NASA Space Station Status Report September 15, 2022 – Foams, Fires, and Liquids in Space

NASA Space Station Status Report September 15, 2022 – Foams, Fires, and Liquids in Space

ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti collects microbe samples. (Sept. 8, 2022)


Foams, fires, and liquids in space were the main research topics aboard the International Space Station on Thursday to improve the quality of life for humans living on and off the Earth. The Expedition 67 crew also checked out a new US toilet while gearing up for crew departure activities at the end of the month.

A host of space physics research took place in microgravity on Thursday as the crew explored how weightlessness affects a variety of phenomena that humans are familiar with on Earth. The lack of gravity impacts the characteristics and behavior of Earth-bound phenomena revealing new properties and insights helping scientists and engineers develop advanced products and applications benefitting both astronauts and Earthlings.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins turned her attention on Thursday to the Foams and Emulsions experiment looking at samples in the KERMIT microscope with the purpose of improving the consumer products industry. Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren of NASA swapped samples in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the Ring Sheared Drop fluid physics study to learn about high-concentration protein fluids and enable production of next-generation medicines for treating cancers and other diseases. Finally, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) reconfigured components for the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction investigation that explores fire growth and fire safety techniques in space.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines started his day with a cognition test for the Standard Measures study. The human research experiment seeks to characterize the adaptive responses to and the risks of living in space. Hines then spent the afternoon configuring components and testing the performance of the new US toilet system located in the station’s Tranquility module.

Meanwhile, three cosmonauts are nearing their crew departure after living and working on the space station for six months. Commander Oleg Artemyev staged cargo today for packing inside the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship that has been docked to the Prichal docking module since March 18. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov also kicked off preparations for their ride back to Earth at the end of September. Additionally, Matveev spent Thursday studying how to improve the space lab environment for biotechnology experiments. Korsakov worked throughout the day on Russian electronics and computer maintenance.

On-Orbit Status Report

TheSS Reboost: Today, the ISS performed a reboost using the Aft Progress 81P research and design thrusters. The purpose of this reboost was to set up proper phasing conditions for the upcoming 68S launch and 67S return. The burn duration was 1 min 46 seconds with a Delta-V of 0.22 m/s.


Education Payload Operations (ESA-EPO): A demonstration of Newton’s 1st Law of Motion was recorded during an ISS reboost today. The video will be used as example footage in a new video series exploring the Laws of Motion to be released as a resource for teachers to use in the classroom. The video will feature Paxi, ESA’s mascot for young children. The final video product will be edited to include physics concepts, voiceover explanations, and ground footage to compare the demonstrations on Earth vs. in space. ESA’s ISS Education Program makes use of human spaceflight to capture the attention and the interest of students, to attract them to study scientific and technical disciplines. The program hopes to further develop the student’s appreciation and understanding of the benefits, challenges, and importance of space for Europe, as well as a member of a global economy.

Foams and Emulsions: Samples were swapped in the KERMIT microscope as part of Experiment 3 sessions to observe emulsions formed with various solutions. Foams (dispersions of bubbles in a liquid) and emulsions (dispersions of droplets in a liquid) appear in many food, consumer, and personal care products and are used in a variety of industries. Structure and Stability of Foams and Emulsions examines the properties and performance of foams and emulsions, including using particles of various shapes and surface roughness to stabilize these materials. Microgravity enables examination of the microstructures of foams and emulsions due to the elimination of the influence of gravity-related factors such as buoyancy of particles.

Life Support Rack (LSR): Hoses between the Lab condensate tank and the LSR were disconnected and stowed. LSR is a technology demonstrator for closed loop air revitalization. LSR captures carbon dioxide from cabin air and recovers 50% of its oxygen for use by the astronauts. LSR will operate for a minimum of one year on the ISS to demonstrate the robustness of the technology for future Exploration Missions.

Lumina: The LUMINA hardware was power cycled and large data files were transferred to the ground. Lumina is an active fiber dosimeter that monitors, in real-time, the received radiation dose by exploiting the capacity of optical fibers to darken when exposed to radiation. The dosimeter provides reliable dose measurements in complex environments such as those associated with electrons, protons, gamma-ray or X-ray photons or neutrons.

Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR): The MSPR laptop hard drive was replaced. The MSPR is a multipurpose payload rack system used in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). The MSPR has two workspaces and a work table that can be used for wide fields of space environment utilization including scientific and educational missions.

Interfacial Bioprocessing of Pharmaceuticals (IBP) via the Ring-Sheared Drop (RSD) (RSD-IBP): The existing equipment was replaced with new syringes and test cells that are installed onto RSD hardware in the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox (MSG) Work Volume. The RSD module is a containerless liquid system that makes it possible to study protein solutions without the effects of interactions with solid walls. RSD-IBP studies the behavior of high-concentration protein fluids and tests computer models for predicting that behavior. More accurate models could enable the production of next-generation medicines for treating cancers and other diseases.

Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction – Growth and Extinction Limit (SoFIE-GEL): The SOFIE Chamber Insert was removed for preparation of the Fuel/Oxidizer Management Assembly (FOMA) calibration. After FOMA was calibrated, the SOFIE insert was re-installed. The SoFIE-GEL investigation studies burning in microgravity, measuring the amount of heating in a fuel sample to determine how fuel temperature affects material flammability. The results could improve understanding of early fire growth behavior and help determine optimal fire suppression techniques to ultimately improve crew safety in future space facilities.


Toilet Test and Checkout: Today, toilet testing part two was completed. This activity was split into two parts: part one tested the system with water only and part two tested the system with water and pretreat. Today, the toilet dose pump and pretreat tank were setup to prevent pretreat entering the toilet during testing or checkout. The crew simulated toilet use using water and pretreat while the ground team provided real-time feedback to the crew on system health. The ground teams will review the data to determine if the performance is acceptable for crew use.

JEM Stowage Reconfiguration: The crew consolidated stowage in the JEM in preparation for the arrival of Northrop Grumman’s (NG-18) cargo resupply mission. NG-18 is scheduled to launch to the ISS in early November.

Completed Task List Activities:

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

  • Motion Control System (MCS) Configuration for Reboost
  • Survey of Soyuz Before Undocking
  • HRF Rack 2 Rack Power Up Command

Look Ahead Plan

Friday, September 16 (GMT 259)

  • CIR/SOFIE Insert (NASA)
  • ESA-EPO-Newton2 (ESA)
  • Foams and Emulsions Experiment Sample Swap (NASA)
  • Standard Measures Fecal and Body Collect and Cognition Test (NASA)
  • Surface Avatar Hardware Setup (ESA)
  • XROOTS Harvest 3 (NASA)


  • Galley Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) Swap
  • Small PL Multi-purpose Controller Removal From DMS1 Rack

Saturday, September 17 (GMT 260)


Sunday, September 18 (GMT 261)

  • RSD Sample Retrieve (NASA)


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

  • Columbus Network Attached Storage Teardown in NOD2
  • COL Payload Laptop1 LAN Connection and Disconnection
  • Crew Quarters Battery Remove and Replace
  • Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
  • Keyence Research Microscope Testbed (KERMIT) Power Up, Power Down, and Stow
  • Foams and Emulsions Experiment 3 Foams Gather Setup Stow Review
  • Lab Firewall Power Swap
  • Ultrasound 2 Scan Prep, Scan, and Exam
  • Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 2 Power On
  • HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
  • JEM Stowage Reconfiguration for NG-18
  • Tearing Down and Stowing LSR Water Hoses from Lab
  • LUMINA data transfer with EveryWear
  • LUMINA Device Power Reboot
  • MERLIN 3 Icebrick Insert
  • MSPR Experiment Laptop Terminal (ELT) Connection Cables and HDD Replacement
  • PAO Event in JEM
  • Brine Processor Bladder Remove Only
  • Ring-Sheared Drop Syringe and Test Cell Removal and Installation
  • Ring-Sheared Drop MELFI Sample Retrieve
  • Standard Measures Body Sampling Survey, Collection, and Stow
  • Standard Measures Cognition Testing
  • Standard Measures Fecal Collection
  • Combustion Integrated Rack SOFIE
  • Mpeg2 Multicast and Mpeg-2 Unicast Video Streaming Test Via Ku-Band
  • Toilet Deactivate for Dormancy
  • Toilet Leak Inspection
  • Toilet Test and Checkout Part 2: Dose Pump Priming
  • Toilet Test and Checkout Part 2: Dose Test
  • Install the Toilet Pre-Treat Tank and Remove and Replace the Toilet Pre-Treat Hose.
  • Toilet Urine Transfer System Hose Configuration
  • Urine Transfer System EDV Swap