Jan. 12, 2007

Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston


HOUSTON - After a three-day holiday to celebrate the Russian Orthodox
Christmas, astronauts on the International Space Station spent the
week packing trash into the Progress 22 cargo craft and unpacking
items delivered by Progress 23 as they prepared for the arrival of
new supplies.

Packed with discarded items no longer needed on the outpost, Progress
22 will undock from the station’s Pirs Docking Compartment next
Tuesday at 5:28 p.m. CST. Its engines will be fired three hours later
to send it back into the atmosphere, where it will burn up.

The station crew, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineers
Mikhail Tyurin and Suni Williams, geared up for the docking of ISS
Progress 24 at Pirs, which is slated for Friday, Jan. 19 at 9 p.m.
CST. Progress 24 will launch on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8:12 p.m. CST.

The new Russian cargo ship will bring about 2.5 tons of food, fuel,
oxygen and supplies to the complex, including clothing and spacewalk
hardware for the next resident crew that will arrive at the station
in April.

In preparation for the undocking of Progress 22, Tyurin disassembled
and removed the docking mechanism in the hatchway between the cargo
craft and the docking compartment. The mechanism will be returned to
Earth on Space Shuttle Atlantis’ mission to the complex in March.

During the week, the crew worked for several hours in the Zvezda
Service Module on a major systems replacement task, trained on the
Robotics Onboard Trainer and relocated it to a new rack in the
Destiny lab. They also repaired and tested a Russian exercise

Tyurin also performed maintenance on a Russian ergometer and removed
the volatile organic analyzer from the Crew Health Care Systems rack
to prepare it for routine maintenance. The analyzer is used to
identify and quantify a targeted list of organic compounds in the
station atmosphere. He spent time on two Russian experiments, one
that studies locomotor system disorders in weightlessness and one
that studies the effect of spaceflight on the growth and development
of plants.

Also during the week, Lopez-Alegria completed taking samples and
documented his daily diet for his mid-mission session on a renal
stone experiment. This experiment examines the risk of renal, or
kidney stone formation in crew members pre-flight, in-flight and
post-flight. In this study, potassium citrate tablets are
administered to astronauts, and multiple urine samples are taken
before, during and after spaceflight to evaluate the risk of renal
stone formation. Lopez-Alegria is the final subject to complete the

Lopez-Alegria and Williams took the WinSCAT, a cognitive test battery
used during space missions. The WinSCAT helps to assess the effects
on performance of behavioral stress induced by workload demands.

The astronauts also tested emergency light power supplies onboard. In
addition, Williams swapped power supplies on one of the station’s
laptop computers, completed some modifications on the umbilical
interface assembly in the Quest airlock, and configured and trained
on the station’s Robotic Onboard Trainer. She also worked in the
Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the International Space
Station, or MELFI, replacing the desiccant, a material that absorbs
moisture, in Dewar 4, and checked to make sure the nitrogen pressure
was within acceptable range.

For more about the crew’s activities and station sighting
opportunities, visit: