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

EXP 14 REPORT #SS06-48


International Space Station Status Report: SS06-048

Repair of an oxygen generator, robotic arm operations and cargo 
unpacking were the top priorities aboard the International Space Station 
this week.

On Monday, Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin installed new 
valves and cables to repair the Elektron oxygen-generation unit which 
shut down in mid-September. Tyurin re-activated it after installing the 
new parts, and the Elektron is supplying oxygen for the cabin atmosphere.

The crew unpacked most of the items from the recently arrived Russian 
Progress cargo ship including the Elektron parts, fresh food and other 
systems hardware. The rest will be unpacked as needed and as time permits.

Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria worked on robotics proficiency tasks 
throughout the week. At the start of the week, ground controllers 
relocated the Mobile Transporter to a different worksite on the 
station's truss. On Wednesday, Lopez-Alegria maneuvered the Canadarm2 
robotic arm over to the transporter and its operating base from the 
arm's normal home base on the Destiny Lab. The free end of the arm was 
photographed to help robotics specialists as they evaluate an issue that 
can cause snares to misalign inside the arm's end effector.

On Thursday, Lopez-Alegria connected the free end of the arm to another 
grapple fixture on the Mobile Base System and released the opposite end. 
Friday, the Mobile Transporter was moved by ground controllers to the 
outermost worksite on the port truss. It will provide support there for 
the Canadarm2 operations during the next shuttle assembly mission, 
STS-116. Next week Lopez-Alegria will check out the robotic system for 
the shuttle flight, which will bring and install a new truss spacer 
segment to the station.

Lopez-Alegria set up and activated cameras for a session of the Earth 
Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students, or EarthKAM experiment.

The middle school students study the Earth, then control a special 
digital camera mounted on the space station to photograph coastlines, 
mountain ranges and other geographic items from the unique vantage point 
of space. At the University of California at San Diego, an undergraduate 
student team manages the image requests and posts the photographs on the 
Internet for the public and participating classrooms around the world to 
view. More than 107 schools from 10 countries participated in this session.

The second sample of seeds for the Analysis of a Novel Sensory Mechanism 
in Root Phototropism was harvested and frozen in the Minus-Eighty 
Laboratory Freezer, a cold storage unit that maintains experiment 
samples at temperatures of -80 C, -26 C, or 4 C throughout a mission. 
Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter worked with the experiment, which will 
increase the understanding of the different systems plants use to 
determine the direction their roots and shoots should grow and which 
genes are responsible for successful plant growth.

Reiter also continued work on a suite of European Space Agency science 
experiments. One such experiment, called CARD, is helping scientists 
examine the relationship between salt intake and the cardiovascular 
system when exposed to the microgravity environment.

Crewmembers typically experience reduced blood pressure in microgravity. 
To help them readjust to gravity on Earth, they take salt tablets just 
before returning, which temporarily increases the blood volume. CARD is 
looking at the effects of ingesting occasional salt supplements 
throughout the long duration mission. This experiment's results could 
also help improve treatment of patients on Earth with heart failure.

The crew began gathering tools for a Nov. 22 spacewalk by Tyurin and 
Lopez-Alegria in Russian Orlan suits from the Pirs Docking Compartment. 
They will replace and retrieve several science experiments from the hull 
of the Zvezda Service Module.

Tyurin also plans to hit a golf ball from a bracket on Pirs as part of a 
Russian commercial activity.

The next station status report will be issued Nov. 9. For more 
information about the crew's activities and station sighting 
opportunities, visit:


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