ISS Daily Summary Report – 12/28/2023


Cold Atom Lab (CAL): The Front Panel Cover was replaced and the Medium Temperature Loop (MTL) inlet/outlet jumpers were reinstalled on the CAL quad locker in Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 7. The CAL produces clouds of atoms that are chilled to about one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero — much colder than the average temperature of deep space. At these low temperatures, atoms have almost no motion, allowing scientists to study fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics that are difficult or impossible to probe at higher temperatures. In microgravity, researchers may be able to achieve even colder temperatures than what is possible on the ground, and observe these cold atom clouds for longer periods of time.

Fiber Optic Production-2 (FOP-2): The crew gained access to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) work volume and performed an exchange of the sample preform (S/N 1024) and spool. FOP-2 builds on previous work to manufacture commercial optical fibers in microgravity using a blend of elements called ZBLAN.  Earlier theoretical and experimental studies suggest ZBLAN optical fibers produced in microgravity exhibit qualities superior to those of fibers produced on Earth.  Results from FOP-2 could help further verify these studies and guide manufacture of high value optical fiber aboard the space station for commercial use.

KEyence Research MIcroscope Testbed (KERMIT): The software update disk was removed from the KERMIT laptop and stowed. The SAMS Sensor assigned for KERMIT was moved from the EXPRESS Rack 6 to the Materials Science Research Rack-1 (MSRR-1) ahead of science processing activities. The KERMIT commercial microscope (model BZ-X800E by Keyence) is an all-in-one fluorescence microscope system available for biological, physical, and material science research. KERMIT is housed in the MSRR aboard the space station.

Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor: ISS atmosphere samples were collected using a Grab Sample Container (GSC) within two meters of the Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor-2 unit. The Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor investigation demonstrates the capabilities of a small, reliable, portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer instrument aboard the ISS to conduct major and minor elements of air measurement. The instrument transmits data back to the ground research team every two seconds, providing a continuous analysis to the ground research team.

Exploration Potable Water Dispenser (xPWD): Water samples from the xPWD were collected and analyzed using the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) for in-flight analysis. The crew also tested the water samples for the presence of Coliform bacteria utilizing a Coliform test bag. These tests are used to determine if the drinking water is still safe for crew consumption. An on-orbit PWD, launched in fall 2008, provides water for crew consumption and food preparation on the ISS. A new system, the xPWD, reflects advances in water sanitization methods and microbial growth reduction and includes a heater to dispense hot water. Successful demonstration of this technology could lead to its adoption for future exploration missions and continued use for the ISS crew.


On Board Training (OBT) 70S Emergency Drill: Today the 70S crew performed an Emergency Egress Drill.  During this drill, the 70S crew reviewed procedures needed during off-nominal situations before using the onboard trainer to practice the actions required in the event of an emergency egress and Soyuz descent. The crew also completed self-study reviews of various nominal procedures to include Sokol suit donning and leak checks. This training is scheduled every 12-14 weeks and ensures the crew is adequately prepared to respond to an on-orbit emergency. 

Crew-7 Endurance Emergency Response Training: Today, the Endurance crew reviewed the emergency Deorbit, Entry, and Landing Contingencies response as well as the free-flight depress and fire response for the SpaceX Crew Dragon Vehicle. The onboard reviews will make sure the crew’s training is fresh in the event there is an emergency on the space station.

Urine Transfer System (UTS) Offload EDV Swap: Today, the crew swapped the EDV in the offload EDV spot of the UTS. The main objective of the UTS is to provide automated control of urine flow from Toilet System and Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) or from external storage containers into the UPA Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA). 

Emergency Mask Reinforcement Installation: Reinforcement rings were installed into three of the emergency masks onboard the ISS.  Previously, the crew reported damage on several of the emergency masks during a routine inspection.  These masks were declared No-Go for use and stowed while ground teams developed a reinforcement strategy.  A short term solution in the form of these reinforcement rings were delivered on SpX-29 to restore the integrity of the damaged masks. These three emergency masks will be used as back-up to previously undamaged masks.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • None.

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

  • None.

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, December 29 (GMT 363)

  • Astrobee Stowage Clear and Undock Ops2
  • CIPHER Collect
  • FOP-2 Light Cover On


  • Crew Off-duty

Saturday, December 30 (GMT 364)

  • AC2 Touch
  • EHS XPWD Coliform Detection Bag
  • Plant Hab-06 Science Carrier Install


  • ECLSS Recycle Tank R&R
  • UTS Offload EDV Swap

Sunday, December 31 (GMT 365)

  • Glovebox Freezer ECU Temp Stow
  • Kibo Studio #4 Live Event


  • Crew Off-duty

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

  • HRF Generic Collection
  • CIPHER Operations
  • Mochii Microscope Power Cycle
  • 70S Emergency Descent Drill
  • Fiber Optic Production 2.0 Operations
  • CAL Science Module Science Instrument Closeout
  • Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor-2 Grab Sample Container Collection
  • Urine Transfer System Offload EDV Swap
  • EHS Sample Operations
  • Glovebox Freezer ECU Temp Stow
  • Emergency Mask Reinforcement Installation
  • KERMIT Operations
  • Crew-7 Emergency Response Training