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International Space Station Status Report: SS06-052


NASA News wrote:
> Dec. 1, 2006
> Katherine Trinidad
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-0668
> James Hartsfield 
> Johnson Space Center, Houston 
> 281-483-5111 
> HOUSTON - The International Space Station crew have been preparing for 
> the planned arrival next week of the Space Shuttle Discovery on a 
> complex mission to rewire the station's electrical system.
> Shuttle Discovery is due to launch at 8:35 p.m. CST Thursday, Dec. 7 
> on mission STS-116. In addition to work that will bring power online 
> at the station from solar arrays delivered to the complex in 
> September, Discovery also will bring a new crew member to the 
> outpost.
> Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers 
> Mikhail Tyurin and Thomas Reiter reviewed the STS-116 mission plans 
> this week. They prepared the station's Quest airlock, spacesuits and 
> tools for three spacewalk planned for the shuttle mission. The crew 
> packed equipment that will return to Earth aboard the shuttle, 
> including Reiter's personal items since he will get a ride home 
> aboard Discovery. STS-116 astronaut Sunita Williams will replace him 
> as an Expedition 14 flight engineer. 
> Flight controllers worked on two problems aboard the station this 
> week, neither of which is expected to affect Discovery's launch or 
> mission. 
> An attempted reboost of the space station's altitude was cut short 
> Wednesday. Russian flight controllers suspect that sensitive software 
> detected a slight shift in the orientation of the station as the 
> thrusters were fired. The change in orientation is believed to be 
> normal, but it is new for the station due to the changes in its mass 
> and balance resulting from the addition of the new solar arrays and 
> truss segment in September. 
> The Progress cargo craft's thrusters fired for 3 minutes, 16 seconds 
> before automatically shutting off. They had planned to fire for 18 
> minutes, 22 seconds. Russian controllers plan to complete the reboost 
> Monday with a 21-minute firing of the Progress thrusters and a 
> software adjustment. The reboost next Monday, planned for around 3:35 
> p.m. CST, will optimize Discovery's rendezvous with the station.
> Flight controllers are analyzing a problem that occurred during 
> testing of a new software package used to detect and solve problems 
> with the station's giant Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. The joint is used 
> to rotate the new solar arrays, allowing them to track the sun. The 
> new software is designed to automatically realign the teeth of the 
> joint's gears should they become misaligned, rather than requiring 
> controllers to send commands for the realignment. 
> However, while running through a test of the software on Tuesday, a 
> remote power controller, or station circuit breaker, opened. The 
> circuit breaker was successfully reset on Thursday. Extensive 
> analysis and troubleshooting appears to indicate there is no problem 
> with any equipment aboard the station. Work continues, however, to 
> refine the new software.
> Unless events warrant, the next station update will be included in 
> status reports for the STS-116 mission beginning on Thursday, Dec. 7 
> after Discovery's launch. For more about the crew's activities and 
> station sighting opportunities, visit:
> http://www.nasa.gov/station 
> -end-
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