April 28, 2006

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-4769

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-5111



The 13th crew of the International Space Station this week began
unloading – and sank its teeth into – some of the more than 5,000
pounds of new supplies that arrived at the complex Wednesday.

The ISS Progress 21 cargo spacecraft, which launched from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, docked at the station Wednesday.
The ship was the first supply shipment for Expedition 13 Commander
Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams, who have been in
space for almost a month.

The spacecraft brought fresh fruit and other foods, gifts from home,
fuel, water, oxygen, spare parts and science gear. Two Progress cargo
craft are now docked at the complex. Oxygen supplies from ISS
Progress 20, which arrived in December, continue to be used to
replenish the cabin air when required. The crew is loading that
Progress with trash and unneeded equipment. The spacecraft will be
jettisoned from the complex in mid-June.

Early in the week, Williams replaced a Remote Power Control Module, a
type of circuit breaker, in the station’s Destiny laboratory. The
power control module had not been functioning for some time, and
electricity for many lab systems had been delivered via an alternate
path. To gain access to the worksite for replacement of the
component, Williams had to disassemble and remove his sleeping
compartment. Mission Control sequentially powered off many lab
systems and lights to facilitate the replacement. Williams
accomplished all the work ahead of schedule, and the new power
control module has been functioning well.

Science activities aboard the station during the past week included
work by Williams with the Capillary Flow Experiment, which is an
investigation of fluid behavior in weightlessness that may assist in
the design of future spacecraft. The crew members also completed
urine collection and notes about their food consumption for an
experiment studying the formation of kidney stones in weightlessness.

Vinogradov completed routine maintenance of the station’s Elektron
system. It was powered off much of the week and reactivated today.
The Elektron provides oxygen for the cabin air from water.

Plans for next week include an engine firing to boost the station’s
altitude on Thursday, May 4; continued unloading of the newly arrived
Progress vehicle; and periodic crew health checks.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, May 5, or
earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew’s activities and
station sighting opportunities, visit: