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EXP 12 STATUS REPORT #06-4



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #06-4*
*10:30 a.m. CST, Friday, Jan. 27, 2006*
*Expedition 12 Crew*

Preparations for a walk in space took center stage this week on the 
space station.

Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev 
reviewed procedures, gathered tools and outfitted equipment for their 
Feb. 3 spacewalk. The walk may last up to six hours. It begins at 5:20 
p.m. EST. NASA TV coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. EST. During the walk, the 
crew will release the unusual SuitSat satellite. It's an old Russian 
Orlan spacesuit outfitted with amateur radio equipment. It will fly 
freely for several weeks of scientific research and amateur radio 
tracking. Eventually, SuitSat will burn up in the atmosphere.

The crew also will install a safety bolt in an emergency cable cutting 
system on the station's mobile transporter rail car. The transporter is 
used to move a platform containing the station's robotic arm along the 
truss of the complex. Other spacewalk tasks include relocation of an 
adaptor for the Russian Strela boom. The crane-like Strela is used to 
move spacewalkers and cargo.

Managers decided to extend Expedition 12's mission and delay launch of 
Expedition 13 by one week. Expedition 13 is planned to launch on a Soyuz 
rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on March 29. It will 
dock on April 1. Expedition 12 is scheduled to return home April 8. The 
additional time will be used to prepare the Expedition 13 Soyuz 
spacecraft for flight.

The Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope 
for the International Space Station experiment operated on the station 
this week. Known as PROMISS in most station communications, the 
experiment uses diagnostic equipment to monitor the exact growth 
conditions of protein crystals. The experiment was activated Jan. 19. It 
operates for 15 days inside the Destiny Laboratory's Microgravity 
Science Glovebox. A better understanding of protein crystals may aid in 
the development of new medicines.

The ground-commanded Binary Colloidal Alloy Test captured time-lapse 
photography of its sixth sample using camera equipment borrowed from a 
student photography experiment called EarthKAM. The experiment studies 
the physics of the Earth's surface crystallization and fluids at their 
critical point. The payload operations team at NASA's Marshall Space 
Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science activities on 
the station.

As part of NASA's education programs, McArthur also videotaped a 
description of how astronauts stay oriented in weightlessness. The video 
will be used in classrooms and NASA educational products.

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

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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

http://www.nasa.gov/home

The next station status report will be issued following the Friday, Feb. 
3, spacewalk.
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