June 1, 2007

John Yembric
Headquarters, Washington

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston



HOUSTON - The Expedition 15 crew completed the first of three planned
spacewalks this week and prepared for the upcoming arrival of space
shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station.

On Wednesday, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg
Kotov stepped outside the station and installed five additional
debris protection panels on the conical section of the Zvezda Service
Module, the area between its large and small diameters. The aluminum
debris protection panels are designed to shield the module from

Also during the spacewalk, the cosmonauts relocated a Global
Positioning System (GPS) antenna cable. The cosmonauts moved the GPS
cable to assist the rendezvous and docking of the European Automated
Transfer Vehicle later this year.

On June 6, Yurchikhin and Kotov are set to wear Russian spacesuits
again and install 12 additional protection panels on Zvezda. They
also will install a section of an Ethernet cable on the Zarya module
and a Russian experiment called Biorisk on the Pirs Docking

During the second spacewalk, Flight Engineer Suni Williams will remain
aboard the station as the spacewalk choreographer, as she did this
week, advising and keeping the spacewalkers on schedule.

Additionally this week, Williams packed science payload and personal
items she will bring with her when she returns to Earth at the end of
the upcoming STS-117 shuttle mission, scheduled for launch Friday,
June 8 at 7:38 p.m. EDT.

Williams collected her fifth and final set of blood and urine samples
for the Nutritional Status Assessment, which measures physiological
changes in the human body during spaceflight. The samples are stored
at minus 80 degrees Celsius in the Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer.
The experiment will help researchers understand bone metabolism,
oxidative damage, vitamin and mineral status and hormonal changes and
how they relate to stress, bone and muscle metabolism. The results
should provide a better understanding of what happens
physiologically, and when it happens, to crew members on
long-duration space missions.

Science activities on the International Space Station are coordinated
by NASA payload teams at Johnson Space Center, Houston, and Marshall
Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. Marshall is the home of the
Payload Operations Center linked to Mission Control in Houston.

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