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EXP 12 ISS STATUS REPORT #06-10



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

International Space Station Status Report #06-10
1 p.m. CST, Friday, March 10, 2006
Expedition 12 Crew

The International Space Station crew's week included a robotic arm first 
and a docking communications test to prepare for a new European cargo 
ship set to launch next year.

Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev 
also repaired a cabin air analyzer and completed a scientific study of 
the effects of weightlessness on the muscles, joints and bones of the 
lower body.

For the first time, Mission Control, Houston, moved the station's 
Canadarm2 robotic arm by remote control from the ground for normal 
station operations. Previous remote operations of the arm had been done 
only as tests of that capability, but this week controllers used the arm 
to survey several exterior station components.

On Thursday and Friday, controllers used the arm's television cameras to 
view one of two integrated umbilical assembly mechanisms on the 
station's Mobile Transporter rail car. One umbilical was cut when an 
assembly malfunctioned in December 2005. They also checked a Destiny 
laboratory vent, used to dump carbon dioxide overboard, for 
contamination. Initial reports indicate the vent is clean. McArthur 
operated the arm for in-flight proficiency training on Wednesday.

McArthur repaired electrical connectors in the Major Constituent 
Analyzer, restoring the device to operation. The system is one of 
several used to monitor the composition of the station air, and it is 
needed to be used during an upcoming test of new spacewalk preparation 
procedures. With its successful repair, managers now plan to conduct the 
"camp out:" test of spacewalk preparations in early April. The test may 
be conducted while handover from the current crew to the Expedition 13 
crew is under way aboard the complex.

McArthur wore specially instrumented cycling tights for a final session 
with the Foot-Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight experiment 
(Foot) this week. The experiment investigates the differences in use of 
the lower extremities on Earth and in space. This week’s session 
completed the experiment, which began on Expedition 6. The data gathered 
will aid in understanding bone loss during long duration space missions 
and may help in developing methods to counteract that effect.

Tokarev performed a test associated with the automatic docking system 
for the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). The European Space 
Agency unpiloted cargo carrier will have twice the capacity of the 
Russian Progress cargo craft. This week's test involved transmitting 
docking radio signals from the station to ground stations located in the 
Canary Islands and near Madrid, Spain. Also this week, McArthur 
videotaped an educational demonstration of sleeping on the station and a 
typical morning routine. The crew will soon begin preparing for a short 
trip away from their orbiting home. They plan to relocate their Soyuz 
capsule from the Earth-facing docking port of the station's Zarya module 
to an aft port on the Zvezda module. The flight will take about a 
half-hour on March 20 and will clear the Zarya port for the April 1 
arrival of a new capsule carrying the next station crew. For information 
about the station, including sighting opportunities, 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 Friday, March 17, or 
earlier if events warrant.

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