Phone: (202) 358-5241
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Phone: (281) 483-5111
December 9, 2005
International Space Station Status Report: SS05-057
Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev focused on keeping the International Space Station in good working condition this week, as managers reviewed plans for changing cargo vehicles.
On Monday, McArthur replaced thermal fuses in a Volatile Organic Analyzer in the Destiny Lab. The device is an atmospheric contaminant monitor that measures the amount of gases in the cabin air. McArthur planned to replace a circulation fan today in the rack the unit is housed in; the apparatus will be activated and checked next week.
In the Russian Zarya module, the crew performed routine smoke detector cleaning. Tokarev repaired air ducts to improve airflow into the U.S. segment, and he installed mufflers on an adjustable fan in the sleeping quarters to reduce noise.
As part of NASA's education programs, McArthur recorded an explanation of the station's solar panels. The curriculum-based crew activities demonstrate the basic principles of science, math, physics, engineering and geography. The programs show students how familiar objects on Earth may behave differently in weightlessness. The videotaped session was down linked for use in classrooms and NASA educational products.
McArthur updated the operating software of the five racks designed to house science experiments in the Destiny lab. He also prepared the canisters of a materials exposure experiment for installation outside the station during the next space shuttle mission.
The crew spent time gathering unneeded equipment and trash for disposal in the Progress cargo spacecraft docked to the aft port of the Zvezda module. They removed the Progress’ Kurs automatic docking system for return to Earth for refurbishment and reuse.
Station managers are reviewing a proposed plan to keep the Progress docked a few more months. The extra time would allow the crew to use its oxygen and fuel and for additional trash disposal. The Progress is scheduled to undock Dec. 20.
The next Progress is set to launch Dec. 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will be the 20th Progress to dock with the station. If the Progress docked to the station remains in place, the new Progress will dock to the Pirs Docking Compartment on Dec. 23. It will deliver almost three tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and holiday gifts.
For information about crew activities, future launch dates and station sighting opportunities on the Web, visit:
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:
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