[sarex] ISS Status Report #07-13
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Sat Mar 10 16:40:57 PST 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*International Space Station Status Report #07-13*
*3 p.m. CST, Friday, March 9, 2007*
*Expedition 14 Crew*
Science and setup for assembly highlighted the week on board the
International Space Station, where the Expedition 14 crew members
performed experiments related to human adaptation to space and made
preparations for upcoming additions to the orbiting outpost.
Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Suni Williams
completed the last of the internal assembly tasks for the startup later
this year of the new Oxygen Generation System (OGS) in the Destiny
laboratory. The astronauts installed sound-deadening equipment and an
electrical cable and reconnected a wastewater hose for the hardware that
was delivered last summer on space shuttle mission STS-121. OGS, which
will be required once the station crew size expands to six people, is
slated for activation during Expedition 15. It will function initially
as another backup to the Russian Elektron system.
Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin spent time this week in maintenance of
systems in the Russian segment of the station and in long-range
preparations for arrival of the first of the European Space Agency’s
cargo-carrying Automated Transfer Vehicles. Tyurin set up equipment in
the Zvezda module for a ground-operated test of the satellite navigation
system to be used during autonomous docking of the ATV to the Zvezda
module’s aft port. He also pressurized and stowed a spare liquids unit
for the Elektron, which supplies oxygen for the station's crew, and
installed a new liquid crystal display for the TORU system, the manual
docking system for Progress unpiloted supply ships.
Expedition 14 crew members used their brains this week for scientific
experiments. Lopez-Alegria and Williams conducted another session with
the Anomalous Long-Term Effects in Astronauts' Central Nervous System
(ALTEA) experiment. It measures exposure to cosmic radiation.
For 90 minutes, each crew member wore an instrumented helmet containing
six different particle detectors which measured radiation exposure,
brain electrical activity and visual perception. ALTEA will further
understanding of radiation impact on the human central nervous and
visual systems, especially the phenomenon of crew members seeing flashes
of light while in orbit.
Crew members also tested their hand-eye coordination during the Test of
Reaction and Adaptation Capabilities, or TRAC, experiment. TRAC studies
the theory that while the brain is adapting to space, it is unable to
provide the resources necessary to perform normal motor skills such as
They used a laptop and a joystick to control the position of a cursor,
and a reaction time box to measure their response to audio and visual
cues. Understanding how the brain adapts to microgravity could lead to
improved procedures for activities requiring precise motor skills.
U.S. and Russian station officials reached agreement this week on a plan
to have the Expedition 14 crew relocate the Soyuz TMA-9 craft on March
29 from the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module to the aft port of the
Zvezda module. This will alleviate the next station resident crew from
having to perform the maneuver to reach Zarya as its final destination
for the Expedition 15 increment.
The ISS Progress 23 cargo ship currently docked to Zvezda, will be cast
off on March 27 to make room for the Soyuz.
Both sides also agreed this week to conduct a reboost of the station on
March 15 using the Progress 23 engines to place the station at the
correct altitude for the launch of the Expedition 15 crew in the Soyuz
TMA-10 capsule on April 7. They will dock to Zarya on April 9. The
Expedition 14 crew will now return to Earth on April 20.
The next station status report will be issued Friday, March 16, or
earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and
station sighting opportunities, visit:
More information about the SAREX