[sarex] ISS STATUS REPORT #06-50
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Fri Nov 17 13:54:45 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
International Space Station Status Report #06-50
3 p.m. CST Friday, Nov. 17, 2006
Expedition 13 Crew
Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers
Mikhail Tyurin and Thomas Reiter continue to prepare for a spacewalk
Wednesday, Nov. 22 out of the International Space Station's Russian Pirs
Docking Compartment airlock.
Lopez-Alegria, who will make his sixth spacewalk, and Tyurin, with three
previous spacewalks to his credit, climbed into Russian Orlan spacesuits
Friday to test all systems and communications gear. This ended a week
during which the spacewalkers also installed U.S. lights on their suit
helmets, reviewed procedures for the extravehicular activity and
performed leak checks on the Progress 22 craft currently docked to the
The six-hour spacewalk includes a commercial golf demonstration by
Tyurin. Under a commercial agreement between the Russian Federal Space
Agency and a Canadian golf company, Tyurin will hit a golf ball into
space from a spring-mounted tee on the ladder next to the hatch of Pirs.
The ball will be tapped over the back of the station's Russian segment
so that the ball travels away from the complex. NASA flight controllers
have calculated that it will burn up in the atmosphere in about three
days. The ball weighs much less than the standard 45 gram golf ball. The
ball used for this demonstration weighs three grams, approximately the
weight of three paper clips.
During the spacewalk, Tyurin will examine part of the ISS Progress 23
cargo ship. One of the antennas for the Progress' automated docking
system may have failed to fold back when the spacecraft approached the
aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on Oct. 26. If it's necessary,
Tyurin will manually retract that antenna.
Also, Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin will reposition a communications antenna
on the aft end of Zvezda associated with next year’s docking of the
European Automated Transfer Vehicle, check restraining bolts on one of
two Russian cargo cranes attached to Pirs and deploy an experiment to
measure solar flares.
NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk on Nov. 22 begins at 4 p.m. CST. The
excursion begins one hour later.
Wednesday marked the first live high-definition television broadcast
from space. It featured Lopez-Alegria, with Reiter serving as camera
operator. The broadcasts were conducted by NHK Television in Japan and
the Discovery HD Theater. Known as the Space Video Gateway, the HD
system onboard transmits high bandwidth digital television signals to
the ground through a computer. Previously, high-definition video was
recorded and then returned to Earth for viewing.
Flight controllers this week continued to test one of the station's four
control moment gyroscopes (CMGs). CMG-3 exhibited high vibrations and
electrical currents in the past and was shut down Oct. 9. The recent
test results will be compared to a previous series of tests to provide
additional data on the state of the gyroscope’s accelerometer, lubricant
and lubrication of the spin bearings.
CMG-3 is scheduled to be removed and replaced on the STS-118 shuttle
mission, targeted for launch in June 2007. The gyroscope will be stowed
and returned to Earth on the STS-122 mission next fall. The station
continues to function on three healthy CMGs without affecting operations.
Reiter also continued work this week on a suite of European Space Agency
science experiments, including one called CASPER. Its objective is to
develop ways to help astronauts sleep better during long-duration
missions. Alteino Long Term Monitoring of Cosmic Rays or ALTCRISS is
another experiment Reiter performed. It is allowing scientists to study
the effects of shielding on cosmic rays. The information gained may help
engineers better understand the radiation environment and how to provide
efficient shielding against it.
The next station status report will be issued early Nov. 23 after the
spacewalk, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's
activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:
More information about the SAREX