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ISS Status Report: SS07-21

> April 20, 2007
> John Yembrick
> Headquarters, Washington 
> 202-358-0602
> John Ira Petty
> Johnson Space Center, Houston
> 281-483-5111 
> Image above: The crew members onboard the
> International Space Station pose for a group portrait during the
> Changing-of-Command ceremony from Expedition 14 to Expedition 15 in the
> Destiny laboratory on April 17. Image credit: NASA 
> HOUSTON - The crew members aboard the International Space Station 
> spent this week finalizing handover operations, conducting 
> experiments and preparing for the departure of the Expedition 14 
> crew.
> Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer 
> Mikhail Tyurin, accompanied by Spaceflight Participant Charles 
> Simonyi, are targeted to touch down in central Kazakhstan in their 
> Soyuz spacecraft at 7:30 a.m. CDT Saturday, April 21, one day later 
> than originally planned.
> The primary landing site is too wet for landing operations due to the 
> spring thaw. The one-day delay in departure from the station will 
> allow for touchdown in a landing zone further to the south.
> The landing will conclude a 215-day flight for Lopez-Alegria and 
> Tyurin and mark the longest single flight by an American astronaut. 
> Live coverage of the landing operations will begin on NASA TV on 
> Saturday at 12:30 a.m. for hatch closing, will return at 3:45 a.m. 
> for undocking, and will resume at 6:15 a.m. for the deorbit burn and 
> landing.
> Crew members held a ceremony Tuesday afternoon marking the change of 
> command of the station from Lopez-Alegria to Expedition 15 Commander 
> Fyodor Yurchikhin. Yurchikhin and flight engineers Oleg Kotov and 
> Suni Williams are now officially established on board the station. 
> Williams, who served as an Expedition 14 crew member since December, 
> will provide Expedition 15 with an experienced flight engineer for 
> the early part of its mission. 
> On Monday, Williams became the first person to run a marathon in 
> space. Williams, an accomplished marathoner, was an official entrant 
> in the Boston Marathon and ran the 26.2 mile race on a station 
> treadmill in the Zvezda module, circling Earth at least twice in the 
> process. Williams' run coincided with the tens of thousands of people 
> running on the ground. She completed her marathon with an official 
> time of 4:23:10.
> Russian specialists are preparing plans to repair the Condensate Feed 
> Unit in the Russian system that processes condensate recovered in the 
> U.S. segment of the station into potable water. Since the unit failed 
> over the weekend, the supply of drinking water has been decreasing 
> faster than the replenishment rate. Even if they are unable to repair 
> the unit, enough water already is onboard to last until the ISS 
> Progress 25 cargo vehicle docks in mid-May, providing a new supply of 
> water.
> Also this week, Lopez-Alegria completed his final session with the 
> Anomalous Long-Term Effects in Astronauts' Center Nervous System 
> (ALTEA) experiment, which investigates the phenomenon of crew members 
> seeing flashes of light while in orbit. Using an instrumented helmet, 
> the experiment measures the cosmic radiation that passes through a 
> crew member's head, brain activity and visual perception. ALTEA 
> should help researchers better understand what levels of cosmic 
> radiation crew members are exposed to and develop countermeasures for 
> future long-duration spaceflights.
> Lopez-Alegria and Williams also worked on an Education Payload 
> Operations activity linked to the International Polar Year. The crew 
> members videotaped their Earth photography activities and their 
> observations of sea ice and auroras. These images will be used later 
> in NASA education videos sent to classrooms around the world. 
> Education Payload Operations include curriculum-based activities that 
> demonstrate basic principles of science, mathematics, technology, 
> engineering and geography. They are designed to support the NASA 
> mission of inspiring the next generation of explorers.
> The next station status report will be issued Saturday after 
> Expedition 14's landing, or earlier if events warrant.
> For more about the crew's activities and station sighting 
> opportunities, visit:
> http://www.nasa.gov/station 
> -end-
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