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*International Space Station Status Report #06-34*
*3 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 21, 2006*
*Expedition 13 Crew*

For the first time since early 2003, the International Space Station is 
home to three crew members. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas 
Reiter joined Expedition 13 following Space Shuttle Discovery's mission 
earlier this month.

Reiter, who serves as the expedition flight engineer, Commander Pavel 
Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams got down to business. Their 
tasks this week included activating a new high-tech freezer; installing 
additional sound suppression devices; performing a functional check of a 
new oxygen generation system, which will become active next year; and 
preparing for the next spacewalk, set for just before 10 a.m. EDT on 
Aug. 3.

Discovery left behind about three tons of supplies, hardware and 
experiments as well as 175 gallons (660 liters) of water and 74 pounds 
(33 kilograms) of nitrogen, leaving the station in excellent condition 
to support the crew of three.

One of the most anticipated experiment racks, the Minus Eighty 
Laboratory Freezer for ISS, was activated. The freezer will allow 
biological and human research experiment samples to be stored until they 
are returned to Earth for evaluation.

The recent Discovery mission brought the new oxygen generation system 
and the freezer to the station. Status checks were performed this week 
on the newly installed oxygen system to prevent its internal valves from 
sticking over long periods of dormancy. Once it is activated, the device 
will augment the Russian Elektron oxygen-generation system in 
preparation for the further expansion of the station crew to six people.

The crew also began preparations for the next spacewalk. The spacewalk 
by Williams and Reiter will be conducted in U.S. spacesuits. The 
astronauts will deploy external experiments and prepare station truss 
components for future assembly work. Additional solar panels and 
electrical equipment will be delivered by the next two space shuttle 
missions, scheduled for late August and December. Spacewalk preparations 
included flushing cooling loops in the Quest airlock and the spacesuits 
and configuring airlock systems and tools. The astronauts also reviewed 
station robotic arm procedures.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, July 28, or 
earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and 
station sighting opportunities, visit:


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