The crew tested batteries and examined the outer AED case and AED Electrodes Kit.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test: NASA developed a screening tool to monitor astronauts and their neuro-cognitive status while in space. The test also provides a way for NASA Flight Surgeons to be notified of any accuracy or reaction time changes in astronaut performance. During today’s activity, WinSCAT tested the crew’s working memory, computational skills, attention, visual tracking, and spatial processing. This test is performed monthly.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

Regen Oxygen Generator Assembly Nitrogen Purge ORU Troubleshooting and Safing Actions
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, March 1 (GMT 60)

Acoustic Diagnostics (ESA)
Astrobee Stowage Replace (NASA)
CBEF-L MHU Reconfig (JAXA)
Colgate Skin Preserve and Teardown(NASA)
CCU in Cabin Demo (NASA)
DreamStar Node 3 and COL Ops (NASA)
Intelligent Glass Optics (IGO) Hardware Gather and Review (NASA)
LSG Front Glove Swap (NASA)
Repository Saliva and Urine Collects (NASA)
Space Biofilms Initialization (NASA)
SQuARES Imagery (NASA)

Extravehicular Mobility Suit (EMU) Loop Scrub
Extravehicular Mobility Suit (EMU) Water Recharge
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Lab Aft Rigid Elbow Inter-Module Ventilation (IMV) Duct Rotation
Wednesday, March 2 (GMT 61)

CCU Use Placeholder (NASA)
Food Acceptability (NASA)
Ice Cubes Media Set Installation and Checkout Activation and Remove (ESA)
IGO (Intelligent Glass Optics) HW Install (NASA)
Repository Saliva, Urine, and Blood Collection (NASA)
RR-18 Ops Review and Gather (NASA)
SMART1 Hardware Gather and Install on JEM iSEEP Carrier (NASA)
TangoLab-3 Cubelab Sat Checkout (NASA)
SQuARES Imagery (NASA)

Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER)
PMM1S4 Locker Cleanup
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Manual Fill
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Thursday, March 3 (GMT 62)

Astrobee Deact (NASA)
CBEF-L M Cage Insert and IPU2 Connect (JAXA)
CCU Debrief (NASA)
Cryo Chiller Cartridge Install (NASA)
EML GCP Module Remove and R&R (ESA)
IGO Lab Camera Orient (NASA)
LSG Glove Swap (NASA)
Repository Saliva, Urine Collect (NASA)
RR-18 Restock Ops and Crew Conf and Access Unit Clean (NASA)
SQuARES Imagery (NASA)
Standard Measures Cognition test and Fecal Setup (NASA)
TangoLab Cubelab C/O (NASA)

EVA IROSA Strut Assembly
Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER)
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Phospho-Aging Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension, Retraction to JPM Side
HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection
EFU Adapter 2 Installation
Wireless Compose-2 Photo Documentation
Payload Attachment and Small Payload Controller Installation
FSL Soft Matter Dynamics Experiment Container Installation, Feedthrough Panel Reconfiguration, Samples Removal and Packing
SSC (Station Systems Computer)19 ZBook Shell Swap
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Medical Accessories Kit (IMAK) Unpack from NG-17
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
Cold Atom Lab MTL Jumper Leak Check
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Inspection
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA) Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Deploy
SQuARES Flexible Daily Imagery
ISS HAM Columbus Pass Kenwood
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record, Analysis, Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
SpX-Crew Dragon Emergency Departure, Free-Flight Depress Response, Free-Flight Fire Response Refreshers
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Astrobatics Operations
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Session with EasyMotion Electro-Myo-Stimlation (EMS)
Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Suit Intravehicular (IV) Review
In Flight Maintenance Oxygen Generation Assembly Nitrogen Purge ORU Remove & Replace, Pump ORU Stow
Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) Installation Practice
EasyMotion Suit Stow
HRF Generic Saliva, Urine Collection

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