Noon CST, Friday, Dec. 2, 2005
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
International Space Station Status Report #05-59
In the third month of a six-month mission, the International Space Station Expedition 12 crew worked this week on science experiments, maintenance and the setup of hardware for future activities.
After a light duty weekend, Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev began the week with science tasks.
McArthur, who serves as the NASA science officer, worked extensively with the Human Research Facility 2, setting up a refrigerated centrifuge that will house biological samples for future experiments. He also conducted experiments with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3). The experiment uses small particles known as colloids to study fundamental physics, gathering data that may provide insight useful for a wide range of applications from the development of new pharmaceuticals to new rocket engines. He also inspected samples for the InSPACE magnetic materials experiment. The investigation studies the physics of magnetic particles in a fluid to gain insight into processes used in many electromechanical applications on Earth.
McArthur also repaired a trace contaminant monitor in the Destiny Lab. He replaced thermal fuses on the device, which measures amounts of gases in the cabin air. He will activate and check out the device next week.
During the week, the crew performed a variety of maintenance activities, labeling fire ports in the Unity Node, conducting an inventory of water containers and performing preventative maintenance on a ventilation system in the Russian segment. McArthur took time out to talk to students at two schools via amateur radio, the Hawthorne Brook Middle School in Townsend, Mass., and the Ralph McCall School in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada.
Both crewmembers completed routine medical officer proficiency training.
Tokarev worked with the docked Progress resupply craft, repressurizing the station atmosphere using Progress 19 oxygen. The Elektron oxygen generation system in the Zvezda Service Module was intentionally shut down last week to allow oxygen from the Progress to be used. Tokarev continued unpacking the craft and reloading it with unneeded gear. Propellant from the Progress tanks was transferred to station tanks on the Zarya module.
Station managers are evaluating a proposal from Russian engineers to delay the undocking of the ISS Progress 19 cargo ship. The undocking is scheduled for Dec. 20. The proposal would leave the Progress attached to the station for a longer time, allowing the crew additional time to use it for trash disposal and to use its oxygen supply. Regardless of whether the ISS Progress 19 is docked or undocked, launch and docking of the next Progress craft, ISS Progress 20, remains set for Dec. 21 and Dec. 23, respectively. The new Progress will bring supplies of food, water, fuel and air to the station as well as holiday gifts for the crew.
Information on the crew's activities aboard the station, future launch dates, as well as station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at: http://www.nasa.gov/station
The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Dec. 9, or earlier if events warrant.
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