Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 4 April, 2022 – Updating Emergency Procedures Ahead of the Ax-1 Mission

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 4, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 4 April, 2022 – Updating Emergency Procedures Ahead of the Ax-1 Mission
Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1) crew.
Axiom Space

The seven-member Expedition 67 crew will wait an extra day to greet the first private astronauts who are due to launch this weekend to the International Space Station.
In the meantime, the orbital residents focused on human research and physics today while gearing up for a pair of spacewalks later this month.

The first private astronaut mission, Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1), is now scheduled to launch no earlier than Friday at 11:17 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour, carrying Commander and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, would dock Saturday at 6:45 a.m. to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live launch broadcast at 10 a.m.

The four astronauts and three cosmonauts living in space continued their activities today supporting ongoing space science and maintaining space station operations. The crew juggled a variety of microgravity investigations, packed a U.S. cargo ship, and reviewed procedures for two spacewalks to outfit a new Russian module.

NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron opened up the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace on Monday and swapped samples inside the research device that studies thermophysical properties of high temperature materials. Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) imaged his veins and arteries using sensors and an ultrasound device to examine the changes to blood vessels and the heart that take place in weightlessness.

Station Commander Tom Marshburn and Flight Engineer Raja Chari, both from NASA, spent some time in the Cygnus space freighter transferring cargo. Marshburn then updated emergency procedures ahead of the Ax-1 mission and the upcoming SpaceX Crew-3/Crew-4 crew swap. Chari serviced science freezers, checked components on an oxygen generator, then inspected the COLBERT treadmill.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are getting ready for two spacewalks currently targeted for April 18 and 28. The duo is reviewing procedures to exit the Poisk module in their Orlan spacesuits and prepare Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for the European Robotic Arm. Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov set up the EarthKAM experiment in the Harmony module to allow students on Earth to program the camera and photograph landmarks on the ground.

On-Orbit Status Report


Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): The crew checked the APM hardware and reported the display status. Air quality in crewed spacecraft is important for keeping astronauts healthy and comfortable. Although requirements exist for maximum allowable concentrations of particulate matter, currently no measurement capability verifies whether these requirements are met. The APM demonstrates an instrument for measuring and quantifying the concentration of both small and large particles in spacecraft air. The data can be used to create a map of air quality in terms of particles and shed light on the sources of such particles.

Cold Atom Lab (CAL): A visual inspection was performed of the CAL moderate temperature loop (MTL) coolant hose, and any coolant observed was cleaned up. The CAL produces clouds of atoms that are chilled to about one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero — much colder than the average temperature of deep space. At these low temperatures, atoms have almost no motion, allowing scientists to study fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics that are difficult or impossible to probe at higher temperatures. In microgravity, researchers may be able to achieve even colder temperatures than what is possible on the ground and observe these cold atom clouds for longer periods of time.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF): The crew gained access to the interior of the ELF and exchanged sample holder number 2. ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate, melt, and solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the electrostatic levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured, and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved.

Light Ions Detector for ALTEA (LIDAL): Following the temporary relocation to accommodate other science activities, the LIDAL system was returned to its Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 3 location. The ground team verified a good configuration and good telemetry. 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 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.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): The EarthKAM hardware components were set up in the Node 2 nadir window for a week-long imaging session. EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew’s perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges, and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The EarthKAM team then posts these photographs on the Internet for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world.

Universal Intelligent Glass Optics (UNIGLO): The processed fiber optic cable spool and preform were removed, completing this part of the investigation. Following this, two crystallization probes were inserted for processing. 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.

Vascular Aging (VA): In support of the multi-day VA experiment session, ultrasound scans were performed, and blood pressure was measured. Emerging data points towards linkages among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicates that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crew members, particularly with respect to their arteries.


Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew continued cargo transfer operations between the ISS and Cygnus cargo vehicle, NG-17, by unloading supplies from NG-17 and loading items like common trash for disposal. NG-17 is planned to remain at the space station until the end of May before it departs the ISS for an eventual destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Crew Dragon Emergency Equipment Staging and EMER-1a Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update: Today, the crew gathered ISS emergency hardware and staged it in preparation for the arrival of the upcoming Axiom-1 Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) which will use a Crew Dragon. The crew also made pen and ink updates to seven procedures in EMER-1a: Depress, Fire, Equipment Retrieval required before Axiom-1 arrival. The updates adjust the procedures for the upcoming Axiom-1 and Crew-4 missions in order to specify which responses should not be performed by the crew of Axiom-1 or Crew-4 and change carbon monoxide (CO) safe haven limits for Crew Dragon.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Surface Sampler Kit (SSK) and Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Analysis: Five days ago, the crew took surface and air samples using the SSK and MAS and incubated the samples on media slides and petri dishes. Today, the crew visually analyzed the media slides and petri dishes and sorted them for return with the Endurance Crew. These samples were incubated to give medical personnel a gauge of microbial growth in the air and on surfaces of the ISS. The EHS monitors the atmosphere for gaseous contaminants from nonmetallic materials off-gassing, combustion products, and propellants, microbial contaminants from crewmembers and Station activities, water quality, acoustics, and radiation levels.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) Post-Maintenance Flush: The crew performed a flush to return the Water Recovery Management (WRM) hardware used in the OGA Pump Sample and Flush to potable cleanliness. The OGA Pump circulates water through the OGA, which produces oxygen via electrolysis using iodinated water from the Water Processor Assembly (WPA).

Treadmill 2 (T2) Maintenance: As part of regular maintenance to ensure that T2 is in good operational condition, the crew inspected all four Snubber Arms for any sign of free play as well as make any necessary adjustments to reduce the free play. Additionally, the crew taped the Z-axis isolators and inspected the taping on the X-, Y-, and Upper isolators. Finally, the crew also inspected the MTL Supply/Return Quick Disconnects (QDs), gamah fittings, and taped hoses at the T2 Umbilical Panel for damage or leaks. No active leaks were found during this inspection.

Completed Task List Activities:

ISS Food Intake Tracker (FIT) App Sync
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Crew Dragon Wakeup Checkout
IFM OGA Post-Maintenance Flush Support
Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) Activation and Checkout [In Work]
Look Ahead Plan

Tuesday, April 5 (GMT 95)

AstroRad Vest Don
BCM Robot
HRF 2 Checkout
MELFI1/2/3 Icebrick Inserts
Toilet Pretreat Tank Install
UNIGLO Probe Exchange
MSRR/MSL SQF/LGF Furnace Insert Exchange
Vascular Aging

NOD2O2 Cleanout
IFM Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Water Sample
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) OGS H2 Sensor Replacement
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
On-Board Training (OBT) Dragon Rendezvous Review and Conference
Wednesday, April 6 (GMT 96)

APM Data Transfer
Astrobee/RFID Recon Run #3 Ops
AstroRad Video
EarthKAM Lens Change
BCM Robot Test
CIR/SOFIE Insert Config 2
UNIGLO Probe Exchange
ISS Ham Pass
JEM Mission Data Recorder HD Exchange
MELFI Icebrick Inserts
NanoRacks Plate Reader-2 T/S
POSSUM Photo Ops
Rodent Hab Stow
Vascular Aging BP13h Changeout and Doff

RS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Gather Part 1
Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Remove and Replace (R&R)
Regenerative ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain
EVA Battery Ops
Urine Transfer System (UTS) Offload EDV Swap
Thursday, April 7 (GMT 97)

Astrobee Off
AstroRad Vest
Food Physiology
ISS Ham Pass
MSG MLC Battery Replace
Standard Measures
Toilet T/S
Vascular Aging

EVA Umbilical Interface Assembly (UIA) Biocide Filter R&R
EHS Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
EHS TOCA Water Analysis
EHS Air Quality Monitor-6 (AQM-6) 6-months Maintenance
RS EVA Tool Gather Part 2 and Transfer from USOS to RS
Station Support Computer (SSC) 20 and 22 Swap
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Crew Dragon Emergency Equipment Staging
Light Ions Detector Return
ELF Item Gathering
MELFI 3 Ice Brick Insert 1
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 2
ELF Sample Holder Change
MELFI 1 Ice Brick Insert 1
EarthKAM Node 2 Setup and Activation
Vascular Aging Ultrasound Echo Unit Setup
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
Intelligent Glass Optics Preform Exchange
ELF Sample Cartridge Cleaning
Vascular Aging Resting Ultrasound Scan
AstroRad Vest Hardware Gather
Acoustic Blanket Survey
AstroRad Vest Familiarization
Vascular Aging CDL Holter Arterial Blood Pressure Measurement
Vascular Aging CDL Holter Hardware Photography
Intelligent Glass Optics Probe Exchange
IFM OGA Post-Maintenance Flush
CAL MTL Jumper Leak Check
Material Science Laboratory Procedure and Operations Review
EHS SSK and MAS Analysis
Veggie Monitoring Surface Sample Analysis Historical Documentation Photography
Vascular Aging Ultrasound Echo Unit Partial Stow
Crew Dragon Review Computer Based Training (CBT)
EHS AQM Power Cycle
Countermeasures System (CMS) T2 Monthly Inspection
Crew Dragon Location 5 Photo
Crew Dragon Forward Monthly Portable Computer System (PCS) Checkout
Airborne Particulate Monitor Status Check
EMER_1a SODF Update
T2 Umbilical Panel Inspection
Regenerative ECLSS OGS Hardware Gather
EVA Battery Installation
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Initiation

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