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*International Space Station Status Report #06-45*
*3 p.m. CDT, Friday, Oct. 20. 2006*
*Expedition 13 Crew*

The three residents of the International Space Station spent a busy week 
with varied science and technical tasks as they began their second month 
in orbit.

Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer 
Mikhail Tyurin practiced using the manual docking system for the Russian 
Progress cargo ship. They rehearsed rendezvous, flyaround maneuvers and 
approach and docking with an on-board simulator.

During the training, technicians at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 
Kazakhstan completed preparations for the launch of a Progress cargo 
craft on Monday at 8:40 a.m. CDT. It is scheduled to dock to the complex 
Thursday at 9:28 a.m. Live coverage on NASA Television will begin at 9 a.m.

The Progress, which will make its way to the launch pad Saturday, is 
filled with more than two tons of food, fuel and supplies for the 
station and its crew. Also aboard are new spare parts for the Russian 
Elektron oxygen-generation system, which has been shut down since last 

Earlier Friday, Lopez-Alegria replaced equipment in the Carbon Dioxide 
Removal System, used to remove impurities from the station's atmosphere. 
Only one of its two systems designed to purge carbon dioxide from the 
air has been operating due to particulate matter clogging an air valve. 
Lopez-Alegria installed a new air flow regulator valve and a filter to 
recover the use of the second of two adsorbent beds in the device.

He also joined Tyurin to inspect and photograph the Zvezda Service 
Module windows and conducted a video tour of the station for training of 
future Expedition crews.

Lopez-Alegria, who also serves as the NASA science officer, collected 
his second set of blood and urine samples for the Nutrition Experiment. 
This is NASA's most comprehensive in-flight study of human physiological 
changes during long-duration spaceflight. The experiment measures bone 
metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments and hormonal 
changes. It also will help to define nutritional requirements and 
develop food systems for future missions to the moon and Mars.

Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin also completed a medical officer proficiency 
training session.

European Space Agency Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter began the first of 
three runs of the Analysis of a Novel Sensory Mechanism in Root 
Phototropism, or TROPI experiment, in the European Modular Cultivation 
System. Seeds will sprout next week in the EMCS facility where plants 
and other small organisms can grow in variable gravity conditions using 
a centrifuge. By sprouting seeds under different levels of partial 
gravity and different frequencies of light, this study will increase the 
understanding of the different systems plants use to determine what 
direction their roots and shoots should grow and which genes are 
responsible for successful plant growth.

NASAís payload operations team at the Marshall Space Flight Center 
coordinates U.S. science activities on space station. Other science work 
this week included sessions of the Profilaktika and Urolux Russian 

The station remains under the control of three gyroscopes after one was 
shut down more than a week ago. On Monday, flight controllers conducted 
a test of Control Moment Gyro 3, which was turned off due to excessive 
vibrations. Mondayís test, looking at the health of the accelerometer, 
spun the CMG up to 500 rpm and then let it coast down to zero while 
acceleration data were taken with the MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration 
Measurement System) to correlate and compare with data from the internal 
CMG accelerometer. An initial review indicated no unusual vibrations, 
but engineers continue to analyze the results.

On Monday, flight controllers will begin a five-day checkout of the 
Thermal Radiator Rotary Joints (TRRJ) on the S1 and P1 trusses that will 
rotate once the stationís upgraded external thermal loops are activated 
on the STS-116 mission. The TRRJ test will enable the radiators to 
ďautotrack" or revolve when required to dissipate heat from the trussesí 
avionics equipment.

The next status report will be issued on Monday, Oct. 23, following the 
launch of ISS Progress 23, or earlier if events warrant. For more about 
the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:


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