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EXP 13 - Status Report: SS06-034


> July 21, 2006
> Grey Hautaluoma
> Headquarters, Washington 
> 202-358-0688 
> James Hartsfield
> Johnson Space Center, Houston
> 281-483-5111
> 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:
> http://www.nasa.gov/station 
> For information about NASA and agency programs, visit: 
> http://www.nasa.gov/home 
> -end-
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