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EXP 13 - ISS STATUS REPORT #06-24



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #06-24*
*2 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 12, 2006*
*Expedition 13 Crew*

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff 
Williams focused this week on science experiments, maintenance tasks and 
unpacking cargo on the International Space Station.

Using the microgravity science glovebox, Williams began the second of 
three sessions Wednesday of the Pore Formation and Mobility 
Investigation experiment. This experiment studies bubbling that occurs 
in weightlessness as liquids cool and solidify.

Williams will begin his first Saturday Science activity this weekend 
with the Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support Systems Fluid 
Dynamics Investigation. This is a series of experiments to improve fluid 
mixing techniques and to control bubble distribution for cell culture in 
orbit.

On May 4, ISS Progress 21 engines were used to reboost the station. 
Afterward, an error message indicated the Zvezda Service Module 
computers couldn't command the Progress engines to reconfigure for 
normal operations. The reboost was not affected. Engineers have 
determined the most likely cause of the message was a software error, 
which will be corrected. Meanwhile, a procedural change will allow the 
Progress thrusters to be used. Vinogradov and Williams continued to 
unpack supplies from that cargo vehicle.

Last week, engineers detected a small reduction of nitrogen pressure in 
the liquids unit of the oxygen-generating Elektron. To isolate the 
source of the leak, Russian flight controllers asked Vinogradov to turn 
off the machine. They have identified the small leak and plan to operate 
the Elektron as needed. A spare liquids unit is onboard.

The Elektron will remain deactivated until after a June 1 spacewalk. 
Engineers originally had planned to turn it off next week to reconfigure 
ventilation lines and to install a new hydrogen vent before the 
extravehicular activity. Meanwhile, oxygen from tanks in the ISS 
Progress 20 cargo vehicle is being added to the station's cabin.

On Thursday, Williams practiced using the station's robotic arm. He and 
Vinogradov spoke Wednesday with reporters from the StarDate syndicated 
Radio Network and WISN-TV of Milwaukee.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, May 19, or 
earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and 
station sighting opportunities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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