More human research, including how astronauts move around in microgravity as well as the effect of weightlessness on vision, packed the science program aboard the International Space Station on Thursday. The seven-member Expedition 67 crew also continued its ongoing focus on life support, orbital plumbing, and electronics systems maintenance.
The lack of an up and down reference while living in microgravity affects how astronauts manipulate and grip objects. Researchers want to get a closer understanding of that behavior to keep astronauts safe in the differing gravitational environments of deep space travel, planets, moons, and asteroids. NASA Flight Engineers Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins took turns seated inside the Columbus laboratory module on Thursday for the long-running GRIP experiment. The duo gripped and maneuvered a specialized device in response to pre-programmed stimuli so scientists can gain insights into a crew member’s cognition and perception during spaceflight.
Hines would go on to orbital plumbing duties filling water containers in the Unity module. Watkins wrapped up her day installing radio frequency identification (RFID) readers inside Unity. The installation work is part of the RFID Smart Sensing study that seeks to improve inventory accuracy and item location on the station.
ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti checked radiation detection hardware and collected microbe samples from the area around the Veggie space botany facility for analysis. NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren stowed biology research hardware and then tested the station’s new toilet system located in the Tranquility module.
Eye checks were back on the schedule on Thursday for Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov. The duo took turns scanning each other’s retinas using medical imaging hardware with real-time support from doctors on the ground. The eye exams help researchers understand how weightlessness affects vision and the shape of the eye. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev spent his day servicing Russian life support gear and stowing hardware for disposal inside the ISS Progress 80 resupply ship docked to the Poisk module.
On-Orbit Status Report
GRIP: GRIP Session 3 science was performed in the seated position. The GRIP experiment studies long-duration spaceflight effects on the abilities of human subjects to regulate grip force and upper limbs trajectories when manipulating objects during different kind of movements such as oscillatory movements, rapid discrete movements, and tapping gestures.
Fixed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Smart Sensing: The crew installed the RFID Smart Stow inserts into the NOD1S4 ZSR (Zero-Gravity Stowage Rack). RFID readers and antennas have operated on the International Space Station since 2017 and were also installed on the robotic free-flying Astrobee in January 2021. RFID-Enabled Autonomous Logistics Management-3 (REALM-3) (RFID Smart Sensing) builds on this work , by extending the reach of RFID signals behind stowage racks and placing motion sensors imbedded in RFID tags on rack doors. Results could increase the accuracy of RFID inventory and item location.
Veggie Monitoring: A crewmember was photographed performing Veggie Monitoring Surface Sample Collection operations. Culture-based Environmental Monitoring of Crop-based Space Food Systems (Veggie Monitoring) collects microbial samples from the surface of the station’s Veggie plant production system in conjunction with quarterly Environmental Health System (EHS) sample collection. Longer exploration missions require space-based systems for growth of plants, and this investigation is expected to help establish requirements to protect these systems, plants, and crew from contamination.
Toilet Test and Checkout: Toilet testing simulates use of the Toilet System to verify performance is acceptable prior to resuming crew use. This activity is split into two parts: Part 1 is a system test with water only and Part 2 is a system test with water and pretreat. Today, the Toilet Dose Pump and Pretreat Tank introduction were configured to prevent pretreat into the toilet during testing and checkout. Crew simulated toilet use using water while the ground team provided real-time feedback to crew on system health. Toilet testing Part 2 is scheduled for next Thursday.
Lab Low Temperature Loop (LTL) Gas Trap Plug Installation: Today, the crew reinstalled the Gas Trap Plug on the Lab LTL Pump Package Assembly (PPA). The purpose of the Gas Trap Plug is to slow the release of ammonia escaping from the Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Gas Trap vent holes into the cabin in the event of an Interface Heat Exchanger (IFHX) breach.
Water Recovery System Contingency Water Container-Iodine (CWC-I) Fill: The crew transferred water from the Potable Bus into a CWC-I using the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD). Water Process Assembly (WPA) was configured to isolate the Potable Bus upon reaching a target offload. Crew monitors the offload time as a secondary control to protect the CWC-I from over-pressurization. Once the crew finished filling the CWC-I, the equipment was turned down and stowed.
Completed Task List Activities:
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
- Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Maneuvers to Setup for RPCM Ops
- Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Initial Activation
- Oxygen Generator Assembly Vent Line Pressure Decay
Look Ahead Plan
Friday, September 9 (GMT 252)
- GRIP Supine Session (ESA)
- NRCSD-23 Hardware Removal (NASA)
- Standard Measures Saliva Collect (NASA)
- XROOTS Fluid Recovery, Plant Check (NASA)
- SpX-Crew Dragon Emergency Response Review
- US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether Inspection
- Gather CWC-Is
Saturday, September 10 (GMT 253)
Sunday, September 11 (GMT 254)
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
- HRF Generic Saliva Collection
- Closure of Lab MCA Hand Valve
- Columbus Bay 1, 2, 3 cleanup
- NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer Hardware Gather
- DOSIS 3D Main Box LED and Pocket Content Check
- DOSIS Memory Card Exchange.
- Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection
- Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Collection/Incubation
- Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis & Data Record
- EPM Laptop LAN Cable Swap
- GRIP Big Picture Reading
- GRIP Setup in the Seated Configuration
- Hydrogen Sensor Tech Demo 4 Way Valve Position Nominal
- Crew Discretionary Event
- Fundoscope Battery Maintenance Charge Part 1, 2, and 3
- OCT2 Exam, Prep, Setup, and Stow
- HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval and Insertion Operations
- LTL Gas Trap Plug Installation
- Small PL Multi-purpose Controller Power Cable Connection At DMS1 Rack
- Radio Frequency Identification Logistics ZSR Marker Tag Installation
- Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Update
- Toilet Operations Big Picture Words Review
- Toilet Leak Inspection
- Toilet Test and Checkout Part 1
- Toilet Urine Transfer System Hose Configuration
- Veggie Monitoring Surface Sample Collection Historical Documentation Photography
- CWC-Iodine Fill Initialization, Terminate, and Teardown