June 16, 2006
Johnson Space Center, Houston
STATUS REPORT: SS06-028
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT: SS06-028
The International Space Station crew this week prepared for the
exchange of unpiloted Progress cargo carriers and for the next
shuttle mission, which will deliver an additional crew member.
Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff
Williams will welcome European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter,
giving the station a third crew member for the first time since May
2003. Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch to the station
no earlier than July 1.
Discovery will bring equipment and supplies to the station, much of it
in the multi-purpose logistics module known as Leonardo. The
Italian-built pressurized transporter will be taken from Discovery’s
cargo bay and attached to the station’s Unity module, where it will
be unloaded and later refilled with equipment, experiment results,
other items and trash for return to Earth.
On Wednesday, Vinogradov and Williams trained for a photo session
during Discovery’s predocking maneuver. The orbiter does a back flip
near the station to expose its belly to camera-wielding station crew
members. The images are sent to Earth for examination to check for
any damage to thermal protection tiles. Crew members also spent some
time this week packing material for return to Earth on Discovery.
Both crew members worked to pack ISS Progress 20 with trash to get
ready for its June 19 undocking, deorbit and incineration in the
Earth’s atmosphere. They continued to use oxygen from its tanks for
the station’s atmosphere. They closed the hatch and performed a leak
The crew also tested the Toru manual docking system. It would be used
in the unlikely event the Kurs automated docking system is unable to
bring ISS Progress 22 to the Pirs docking port. The new Progress is
scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome June 24 and dock
with the station June 26. It will carry about 2.5 tons of equipment
Vinogradov and Williams had a day off on Monday, Russian Independence
Day. Tuesday activities included disassembly of the Binary Colloidal
Alloy Test experiment hardware, replacement of an avionics inlet
fitting on the Crew Health Care System rack in the Destiny laboratory
and work on noise reduction around the Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal
system. Also on Tuesday, Williams, a Wisconsin native, took time to
talk with a reporter from WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wis.
On Wednesday Vinogradov replaced interior panels and relocated smoke
detectors in the Zvezda service module. Thursday work included a
recharge of the station’s defibrillator while Friday saw work with
the microgravity science glovebox and stowage of the InSPACE, also
known as Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from
Colloidal Emulsions experiment.
The next station status report will be issued on Friday, June 23. For
more about the crew’s activities and station sighting opportunities,