INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT: SS06-045

Oct. 20, 2006

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-3749

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

STATUS REPORT: SS06-045

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT: SS06-045

The three residents of the International Space Station spent a busy
week with varied science and technical tasks as they began their
second month in orbit.

Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer
Mikhail Tyurin practiced using the manual docking system for the
Russian Progress cargo ship. They rehearsed rendezvous; fly around
maneuvers and approach and docking with an on-board simulator.

During the training, technicians at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan completed preparations for the launch of a Progress cargo
craft on Monday, Oct. 23 at 9:40 a.m. EDT. It is scheduled to dock to
the complex Thursday, Oct. 26 at 10:28 a.m. EDT. NASA TV live
coverage starts at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday.

The Progress is filled with more than two tons of food, fuel and
supplies for the station and its crew. Also aboard are new spare
parts for the Russian Elektron oxygen-generation system, which has
been shut down since last month.

Earlier Friday, Lopez-Alegria replaced equipment in the Carbon Dioxide
Removal System, used to remove impurities from the station’s
atmosphere. Only one of its two systems designed to purge carbon
dioxide from the air has been operating due to particulate matter
clogging an air valve. Lopez-Alegria installed a new air flow
regulator valve and a filter to recover the use of the second of two
adsorbent beds in the device.

He also joined Tyurin to inspect and photograph the Zvezda Service
Module windows and conducted a video tour of the station for training
of future expedition crews.

Lopez-Alegria, who also serves as the NASA science officer, collected
his second set of blood and urine samples for the Nutrition
Experiment. This is NASA’s most comprehensive in-flight study of
human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight. The
experiment measures bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional
assessments and hormonal changes. It also will help to define
nutritional requirements and develop food systems for missions to the
moon and Mars.

Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin also completed a medical officer proficiency
training session. European Space Agency Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter
began the first of three runs of the Analysis of a Novel Sensory
Mechanism in Root Phototropism experiment in the European Modular
Cultivation System. Seeds will sprout next week in the modular
cultivation facility, where plants and other small organisms can grow
in variable gravity conditions using a centrifuge.

By sprouting seeds under different levels of partial gravity and
different frequencies of light, this study will increase the
understanding of the different systems plants use to determine what
direction their roots and shoots should grow and which genes are
responsible for successful plant growth.

NASA’s payload operations team at the Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science activities on the station.
Other science work this week included sessions of the Profilaktika
and Urolux Russian experiments.

The station remains under the control of three gyroscopes after one
was shut down more than a week ago. On Monday, flight controllers
conducted a test of Control Moment Gyro (CMG) 3, which was turned off
due to excessive vibrations. Monday’s test, looking at the health of
the accelerometer, spun the CMG up to 500 rpm and then let it coast
down to zero while acceleration data were taken with the Microgravity
Acceleration Measurement System to correlate and compare with data
from the internal CMG accelerometer. An initial review indicated no
unusual vibrations, but engineers continue to analyze the results.

On Monday, flight controllers will begin a five-day checkout of the
Thermal Radiator Rotary Joints (TRRJ) on the S1 and P1 trusses that
will rotate once the station’s upgraded external thermal loops are
activated during the STS-116 mission. The TRRJ test will enable the
radiators to auto track or revolve when required to dissipate heat
from the trusses’ avionics equipment.

The next status report will be issued on Monday, Oct. 23, following
the launch of ISS Progress 23. For more about the crew’s activities
and station sighting opportunities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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