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ISS Status Report: SS07-04


> Jan. 26, 2007
> John Yembrick
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-0602
> John I. Petty
> Johnson Space Center, Houston 
> 281-483-5111 
> HOUSTON - This week, the crew aboard the International Space Station 
> prepared for an unprecedented series of spacewalks. NASA astronauts 
> Mike Lopez-Alegria and Suni Williams are scheduled to begin a 
> 6.5-hour spacewalk from the station around 9 a.m. CST on Wednesday, 
> Jan. 31. It will be the first of a record four spacewalks planned 
> during the next month. 
> Lopez-Alegria and Williams will conduct other spacewalks on Feb. 4, 8 
> and 22. The first three spacewalks will originate from the station's 
> Quest airlock and the astronauts will use U.S. spacesuits. 
> Lopez-Alegria and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin will use Russian 
> spacesuits for the last spacewalk and will exit the station from the 
> Pirs airlock. 
> The three U.S. spacewalks will rearrange the station's cooling system, 
> bringing online new portions of the system that were activated during 
> a shuttle mission in December 2006. The Russian spacewalk will free a 
> stuck antenna on the ISS Progress 23 cargo craft docked to the aft 
> end of the station, ensuring that craft can safely undock in April. 
> The crew began the week unloading some of the more than 2.5 tons of 
> food, fuel and supplies that were delivered to the station on Jan. 19 
> by the ISS Progress 24 cargo craft, which included fresh produce, 
> gifts from home, new clothing, spare parts, oxygen and water. 
> The crew's attention quickly turned to preparations for the upcoming 
> spacewalks. On Monday, the crew began working with the U.S. 
> spacesuits. Batteries for the suits were charged, and the suit 
> cooling systems were cleaned. 
> On Tuesday, Lopez-Alegria and Williams trained using an onboard, 
> laptop computer-based simulation. The training refreshed their skills 
> operating the Simplified Aid for Extravehicular Activity Rescue, or 
> SAFER, jetpack that is worn on spacesuits. The backpack allows 
> spacewalkers to fly back to the station in the event they become 
> separated from the complex. 
> On Thursday, ground controllers in Houston commanded the station's 
> robotic arm to maneuver into the position it will occupy for the 
> start of the spacewalk. Aboard the station, the crew reviewed the 
> plans for the first spacewalk. 
> Lopez-Alegria and Williams continued checks of their spacesuits and 
> checks of the SAFER backpacks Friday. The SAFER backpacks are 
> propelled by compressed nitrogen gas, and, during the checkout, the 
> harmless gas was released, depleting the nitrogen in one unit below 
> the usable quantity. Two other usable SAFER backpacks remain onboard, 
> however, and the loss of the third unit does not affect plans for the 
> upcoming spacewalks. 
> The crew took time during their work on Monday to speak with 
> television host Martha Stewart. Crew members also took time to field 
> questions by amateur radio from two schools, one in Ottawa, Ontario, 
> Canada, and another in Winnebago, Neb. 
> For more about the crew's activities and station sighting 
> opportunities, visit: 
> http://www.nasa.gov/station 
> -end-
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