ISS Daily Summary Report – 4/15/2021

Change of Command Ceremony: A Change of Command ceremony was performed today during which Shannon Walker assumed command of the ISS from Sergey Ryzhikov. This is in preparation for 63 undock and return tomorrow, April 16.


Astrobee/Gecko-2: The crew continued science objectives for the Astrobee free-flier equipped with a Gecko perching arm.  Assistive Free-Flyers with Gecko-Inspired Adhesive Appendages for Automated Logistics in Space uses the Astrobee robot aboard the space station to test an adhesive for robotic grasping and manipulating. Geckos grasp the surface of an object rather than features on it, providing many more grasping points. Adhesive grippers inspired by these reptiles, already proven to work in space, could allow robots to rapidly and controllably attach to and detach from surfaces, even on objects that are moving or spinning.

EXPRESS Rack 1:  The crew replaced the RPS rack power switch.  Although we are able to operate ER1 in the current configuration, this switch replacement puts the rack back in its nominal configuration.  EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Racks are multipurpose payload rack systems that store and support research aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The EXPRESS Racks support science experiments in any discipline by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water, and other items needed to operate science experiments in space.

FNS relocate: The crew relocated the Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS) from Columbus to Node 2, reconnected the cables, and powered it on.  Neutron spectrometers are used to make a wide range of measurements, including studies of a planetary body’s composition and measuring the flux of high-energy neutrons that could be harmful to humans. The Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS) investigation studies a new neutron measurement technique that is better suited for the mixed radiation fields found in deep space. Future manned and exploration missions benefit from clearer, more error-free measurement of the neutron flux present in an environment with multiple types of radiation.

Manufacturing Device (ManD):  In order to resolve recent ManD 3D printing issues, the crew reseated the feedstock canister.  The ground noted the latch for the feedstock canister may have been loose before the activity today, which could be the reason for the recent issues.  ManD 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 is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.

Micro-16: The crew inspected several of the Micro-16 culture bags for any indications of cloudy media, contamination, and for the number of worms remaining in the investigation.  Loss of muscle mass and strength present a major challenge for astronauts on future long space voyages. Determining Muscle Strength in Space-flown Caenorhabditis elegans (Micro-16) uses this tiny worm to test whether decreased expression of muscle proteins is associated with decreased strength. The research team developed a new device to measure muscle strength in multiple generations of space-reared C. elegans worms and compare that strength to postflight muscle gene expression analyses.

Payload Network Attached Storage (NAS) vent clean: As a routine maintenance activity, the crew performed a cleaning of the front/back/left side vents on the PL NAS system.  This is performed in order to prevent automatic shutdown of the unit due to inadequate airflow and resulting higher heat levels.  The Payload NAS is a file server with 5 hard drive bays that provides a total of 20 terabytes of raw disk space when used with 4 terabyte hard drives.  Among other capabilities, the PL NAS supports user file transfers from their machine via web browser, and allows onboard ISS systems to access a shared folder location on the NAS.

T2AR ops: The crew performed the science operations for the T2AR system.  The objective is to use the T2AR system to assist the crew with the ISS treadmill monthly maintenance. T2AR conducts tests using augmented reality to help crew members perform inspection and maintenance on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT). The ability to perform such tasks without assistance from Mission Control is vital for future space exploration such as a mission to Mars, where significant time delays occur in communications between space and ground. Using augmented reality to guide astronauts through complex spacecraft maintenance and repair activities also reduces the time needed for training and task performance.

Transparent Alloys: The crew exchanged the experiment cartridge and data disk for the on-going Transparent Alloys investigation.  The Transparent Alloys study is a group of several investigations, with the METCOMP being the most recent to be performed.  This investigation conducts research on layered structures in peritectic systems by in-situ observation.  Investigations of peritectic metallic systems show a wide range of possible microstructures. Bands, islands, tree-like microstructures and coupled growth appear when the primary and peritectic phase solidify in a competitive manner.  To improve the understanding of appearing morphologies during solidification, transparent model systems with a plastic phase are quite attractive.


Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Mobility Unit (EMU) Maintenance: The crew completed the following:

  • Installed a new plug and replaced the cap on the EMU Camera Feedwater Supply Filter (EFSF) Quick Disconnect (QDs).  During suit maintenance in October 2019, the crew noticed that the QD dust plug was missing on the inlet end of the EFSF.  The cap (outlet end) and plug (inlet end) prevent Foreign Object Debris (FOD) from entering the QD interface.  The QD was protected with a Ziplock bag while a new dust cap and plug were manifested. The new cap/plug use tie wraps as a more secure method of tethering than the original split ring tether.
  • Installed the HD EMU Camera EVA High Definition EMU Camera (HECA) power cable on the EMU 3004 Primary Life Support System (PLSS). HECA replaces the right helmet camera on the EMU, providing high-definition camera views during US EVAs

Crew-1 On Board Training (OBT): In preparation for departure later this month, the Crew-1 crew completed a free-flight fire response refresher. FE-10 and FE-11 also completed a de-orbit entry and landing contingency refresher.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS video equipment and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to perform a survey of the Crew-1 vehicle on Node2 Zenith port. SSRMS was maneuvered for the day 1 of this survey to inspect forward and aft Starboard quadrants of Crew-1 with the camera on the tip of SSRMS. SSRMS was then maneuvered to park position, ready to resume the Crew-1 vehicle survey later today.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • PCS CMOS battery replace
  • MWA utility kit audit
  • N2 UOP4 install

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

  • Payloads ops support
  • Dragon OBTs
  • Cygnus transfer ops
  • Change of Command ceremony

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, April 16 (GMT 106)

  • AC Touch, AstroPi tape removal, AWP, COSMIC, DOSIS-3D, Food Acceptability, HRF Veg questionnaire, Kermit, RTPCG-2, SCEM, Standard Measures, Veg-03 hardware deactivation


  • 63S undock
  • OBT Crew-1 nominal departure/deorbit
  • Crew-1 deorbit paper sim with ground team

Saturday, April 17 (GMT 107)

  • Crew sleep day

Sunday, April 18 (GMT 108)

  • Astrobee off, HRF saliva setup


  • Crew off duty

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

  • Standard Measures Post-sleep Questionnaire
  • Microgravity Measurement Apparatus (MMA) Cable Connection to PLT3
  • Handover of Increment 65 Crew
  • Payload Laptop Terminal 5 (PLT5) Setup
  • Subscription act by handover to RS segment on ISS
  • Wanted – NTSC Output Cable IPU
  • ISS Crew Orientation
  • Familiarization with an onboard computer network
  • Astrobee Stowage Clear
  • Astrobee Docking Station Power Cycle
  • Astrobee Prep
  • Re-install IWIS Remote Sensor Unit in SM-PRK
  • ISS Crew departure preparation
  • Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
  • Rodent Research Habitat Stow
  • Microbial Capture Device (MCD) and Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
  • SpX-CREW DRAGON Deorbit Entry and Landing Contingencies Refresher
  • Payloads Network Attached Storage (NAS) Vent Cleaning
  • ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) HD EMU Camera (HECA)  Cable Installation
  • Microbial Air Sampling (sample collection) Download
  • SpX-CREW DRAGON Free-Flight Fire Response Refresher
  • EXPRESS Rack 6 Locker Removal
  • Health Maintenance System (HMS) Respiratory Support Pack (RSP) – Checkout
  • JEM Micro-G Measurement Equipment (MME) Connection
  • Astrobee Crew Conference
  • Micro-16 Crew Observation
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Item Gather
  • Gecko Perching Gripper Test Operations 2
  • Fast Neutron Spectrometer Relocate to Node 2
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Maintenance Work Area Setup
  • Stowage of the equipment to be returned to earth
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Solder Set Up
  • Sanitary-Hygiene Status Monitoring
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Removal
  • Synchronization of NIKON camera with station time
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Solder
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Install
  • Gecko Perching Gripper Removal and Stow
  • Handover of Increment 65 Crew
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Solder Closeout
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Maintenance Work Area Closeout
  • Express Rack 1 Rack Power Switch Item Restow
  • Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
  • EXPRESS Rack 6 Locker Install
  • Gecko SD Card Removal
  • PILOT-Т. Closeout
  • Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
  • Change of Command
  • Astrobee Stowage Clear
  • MELFI 1 Contents Audit
  • ТПК 63S transfer operations report
  • Max CEVIS Portable PFS Partial Set Up