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December 9, 2005

J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington 
Phone: (202) 358-5241 

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Phone: (281) 483-5111 


Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery 
Tokarev focused on keeping the International Space Station in good 
working condition this week, as managers reviewed plans for changing 
cargo vehicles. 

On Monday, McArthur replaced thermal fuses in a Volatile Organic 
Analyzer in the Destiny Lab. The device is an atmospheric contaminant 
monitor that measures the amount of gases in the cabin air. McArthur 
planned to replace a circulation fan today in the rack the unit is 
housed in; the apparatus will be activated and checked next week.

In the Russian Zarya module, the crew performed routine smoke detector 
cleaning. Tokarev repaired air ducts to improve airflow into the U.S. 
segment, and he installed mufflers on an adjustable fan in the 
sleeping quarters to reduce noise.

As part of NASA's education programs, McArthur recorded an explanation 
of the station's solar panels. The curriculum-based crew activities 
demonstrate the basic principles of science, math, physics, 
engineering and geography. The programs show students how familiar 
objects on Earth may behave differently in weightlessness. The 
videotaped session was down linked for use in classrooms and NASA 
educational products. 

McArthur updated the operating software of the five racks designed to 
house science experiments in the Destiny lab. He also prepared the 
canisters of a materials exposure experiment for installation outside 
the station during the next space shuttle mission.

The crew spent time gathering unneeded equipment and trash for 
disposal in the Progress cargo spacecraft docked to the aft port of 
the Zvezda module. They removed the Progress' Kurs automatic docking 
system for return to Earth for refurbishment and reuse.

Station managers are reviewing a proposed plan to keep the Progress 
docked a few more months. The extra time would allow the crew to use 
its oxygen and fuel and for additional trash disposal. The Progress 
is scheduled to undock Dec. 20. 

The next Progress is set to launch Dec. 21 from the Baikonur 
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will be the 20th Progress to dock with 
the station. If the Progress docked to the station remains in place, 
the new Progress will dock to the Pirs Docking Compartment on Dec. 
23. It will deliver almost three tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, 
air, spare parts and holiday gifts.

For information about crew activities, future launch dates and station 
sighting opportunities on the Web, visit: 


For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 



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