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Waspie_Dwarf

International Space Station Status Report

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Posted (edited)

NASA produces regular updates (usually about once a week) on the status of the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle and Expendable Launch Vehicles. I posted these on the Spaceflight News site. With the demise of that site I will continue the threads in this forum.

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March 29, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-013

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-013

The 13th crew of the International Space Station roared away today from Kazakhstan into orbit atop a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, NASA Science Officer and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams and Brazilian Space Agency astronaut Marcos Pontes will dock to the station late Friday. Vinogradov and Williams will spend six months on the complex during Expedition 13. Pontes, flying under a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency, will stay on the station for eight days.

The 162-foot tall Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 9:30 p.m. EST. About 10 minutes later, the Soyuz was in orbit with its solar arrays and antennae extended. Docking is planned for 11:19 p.m. EST Friday.

Vinogradov, Williams and Pontes will open hatches at about 12:30 a.m. EST Saturday to join Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev inside the space complex. NASA TV will broadcast the activities on Friday starting at 10 p.m. EST.

The five space fliers will be available for a crew news conference at 10:55 a.m. EST Monday. Reporters at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia, may ask questions.

The two crews will spend about a week handing over operations of the station, and Pontes will conduct a series of research investigations. McArthur, Tokarev and Pontes return to Earth April 8. At landing, McArthur and Tokarev will have spent almost 190 days in space.

Earlier this week, McArthur found a supply of lithium hydroxide canisters used to scrub carbon dioxide from the air in Russian space suits during a spacewalk. The find ensures Russian suits can be used if a spacewalk is needed.

The next status report will be issued after docking. Information about crew activities, future launch dates and sighting opportunities is available on the Web at:

NASA TV's Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they're on AMC-7 at 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. For digital downlink information, visit:

www.nasa.gov/ntv

- end -

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Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-013

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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~

April 1, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-014

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-014

A new crew pulled into port at the International Space Station late Friday to start a six-month mission.

With Expedition 13 and Soyuz Commander Pavel Vinogradov at the controls, the Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft automatically linked up to the Earth-facing port on the station's Zarya module at 11:19 p.m. EST Friday. The spacecraft were above China near the Russian, Kazakh and Mongolian borders at the time.

Aboard the Soyuz with Vinogradov were NASA Flight Engineer and Science Officer Jeff Williams and Brazilian Space Agency astronaut Marcos Pontes. Pontes will spend eight days on the complex under a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

After systems checks, hatches between the Soyuz and the station were opened at 12:59 a.m. EST Saturday. Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, nearing the end of their six-month mission on the station, greeted their colleagues with handshakes and hugs and offered the traditional bread and salt. Russian, American and Brazilian dignitaries viewed the docking from the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside Moscow, and congratulated the crews after hatch opening.

The new crew will now transfer cargo from the Soyuz to the station, deactivate the new Soyuz’ systems and stow their launch and entry suits. Pontes will move his custom-made seatliner into the older Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft that will bring him home, and he will begin several experiments. The two station crews will continue handover activities throughout the week, including robotics training with the station arm and detailed briefings on scientific experiments. Vinogradov and Williams will remain on board the station until September.

All five astronauts and cosmonauts will participate in a news conference at 10:55 a.m. EDT Monday. NASA Television will broadcast this event live.

Monday night, McArthur and Williams will "camp out" in the Quest airlock. They will sleep in the airlock, isolated from Tokarev, Vinogradov and Pontes, to test a new procedure that may reduce the preparation time for spacewalks. The new procedure will have spacewalkers stay in the airlock overnight at a lower air pressure to help purge nitrogen from their bodies to prevent decompression sickness. McArthur and Williams will begin their airlock stay at about 6:20 p.m. EDT Monday and finish at 3:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

McArthur, Tokarev and Pontes will leave the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-7 and land April 8.

Information about crew activities, future launch dates and sighting opportunities is available on the Web at:

The next status report will be issued on Friday, April 7, or earlier if events warrant.

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-014

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A picture shown about a year ago in the other forum showing one of the air locks being used for storage might explain the misplaced CO-2 scrubbers. Some time in the future they will need a full time Maid to clean up after them darned MEN!

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April 7, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-015

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-015

Camaraderie and hard work highlighted this week's joint operations on the International Space Station. Aboard the complex, one crew prepared for a return to Earth while another focused on taking the helm in orbit.

Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev and Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes head home Saturday, closing hatches as they leave the station at 1:35 p.m. EDT. They will undock their Soyuz spacecraft at 4:28 p.m. EDT. That sets the stage for a deorbit burn at 6:58 p.m. EDT to drop the 15,000-pound spacecraft out of orbit. The Soyuz will parachute to a landing at 7:48 p.m. EDT on the steppes of Kazakhstan. All landing events can be seen live on NASA Television and NASA.gov.

Expedition 12's homecoming preparations began in earnest after last week’s arrival of the 13th station crew, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams, who arrived with Pontes, Brazil's first astronaut. Pontes will have spent eight days on the station conducting experiments as part of a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

This week began with a partially completed “campout” by McArthur and Williams in the Quest Airlock. The planned overnight stay in the airlock tested procedures that can shorten the time needed to prepare for future spacewalks.

Quest was sealed off from the rest of the station at 6:45 p.m. EDT Monday with McArthur and Williams inside, and its air pressure was later lowered to 10.2 pounds per square inch. The rest of the station remained at the normal air pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch. An overnight stay at the lower air pressure helps purge nitrogen from the body, a necessary step to avoid decompression sickness. McArthur and Williams were awakened four hours into their sleep in the airlock by an error tone.

The tone was generated by software that monitors the composition of air on the station. Flight controllers opted to end the campout test Tuesday at 12:43 a.m. EDT, open the airlock hatch to the station, and allow the crew to go back to sleep. Despite the glitch, all of the test objectives were achieved. Engineers are reviewing data to determine whether changes are needed to use the technique during the STS-115 shuttle mission later this year. Engineers could decide to repeat the test at another time.

On Wednesday, Williams trained with the station’s robot arm, Canadarm2. Late this week, McArthur briefed Williams on payload operations in the Destiny laboratory while Tokarev, the Soyuz commander, stowed equipment and payloads in the Soyuz for the trip home. Tokarev also reviewed procedures for the undocking, entry and landing with flight controllers at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow.

NASA TV's Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they're on AMC-7 at 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. For digital downlink information and links to streaming video, visit:

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future launch dates, and station sighting opportunities are available at:

The next status report will be issued Saturday night, April 8, following landing of Expedition 12 and its Soyuz spacecraft.

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-015

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wow, fascinating, thanks for the info. :yes:

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April 8, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-016

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-016

After orbiting Earth more than 3,000 times during six months on the International Space Station, Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev returned to the planet Sunday morning in Kazakhstan. With them was Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s first astronaut.

The Soyuz spacecraft with McArthur, Tokarev and Pontes landed in central Kazakhstan, about 30 miles northeast of Arkalyk, at 7:48 p.m. EDT, Saturday. The crew's families will greet them at Star City, Russia, near Moscow, early Monday. McArthur and Tokarev will remain in Star City for post-flight debriefings before returning to Houston later this month. McArthur and Tokarev launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Sept. 30, 2005.

They spent 189 days, 18 hours and 51 minutes in space. During their mission, they conducted two spacewalks and relocated their Soyuz spacecraft twice, becoming the first ISS crew to dock to every Russian docking port on the complex. They also became the first two-person station crew to conduct a spacewalk in both Russian and U.S. spacesuits. Pontes flew to the station with the Expedition 13 crew last week as part of a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. He spent eight days on the station conducting experiments.

The new station crew, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams, will have light duty for the next few days as they rest from a busy handover. They will remain in orbit for six months. The crew plans to perform two spacewalks and greet two space shuttle crews during their expedition.

Joining them during their stay on the station will be Thomas Reiter, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, also flying under a commercial agreement with Roscosmos. Reiter is scheduled to come to the station on the Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-121 mission, targeted for a July launch.

Reiter will be the first non-Russian, non-U.S. long-duration crew member on the station. His arrival will bring the station crew size to three for the first time since May 2003, when the crew size was reduced to conserve supplies in the wake of the Columbia accident.

Shuttle Atlantis’ STS-115 mission is also scheduled during Expedition 13 and will resume major assembly of the station. The shuttle and station crews will work together to add another set of batteries and solar arrays to the complex.

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future launch dates, and station sighting opportunities are available at

The next status report will be issued Friday, April 14, or earlier if events warrant.

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-016

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April 14, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-017

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-017

The 13th crew of the International Space Station is wrapping up its first week flying solo in its new orbiting home. The crew's work has included station maintenance, medical and other experiments and standard daily exercise.

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams said farewell to their predecessors last Saturday. The Expedition 12 crew and a visiting Brazilian astronaut undocked that afternoon and landed in Kazakhstan at 7:48 p.m. EDT.

Vinogradov and Williams had light duty Sunday and Monday, a break after completing eight days of extensive handover activities with their counterparts.

Maintenance work included a three-and-one-half hour scheduled replacement of station toilet components on Tuesday. Both crew members also took time to talk with two Russian news organizations and participants at a Russian school children's aerospace festival.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the crew from the Kremlin. Putin's call came on the 45th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin, a landmark event commemorated by the Russian holiday Cosmonautics Day. That date, April 12, was also the 25th anniversary of the first NASA space shuttle launch in 1981.

Putin told the crew it was a pleasure to see representatives of the United States and Russia working together on the same spacecraft. During the light-hearted exchange, Vinogradov invited Putin to visit the space station.

The crew continued loading the station's Progress cargo craft with trash and conducted physical evaluations and experiments Thursday. Vinogradov and Williams practiced an emergency evacuation drill Friday. Throughout the week, they had time to familiarize themselves with their new home.

Vinogradov and Williams will remain in orbit for six months. During that time, they plan to welcome two space shuttles and perform two spacewalks. Shuttle Discovery's STS-121 mission, targeting a launch no earlier than July 1, will bring European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter aboard the station.

Reiter will increase the station crew size to three for the first time since May 2003 when the crew size was reduced to conserve station supplies following the Columbia accident.

Back on Earth for almost a week, Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev remain in Star City, Russia, near Moscow. They continue to undergo debriefing and rehabilitation after 190 days in space. With them is Marcos Pontes, Brazil's first astronaut, who launched with Expedition 13. He returned to Earth with the Expedition 12 crew after spending about eight days on the station conducting experiments.

Tentative plans call for McArthur to return to Houston later this month. The next status report will be issued Friday, April 21, or earlier if events warrant.

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future launch dates, and station sighting opportunities are available at:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-017

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April 21, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-018

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-018

The Expedition 13 crew this week focused on experiments, maintenance and preparations for the arrival of two and a half tons of food, supplies and equipment.

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams also had time set aside each day to continue to become familiar with their orbiting home.

In scientific work, Williams operated the Capillary Flow Experiment, which uses liquid silicone to study how fluids move in a microgravity environment. This portion of the experiment examined the interface between the liquid and the solid surface of the container. The results could be used by designers of systems for future spacecraft.

Williams also set up and activated cameras that will be remotely operated by middle school students to take photos of Earth through the station window. Called the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) experiment, it allows students to study the Earth and then control a special digital camera mounted on the station. They photograph coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. More than 112 schools from eight countries have signed up for this session of the experiment. This is the 22nd time the experiment has been performed aboard the station.

Williams and Vinogradov completed the first of three sessions with the Renal Stone experiment, a study of whether potassium citrate can be used to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Astronauts have an increased risk of developing kidney stones because urine calcium levels are typically much higher in space. The crew recorded all consumed food and drinks and collected urine samples for later return to Earth. An understanding of the crew's diet during the urine collection timeframes will help researchers determine if the excess calcium in the urine is due to diet or a response to the microgravity environment.

The Expedition 13 crew also spent several hours practicing the use of a manual docking system for next week's arrival of the ISS Progress 21 cargo vehicle. The computer-based training will ensure they're ready to take control of the Progress if the automated system does not work properly. The 21st Progress to visit the station is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:03 p.m. EDT Monday, and dock with the space station at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday. NASA TV will provide live coverage of the docking beginning at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

A planned reboost of the station was aborted before any engines were fired this week when downlink telemetry showed one of two sunshade covers on the Zvezda Service Module thrusters was not fully open. The station's onboard software detected that the cover was not properly opened and did not ignite the thrusters. The firing was designed to test two thrusters that have not been used since Zvezda docked to the station in July 2000. Zvezda has several other thrusters that could be used if needed. Engineers at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev are reviewing data and considering whether additional tests are required.

Friday the crew talked with experts in Mission Control, Houston, about an electrical repair procedure planned for Monday. The pair will replace a failed type of circuit breaker called a Remote Power Control Module (RPCM) in the Destiny Laboratory. The RPCM failed during the last crew's stay aboard the station, and power for several systems has been routed by an alternate path until it is replaced.

Vinogradov and Williams will remain in orbit for six months. During that time, they expect to welcome two space shuttles and perform two spacewalks. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter will join the Expedition 13 crew when the Space Shuttle Discovery arrives on the STS-121 mission, targeted for launch no earlier than July 1. Reiter will increase the station crew size to three for the first time since May 2003 when it was reduced to conserve supplies following the Columbia accident. The payload operations team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science activities on the station.

The next status report will be issued Monday, April 24, following the launch of the Progress resupply craft. For EarthKam information and images, visit:

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future launch dates, and station sighting opportunities are available at:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-018

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April 24, 2006
Allard Beutel

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-4769

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-019

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-019

shipment of supplies is on its way to the International Space Station. The ISS Progress 21 cargo spacecraft was launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The new resupply ship lifted off at 12:03 p.m. EDT (10:03 p.m. Baikonur time). Less than 10 minutes later, the cargo ship reached orbit, and its solar arrays and navigational antennas were deployed for its two-day trip to the orbital outpost.

Two pre-programmed firings of the Progress' main engine are scheduled today to fine-tune the ship's path to the space station. Additional rendezvous maneuvers are planned Tuesday and Wednesday.

When the Progress launched, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams were flying 219 miles over the Earth off the northeast of Australia. This is their 26th day in space and their 24th day on the complex.

Carrying 2.5 tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and other supplies, the new Progress is scheduled to automatically dock to the aft port of the station's Zvezda Service Module at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The older ISS Progress 20 supply ship, which arrived at the station just before Christmas, will remain at the Pirs Docking Compartment until mid-June. It will be used to stow trash, and its supply of oxygen will help replenish the station's atmosphere.

Live coverage of the docking of ISS Progress 21 to the space station begins 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday on NASA Television.

NASA TV's Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they're on AMC-7 at 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. For digital downlink information and links to streaming video, visit:

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future launch dates, and station sighting opportunities are available at:

The next station status report will be issued on Wednesday, April 26, after the ISS Progress 21 docking, or earlier, if events warrant.

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-019

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April 26, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-020

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-020

New supplies arrived at the International Space Station today as an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft linked up to the Zvezda Service Module. The ISS Progress 21 is filled with 2.5 tons of food, fuel and personal items for the station's Expedition 13 crew.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams will open the hatch to the supply ship once leak checks are completed later today. The crew will begin unloading items Thursday.

Automatically guided by its computers, the Progress docked to the aft port of Zvezda at 1:41 p.m. EDT as the spacecraft and the station sailed 219 miles above Greece. The Progress was launched Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The supplies include food, fuel, oxygen and air, clothing, experiment hardware and spare parts, as well as personal items from the crew's families. The new Progress joins an older Progress supply ship that arrived at the station’s Pirs Docking Compartment just before Christmas. Progress 20 will remain docked until mid-June. It will be used to stow trash, and its supply of oxygen will help replenish the station’s atmosphere.

ISS Progress 21 holds 1,918 pounds of propellant for the Russian thrusters, 103 pounds of oxygen and air in tanks as a backup supply for the oxygen generated by the Russian Elektron system and 661 pounds of water to augment the supplies already on board. The spacecraft's cargo also includes more than 2,300 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and life support components.

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

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-020

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April 28, 2006
Allard Beutel

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-4769

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-021

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-021

The 13th crew of the International Space Station this week began unloading -- and sank its teeth into -- some of the more than 5,000 pounds of new supplies that arrived at the complex Wednesday.

The ISS Progress 21 cargo spacecraft, which launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, docked at the station Wednesday. The ship was the first supply shipment for Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams, who have been in space for almost a month.

The spacecraft brought fresh fruit and other foods, gifts from home, fuel, water, oxygen, spare parts and science gear. Two Progress cargo craft are now docked at the complex. Oxygen supplies from ISS Progress 20, which arrived in December, continue to be used to replenish the cabin air when required. The crew is loading that Progress with trash and unneeded equipment. The spacecraft will be jettisoned from the complex in mid-June.

Early in the week, Williams replaced a Remote Power Control Module, a type of circuit breaker, in the station's Destiny laboratory. The power control module had not been functioning for some time, and electricity for many lab systems had been delivered via an alternate path. To gain access to the worksite for replacement of the component, Williams had to disassemble and remove his sleeping compartment. Mission Control sequentially powered off many lab systems and lights to facilitate the replacement. Williams accomplished all the work ahead of schedule, and the new power control module has been functioning well.

Science activities aboard the station during the past week included work by Williams with the Capillary Flow Experiment, which is an investigation of fluid behavior in weightlessness that may assist in the design of future spacecraft. The crew members also completed urine collection and notes about their food consumption for an experiment studying the formation of kidney stones in weightlessness.

Vinogradov completed routine maintenance of the station's Elektron system. It was powered off much of the week and reactivated today. The Elektron provides oxygen for the cabin air from water.

Plans for next week include an engine firing to boost the station's altitude on Thursday, May 4; continued unloading of the newly arrived Progress vehicle; and periodic crew health checks.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, May 5, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-021

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May 5, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-022

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-022

Completing their first month in space, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams eased into normal station activities this week.

Most of the week was focused around routine maintenance and inspections. Williams completed checks of the refrigerated centrifuge, updated the inventory system and took samples of potable water for routine testing. He also changed the cooling water used in the U.S. spacesuits to ensure that the pumps work and to prevent microbial growth in the water tanks.

Vinogradov did similar jobs in the station's Russian segment, completing an inspection of the pressure hull in the Zvezda living quarters, performing maintenance of the ventilation system in Zvezda and testing emergency vacuum valves in the atmosphere purification system.

On Wednesday, the crew updated onboard laptop computers. Williams began to install new software on the medical equipment computer, but stopped to allow ground specialists to troubleshoot some difficulties he encountered. The problem was resolved and the task will be rescheduled for Williams. Vinogradov installed and tested new software on a Russian laptop.

Both crew members spent time packing unneeded gear inside the ISS Progress 20. The 20th Progress to visit the station is docked to the Pirs compartment and will be jettisoned from the complex in mid-June to burn up in the atmosphere. Russian flight controllers also fired the newer ISS Progress 21 cargo craft's engines for about six and a half minutes on Thursday to boost the station's altitude by about 1.7 miles. The Progress 21 is docked at the aft docking port of the Zvezda module.

Williams kicked off the first Expedition 13 session of the Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation this week. It is an experiment that studies bubbling that occurs in weightlessness as liquids cool and turn into solids. It provides insight into how materials solidify in space and may benefit similar processes used in industry on Earth. The experiment is performed in the microgravity science glovebox in the Destiny Lab.

The crew took time this week to reach out to more than 1,500 students, teachers and NASA personnel participating in a Space Day educational event at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The event was part of a larger program highlighting NASA Explorer Schools as well as a collaboration between NASA and America Online (AOL).

Williams also spoke to students in the Inuit community of Kuujjuaq, Canada, via HAM radio. More than 340 students attend the school, which is located 900 miles north of Montreal at the base of Ungava Bay.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, May 12, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-022

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May 12, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-023

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-023

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams focused this week on science experiments, maintenance tasks and unpacking cargo on the International Space Station.

Using the microgravity science glovebox, Williams began the second of three sessions Wednesday of the Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation experiment. This experiment studies bubbling that occurs in weightlessness as liquids cool and solidify.

Williams will begin his first Saturday Science activity this weekend with the Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support Systems Fluid Dynamics Investigation. This is a series of experiments to improve fluid mixing techniques and to control bubble distribution for cell culture in orbit.

On May 4, ISS Progress 21 engines were used to reboost the station. Afterward, an error message indicated the Zvezda Service Module computers couldn't command the Progress engines to reconfigure for normal operations. The reboost was not affected. Engineers have determined the most likely cause of the message was a software error, which will be corrected. Meanwhile, a procedural change will allow the Progress thrusters to be used. Vinogradov and Williams continued to unpack supplies from that cargo vehicle.

Last week, engineers detected a small reduction of nitrogen pressure in the liquids unit of the oxygen-generating Elektron. To isolate the source of the leak, Russian flight controllers asked Vinogradov to turn off the machine. They have identified the small leak and plan to operate the Elektron as needed. A spare liquids unit is onboard.

The Elektron will remain deactivated until after a June 1 spacewalk. Engineers originally had planned to turn it off next week to reconfigure ventilation lines and to install a new hydrogen vent before the extravehicular activity. Meanwhile, oxygen from tanks in the ISS Progress 20 cargo vehicle is being added to the station's cabin.

On Thursday, Williams practiced using the station's robotic arm. He and Vinogradov spoke Wednesday with reporters from the StarDate syndicated Radio Network and WISN-TV of Milwaukee.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, May 19, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-023

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May 19, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-024

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-024

In space this week, a satellite flew within a satellite. International Space Station Flight Engineer Jeff Williams "piloted" a unique spacecraft in three dimensions for the first time around the pressurized Destiny module. The demonstration tested the basics of formation flight and autonomous docking that could be useful in future multiple spacecraft formation flying.

That test flight wrapped up a week of experiments, maintenance, spacewalk preparations and packing of equipment set to return to Earth aboard Space Shuttle Discovery following its next mission to the station, targeted for July.

Along with Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, Williams oversaw activities through the 50th day of their planned 180-day mission, focusing on laboratory science experiments in the microgravity science glovebox. That facility hosted the final sample for the Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation experiment, which uses a transparent modeling material to study how bubbles form and migrate during liquid solidification. This is important to understanding the formation of flaws in molten metals as they solidify.

Much of the attention, however, focused on a new experiment flying for the first time on the station ― the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Re-orient Experimental Satellites, also known as SPHERES.

Williams, also NASA's station science officer, performed a series of test flights with the first of what eventually will be a constellation of three small free-flying satellites designed to demonstrate the basics of formation flight and autonomous docking.

For the first tests, only one satellite and two beacons ― one mounted and one hand-held ― were used. The satellite is eight inches in diameter and has a mass of about seven pounds. It also contains internal avionics, software and communications systems and is maneuvered using compressed carbon dioxide gas thrusters.

During the first test flight, performed autonomously in Destiny, the satellite made a series of 10-15 pre-planned maneuvers lasting up to 10 minutes each. After Williams selected and loaded the appropriate software on the laptop, the satellite began its pre-programmed maneuvers to test attitude control, station keeping, re-targeting, collision avoidance and fuel balancing.

This technology could be used to design spacecraft constellations or arrays or to develop free-flying robotic assistants to help astronauts on future spacewalks.

NASA's payload operations team at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science activities on the station.

On the maintenance front, Vinogradov prepped for a June 1 space walk by reconfiguring ventilation lines associated with the Elektron oxygen generating system in the Zvezda module. One of the spacewalk tasks will be to install a new external hydrogen vent line for the Elektron. Oxygen is being provided now by storage tanks in the Progress supply vehicle. The Elektron will remain deactivated until after the spacewalk.

Early in the week, the carbon dioxide removal system, known as Vozdukh, in the Russian segment malfunctioned. Flight controllers activated the carbon dioxide removal system in Destiny until troubleshooting restored Vozdukh's operation. Both units will run in tandem until next week when a new gas analyzer is installed in Vozdukh.

On Thursday, the crew talked with school students in Wisconsin's Winter School District about life in space and experiments aboard the station.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, May 26, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-024

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May 26, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-025

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-025

The residents of the International Space Station turned their attention to spacewalk preparations this week as they gear up for a six-hour excursion outside the complex June 1. During the spacewalk, the crew will repair and retrieve U.S. and Russian hardware.

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA Flight Engineer and Science Officer Jeff Williams gathered equipment for the spacewalk, charged batteries for the Russian Orlan suits they will wear and checked out systems in the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock. The spacewalk will be staged from Pirs.

This will be the 65th spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance and the 18th conducted from this airlock. This will be the sixth spacewalk in Vinogradov's career and the second for Williams.

The crew members will climb into their spacesuits next Tuesday to test their mobility and to handle tools they will use while conducting their work outside. Vinogradov and Williams shifted their wake and sleep cycles this week to match the hours they will work on June 1. They will enjoy some off-duty time this weekend before resuming spacewalk preparations on Monday, with final communications and systems checks on their suits.

During the spacewalk the crew will install a new hydrogen vent valve on the hull of the Zvezda Service Module to bypass a similar valve that is clogged. The vent valve is part of the Russian Elektron oxygen-generation system that separates oxygen and hydrogen from water in the device's plumbing unit. The oxygen is then circulated into the cabin atmosphere while hydrogen is released overboard.

The spacewalkers will also recover a thruster residue collection device from Zvezda, retrieve a contamination monitoring device and a package of biology experiments and reposition a cable for a navigation antenna on the aft end of Zvezda to be used next year for the unpiloted rendezvous and docking of the new European Automated Transfer Vehicle.

Williams will also replace a camera on the station's Mobile Base System railcar that moves up and down the truss of the complex.

A Mission Status Briefing to preview the spacewalk will be broadcast on NASA TV at 2 p.m. EDT May 30 with question-and-answer capability for reporters at agency centers. Coverage of the spacewalk on NASA TV begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT June 1.

On the maintenance front, Vinogradov finished replacing a gas analyzer device for the Russian carbon dioxide removal system, known as Vozdukh. It had been operating at a slightly decreased rate in cleansing carbon dioxide from the cabin atmosphere. Russian specialists reactivated the system following the installation of the new gas analyzer. Vozdukh is now operating normally.

As part of the Crew Earth Observations experiment, Williams snapped the first shots of the Cleveland volcano erupting on the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. From their perspective in orbit, astronauts have been the first to spot and confirm the volcanic eruptions on several occasions. This is the first early sighting of a new eruption in recent years.

On Tuesday, Williams discussed the progress of his mission with The Associated Press Television Network and conducted an amateur radio discussion with students at a school in Venice, Italy.

Williams began runs of an experiment, designated the Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions. The fluid physics experiment, last operated during Expedition 7, studies the behavior of fluids that change their properties when in a magnetic field. It obtains basic data on a new class of smart materials that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear and vibration damper systems. For experiment information, visit:

Williams also continued checking the camera for the ground-commanded Binary Colloidal Alloy Test, or BCAT-3 activity. The EarthKAM camera and equipment is taking time-lapse photography once every hour of BCAT sample 3. BCAT-3 uses small particles called colloids to study fundamental physics. It gathers data that may provide insight into a wide range of applications, from the development of new pharmaceuticals to new rocket engines. NASA's payload operations team at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., coordinates U.S. science activities on the station.

The next station status report will be issued in the early morning hours on June 2, following the spacewalk, or earlier if events warrant. For information about crew activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-025

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Posted (edited)

June 2, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

(202) 358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

(281) 483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-026

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-026

The residents of the International Space Station ventured outside their orbital home Thursday night to conduct a 6-hour, 31-minute spacewalk to repair, retrieve and replace hardware on the U.S. and Russian segments of the complex.

Clad in Russian Orlan spacesuits, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA Flight Engineer and Science Officer Jeff Williams opened the hatch to the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock at 6:48 p.m. EDT to begin the 65th spacewalk devoted to station assembly and maintenance. It was the sixth spacewalk for Vinogradov and the second for Williams. The spacewalk began as the station flew 220 miles over southern Asia.

After setting up tools and tethers outside Pirs, Vinogradov and Williams used the telescoping boom, designated Strela, attached to the airlock to transport them to the forward area of the Zvezda Service Module that connects to the Zarya Module. There, Vinogradov installed a new nozzle to a valve that helps vent hydrogen into space from the Elektron oxygen-generator in Zvezda. Elektron uses the process of electrolysis to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water in the system. Oxygen is circulated into the cabin atmosphere while hydrogen is vented overboard. An existing nozzle on the hull of Zvezda used for that purpose had become clogged, reducing Elektron's efficiency, forcing Elektron to use the same vent line currently employed by a contamination monitoring device.

Two weeks ago, Vinogradov rigged a vent line inside Zvezda as the precursor to the installation of the new vent valve nozzle on the exterior of the module. The refurbished Elektron is scheduled to be reactivated on Monday.

Next, the two moved to the aft end of Zvezda where they took pictures of one of several antennas designed to provide navigational information for the unpiloted docking of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), scheduled to make its maiden flight next year. Russian engineers suspect the antenna's cable may have prevented a cover on one of Zvezda's reboost engines from opening during an aborted test firing earlier this year.

Later, Vinogradov took up cable slack from another ATV navigation antenna and took pictures for technicians to study.

While on the Russian segment of the station Vinogradov removed a device called Kromka from Zvezda's hull has collected jet thruster residue while Williams retrieved the third in a series of three canisters from the outside of Pirs in an experiment called Biorisk that studied the effect of the space environment on microorganisms. Both Kromka and Biorisk were brought inside and will be returned to Earth.

Williams also collected a contamination monitoring unit from Pirs and returned it to the cabin for later analysis.

With the crew slightly behind schedule, a decision was made to extend the maximum time for the spacewalk. Following that decision, control of the spacewalk was handed from the Russian flight control team at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow to the U.S. flight control team at Mission Control, Houston, as planned.

Vinogradov and Williams maneuvered themselves on the Strela to the juncture of the Russian and U.S. segments of the outpost, and then moved to the station's truss. They removed a video camera on the Mobile Base System that sits upon a rail car that moves up and down the truss to position the station's robotic arm for assembly work. They replaced the camera that failed in February 2005 with a new one.

Russian flight controllers reassumed responsibility for the spacewalk as Vinogradov and Williams used Strela to move back to the Pirs Docking Compartment. They re-entered the station and closed the hatch at 1:19 a.m. EDT to conclude their excursion.

The crew will reactivate station systems early this morning and open up the internal hatches between the U.S. and Russian segments before beginning a sleep period that will extend into Friday afternoon. Vinogradov and Williams will enjoy a few days of relaxation through early next week.

The next station status report will be issued Friday, June 9. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-026

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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June 9, 2006
Allard Beutel

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-4769

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-027

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-027

The International Space Station crew wrapped up its week with post-spacewalk tasks and began to turn their focus toward the arrival of a Progress supply spacecraft and preparations for Discovery's upcoming shuttle mission, designated STS-121.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams had a busy weekend with closeout tasks and station configurations after the spacewalk last week. They finished the cleanup and stowage of the Orlan spacesuits and related tools.

The crew members enjoyed light duty days on Monday and Tuesday, resting up after the extended spacewalk and its follow up activities. They resumed a normal work and sleep schedule Wednesday. Another off-duty day for the crew is scheduled for Monday.

The crew attempted to reactivate the Russian Elektron oxygen-generating system this week following the replacement of its external hydrogen vent valve during the June 1 spacewalk. After several attempts, the Elektron began operating but failed about seven hours later. Vinogradov checked the vent lines associated with the refurbishment effort during the spacewalk and they appeared to be clear and operating normally.

Another attempt to restart Elektron earlier today proved unsuccessful, leading Russian specialists to believe that the problem is due to a failed power unit. A spare unit was located by Vinogradov and will be installed on Sunday. The crew members have at least a week of oxygen available in the cabin atmosphere before they would need to use supplies out of the ISS Progress 21 cargo ship tanks. The Elektron problem has had no impact on station operations and ample alternate supplies of oxygen are available.

This afternoon, the ISS Progress 21 thrusters were used to boost the station by a little less than one mile, placing the complex at the correct altitude for the launch and docking of the next cargo vehicle, ISS Progress 22.

That supply spacecraft is scheduled to launch June 24 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and will dock to the station on June 26 at the Pirs docking compartment port, which currently houses the older ISS Progress 20. It will be jettisoned on June 19 to make way for the new cargo vehicle.

Other work this week included some final spacewalk tool stowage tasks and the reconfiguration of the station's systems, including the communications system in the Russian Zvezda Service Module and the Pirs airlock.

The crew conducted a successful communications test with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Calif., and White Sands Test Facility, N.M., ground sites and performed routine emergency fire drill training. They also inspected portable breathing apparatus and fire extinguishers.

Williams participated in two amateur radio sessions, the first with the Salt Brook Elementary School in New Providence, N.J., and a second with the Scarlett Middle School, a 2004 NASA Explorer School in Ann Arbor, Mich. Both crew members participated in an in-flight interview with the Web site team associated with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Williams, who also serves as the NASA's station science officer, ran a session of two colloid experiments: Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions or InSpace and Binary Colloidal Alloy Test or BCAT. Vinogradov worked with two Russian life science experiments – URAGAN, which is a ground and space based system for predicting natural and manmade disasters, and DIATOMEA, an ocean observations program.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, June 16, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-027

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June 16, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-028

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-028

The International Space Station crew this week prepared for the exchange of unpiloted Progress cargo carriers and for the next shuttle mission, which will deliver an additional crew member.

Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams will welcome European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, giving the station a third crew member for the first time since May 2003. Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch to the station no earlier than July 1.

Discovery will bring equipment and supplies to the station, much of it in the multi-purpose logistics module known as Leonardo. The Italian-built pressurized transporter will be taken from Discovery's cargo bay and attached to the station's Unity module, where it will be unloaded and later refilled with equipment, experiment results, other items and trash for return to Earth.

On Wednesday, Vinogradov and Williams trained for a photo session during Discovery's predocking maneuver. The orbiter does a back flip near the station to expose its belly to camera-wielding station crew members. The images are sent to Earth for examination to check for any damage to thermal protection tiles. Crew members also spent some time this week packing material for return to Earth on Discovery.

Both crew members worked to pack ISS Progress 20 with trash to get ready for its June 19 undocking, deorbit and incineration in the Earth's atmosphere. They continued to use oxygen from its tanks for the station's atmosphere. They closed the hatch and performed a leak check Friday.

The crew also tested the Toru manual docking system. It would be used in the unlikely event the Kurs automated docking system is unable to bring ISS Progress 22 to the Pirs docking port. The new Progress is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome June 24 and dock with the station June 26. It will carry about 2.5 tons of equipment and supplies.

Vinogradov and Williams had a day off on Monday, Russian Independence Day. Tuesday activities included disassembly of the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test experiment hardware, replacement of an avionics inlet fitting on the Crew Health Care System rack in the Destiny laboratory and work on noise reduction around the Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal system. Also on Tuesday, Williams, a Wisconsin native, took time to talk with a reporter from WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wis.

On Wednesday Vinogradov replaced interior panels and relocated smoke detectors in the Zvezda service module. Thursday work included a recharge of the station's defibrillator while Friday saw work with the microgravity science glovebox and stowage of the InSPACE, also known as Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions experiment.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, June 23. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-028

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June 23, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-029

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-029

The International Space Station crew this week bid farewell to one cargo craft and prepared for the arrival of another. The crew also continued to prepare for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which is set for launch July 1.

On Monday, Pavel Vinogradov and Jeff Williams watched as the ISS Progress 20 cargo vehicle automatically backed away from the station's Pirs docking port, making room for the next one's arrival. The new Progress is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 11:08 a.m. EDT June 24 and dock to the station at about 12:30 p.m. EDT June 26. It will bring about 2.5 tons of equipment and supplies to the orbiting outpost.

Vinogradov took a refresher course on the Toru manual docking system Monday. Vinogradov would use the system to guide the cargo craft in the event its primary automated docking system did not function properly.

Throughout the week the station crew also prepared for Discovery's anticipated arrival. On Tuesday, Vinogradov and Williams reviewed the timeline of activities for the shuttle mission and held a conference with mission experts on the ground. On Friday, the crew continued to prepare U.S. spacesuits that will be used during the shuttle visit.

They also continued to pack equipment that will be returned to Earth on Discovery. On Wednesday, Williams installed the centerline berthing camera system in a window of the station's Unity connecting module. The camera view will assist with the attachment of a pressurized logistics module named Leonardo, which will be carried aboard Discovery to that module's port. The Leonardo module will be attached to Unity for unloading and reloading during the mission. It will be loaded in Discovery's cargo bay for the trip home.

Also on Wednesday, Vinogradov worked with the Russian experiment that studies self-propagating combustion materials. The investigation looks at mechanisms for forming high-porosity, heat-resistant, thermal insulating materials for spacecraft.

Williams spent more than three hours Thursday on station robotic arm activities, first training with a simulation program on a laptop computer and then exercising the arm itself. Supported by flight controllers on the ground, he moved the Canadarm2 in much the same way he will during Discovery's visit. He left it parked in position for Discovery's arrival.

While Williams worked with the robotic arm, flight controllers noted elevated spin motor command currents and vibrations on one of the station's four control moment gyroscopes, "CMG 3." The indications returned to normal several hours later, and the gyroscope has continued to perform normally.

The next station status report will be issued on Saturday, June 24 following the ISS Progress 22's launch. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-029

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June 26, 2006
Katherine Trinidad

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-3749

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-030

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-030

New supplies arrived at the International Space Station Monday as an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft linked up to the station's Pirs Docking Compartment.

Filled with 2.5 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the station's Expedition 13 crew, the ISS Progress 22 automatically docked at 12:25 p.m. EDT as the spacecraft and the station sailed 220 miles above northern Africa. The 22nd Progress to visit the station was launched Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams will open the hatch to the supply ship once leak checks are completed later Monday. The crew will begin unloading items Tuesday.

The supplies include oxygen and air, clothing, experiment hardware and spare parts, as well as personal items from the crew's families. The new Progress joins an older Progress supply ship that arrived at the station's Zvezda Service Module in April. Progress 21 will remain docked until mid-September. It will be used to stow trash, and its supply of oxygen will help replenish the station's atmosphere when required.

ISS Progress 22 holds 1,918 pounds of propellant for the Russian thrusters, 108 pounds of oxygen and air as a backup supply for the oxygen generated by the Russian Elektron system and 264 pounds of water to augment onboard supplies. The new cargo also includes 2,800 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and life support components.

The experiment hardware includes items that will be used by European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter once he arrives via the Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-121 mission. This flight will return the station to three crew members for the first time since 2003.

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

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-030

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June 30, 2006
Joe Pally

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-7239

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-031

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-031

The Expedition 13 crew welcomed a Russian resupply ship this week and prepared for the arrival of Space Shuttle Discovery.

Discovery’s launch is scheduled for 3:49 p.m. EDT Saturday. Discovery's STS-121 mission will return the station to three crew members for the first time since 2003, when European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter joins crew members Jeff Williams, flight engineer and Pavel Vinogradov, commander.

To get ready for STS-121 spacewalks, the crew flushed cooling loops in the Quest airlock and U.S. spacesuits, configured airlock systems and tools and reviewed robotic arm procedures. They checked out a ship-to-ship communications system that will be used for conversations with Discovery's crew during rendezvous and disconnected the station’s Common Cabin Air Assembly heat exchanger. That device will be returned to Earth aboard Discovery along with other equipment in the Italian-built Leonardo Multipurpose Logistics Module. Discovery will use Leonardo to bring about 5,000 pounds of supplies to the station.

The crew also completed a mid-mission session of the renal stone experiment by collecting urine samples and logging all of the food and drinks consumed over a three-day period. Each crewmember is taking either potassium citrate, a drug found to be useful in preventing kidney stone formation on Earth, or a placebo. Crews in space are at risk for kidney stones because of their loss of bone density.

ISS Progress 22, the unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft, brought 2.5 tons of fresh produce, other foodstuffs, food, fuel and supplies to the station on June 26. After the cargo ship was fully connected with station systems, flight controllers in Moscow completed a routine thruster test, and Vinogradov removed its Kurs automated rendezvous hardware.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, July 7, or after the STS-121 mission.

For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

www.nasa.gov/home

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-031

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July 21, 2006
Grey Hautaluoma

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-0688

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-034

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-034

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:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

www.nasa.gov/home

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-034

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July 28, 2006
Grey Hautaluoma

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-0688

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-035

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-035

The International Space Station's Expedition 13 crew members are a week away from their first U.S. spacewalk. They spent much of this week preparing themselves and their gear, and they activated a new laboratory super deep-freezer.

Astronauts Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter will leave the station's Quest airlock hatch at 9:55 a.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 3, for a spacewalk that is scheduled for six hours, 20 minutes. Station Commander Pavel Vinogradov will serve as the spacewalk choreographer from inside the complex. NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 9 a.m. EDT.

Williams and Reiter are both experienced spacewalkers. They will install a device to measure the electrical field around the station's exterior; replace a rotary joint motor controller and a computer for a radiator on the station's truss; deploy two experiments that expose samples of various materials to space for extended periods; and install various other hardware on the station.

To get ready, the crew prepared spacesuits and tools, conducted a dry run of egress and ingress procedures, and moved the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm into position. The arm's cameras will provide television views of the spacewalk.

This week the crew also began operations of the new Minus Eighty-degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS. The equipment can reach temperatures as low as minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Provided by the European Space Agency, the freezer was delivered on shuttle mission STS-121 earlier this month and is installed in the Destiny laboratory. It has 300 liters (about 79 gallons) of freezing and storage capacity in four compartments for experiment samples to preserve them for return to Earth.

On Tuesday, Russian flight controllers fired thrusters on the Progress supply ship docked to the aft end of the station to boost the station's altitude. They raised the complex to an orbit of 219 by 203 statute miles. The adjustment optimizes conditions for a docking by the Space Shuttle Atlantis, targeted for a launch window that begins Aug. 27, and by the station's next crew, Expedition 14, set for launch in mid-September on a Russian Soyuz rocket.

The next station status report will be issued on Thursday, Aug. 3 after the spacewalk. For more information about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

www.nasa.gov/station

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-035

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Aug. 3, 2006
Grey Hautaluoma

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-0688

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-036

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-036

Space station crewmen Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter worked quickly through scheduled spacewalk tasks Thursday, then completed three get-ahead jobs, or extra tasks, and were ready for more. Mission Control assigned two more jobs, which the astronauts also completed.

Williams and Reiter wrapped up their productive 5-hour, 54-minute excursion and began repressurizing the Quest airlock at 3:58 p.m. EDT. The astronauts left the airlock in U.S. spacesuits at 9:04 a.m. EDT. Station Commander Pavel Vinogradov helped them with spacewalk preparations and getting into their suits. It was the first time in more than three years a third crewmember had been available for those tasks on the orbiting laboratory.

Williams, designated lead spacewalker, or EV1, wore the U.S. spacesuit with red stripes. Reiter, EV2, wore the all-white suit.

Astronaut Steve Bowen acted as spacewalk intravehicular officer and coached the astronauts from the International Space Station Flight Control Room in Houston's Mission Control Center. Williams and Reiter quickly got ahead of their timeline. First, they installed the Floating Potential Measurement Unit. The device measures the electrical potential of the station so procedures can be devised to minimize arcing hazards, or the jumping of current from a conductor to a ground, as the station grows.

Their second job was to install two containers for MISSE, the Materials on International Space Station Experiment. The suitcase-like containers are left open to evaluate the long-term effects of space exposure on a variety of materials. The idea is to identify optimal materials for use in future spacecraft. MISSE 3 went on one of the high-pressure tanks around the crew lock, while MISSE 4 was installed on Quest's outboard end.

The two astronauts then went on to separate jobs. Williams installed a controller for a thermal radiator rotary joint on the S1 truss, while Reiter replaced a computer on the truss.

Williams then began installing a starboard jumper and spool positioning device (SPD) on the S1 truss. Reiter inspected a radiator beam valve module SPD site where one device was already installed and installed an additional one. He then moved on to install a SPD on a port cooling line jumper. The jumpers are designed to improve the flow of ammonia through the radiators once that coolant is installed.

Williams began setup for the final major scheduled task, a test of an infrared camera designed to detect damage in a shuttle's reinforced carbon carbon (RCC) thermal protection. The camera highlights damage by showing variations in temperature between clean and damaged RCC test sections. Reiter operated the experiment while Williams went on to one of the additional tasks.

The first task was installation of a light on the truss railway handcart to help future spacewalkers. Williams then removed a malfunctioning GPS antenna. After Reiter finished the infrared camera experiment, he installed a vacuum system valve on the U.S. laboratory Destiny for future scientific experiments.

Mission control came up with additional tasks. Williams moved two articulating portable foot restraints to prepare for STS-115 spacewalks and then photographed a scratch on the airlock hatch. Reiter went to PMA1, a pressurized "corridor," to retrieve and inspect a ball stack, which holds hardware during spacewalks. The crew also had additional time throughout the spacewalk to photograph the worksites after their tasks were complete and then snap pictures of each other at the end. With no more quick tasks to add, the spacewalkers re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch early.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, Aug. 11, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

www.nasa.gov/station

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-036

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August 11, 2006
Allard Beutel

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-4769

James Hartsfield

Johnson Space Center, Houston

281-483-5111

STATUS REPORT: SS06-037

International Space Station Status Report: SS06-037

This week on the International Space Station crew members refurbished their exercise treadmill, prepared areas inside and out for an imminent expansion of their home and took a couple of special calls to discuss soccer and food in space.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams and European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter are gearing up for the second space shuttle visit to the station during Expedition 13. The shuttle Atlantis, targeted to launch in a window that opens Aug. 27, will resume major orbital construction of the complex. During its mission, designated STS-115, Atlantis will deliver and install a 17.5-ton, bus-sized segment of the station's girder-like truss that includes another set of solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics.

The station crew started out the week with two days of standard maintenance work on the treadmill vibration isolation system, a special exercise treadmill located on the floor of the Zvezda living quarters module. Crews perform the maintenance task every six months to inspect the treadmill's components, replace worn items and install new bearings. The treadmill is a complex system that uses gyroscopes to stabilize itself and isolates the vibrations created by exercise from being transmitted to the station's structure, where they could disturb sensitive experiments. Extensive exercise is a daily regimen for all station crew members as one method of counteracting the effects of long exposure to weightlessness.

The crew had time set aside each day this week to pack up and prepare items that will be moved from the station to the shuttle during Atlantis' flight. In addition, ground controllers worked with the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to prepare for the upcoming shuttle flight.

On Thursday, they moved the arm to position cameras to view markings on the station used for a graphical computer alignment aid when new components are attached. That aid, called the space vision system, will be used during Atlantis' flight to help with the attachment of the new truss section.

On Friday, controllers moved the arm to perform an early checkout of its systems, ensuring it is ready for the shuttle mission

The station crew greeted special guest calls this week. On Tuesday, the coach and players from the FC Barcelona soccer team talked with the crew as they visited NASA's Johnson Space Center prior to an exhibition game in Houston. Reiter, a soccer fan, showed the team a space soccer move during the call. On Thursday, the crew members spoke with Chef Emeril Lagasse about space food and their mission. Lagasse sent NASA several recipes that were prepared and delivered to the station aboard the last shuttle flight. The Expedition 13 crew tried the dishes this week.

The next station status report will be issued on Friday, Aug. 18, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

www.nasa.gov/station

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Source: NASA - ISS Status 06-037

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