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ISS STATUS REPORT #05-52



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N10RC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #05-52*
*9 a.m. CDT, Friday, Oct. 21, 2005*
*Expedition 11 Crew*

Growing increasingly familiar with their microgravity home and 
laboratory in space, the 12th international space station crew turned 
its attention to experiment work, began preparations for the first space 
station-based spacewalk using U.S. suits since 2003 and captured 
spectacular images and video of the latest tropical cyclone in the 
Atlantic basin, Hurricane Wilma.

Expedition 12 Commander and NASA Station Science Officer Bill McArthur 
and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev this week began reviewing procedures 
for the extravehicular activity, or spacewalk, they will make on Nov. 7 
using U.S. spacesuits and the Joint Quest airlock. The two priority 
tasks for the 5½-hour spacewalk are installation of a new video camera 
on the far end of the station’s P1 (port) truss structure and removal of 
a probe that measured the electrical potential around the station from 
the top of its P6 truss element.

The station’s atmosphere was repressurized with oxygen from storage 
tanks on the Progress supply ship today as Russian specialists prepare a 
troubleshooting plan to recover the Elektron, the primary oxygen 
generation system on the space station. The Elektron, which creates 
oxygen by breaking down water into its oxygen and hydrogen components, 
stopped working late last week when its supply of water was depleted 
sooner than was expected.

A Russian commission of technical specialists is looking into the cause 
of the abort of a planned altitude reboost Tuesday using Progress fuel 
and thrusters. Mission managers believe Russian navigation computers 
properly shut down the thrusters when they lost information on how those 
thrusters were actually performing. A test firing of the thrusters in 
question is planned for next Wednesday to gather more data for Russian 
engineers troubleshooting the issue.

This week McArthur checked out a new device to analyze exhaled gases 
inside the station. After more than eight years of design, development 
and testing on Earth by U.S. and European Space Agency (ESA) scientists, 
the Pulmonary Function System – originally slated to be launched to the 
station inside ESA’s science laboratory Columbus – was delivered by 
space shuttle Discovery in July integrated into the second Human 
Research Facility (HRF). The first HRF was launched inside Destiny in 
February 2001.

McArthur and Tokarev conducted the first of three sessions with the 
Renal Stone experiment by collecting urine samples for later return to 
Earth and logging all of their food and drink consumed during a 24-hour 
period. This ongoing experiment investigates whether potassium citrate – 
proven to minimize kidney stone development on Earth – can be used to 
reduce the risk of kidney stone formation for crewmembers in space.

Because urine calcium levels are typically much higher in space, space 
travelers are susceptible to an increased risk of developing kidney 
stones. An understanding of the crew’s diet during the urine collection 
timeframes will help researchers determine if the excess calcium in the 
urine is due to diet or a response to the microgravity environment.

NASA’s payload operations team at the Marshall Space Flight Center 
coordinates U.S. science activities on the space station.

McArthur and Tokarev will be in orbit for six months conducting 
experiments, at least two spacewalks and overseeing arrival of the next 
Progress supply vehicle in December. They also will relocate their Soyuz 
crew module to free the Russian Pirs docking port for a later spacewalk. 
Pirs doubles as an airlock and docking module.

For information on the crew's activities aboard the station, future 
launch dates, and station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the 
Earth, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

The next ISS status report will be issued Thursday, Oct. 27, or earlier 
if events warrant.
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