Status Report

NASA Space Station Status Report 8 December, 2022 – SphereCam-1 Assembled, Spacesuit Maintenance

By SpaceRef Editor
Status Report
December 9, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 8 December, 2022 – SphereCam-1 Assembled, Spacesuit Maintenance
Astronaut Koichi Wakata participates in a robotics test. (Dec. 6, 2022)

Spacesuit maintenance and research hardware topped the task list for the Expedition 68 crew on Thursday. The orbital residents aboard the International Space Station also worked on biomedical activities and ensured life support systems continue operating in tip-top shape.

NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann worked together throughout Thursday servicing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), or spacesuit, inside the Quest airlock. The duo spent the entire day swapping electronics and life support components inside the spacesuit ahead of a spacewalk planned for Monday, Dec. 19. Two astronauts will exit Quest in their EMUs on that day and spend about seven hours installing another roll-out solar array on the station’s Port-4 truss segment.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio had his hands full during the day working on a variety of science gear supporting everything from satellite deployments, fluid physics, and ultra-high resolution video technology. Beginning his day in the Harmony module, Rubio disassembled a small satellite deployer that had ejected four CubeSats from outside the Kibo laboratory module last week. Next, he opened up the Fluids Science Laboratory and installed samples to investigate the coarsening and coalescence of foams with potential applications for the firefighting, petroleum, and medicine industries among others. Finally, the first time space-flyer assembled the SphereCam-1 to demonstrate capturing the highest resolution, groundbreaking 12K views from a spacecraft supporting future space exploration missions.

Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) drew a blood sample during the morning and processed it in a centrifuge before the stowing the sample in a science freezer for future examination. Wakata then worked on the Kibo lab’s water recovery system troubleshooting hardware inside the life support device. At the end of the day, the experienced space station veteran collected a urine sample and stowed it in a science freezer for later analysis.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev performed a leak check on the docking interface between the Poisk module and the ISS Progress 82 cargo craft. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin set up a video camera inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Finally, Flight Engineer Anna Kikina, with assistance from Petelin, attached sensors to herself and pedaled strenuously on the station’s exercise bike for a fitness evaluation.

On-Orbit Status Report


Food Physiology: A diet briefing was attended between the crew and principal investigator team in support of the Food Physiology investigation. The Integrated Impact of Diet on Human Immune Response, the Gut Microbiota, and Nutritional Status During Adaptation to Spaceflight (Food Physiology) experiment is designed to characterize the key effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators. These factors are interlinked, but diet is the only one that can be easily and meaningfully altered on Earth or during flight. This investigation aims to document the effect of dietary improvements on human physiology and the ability of those improvements to enhance adaptation to spaceflight.

Fluid Science Laboratory/Soft Matter Dynamics (FSL/SMD) Foam Coarsening: The crew installed the Foam Coarsening #2 Sample Cell Unit 6 inside the SMD Experiment Container (EC). FSL SMD – Hydrodynamics of Wet Foams (Foam Coarsening) aims to investigate bubble size and rearrangement dynamics for “wet foams”. Microgravity offers the opportunity to investigate such “wet” foams, which cannot be stabilized on Earth because of drainage. Moreover, microgravity conditions are essential to study rearrangement phenomena, such as coarsening and coalescence, disentangled from drainage.

ISS Ham: The crew participated in an ISS Ham pass with The British School in the Netherlands (Junior School Leidschenveen). The student body is aged between 4 and 11, and are from 43 different nationalities around the world. Many of the children are multilingual using English as their communicating language in school. Since the earliest space station expeditions, ISS Ham Radio has allowed groups of students in schools, camps, museums, and planetariums to hold a conversation with the people living in space. As the ISS passes overhead, students have about nine minutes to ask the crew members 10 to 20 questions.

JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS):  To prepare for later JWRS operations, the crew began work exchanging gas trap modules and a solenoid valve.  JWRS is a pilot-scale system capable of generating 1 liter per day of potable water from urine. In the past on crewed spacecraft, urine and wastewater were collected and stored, or vented overboard.  For long-term space missions, however, water supply could become a limiting factor.  Demonstration of the function of this water recovery system on orbit contributes to updating the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) to support astronauts on the space station and future exploration missions.

NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer Mission-23 (NRCSD-23): The NRCSD-23 triple deployer was disassembled and prepared for return on SpX-26. The 5 satellites from NRCSD-23 were deployed successfully in early September and the triple deployer is currently empty. The NRCSD system is an external deployer that is installed in the JEM airlock and robotically placed in the deploy configuration using the JEM Remote Manipulator System (RMS).


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Radio and Fan Pump Separator (FPS) Remove and Replace (R&R): Today, the crew started by removing the EMU impact shield and radio for access to FPS. Part 1 was then initiated by performing water syringe and vacuum cleaner preparation. Part 2, the crew removed the FPS, inspected, cleaned, and installed the new FPS. After that, the crew reinstalled the EMU radio. Part 3 tasks of priming EMU water pump, hardware dry out, and EMU closeout activities were delayed and rescheduled to tomorrow. The EMU is the space suit currently used by astronauts. It is an independent anthropomorphic system that provides environmental protection, mobility, life support, and communications for the crewmembers to perform an EVA in Earth orbit. The FPS assembly is a component of the Primary Life Support System (PLSS) that provides circulation of the ventilation and cooling fluids for the EMU.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • None

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

  • USOS MPEG Decoder Swap & Testing
  • Crew Dragon Awake Mode Checkout
  • TDRS-Spare Outage

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, December 9 (GMT 343)

  • ELF Sample Cartridge Exchange
  • HRF Urine And Blood Collect
  • J-SSOD-23 Hardware Removal From Slide Table
  • PFMI-ASCENT Sample Change
  • Plant Habitat QD Replacement
  • Veg-05 Experiment Install
  • Zero-T2


  • EVA FPS Tool Stow
  • SpX Crew Dragon Deorbit Entry/Landing Contingencies Review

Saturday, December 10 (GMT 344)

  • HRF Urine Collection
  • ISS HAM Pass
  • NIS Fixations
  • STaARS BS-15 Group 1 Insert Into MELFI


  • Crew Off Duty

Sunday, December 11 (GMT 345)

  • Crew Off Duty


  • Crew Off Duty

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

  • Human Research Facility (HRF) Generic Urine Reclamation
  • HRF Generic Minus Eighty-degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI) Sample Operations
  • HRF Generic HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Collection Operations
  • VEG Series Experiment On-Board Training (OBT)
  • Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Hardware Return
  • NRCSD Maintenance Work Area Preparation
  • XF705 Camcorder Setup
  • NRCSD Hardware Gather
  • JWRS Equipment Exchange
  • NRCSD Disassembly
  • Gather and Restow Items For FSL activities
  • FSL Facility Core Element Locking
  • ISS HAM Columbus Pass
  • FSL SMD EC Sample Cell Unit Exchange
  • FSL Facility Core Element Release In Preparation of SMD/RUBI operations
  • Modifying Camcorder Bracket For Installation On CCA-M Window
  • Food Transfer
  • Plant Habitat Hardware Gather
  • EVA EMU Radio Removal and Installation
  • Food Physiology Crew Diet Briefing
  • Crew Dragon Forward Monthly PCS Checkout
  • SphereCam-1 Hardware Gather and Assembly
  • Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
  • Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Activation

SpaceRef staff editor.