- Press Release
- Sep 30, 2022
NASA Space Station Status Report 31 August, 2022 – How Skin Heals and How Plants Grow in Space
The way skin heals and how plants grow in space are critical research topics aboard the International Space Station. NASA and its international partners glean insights from the scientific data to boost human health and plan successful crewed missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Skin ages faster in microgravity and researchers seek to understand the space-caused molecular processes that may advance wound healing treatments for both astronauts and Earthlings. Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins, both from NASA, spent the majority of Wednesday inside the Kibo laboratory module continuing the ongoing skin healing research. The duo, with partial assistance from astronauts Bob Hines of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency), performed the biomedical research inside Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox practicing surgical techniques including biopsies, suture splints, and wound dressing.
Hines then wrapped up his workday in ESA’s Columbus laboratory module supporting the XROOTS space botany investigation. The NASA astronaut mixed a nutrient solution and recirculated fluids to nourish radishes and mizuna greens growing inside Columbus’ Veggie botany research system. The experiment uses hydroponic and aeroponic methods as a way to promote space agriculture and sustain crews on long-term space missions.
Cristoforetti started her day charging spacesuit video camera batteries, servicing the U.S. oxygen generation system, and documenting her meals for a nutrition study. Following her mid-afternoon support for the skin study, Cristoforetti finished her day performing light plumbing duties and checking portable fire extinguisher components.
Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev began their day studying the tasks and maneuvers they will use to configure the European robotic arm on an upcoming spacewalk. The pair from Roscosmos also checked Orlan spacesuit components and systems. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov spent Wednesday maintaining laptop computers and electronics systems throughout the orbiting lab’s Russian segment.
On-Orbit Status Report
eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS): The crew performed a manual fluid recovery and refilled the plant nutrient solution as needed. They also performed a plant check with the goal of reporting plant growth, as well as any algae or microbial growth that may be present. The XROOTS investigation uses hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth media. Video and still images enable evaluation of multiple independent growth chambers for the entire plant life cycle from seed germination through maturity. Results could identify suitable methods to produce crops on a larger scale for future space missions.
Nutrition Monitoring for the International Space Station (NutrISS): The crew performed an ESA Nutritional Assessment (ENA) in support of the NutrISS investigation. Long-duration spaceflight induces relevant changes in body composition and a loss of body mass. In the NutrISS investigation, a periodic assessment of body composition (body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass) during spaceflight aboard the ISS is carried out using a dedicated bio-impedance analysis device to allow for the measurement of long-term energy balance modification over time. It is hypothesized that an adjusted diet maintaining a near-neutral energy balance, and/or increasing protein intake can limit microgravity-induced bone and muscle loss.
Nitrogen Jumper Purge: In preparation for the Life Support Rack (LSR) and Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) swap next week, the crew purged the Oxygen Generation System (OGS) nitrogen jumper with nitrogen to integrate the jumper with the OGS. The Nitrogen Purge On-orbit Replacement Unit (ORU) regulates flow of nitrogen through the electrolyzing cell stack in the Hydrogen ORU to make it inert for safing or deactivation.
OGS Feedwater Hose Flush: In preparation for the LSR/OGA rack swap next week, the crew flushed the OGS Feed Water Jumper through the Potable Bus using the Water Storage System (WSS) Sample Port Hose. The intent of this activity was to flush out any microbial growth that may have accumulated over time in the hose.
Lab DZUS Fastener Repair: Today, the crew inspected and replaced DZUS fasteners in the Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE) volume on the LAB1D1-01 panel. In order to replace the DZUS fasteners, crew had to first remove the PFE and replace when finished. Repairing this fastener returned the closeout panel to a nominal configuration and ensures it can withstand crew-induced loads.
Completed Task List Activities:
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
- Mobile Servicing System (MSS) EP FRAM Swap
- PRO LSG Facility Activation Commanding
- Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Power up
Look Ahead Plan
Thursday, September 1 (GMT 244)
- LSG Ops
Friday, September 2 (GMT 245)
- CSA Outreach
- LSG Ops
- ManD Tray Replacement
- LSR/OGA Rack Swap Pre-gather
- T2 Monthly Inspection
- WRS CWC-Iodine Fill
Saturday, September 3 (GMT 246)
- No Utilization Activities
- Crew Off-Duty Day
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
- Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
- ISS EveryWear (EVW) Nutrition Tracking and Screenshots
- HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
- Lab DZUS Fastener Repair
- Lab Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE) Removal and Replace
- Nitrogen Jumper Purge
- NutrISS – ESA Nutritional Assessment
- OGS Feedwater Hose Flush
- Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in Node 2
- OGS-LSR Rack Swap Big Picture Words Review
- Recycle Tank Drain and Fill
- RR Cryo Chiller Sample Transfer to MELFI
- Station Support Computer 24 Reload, USB Connect, and Hard Drive Reseat
- Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
- VIP Conference with Rep Garcia and Staff
- XROOTS Water Refill [Deferred]
- XROOTS Status Check