09/14/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2021 07:54
Biofilms: Following the end of the experiment session, the crew removed the 24 Experiment Containers (ECs) from the Kubik 5 and Kubik 6 facilities. The goal of the Biofilm Inhibition On Flight Equipment and On Board the ISS Using Microbiologically Lethal Metal Surfaces (ESA-Biofilms) investigation is to compare how biofilms are formed in low gravity, in a liquid environment on inhibiting and non-inhibiting metal surfaces, for the purposes of spacecraft sanitation and crew health. Various species of bacteria are tested not only on different metallic surfaces (copper, stainless steel, and brass), but also on an array of different laser-etched surface treatments to ascertain whether topological differences influence biofilm formation in space. Through this investigation, learning about what surface types hold the highest antimicrobial properties can contribute to knowledge when designing future spacecraft surfaces to safeguard crew health.
Biomole: The crew continued the series of activities started last week in preparation of amplified DNA for sequencing using the MinION. The Environmental Health System (EHS) Biomole Facility non-culture-based samples can provide microbial identification on-orbit within days of sampling. The goal of this Tech Demo is to conduct comparative analysis for possible replacement of current microbial monitoring systems.
Four Bed CO2 Scrubber: In preparation for the actual installation later this week, the crew removed the FSE (Flight Support equipment), and then temp-stowed the Four Bed CO2 scrubber. Four Bed CO2 Scrubber demonstrates a technology for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere on a spacecraft. The technology is based on the current system in use on the International Space Station (ISS) with mechanical upgrades in absorption beds, heater elements, and valves and use of an improved zeolite absorbent to reduce erosion and dust formation. A goal for next-generation systems is continuous operation for 20,000 hours without a failure, and this technology is a step toward that goal.
Genes in Space-8 (GIS-8): The crew performed the final (5th) run in the GIS-08 series, which began earlier this month. Some pharmaceuticals used to maintain astronaut health do not work as well in space, which may be linked to changes in levels of the liver enzymes that metabolize most drugs. Genes in Space-8 tests the Genes in Space Fluorescence Viewer, a new technology for monitoring the expression of genes that control these critical enzymes. This test could lead to a better understanding of spaceflight-induced changes in liver gene expression and may support development of new therapies that can account for the body's adaptations to spaceflight.
Kibo Robot Programming Challenge-2: The crew participated in a briefing for the Robo-Pro challenge-2 event which occurs tomorrow. Of note, nine student teams will be participating in the challenge and watching the event on-line. The Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Robo-Pro Challenge), also known as Kibo-RPC, allows students to create programs to control Astrobee, a free-flying robot aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This opportunity provides hands-on experience with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in space and inspires the next generation of explorers. This activity is based on Japan-U.S. cooperation through the Japan-US Open platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3).
Manufacturing Device (ManD): Following the removal of the Redwire Regolith components from the ManD, the nominal ManD extruder, print tray, and feedstock canister were installed. The Manufacturing Device enables the production of components on the ISS for both NASA and commercial objectives. Parts, entire experiments, and tools can be created on demand utilizing the ManD printer that is installed into an Express Rack locker location. ManD can produce parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymer including engineered plastics.
Redwire Regolith Print (RRP): The crew removed and stowed the print tray and final printed item from the ManD print chamber. Although some extrusion did occur for the printed item, it was not fully completed. The printed item and its tray will be returned to the ground for further analysis. RRP demonstrates 3D printing with regolith feedstock material in microgravity using the Made in Space Manufacturing Device currently aboard the ISS. This demonstration could help determine the feasibility of using resources available on planetary bodies as the raw materials for on-demand construction of housing and other structures. This capability reduces the amount of materials needed on future exploration missions, thus reducing launch mass.
Ring Sheared Drop: The crew installed the next sample syringe to be processed. The Ring Sheared Drop investigation examines the formation and flow of amyloids without the complications associated with the solid walls of a container, because in microgravity, surface tension provides containment of the liquid. Fibrous, extracellular protein deposits found in organs and tissues; amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Results could contribute to better understanding of these diseases as well as to development of advanced materials.
Standard Measures: The crew performed saliva sample collections and a Presleep questionnaire. The aim of the investigation is to ensure consistent capture of an optimized, minimal set of measures from crewmembers until the end of the ISS Program to characterize the adaptive responses and risks of living in space. Among other things, the ground teams perform analyses for metabolic and chemistry panels, immune function, microbiome, etc. These measures populate a data repository to enable high-level monitoring of countermeasure effectiveness and meaningful interpretation of health and performance outcomes, and support future research on planetary missions.
Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Activities: The crew completed multiple post-EVA activities after Sunday's successful 4A IROSA Prep EVA. Their activities included: a recharge of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) feedwater tanks, tool stowage, and battery charging.
Dragon Cargo Ops: Today, the crew performed cargo transfer operations for Cargo Dragon SpaceX-23 (SpX-23). SpX-23 undock is scheduled for September 30th and will return cargo and payloads to the ground.
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Node 3 Smoke Detector Cleaning: The crew inspected and successfully cleaned the Node 3 smoke detector. The smoke detectors sample the atmosphere within racks and in the open cabin for particles that might correspond to smoke from a fire. The SDs use a light sensing sampling chamber or probe and rely on forced airflow to propagate any smoke particles that may be present in the atmosphere.
Completed Task List Activities:
Today's Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Look Ahead Plan
Wednesday, September 15 (GMT 258)
Thursday, September 16 (GMT 259)
Friday, September 17 (GMT 260)
Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.