June 23, 2006

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston



The International Space Station crew this week bid farewell to one
cargo craft and prepared for the arrival of another. The crew also
continued to prepare for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Discovery,
which is set for launch July 1.

On Monday, Pavel Vinogradov and Jeff Williams watched as the ISS
Progress 20 cargo vehicle automatically backed away from the
station’s Pirs docking port, making room for the next one’s arrival.
The new Progress is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome
at 11:08 a.m. EDT June 24 and dock to the station at about 12:30 a.m.
EDT June 26. It will bring about 2.5 tons of equipment and supplies
to the orbiting outpost.

Vinogradov took a refresher course on the Toru manual docking system
Monday. Vinogradov would use the system to guide the cargo craft in
the event its primary automated docking system did not function

Throughout the week the station crew also prepared for Discovery’s
anticipated arrival. On Tuesday, Vinogradov and Williams reviewed the
timeline of activities for the shuttle mission and held a conference
with mission experts on the ground. On Friday, the crew continued to
prepare U.S. spacesuits that will be used during the shuttle visit.

They also continued to pack equipment that will be returned to Earth
on Discovery. On Wednesday, Williams installed the centerline
berthing camera system in a window of the station’s Unity connecting
module. The camera view will assist with the attachment of a
pressurized logistics module named Leonardo, which will be carried
aboard Discovery to that module’s port. The Leonardo module will be
attached to Unity for unloading and reloading during the mission. It
will be loaded in Discovery’s cargo bay for the trip home.

Also on Wednesday, Vinogradov worked with the Russian experiment that
studies self-propagating combustion materials. The investigation
looks at mechanisms for forming high-porosity, heat-resistant,
thermal insulating materials for spacecraft.

Williams spent more than three hours Thursday on station robotic arm
activities, first training with a simulation program on a laptop
computer and then exercising the arm itself. Supported by flight
controllers on the ground, he moved the Canadarm2 in much the same
way he will during Discovery’s visit. He left it parked in position
for Discovery’s arrival.

While Williams worked with the robotic arm, flight controllers noted
elevated spin motor command currents and vibrations on one of the
station’s four control moment gyroscopes, “CMG 3.” The indications
returned to normal several hours later, and the gyroscope has
continued to perform normally.

The next station status report will be issued on Saturday, June 24
following the ISS Progress 22’s launch. For more about the crew’s
activities and station sighting opportunities, visit: