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ISS STATUS REPORT #06-43



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT AC #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #06-43*
*3 p.m. CDT – Friday, Oct. 6, 2006*
*Expedition 14 Crew*

Expedition 14 completed its first full week solo on the International 
Space Station performing standard early mission checks and drills plus 
some equipment troubleshooting.

Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer 
Mikhail Tyurin have been aboard the station for 19 days, while Flight 
Engineer Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency is in his third 
month in orbit. Along with other work, the crew members prepared this 
week for a short trip away from the station next week, when they will 
fly the Soyuz spacecraft from one docking port to another.

Early in the week, the crew conducted a check of procedures required to 
exit the station in an emergency, ensuring all necessary equipment is in 
place. Throughout the week, time was set aside for Lopez-Alegria and 
Tyurin to familiarize themselves with the station and its operations. 
They started several new scientific activities and medical checks.

Lopez-Alegria began his first session with the nutrition experiment. He 
collected blood and urine samples and began logging all of his food and 
drinks consumed. The experiment, which tracks many vitamins and minerals 
essential for good health, is the most comprehensive in-flight study to 
date of human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight. 
The information will help define nutritional requirements and food 
systems for future missions to the moon and Mars.

Lopez-Alegria also supported the Passive Observatories for Experimental 
Microbial Systems in Micro-G, or POEMS experiment, by storing the next 
set of samples into the Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or 
MELFI. MELFI is a cold storage unit that maintains experiment samples at 
temperatures of minus 80 degrees Celsius, minus 26 degrees Celsius or 4 
degrees Celsius throughout a mission. POEMS will evaluate the effect of 
stress in the space environment on the generation of genetic variation 
in model microbial cells. NASA’s payload operations team at the Marshall 
Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science 
activities on the station.

On Friday, all crew members performed a normal periodic fitness 
evaluation, exercising on a stationary bicycle aboard the station and 
measuring heart rate and blood pressure. One new scientific 
investigation began with Reiter as part of his evaluation. An oxygen 
uptake monitor provided by the European Space Agency was used to measure 
Reiter's oxygen consumption, a key parameter that can be used to measure 
fitness. The fitness evaluations are conducted once a month. 
Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin also checked emergency medical equipment and 
supplies, a check done early in each crew's flight. Tyurin spent time 
mid-week continuing to troubleshoot the Russian Elektron 
oxygen-generation system. The system converts water into oxygen to 
replenish the cabin air. It has not been functional since it overheated 
just before Expedition 14 arrived. The crew replaced components in an 
Elektron control panel this week, but problems with its operation 
persisted. Russian engineers are evaluating the system and further 
repairs may wait until the next supply ship arrives with additional 
parts. The next Progress cargo craft is set to launch later this month. 
Plentiful oxygen supplies are available on the station. Oxygen is now 
being replenished in the cabin from tanks located on the Quest airlock.

U.S. flight controllers are evaluating a vibration seen in one of the 
station's Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs) this week. The electrically 
powered CMGs maintain the station's orientation so that thrusters and 
limited fuel do not need to be used for that purpose. The vibrations 
were first observed Sept. 28 as a station maneuver was performed using 
thrusters. The gyroscope, CMG-3, was taken offline to allow additional 
testing. Since then, controllers have run various tests with CMG-3 to 
better characterize the intermittent vibrations, and engineers have 
determined it could be put back online and in normal operation, if 
needed. Only three CMGs are necessary to properly maintain the station's 
orientation.

The station crew members will board the Soyuz spacecraft docked at the 
rear of the Zvezda living quarters module on Tuesday to prepare for the 
short move. NASA Television will cover the activity live beginning at 
1:45 p.m. CDT(1845 UTC). With Soyuz Commander Tyurin at the controls, 
they will undock from the Zvezda port at 2:14 p.m. and redock to the 
Earth-facing Zarya module port at 2:39 p.m. CDT.

The next status report will be issued Friday, Oct. 13, 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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