9 a.m. CST, Friday, Dec. 9, 2005
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
International Space Station Status Report #05-60
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 the changeout of cargo vehicles at the complex.
On Monday, McArthur finished repairing an atmospheric contaminant monitor, called a Volatile Organic Analyzer (VOA), in the Destiny Lab. He replaced thermal fuses in the device, which measures amounts of gases in the cabin air. He is scheduled to replace a circulation fan for the rack the unit is housed in on Friday. He will activate and check the apparatus next week.
In the Russian segment, the crewmembers performed routine cleaning of the smoke detectors in the Zarya module. Tokarev repaired air ducts to improve airflow into the U.S. segment. In addition, Tokarev installed an adjustable fan with mufflers in the sleeping quarters to reduce the amount of noise the fan produces.
McArthur recorded a brief explanation of the space station's solar panels as part of NASA's educational programs. The curriculum-based activities in space by the crew are planned to 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 will be incorporated into educational products that NASA will make available for use in classrooms.
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 on the outside of the complex during the next space shuttle mission.
Both crewmembers spent time this week rounding up unneeded equipment and trash for disposal in the ISS Progress 19 cargo craft now docked to the aft port of the Zvezda module. They also removed the Progress vehicle’s Kurs automatic docking system. The unit will be returned to Earth for refurbishment and reuse.
Station managers are reviewing a proposed change in the plan to undock the Progress Dec. 20. The new plan would leave the Progress attached to the station for a few more months, allowing the crew additional time to use it for trash disposal and to use up its oxygen and fuel supplies.
The next cargo vehicle, ISS Progress 20, launches Dec. 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. If the new plan is approved, Progress 20 would dock to the Pirs Docking Compartment Dec. 23. It will bring almost three tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and holiday gifts to the outpost.
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. 16, or earlier, if events warrant.
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