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ISS STATUS REPORT #07-16



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #07-16*
*6:30 p.m. CDT Thursday, March 29, 2007*
*Expedition 14 Crew*

HOUSTON - The Expedition 14 crew 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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