Mar. 23, 2007
John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston
STATUS REPORT: SS07-14
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT: SS07-14
HOUSTON - The Expedition 14 crew continued work this week on
scientific experiments and increased the bandwidth on the
International Space Station’s computer network.
Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Suni Williams
spent time working with experiments that may hold the key to several
aspects of long-duration space flight as NASA looks forward to
missions back to the moon and on to Mars or other destinations.
Each served as test subject and operator for the Anomalous Long Term
Effects in Astronauts’ Central Nervous System experiment that
examines how cosmic radiation affects brain waves. As test subjects,
they wore an electroencephalograph cap that records readings of their
brain functions, and over that, a special helmet with
Italian-designed instruments that records the amount and types of
cosmic rays passing through the station. Since cosmic radiation is
even more prevalent at greater distances from Earth, the research
could lead to countermeasures important to the safety and
productivity of future explorers.
Lopez-Alegria and Williams also worked with the Nutritional Status
Assessment experiment tracking how their bodies process nutrients in
space and how food supplies are affected by storage in that
Additionally, Lopez-Alegria provided the final samples associated with
the Renal Stone Risk during Spaceflight: Assessment and
Countermeasure Validation investigation, which is looking at the
space effectiveness of a drug used on Earth to prevent kidney stones.
Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin worked with three Russian experiments
that monitor cosmic rays and background radiation as they relate to
long-duration flights and documented the condition of the Earth below
from the unique vantage point of the station.
The crew worked on an upgrade to the laptop computer network. The new,
integrated station computer network will be 10 times faster than the
current network, using Ethernet connectivity over a router and either
cables or wireless equipment. This will eliminate drag-through cables
from the U.S. segment into the Russian segment. The work was
accelerated because of the STS-117 launch delay.
They also continued preparations for the undocking and discarding of
the ISS Progress 23 cargo ship, which will be full of trash when it
departs Tuesday, March 27. Russian flight controllers sent commands
Friday that piped the last of the Progress 23 oxygen supplies into
the station, and vented the Progress’ propellant and oxidizer lines
overboard to ensure a safe departure. The Progress is scheduled to
undock at 1:11 p.m. CDT next Tuesday.
The station traffic schedule includes next Thursday’s relocation of
the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft from the Earth-facing port of the Zarya
module to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module. All three crew
members will undock the Soyuz at 5:25 p.m. and redock at 5:53 p.m.
This will make room for the arrival of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft
carrying the Expedition 15 crew and U.S. spaceflight participant
Charles Simonyi. The new crew is scheduled to launch from the
Baikanour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan April 7 at 12:31 p.m. and dock
with the station April 9 at 2:15 p.m.
Following a week of joint operations, Lopez-Alegria, Tyurin and
Simonyi will climb into Soyuz TMA-9 and head for home April 20. They
will leave Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov
on board with Williams to start Expedition 15.
For more about the crew’s activities and station sighting