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ISS Status Report: SS07-15

> March 29, 2007
> John Yembrick
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-0602
> James Hartsfield
> Johnson Space Center, Houston
> 281-483-4934 
> HOUSTON - The Expedition 14 crew of the International Space Station 
> continued preparations for the April arrival of a new station crew by 
> boarding their Soyuz TMA-9 craft and taking a 24-minute flight from 
> one station docking port to another.
> Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin guided the Soyuz away from the 
> Earth-facing port of the station's Zarya module and docked it to the 
> aft port of the Zvezda module. The move frees the Zarya port for the 
> arrival of the Expedition 15 crew aboard the Soyuz TMA-10, scheduled 
> to dock to the station on April 9.
> Tyurin undocked the Soyuz from Zarya at 5:30 p.m. CDT and redocked to 
> the Zvezda port at 5:54 p.m. CDT as the station and the Soyuz flew 
> 210 miles above the east coast of South America. Minutes later, hooks 
> and latches engaged between the Soyuz' docking probe and Zvezda's 
> docking port to attach the craft firmly to the station. During the 
> time from undocking to redocking, the crew traveled about a third of 
> the way around the world.
> To prepare for Thursday's undocking and relocation, Commander Michael 
> Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers Tyurin and Sunita Williams shut 
> down key station systems and configured the complex for autonomous 
> operations in the unlikely event they would not be able to redock.
> Prior to undocking, Tyurin activated the Soyuz' backup battery as a 
> precaution when the prime spacecraft battery indicated a slightly 
> lower voltage reading. It was quickly determined that the voltage 
> drop was due to the activation of some Soyuz systems, and the prime 
> battery soon returned to its normal voltage output.
> Late Thursday into early Friday, the crew will open the hatch to the 
> Soyuz, re-enter the station and reactivate systems for regular 
> activity. Friday will be an off-duty day for the crew as they 
> readjust their sleep cycles, which were changed to accommodate the 
> Soyuz move.
> Further preparation for the Soyuz relocation included the undocking 
> and discarding of the ISS Progress 23 cargo craft from the aft Zvezda 
> port on Tuesday, March 27, making room for the Soyuz to redock. That 
> activity went smoothly; the ISS Progress undocked at 1:11 p.m. CDT 
> and re-entered Earth's atmosphere at 5:44 p.m.
> Additional work for the crew this week included a first for the 
> Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites 
> (SPHERES) experiment. The experiment uses 8-inch diameter spherical 
> satellites that fly within the station cabin. The satellites test the 
> basics of formation flight and autonomous docking that could be used 
> in future spacecraft. The battery-powered satellites use carbon 
> dioxide to fuel 12 thrusters as they fly in the cabin. 
> During a weekend "Saturday Science" session, Williams conducted a 
> SPHERES experiment run. This was the first time three satellites flew 
> together in tests. Investigators for the Massachusetts Institute of 
> Technology, Cambridge, deemed the experiment highly successful.
> Back on Earth, Expedition 15 cosmonauts Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin 
> and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, along with spaceflight participant 
> Charles Simonyi, a U.S. businessman, prepared for their April 7 
> launch at the Baikonur Cosomodrome, Kazakhstan.
> For more about the crew's activities and station sighting 
> opportunities, visit: 
> http://www.nasa.gov/station
> -end-
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