Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 6 April, 2022 – Axiom Space-1 Launch Set for Friday

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 6, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 6 April, 2022 – Axiom Space-1 Launch Set for Friday
NASA’s SLS and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 at Launch Complex 39A & 39B. (Apr. 6, 2022)

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour sitting atop the Falcon 9 rocket has rolled out to launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Endeavour is counting down to a launch this weekend of the first private astronaut mission from Axiom Space to the International Space Station.

The Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1) crew is due to launch aboard Endeavour on Friday at 11:17 a.m. EDT. The Expedition 67 crew will welcome the Ax-1 crew when the hatches open from Endeavour to the station on Saturday around 9:30 a.m. Ax-1 Commander and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, along with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, will live and work aboard the station for nine days performing contracted science experiments and commercial projects. At the end of their mission, they will undock inside Endeavour, reenter Earth’s atmosphere, and parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

Meanwhile, the station’s seven residents continued researching psychology, combustion, and robotics aboard the orbiting lab on Wednesday. The orbital crew is also gearing up for a pair of spacewalks at the end of the month.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari participated in a robotics test to evaluate his behavioral health and performance. Results may show how an astronaut could perform when landing on Mars and may also inform the design of future spacecraft and space habitats. NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron took acoustic measurements of the station’s habitable areas then donned a specialized radiation vest testing it for fit and comfort while working.

Commander Tom Marshburn opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and configured the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction study to investigate material flammability and ways to improve fire safety in space. Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer and tested its ability to identify cargo using a radio frequency identification reader, which is similar to bar codes but uses wireless communication without needing a line of sight.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev continued getting their Orlan spacesuits and tools ready for a pair of spacewalks later this month to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov explored future spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques then worked on Russian life support and electrical systems.

On-Orbit Status Report


Airborne Particulate Monitor (APM): Science Data from the APM memory card was transferred to a Station Support Computer (SSC) for subsequent downlink, and the display status was reported to the ground. 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.

Astrobee/Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) Recon Science 4: An RFID recon reader system was installed on an Astrobee free-flyer, and RFID data was gathered at various locations in the JEM. RFID-Enabled Autonomous Logistics Management-2 (REALM-2) (RFID Recon) uses an RFID reader and antennas attached to a robotic free-flyer to identify RFID-tagged cargo on the ISS to determine its presence and location in order to help the crew find items quickly and efficiently. RFID tags are similar to barcodes, except they are electronic, do not require line-of-sight, and are able to respond through wireless communication.

AstroRad: The crew performed a range-of-motion test and documented the session with video. In this test, various positions and possible movements were demonstrated, both with and without the AstroRad vest. The AstroRad vest is a personal protective equipment (PPE) device which functions as a radiation shield for astronauts. AstroRad shields astronauts from space-borne ionizing radiation in an efficient way, provides operational simplification, and allows for the use of recycled material on-board the vehicle. The concept behind the AstroRad evolved from a commercially available device, the 360 Gamma shield, made by StemRad Ltd., which is an effective wearable shield for first responders to radiation incidents on the Earth.

Behavioral Core Measures (BCM): A research session consisting of a set of 12 runs/tests was performed. The Standardized Behavioral Measures for Detecting Behavioral Health Risks during Exploration Missions (Behavioral Core Measures) experiment initially examined a suite of measurements to reliably assess the risk of adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions and psychiatric disorders during long-duration spaceflight and evaluated the feasibility of those tests within the operational and time constraints of spaceflight for two crewmembers. Subsequent subjects perform a subset of the original activities to measure the performance capabilities of deconditioned crew members to complete either individual or crew telerobotic operations within the first 24 hours after landing. This information could help characterize what tasks a crewmember who has spent months in weightlessness can reasonably be expected to perform after landing on the surface of Mars.

Combustion Integrated Rack/Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction (CIR/SoFIE): The crew gained access to the CIR combustion chamber, removed the SoFIE insert, installed the duct assembly, experiment samples, igniter hardware, and mated appropriate connections. This is a continuation of the multi-day transition from Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) to SoFIE. SoFIE is a hardware insert for CIR that will enable a wide range of solid-material combustion and fire suppression studies, providing common infrastructure including sample holders, flow control, test sections, external radiant heaters, igniters, and diagnostics for multiple investigations. While SoFIE initially meets the requirements of five investigations, it is intended for use by any researchers who propose related solid combustion studies to NASA in the future.

HISUI (Hyperspectral Imager Suite): The crew exchanged the full Mission Data Recorder (MDR) data hard disk (HD) with a new data disk. This is performed roughly every 80 days when the current disk fills up with stored HISUI experiment data. HISUI is an external investigation, and the MDR is the internal component of the investigation which is used to record and transfer data. HISUI is a next-generation spaceborne hyperspectral Earth imaging system. The objective of HISUI onboard the ISS is to obtain the data necessary to begin a full-scale practical application development for hyperspectral remote sensing through manufacturing and have inflight performance verification of a hyperspectral imager onboard ISS.

ISS Ham: The crew participated in an ISS Ham pass with Leonardo-Da-Vinci Campus Nauen, Nauen, Germany. Some of the questions asked by the students included: What the crew is missing the most while on ISS, how often the crew sees Northern lights, and the impacts on the human body due to microgravity. 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.

NanoRacks Plate Reader-2: The crew performed troubleshooting, which involved looking for any obvious obstruction to the travel path of the Plate Reader-2 carriage tray. NanoRacks Plate Reader is a laboratory instrument designed to detect biological, chemical, or physical events of samples in microtiter plates. Microplate readers are widely used in research, drug discovery, bioassay validation, quality control, and manufacturing processes in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry and academic organizations.

Nutrition Monitoring for the ISS (NutrISS): The crew set up the NutrISS Bioimpedance device and performed a measurement session with the device. They also filled out the questionnaire related to the session. 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.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): The current 50 mm camera lens was exchanged for an 85 mm lens in the EarthKAM camera system. This is nominally performed about halfway through the experiment session and allows different aspects of the ground targets to be studied. As of the last report, EarthKAM Mission 78 had a total of 77 schools representing over 8,000 students from 21 countries. 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 onboard 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): Two crystallization probe exchanges were performed, and the probes were processed following each exchange. 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.

Exploration Environmental Control & Life Support System (Exploration ECLSS)-Toilet: The crew performed final deep cleaning activities for the Toilet System by removing the remaining residue of leaked pretreat. The Toilet System is an Exploration Tech Demo that has evolved into a permanent USOS system and has the same basic design as the Orion Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). The Toilet System will be the primary WMS for the USOS for up to 90-crew-days and interfaces with the Urine Transfer System (UTS) to allow concurrent Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC)/Toilet operations.


RS Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Gather Part 1: The crew completed the first of two USOS EVA tool gathering activities in support of the upcoming RS EVAs #52 and #53. Today’s gathered tools include EVA Crewlock Bags, Safety Tethers and D-ring Extenders, and Retractable Equipment Tethers (RETs). Tomorrow, the crew will perform the second tool gathering activity before handing over the equipment to the RS. RS EVA #52 is planned for April 18th.

Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Brine Filter Remove and Replace (R&R): As part of regular maintenance, the crew completed a brine filter changeout to R&R the UPA brine filter today. Brine filters are replaced every 60 days.

Regenerative ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain/Fill: Following the UPA brine filter R&R, the crew set up the recycle tank to drain via the UPA fill drain valve into a Brine EDV using the UTS. Following the setup, the ground performed the tank drain using the UTS. Once the ground specialists completed the transfer, the crew verified the recycle tank was empty, terminated the drain, repositioned the fill/drain valve to force fill the recycle tank using UTS, and configured for nominal processing operations. The crew also swapped the EDV in the offload EDV spot of the UTS.

In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) Deionizing Bed Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Bolt Restraint: The crew taped over the OGA deionizing bed ORU bolts to prevent them from being liberated in the event of internal high pressures. The OGA produces oxygen via electrolysis using iodinated water from the Water Processor Assembly (WPA). As the iodinated water flows into the OGA, the deionizing bed ORU removes the iodine.

Multi-Purpose Computer and Communication (MPCC) European IP Communication Laptop (EICL) UltraBay HDD Swap: Today, the crew swapped the ZBook 1 Terabyte (TB) UltraBay HDD on the ‘EICL’ ZBook and removed the laptop’s Solid State Drive (SSD). After EICL failed earlier this year, troubleshooting attempts identified the installed UltraBay HDD as being suspect. Tomorrow, crew activity will confirm that EICL can be booted properly.

Completed Task List Activities:

NanoRacks Airlock (NRAL) Trash Gather
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
European Physiology Module (EPM) USB Stick Wanted Poster
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Regenerative ECLSS Tank Drain/Fill Support
Look Ahead Plan

Thursday, April 7 (GMT 97)

Astrobee Off
AstroRad Vest
ER5 Laptop Configuration
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
EVA Contingency Water Container – Iodinated (CWC-I) Sample
Environmental Health System (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
EVA Battery Operations Initiation
Stall Seat Track Stud Ring Fitcheck
RFID Reader T/S
Friday, April 8 (GMT 98)

Acoustic Tweezer
CAL MTL Jumper Check
EarthKAM Shutdown/Stow
UNIGLO Hardware Remove from MSG/Stow
Vascular Aging Hardware Stow

Axiom-1 Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) Launch
WHC Manual Fill
Crew Alternate Sleeping Accommodation (CASA) Cleaning
SSC 20 and 22 Swap
Saturday, April 9 (GMT 99)

DCB Unpack

Monitoring Tools Setup for Docking Dragon
Axiom-1 PAM Dock
ISS Safety Briefing
ISS Familiarization
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Last Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Measurement
Body Mass Measurement
NutrISS MO8 Questionnaire
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Setup
Intelligent Glass Optics Probe Exchange
Mission Data Recorder Laptop Configuration Portable 4TB HDD R&R
Combustion Integrated Rack Hardware Gather and Return
Countermeasures System (CMS) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Cylinder Flywheel Evacuation with Slider Track Vacuum
RS EVA Tool Gather Part 1
Astrobee Preparation
RFID Recon Science Run 4 Operations
SoFIE Maintenance Work Area (MWA) Preparation
SoFIE Chamber Insert Configuration Part 2
Activation of the European IP Communication Laptop
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Crew Time Payback
Astrobee Relocate Operations
EHS Acoustic Monitor Setup
EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Terminate
EVA Battery Remove
ISS Ham Pass
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
AstroRad Vest Range of Motion with Video
Astrobee Monitor Operations
Behavioral Core Measures Robotic On-Board Trainer-research (ROBoT-r) Testing 2
Regenerative ECLSS UPA Brine Filter R&R
RFID Recon Removal
MELFI 1 Ice Brick Insert 3
Regenerative ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 4
Airborne Particulate Monitor Data Transfer
NanoRacks Plate Reader-2 Troubleshooting
IFM OGS Deionizing Bed ORU Bolt Restraint
UTS Offload EDV Swap
Rodent Research Habitat Stow
Toilet Deep Cleaning Part 2
EarthKAM Camera Lens Change in Node 2
Bio-Monitor Wearables Change Out
Bio-Monitor Breathing Volume Calibration
Bio-Monitor Wearables Stow
Vascular Aging 13-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring Mobil-O-Graph Unit Power Off

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