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ISS STATUS REPORT #06-49



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #06-49*
*3 p.m. CST Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006*
*Expedition 13 Crew*

The International Space Station crewmembers spent this week getting 
ready for an upcoming spacewalk, performing scientific research and 
voting in the elections back on Earth.

Throughout the week, the crew prepared the Pirs docking compartment for 
the Nov. 22 spacewalk by Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria 
and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin. They gathered tools and equipment 
they will use on the nearly six-hour spacewalk.

Next week, they will prepare the Russian Orlan spacesuits they will wear 
for the excursion. During the spacewalk, they will relocate a 
communications antenna, install new experiment hardware and photograph a 
Kurs rendezvous system antenna on the Progress supply ship that docked 
to the Zvezda module’s aft docking port last month. Tyurin will also 
conduct a Russian commercial demonstration by hitting a golf ball teed 
up on the exterior of Pirs.

A top priority for Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter this week was packing 
material destined to return to Earth on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 
December. Lopez-Alegria completed a routine checkout of the Mobile 
Servicing System in support of that shuttle assembly flight.

On mission STS-116, targeted to launch Dec.6/7, the shuttle crew will 
deliver another component of the station’s truss structure and perform 
spacewalks to rewire the station's electrical system. The shuttle crew 
includes astronaut Suni Williams, who will relieve Reiter on board. 
Reiter will have spent six months on the complex.

Lopez-Alegria, the NASA ISS Science Officer for Expedition 14, collected 
his third set of blood and urine samples for the Nutritional Status 
Assessment, or Nutrition experiment. This experiment measures 
physiological indicators of the changes in the human body during 
spaceflight.

The samples are stored in the Minus-Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for 
ISS (MELFI). Once returned to Earth the blood and urine samples will be 
analyzed to understand a wide variety of systems, including markers of 
bone metabolism, oxidative damage, vitamin and mineral status and 
hormonal changes and how they relate to stress, bone and muscle metabolism.

The findings are expected to give researchers a better understanding of 
what happens to crewmembers in space and when it happens during a 
mission. It also will help to define nutritional requirements and 
develop food systems for future missions to the moon and Mars.

Working hundreds of miles away from home didn’t stop Lopez-Alegria from 
participating in this week’s general election. Texas law permits 
residents who happen to be on orbit on Election Day to cast a ballot 
from space -- it was first done by David Wolf from the Mir space station 
in 1997. Lopez-Alegria made his choices on an encrypted computer ballot 
that was downlinked to Mission Control and forwarded to the county 
clerk’s office in Houston for tabulation.

The next station status report will be issued Nov. 17, or earlier if 
events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station 
sighting opportunities:

http://www.nasa.gov/station


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