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ISS STATUS REPORT #06-52



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A./C #31468


*International Space Station Status Report #06-52*
*3:30 p.m. CST, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006*
*Expedition 14 Crew*

HOUSTON - The International Space Station crew has 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 spacewalks 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


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