Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 28 March, 2022 – Trio of Astronauts Set to go Home

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 28, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 28 March, 2022 – Trio of Astronauts Set to go Home
Five Expedition 66 Flight Engineers pose for a portrait inside the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory module.

Three Expedition 66 Flight Engineers are returning to Earth in less than two days as four private astronauts prepare for their mission to the International Space Station.
The crew activities haven’t stopped the ongoing space research as the orbital residents studied biology, botany, and physics on Monday.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is nearing the end of his missions as he prepares to return to Earth on Wednesday after a NASA-record breaking 355 days in space. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov will lead Vande Hei and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship when they undock from the Rassvet module at 3:21 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The trio will parachute to a landing just over four hours later.

The next mission to the orbiting lab will be the Axiom Space-1 mission, or Ax-1, carrying a former NASA astronaut and three U.S. crew members. Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will be making his fifth visit to space and his third visit to the space station while commanding the first private mission for Axiom Space. He will lead first time space visitors Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy aboard Endeavour, during the vehicle’s second mission to the station.

NASA teams supporting the Artemis I mission polled “go” today to proceed with the wet dress rehearsal, planned for Friday, April 1, through Sunday, April 3, on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA, Axiom and SpaceX are now looking at no earlier than April 6 for the launch of Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, pending range approval. For an April 6 launch, Ax-1 static fire would take place April 4. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission remains scheduled to launch no earlier than Tuesday, April 19.

Science is always ongoing aboard the station whether its crew members tending to experiments, or scientists uploading commands, or even investigations that are designed to run autonomously.

Monday’s research program aboard the station covered human research, space botany and glass optics. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron helped researchers understand how astronauts manipulate objects possibly informing the design of spacecraft interfaces for a variety of gravity environments. The duo also joined astronauts Tom Marshburn of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) for a standard vision test using an eye chart.

Chari also harvested cotton cultures grown for the Plant Habitat-05 experiment and prepared them for return analysis back on Earth. Marshburn serviced samples for a physics study exploring using artificial intelligence to improve the development of advanced glass optics with implications for Earth and space industries.

The orbiting lab’s three newest crew members spent the day on a variety of activities in the Russian segment including an exercise study, ventilation maintenance, and station familiarization activities. Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsakov, and Denis Matveev are in the second week of a six-and-a-half-month mission that began on March 18.

After successfully completing a spacewalk March 23 at the International Space Station, a thin layer of water was discovered on the inner surface of the helmet and on an absorption pad inside ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer’s helmet following airlock re-pressurization. The water found was more than normal. The space station crew expedited Maurer’s helmet removal and then gathered data in coordination with ground support teams. The space station team is looking into the cause, and any possible fixes that might be needed. The station crew members remain in good health, and they are continuing their daily activities of science and maintenance. Key objectives were completed during the spacewalk, and there are no planned U.S operating segment spacewalks in the near future as a part of normal station operations. Crew safety is a top priority for NASA. The agency and our international partners are constantly identifying and mitigating risks of human spaceflight.

On-Orbit Status Report


Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air-2 (ANITA-2): Air samples were manually taken from an assigned ISS location for chemical analysis in ANITA-2. The ANITA-2 is a compact gas analyzer which can analyze and quantify 33 trace contaminants in the atmosphere aboard the ISS automatically. ANITA-2 can also detect the presence of unknown substances which can be evaluated later on the ground.

Exploration ECLSS-TOILET: The crew reviewed the Toilet System Big Picture Words for Phase 2 Operations, and then inspected the Toilet Conductivity Sensor inlet and outlet cover for potential pre-treat leaks. The Toilet Air Filter was also removed and replaced (R&Red). The old filter was bagged and the toilet housing was wiped down. Photos were taken throughout the filter R&R process and downlinked. The Toilet System is an Exploration Tech Demo that has evolved into a permanent USOS system. The Toilet has the same basic design as the Orion Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). The Toilet System will be the primary WMS for USOS for up to 90 crew-days and interfaces with the Urine Transfer System (UTS) to allow concurrent WHC/Toilet operations.

Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance: Reaching and Grasping (GRASP): The GRASP Seat setup was performed and procedures were reviewed for upcoming operations. The purpose of the GRASP investigation is to better understand how the central nervous system (CNS) integrates information from different sensations (e.g. sight or hearing), encoded in different reference frames, in order to coordinate the hand with the visual environment. More specifically, the science team seeks to better understand if, and how, gravity acts as a reference frame for the control of reach-to-grasp.

GRIP: The third and final GRIP Supine sessions were performed. The GRIP experiment studies the long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements such as oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements, and tapping gestures.

JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer-21 (J-SSOD-21): The J-SSOD-21 deployers were removed from the JEM Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP). 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 MPEP by crew members, it is passed through the JEM Airlock for retrieval, positioning, and deployment by the JEMRMS.

Plant Habitat-05: The crew photographed and harvested specified Plant Habitat 05 Experiment 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.

Universal Intelligent Glass Optics (UNIGLO): The fiber optic cable spool and preform sample was exchanged and the ground initiated a run. UNIGLO tests the effects of microgravity on a glass optics module capable of processing various types of complex glasses. The module uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help adapt materials processing techniques to the microgravity environment and a sensor based on laser-Doppler interferometry to measure the effects of microgravity on processing complex glasses for a variety of applications in space and on Earth.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Activities: Following last week’s successful Radiator Beam Valve Module (RBVM) Jumper Install EVA, the crew completed several activities to replenish EMU hardware. The crew reviewed the EVA Troubleshooting Overview, packed the EMU 3015 T2 Vent Port water sample, and removed the Lithium-Ion Batteries from the Battery Stowage Compartment. An EVA Water Screen was performed to collect a Cooling Loop Sample from EMU 3004 and 3015 to screen for water carryover in the vent loop on EMU 3015, after which the recorded suit EMU data and video was downlinked, and the Airlock and EMUs were cleaned up. The crew also performed a checkout of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) 1018 to verify that it is functional following the inadvertent Hand Controller Module (HCM) Deploy during US EVA 80.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record: The crew performed an analysis of the water processing assembly (WPA) 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.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 3 (N3) Hatch Track Inspection: In order to prevent deadheading the Russian Intra-Module Ventilation (IMV) fans during N3 Hatch maintenance, the Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) PMA-1 IMV duct was uncovered. The N3 Starboard hatch tracks were inspected at the attachment points to structure as well as the hatch rollers, and the THC PMA-1 IMV duct was re-covered after the inspection was completed.

EHS Air Quality Monitor (AQM) Vent Vacuum: As part of regular preventive maintenance, the EHS AQM vents were cleaned to remove dust buildup. The AQM is part of the EHS as an Intravehicular Activity (IVA) atmospheric monitor that is used to detect and measure Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) onboard the ISS.

Completed Task List Activities:

Crew Departure Preparations
Wanted Poster for 1/2? Gamah Fitting Plug
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

UHF 2 Activation/Deactivation
EPS Solar Array Maximum Output Test
External High Definition Camera Pan Tilt Checkout
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, March 29 (GMT 88)

AWP Setup (NASA)
Food Physiology Fecal Collect (NASA)
GRASP Seated Sessions (ESA)
IGO Sample Exchanges (NASA)
ISS HAM Powerdowns (NASA)
Standard Measures Urine, Saliva, Blood Collect (NASA)
TangoLab CubeSat KENT_SAT01 Checkout
Toilet Leak Inspect and Stall Outfitting (NASA)

Regenerative ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
Prepack of US items to be loaded into Soyuz
EHS – SSK Collection/Incubation
UTS Offload EDV Swap
T2 Daily Inspection
Boot European IP Communication Laptop from Alternate HDD
Crew Quarters Audio Cable Reconfiguration
Change of Command Ceremony
EHS – MAS Kit Sample Collection
Emergency CMS Swap
EHD PWD Sample Collect
Wednesday, March 30 (GMT 89)

BioLab Isolation Filter Exchange (ESA)
CALLIOPEO Photos and Setup (ESA)
Food Physiology Fecal processing and MELFI insert (NASA)RETINA session (ESA)
GRASP Free sessions (ESA)
JEM microscope cover set and PLT5 closeout (JAXA)
Plant Hab-05 facility clean and flush (NASA)
VEGGIE Monitoring surface sample collect photos (NASA)

WHC to External/Internal
EHS TOCA Sample Analysis
EHS Coliform Water Processing
Crew Departure Prep
65S Farewell
65S Undock
EMU Loop Scrub
EMU HUT Install
EHS Bose Headset Stow
ACS Nitrogen Manual Valve Open
Review Toilet System BPW for Phase 2 Ops
JEM Common Gas Support Equipment Gas Supply Stop
UTS Backup EDV Swap
Toilet System Activation and Checkout
EVA Airlock Restow
Node 3 Toilet Leak Inspection
Toilet Stall Outfitting
PAM Tablet Deploy/Reconnect
Thursday, March 31 (GMT 90)

CAL MTL Jumper Lk Chck (NASA)
IGO Sample Exchange (NASA)
Standard Measures Saliva Collect (NASA)
TangoLAB 2 Cardcube Replace (NASA)
TOILET Acoustic Survey (NASA)

Toilet Acoustic Survey
EVA Airlock Restow
Node 2 Cleanout
Toilet Acoustic Cover Install
SSC Power Chain Build
EHS TOCA WWB Changeout
Crew Handover Conference
EHS – Coliform Water Sample Analysis
SpX-Crew Dragon Review CBT
IMS Conference
COL SSC Relocate
Crew SSC Relocate
METOX Regeneration Initiation
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Saliva Collection
Extravehicular Activity Troubleshooting Overview
[aborted] Extravehicular Hardware Retrieve
Extravehicular Sample Pack
Polar Desiccant Swap
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Battery (BATT) Removal
Plant Habitat-05 Plant Harvest #4 Procedure Review
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
ANITA-2 Non-Local Sampling
Plant Habitat-05 MWA Preparation
JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) Wide (1 Deployer) and Single (1 Deployer) Removal from Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP)
Plant Habitat-05 Harvest #4 Hardware Gather
EasyMotion Power Box Charge/Retrieval
GRIP setup in Supine position
Review Toilet System Big Picture Words for Phase 2 Operations
Node 3 Toilet Leak Inspection
Toilet Air Filter Installation
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Intelligent Glass Optics Procedure Review
GRIP science performance in supine position
[aborted] Toilet Pre-Treat Tank Installation
Cold Atom Lab MTL Jumper Leak Check
Extravehicular Water Screen
Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Checkout of SAFER S/N 1018
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Veggie Monitoring Reference Material Review
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Uncover/Cover
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 3 (N3) Hatch Track Inspection
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
GRIP partial stowage
Echo Ethernet Cable Gather
GRASP Big picture reading
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Downlink Message
GRASP additional set-up in seated configuration
Stowage Consolidation In JEM Part 2
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
HMS Vision Test Stow
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Plant Habitat-05 Plant Harvest #4
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
Environmental Health System (EHS) Air Quality Monitor Vent Vacuum
Plant Habitat POLAR Insert
ExPRESS Rack 7 ZBook Troubleshooting
LSG Hardware Audit Part 3
Extravehicular Water Screen Cleanup
Intelligent Glass Optics Sample Exchange
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Setup
Treadmill 2 Daily Inspection
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Crew Choice Event

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