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ISS Status Report #07-13


*International Space Station Status Report #07-13*
*3 p.m. CST, Friday, March 9, 2007*
*Expedition 14 Crew*

Science and setup for assembly highlighted the week on board the 
International Space Station, where the Expedition 14 crew members 
performed experiments related to human adaptation to space and made 
preparations for upcoming additions to the orbiting outpost.

Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Suni Williams 
completed the last of the internal assembly tasks for the startup later 
this year of the new Oxygen Generation System (OGS) in the Destiny 
laboratory. The astronauts installed sound-deadening equipment and an 
electrical cable and reconnected a wastewater hose for the hardware that 
was delivered last summer on space shuttle mission STS-121. OGS, which 
will be required once the station crew size expands to six people, is 
slated for activation during Expedition 15. It will function initially 
as another backup to the Russian Elektron system.

Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin spent time this week in maintenance of 
systems in the Russian segment of the station and in long-range 
preparations for arrival of the first of the European Space Agency’s 
cargo-carrying Automated Transfer Vehicles. Tyurin set up equipment in 
the Zvezda module for a ground-operated test of the satellite navigation 
system to be used during autonomous docking of the ATV to the Zvezda 
module’s aft port. He also pressurized and stowed a spare liquids unit 
for the Elektron, which supplies oxygen for the station's crew, and 
installed a new liquid crystal display for the TORU system, the manual 
docking system for Progress unpiloted supply ships.

Expedition 14 crew members used their brains this week for scientific 
experiments. Lopez-Alegria and Williams conducted another session with 
the Anomalous Long-Term Effects in Astronauts' Central Nervous System 
(ALTEA) experiment. It measures exposure to cosmic radiation.

For 90 minutes, each crew member wore an instrumented helmet containing 
six different particle detectors which measured radiation exposure, 
brain electrical activity and visual perception. ALTEA will further 
understanding of radiation impact on the human central nervous and 
visual systems, especially the phenomenon of crew members seeing flashes 
of light while in orbit.

Crew members also tested their hand-eye coordination during the Test of 
Reaction and Adaptation Capabilities, or TRAC, experiment. TRAC studies 
the theory that while the brain is adapting to space, it is unable to 
provide the resources necessary to perform normal motor skills such as 
hand-eye coordination.

They used a laptop and a joystick to control the position of a cursor, 
and a reaction time box to measure their response to audio and visual 
cues. Understanding how the brain adapts to microgravity could lead to 
improved procedures for activities requiring precise motor skills.

U.S. and Russian station officials reached agreement this week on a plan 
to have the Expedition 14 crew relocate the Soyuz TMA-9 craft on March 
29 from the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module to the aft port of the 
Zvezda module. This will alleviate the next station resident crew from 
having to perform the maneuver to reach Zarya as its final destination 
for the Expedition 15 increment.

The ISS Progress 23 cargo ship currently docked to Zvezda, will be cast 
off on March 27 to make room for the Soyuz.

Both sides also agreed this week to conduct a reboost of the station on 
March 15 using the Progress 23 engines to place the station at the 
correct altitude for the launch of the Expedition 15 crew in the Soyuz 
TMA-10 capsule on April 7. They will dock to Zarya on April 9. The 
Expedition 14 crew will now return to Earth on April 20.

The next station status report will be issued Friday, March 16, or 
earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and 
station sighting opportunities, visit:



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