[sarex] ISS STATUS REPORT #06-43
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Fri Oct 6 14:04:43 PDT 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT AC #31468
*International Space Station Status Report #06-43*
*3 p.m. CDT – Friday, Oct. 6, 2006*
*Expedition 14 Crew*
Expedition 14 completed its first full week solo on the International
Space Station performing standard early mission checks and drills plus
some equipment troubleshooting.
Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer
Mikhail Tyurin have been aboard the station for 19 days, while Flight
Engineer Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency is in his third
month in orbit. Along with other work, the crew members prepared this
week for a short trip away from the station next week, when they will
fly the Soyuz spacecraft from one docking port to another.
Early in the week, the crew conducted a check of procedures required to
exit the station in an emergency, ensuring all necessary equipment is in
place. Throughout the week, time was set aside for Lopez-Alegria and
Tyurin to familiarize themselves with the station and its operations.
They started several new scientific activities and medical checks.
Lopez-Alegria began his first session with the nutrition experiment. He
collected blood and urine samples and began logging all of his food and
drinks consumed. The experiment, which tracks many vitamins and minerals
essential for good health, is the most comprehensive in-flight study to
date of human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight.
The information will help define nutritional requirements and food
systems for future missions to the moon and Mars.
Lopez-Alegria also supported the Passive Observatories for Experimental
Microbial Systems in Micro-G, or POEMS experiment, by storing the next
set of samples into the Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or
MELFI. MELFI is a cold storage unit that maintains experiment samples at
temperatures of minus 80 degrees Celsius, minus 26 degrees Celsius or 4
degrees Celsius throughout a mission. POEMS will evaluate the effect of
stress in the space environment on the generation of genetic variation
in model microbial cells. NASA’s payload operations team at the Marshall
Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science
activities on the station.
On Friday, all crew members performed a normal periodic fitness
evaluation, exercising on a stationary bicycle aboard the station and
measuring heart rate and blood pressure. One new scientific
investigation began with Reiter as part of his evaluation. An oxygen
uptake monitor provided by the European Space Agency was used to measure
Reiter's oxygen consumption, a key parameter that can be used to measure
fitness. The fitness evaluations are conducted once a month.
Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin also checked emergency medical equipment and
supplies, a check done early in each crew's flight. Tyurin spent time
mid-week continuing to troubleshoot the Russian Elektron
oxygen-generation system. The system converts water into oxygen to
replenish the cabin air. It has not been functional since it overheated
just before Expedition 14 arrived. The crew replaced components in an
Elektron control panel this week, but problems with its operation
persisted. Russian engineers are evaluating the system and further
repairs may wait until the next supply ship arrives with additional
parts. The next Progress cargo craft is set to launch later this month.
Plentiful oxygen supplies are available on the station. Oxygen is now
being replenished in the cabin from tanks located on the Quest airlock.
U.S. flight controllers are evaluating a vibration seen in one of the
station's Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs) this week. The electrically
powered CMGs maintain the station's orientation so that thrusters and
limited fuel do not need to be used for that purpose. The vibrations
were first observed Sept. 28 as a station maneuver was performed using
thrusters. The gyroscope, CMG-3, was taken offline to allow additional
testing. Since then, controllers have run various tests with CMG-3 to
better characterize the intermittent vibrations, and engineers have
determined it could be put back online and in normal operation, if
needed. Only three CMGs are necessary to properly maintain the station's
The station crew members will board the Soyuz spacecraft docked at the
rear of the Zvezda living quarters module on Tuesday to prepare for the
short move. NASA Television will cover the activity live beginning at
1:45 p.m. CDT(1845 UTC). With Soyuz Commander Tyurin at the controls,
they will undock from the Zvezda port at 2:14 p.m. and redock to the
Earth-facing Zarya module port at 2:39 p.m. CDT.
The next status report will be issued Friday, Oct. 13, or earlier if
events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station
sighting opportunities, visit:
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