Status Report

NASA Space Station Status Report 16 November, 2023 – Biological Printer Maintenance

By SpaceRef Editor
Status Report
November 20, 2023
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NASA Space Station Status Report 16 November, 2023 – Biological Printer Maintenance
NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara uses a portable glovebag to replace components on a biological printer, the BioFabrication Facility (BFF), that is testing the printing of organ-like tissues in microgravity.

A variety of research taking place today on the International Space Station is helping NASA and its partners support crews living and working off the Earth. The ongoing Expedition 70 investigations are informing ways to improve human health and plan future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Astronauts Loral O’Hara and Satoshi Furukawa joined each other in the Columbus laboratory module for vein scans using the Ultrasound 2 device. Doctors on the ground assisted the duo monitoring how weightlessness affects the neck, shoulder, and leg veins, and learning how to keep crews healthy.

O’Hara from NASA also teamed up with fellow NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli and worked in the Tranquility module throughout Thursday. Both astronauts were clearing hardware from the Bishop airlock to make space for the NanoRacks External Platform. Bishop will open its door to space and the platform will be retrieved by the Canadarm2 robotic arm for scientific operations outside of the orbital laboratory. The external research gear is designed to carry experiments for exposure to the vacuum of outer space.

Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) collected cell samples from an incubator and placed them inside the Confocal Microscope to observe how they sense microgravity. He also swapped a gas bottle inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace then assisted O’Hara and Moghbeli with the NanoRacks work.

Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) began his day with a conference with ESA managers, charged portable electronics inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft, then set up Earth science hardware. The two-time station visitor then supported a student-designed space botany experiment, analyzed station water samples, and serviced spacesuit batteries.

Veteran Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko practiced futuristic piloting techniques that may be used to operate spacecraft and robots on potential planetary missions. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub tested a 3D printer for its ability to manufacture tools and supplies without assistance from Earth. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov worked on orbital plumbing duties inside the Nauka science module then conducted a photographic analysis of the station’s Roscosmos modules.


Cell Gravisensing-2 (CGS-2): Confocal Space Microscope sample observations were continued for the CGS-2 six-day experiment session. Recent spaceflight experiments have revealed that individual animal cells can feel the effects of gravity. However, how cells can sense gravity is largely unknown, thus understanding this mechanism emerges as one of the most important problems to be solved in space biology. The Elucidation of Gravisensing Mechanism in Single Cells (Cell Gravisensing) investigation challenges this problem through the analysis of the substrate-rigidity sensing capability of cells during spaceflight.

Earthshine from ISS: The experiment hardware was set up and photos were taken of the Moon. The Earthshine from ISS investigation involves the thorough analysis of photos taken of the Moon from the ISS at specific points in the lunar cycle to study changes in the Earth’s reflectance of light, or albedo. Activities consist of in-flight sessions comprised of photography of the Moon by the crew using a handheld digital camera and lens available aboard the ISS.

Melanized Microbes for Multiple Uses in Space (MELSP): Two Biological Research in Canisters (BRICs) Petri Dish Fixation Units (PDFUs) were placed in a Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator (MERLIN) to incubate, and 2 other BRIC PDFUs were inserted into -80°C cold stowage. MELSP investigates how microgravity and cosmic radiation alter microbial melanin production and the role that melanin plays in fungal adaptation to the space environment. Melanin may help protect organisms in space conditions by providing physical shielding and by scavenging free radicals. Synthesis and production of melanin in microgravity could lead to new variants with novel properties and inspire development of new protective materials that are renewable and biodegradable.

NanoRacks Module-9 (NR Mod-9): The crew gained access to the NR Mod-9 experiment containers, opened a subset of the mixture tube clamps, and/or shook the tubes. Experiments in the tubes include biological samples, crystals, and materials testing. NR Mod-9 is a module containing a complement of Mixture Tubes. These Mixture Tubes each contain a separate experiment that can be activated and deactivated while in zero-G. Tubes are a low-cost, high-return science opportunity for students to send experiments to ISS and encompass a wide range of science/disciplines. Mixture Tubes are very popular with middle and high school science programs and have also been used by private company research, technical schools, and individual research.

NanoRacks External Platform (NREP): The crew removed External Module-14, also known as LEO-TM N-REP ISS Demonstration Advanced Sensor (LEONIDAS), from the NREP and packed it for return. The NREP provides a platform that provides communication, power, and operations to hosted payloads mounted on the outside of the ISS. LEONIDAS collects data on various backgrounds (local time of day, glint, clouds, etc.) to support development of a machine learning algorithm.

Virtual Reality for Exercise (VR for Exercise): Experiment batteries were charged in preparation for upcoming science activities. The VR for Exercise investigation focuses on the development of a VR environment for biking sessions aboard the ISS. The VR equipment is interfaced with the current exercise bicycle aboard the space station, known as the Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS).


Mobile Servicing System (MSS) SpaceX-29 External Cargo Operations: The MSS was powered up and used to extract the Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) payload from the SpX-29 Trunk. Once removed from the SpX-29 Trunk, the MSS then proceeded to stow it on the Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP). Following that, the ground team performed a Mobile Transporter (MT) Pre-Translation Check Out and Survey.

Nanorack Airlock (NRAL) Operations: The crew cleared the Node 3 Port Endcone, opened the Node 3 Port hatch, cleared stowage from NRAL, and reconfigured the NRAL bungee jail. This was done in preparation to stow NREP in NRAL. The crew then removed Module-14 (LEONIDAS), reconfigured NREP, and stowed it in NRAL. Finally, the crew restowed additional items in the NRAL post NREP operations.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test: The crew performed a monthly WinSCAT test. The test is a screen tool developed by NASA to monitor astronauts and their neuro-cognitive status while in space and alert NASA flight surgeons to any accuracy or reaction time changes in an astronaut’s performance. WinSCAT tests working memory, computational skills, attention, visual tracking, and spatial processing.

HMS Venous Thromboembolism Scan: The crew used the ultrasound device to perform a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) scan. This routine medical exam utilizes existing on-orbit eye exam ultrasound hardware for imaging of the neck, clavicle, shoulder, and behind the knee. VTE scans utilize a different frequency than the eye exams.

CWC-I (Iodinated Contingency Water Container) Operations: The crew initiated a CWC-I Fill to help

prepare a water bag for the operations next week. The CWC-I was filled by the WPA Waste Water tank via Process Line B. Immediately following the CWC-I Fill the crew performed a degas of two CWC-Is. The CWC-I Assembly is a water bag which has the ability to store up to 50 lbs of iodinated water.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • None

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

  • VDS EHDC P1 Radiator Survey
  • MSS Powerup
  • JEMAL Pressurization
  • JEMAL ST Operations Support
  • HRF Rack 1 Rack Power Up Commanding

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, November 17 (GMT 321)

  • Antimicrobial Coatings-2 Touch
  • AWP
  • Bacterial Adhesion and Corrosion
  • Cell Gravisensing-2 Observations and Closeout
  • Cerebral Ageing Microscopy
  • ISS Ham Pass
  • SABL Microscope Setup
  • Virtual Reality for Exercise Checkout


  • Dragon Cargo Transfer Operations
  • CMS CEVIS Pack
  • ECLSS Recycle Tank Drain/Fill
  • S&M UID Calibration and PrK Scan
  • PRK IWIS RSU Inspection and Cable Reconfigure
  • HMS Vision Test

Saturday, November 18 (GMT 322)

  • Payload NAS Vent Clean


  • Crew Off Duty

Sunday, November 19 (GMT 323)

  • Crew Off Duty


  • Crew Off Duty

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

  • Standard Measures Post-Sleep Questionnaire
  • Sleep in Orbit Post-Measurement Activity
  • Biochemical Urine Test
  • Circadian Light Morning Data Collection
  • Node 3 Port Endcone and NRAL Clearing and Restow
  • Cell Gravisensing 2 Observation Preparation
  • Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis, Data Record, and Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
  • VR Controller, VR Anchor, and ESA Power Bank Charging
  • Nanoracks External Platform Operations Review, Hardware Gather, Removal from the Slide Table and Bracket Configuration, and Hardware Pack/Stow
  • Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Air Exchange Item Gathering, Replacement, and Leak Check
  • Smart Watch Charge Operations for SpX Crew Dragon
  • Polar Desiccant Swap
  • Earthshine from ISS – Unstow, Setup, Picture Taking, and Stowage of the Camera
  • JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to and Retraction JPM Side
  • Dragon Cargo Transfer
  • Teal CEVIS Questionnaire
  • Nanoracks Maintenance Work Area Preparation and Module-9 Operations
  • Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
  • Station Support Computer (SSC) Loading Preparation
  • Contingency Water Container Iodine (CWC-I) Fill from Waste Water Tank Initiate/Terminate and WRS CWC-I Degas
  • HMS Respiratory Support Pack (RSP) – Checkout
  • MELSP-BRIC MERLIN and MELFI Sample Removal/Insertion
  • Extravehicular Activity Battery Operations
  • SSC (Station Support Computer) 13 Swap
  • HMS ISS EveryWear (EVW) Tracking
  • Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On, Exam Setup, VTE Subject Prep, Scan, and Post Exam
  • Reconnect USB Cables to SSC13 and SSC23
  • HMS WinSCAT Test
  • Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Glove Conference

SpaceRef staff editor.