[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]



Aug. 18, 2006

Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston



The astronauts aboard the International Space Station spent much of 
their week preparing for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, 
set for launch Aug. 27 on the STS-115 mission.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov, Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer 
Jeff Williams and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of 
Germany prepared for Atlantis to deliver a new section of the 
station's girder-like truss. During Atlantis' mission, astronauts 
will attach the new P3/P4 truss, a segment that includes a huge new 
set of solar arrays and a giant rotary joint that allows the arrays 
to track the sun. The mission will mark the resumption of station 
assembly by delivering the first large new component to the station 
since late 2002.

During the shuttle flight, Atlantis' crew members will perform three 
spacewalks to complete the installation and setup of the new segment. 
The spacewalks will begin from the station's Quest Airlock. Complex 
robotics work is involved as the 17.5-ton, bus-sized truss section is 
handed from the shuttle arm to the station arm for installation.

In preparation for Atlantis, the station crew trained on the robotic 
Canadarm2 and packed items for return to Earth on the shuttle. They 
also reviewed Atlantis' mission timeline and trained to photograph 
the shuttle's heat shield as the orbiter does a backflip while 
approaching the station. The crew also did several physiological and 
psychological tests and experiments designed to learn more about how 
humans react to long periods of weightlessness.

Early this week Williams worked with flight controllers and the 
Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics program on robotic arm 
activities. The program simulates the arm's operation for training.

Williams moved the arm from a base on the U.S. Destiny Lab to a power 
and data grapple fixture on the mobile transporter, enabling the arm 
to work at different sites along the main truss railway. 
Subsequently, in an inchworm-like maneuver, the arm was moved to a 
different grapple fixture on the transporter and used to inspect the 
outboard end of the P1 truss, where the new segment will be attached. 
The crew also reviewed installation procedures for the new segment 
and Williams did spacesuit maintenance. 

Throughout the week Vinogradov and Reiter worked on the Russian-German 
Plasma Crystal experiment. The experiment examines the behavior of 
tiny particles excited by high-frequency radio signals in a vacuum 
chamber and functions by itself most of the time. It requires a crew 
member to work with it, however, at some intervals during the day. 

The EarthKam experiment was activated this week. EarthKam allows 
students to request photos from space of specific locations on Earth 
via email and later receive those photos electronically. The 
remote-controlled camera has been used since October 2001. 

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, Aug. 25. For 
more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, 



To subscribe to the list, send a message to: 
To remove your address from the list, send a message to:

Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/sarex