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Station Computer Inspection Continues

"Yurchikhin and Kotov worked on the Russian computers during the past week, visually inspecting and photographing cables and connectors on the command processing unit."
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Jul 09, 2007
Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Clay Anderson this week finished preparing their spacesuits for a planned July 23 spacewalk. Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov also continued evaluating the computers on the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

During the U.S. spacewalk, Yurchikhin and Anderson will jettison a support post for an exterior video camera and a 1,400-pound, refrigerator-sized tank that is no longer needed. The tank, known as the Early Ammonia Servicer, was designed to replenish ammonia to the temporary cooling system on the station in the event of a coolant leak.

The spacewalkers also will replace a faulty Remote Power Control Module to restore backup power to the station's Mobile Transporter railcar, which is needed for the space shuttle STS-118 mission. Other tasks include cleaning the Unity node's nadir Common Berthing Mechanism seals for the relocation of Pressurized Mating Adapter-3. PMA-3 must be moved before the station's Harmony node arrives on shuttle mission STS-120, which is targeted for late October.

Yurchikhin and Kotov worked on the Russian computers during the past week, visually inspecting and photographing cables and connectors on the command processing unit. Although there is no conclusive evidence of what caused the problems during shuttle Atlantis' visit last month, the inspections did yield some valuable information. The voltage readings on cables and connectors for the secondary power system appeared normal with the exception of one relay. Also, some corrosion was found on a second connector and a third was discolored. Troubleshooting continues.

In addition, the crew and flight controllers completed software upgrades this week for computers on the U.S. and Russian segments. The upgrades to the U.S. computers will allow the addition of the Harmony node, the European Space Agency's Columbus module and the Japanese Kibo Experiment Module during upcoming shuttle flights.

Plans are proceeding for the launch of the next Russian cargo ship, the ISS Progress 26, which will deliver to the station new computers, equipment, food, fuel, water and other supplies. Launch is scheduled for Aug. 2, with docking planned on Aug. 5.

Also this week, Anderson discussed the progress of his mission and life aboard the station during an educational in-flight event with students at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences in Charleston, W.Va.

earlier related report
After the departure of the space shuttle Atlantis, Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov returned to their daily operations aboard the International Space Station this week, while newly arrived Flight Engineer Clay Anderson began conducting scientific experiments.

Atlantis landed in California June 22 after delivering a new starboard truss segment and a set of solar arrays to the station. Returning on the shuttle was Sunita Williams, who lived and worked aboard the orbiting complex for six months. Anderson succeeded Williams on the station and arrived with the Atlantis crew on June 10.

Anderson performed his first Saturday Science activity on June 23, showing younger television viewers how Newton's laws apply to sports activities, even in the microgravity of space.

On Monday, Anderson began work with a nutrition experiment. He collected blood and urine samples and began logging all of the food and drinks he consumed. The experiment tracks many vitamins and minerals essential for good health. It is the most comprehensive in-flight study to date of human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight. Also, Anderson and Kotov did a medical emergency exercise, and Yurchikhin replaced one of three transmitters on the Russian Regul communications system.

The crew inspected the lights and power systems and performed a routine examination of the windows on the Russian Zvezda service module on Tuesday.

Wednesday was filled with science. Each crew member completed medical tests and periodic fitness evaluations, and worked with a variety of Russian experiments. Kotov spent about two hours using a multimeter to do resistance checks on the computer system in the Zvezda service module. The two major computer systems there continue to function well, with two of three "lanes," or data paths, of each system operating.

Anderson wore an acoustic dosimeter on Thursday to check station noise levels. He also worked with the Microgravity Science Glovebox in an unsuccessful effort to complete a leak check. Troubleshooting continues. Yurchikhin and Kotov spent more than two hours with the Russian Profilaktika experiment, which looks at measures to counteract the long-term effects of microgravity. Yurchikhin also worked with the Matryoshka radiation detection experiment and Kotov inventoried medical equipment inventory.

On Friday, Anderson did a routine cleaning of spacesuit cooling loops. Yurchikhin and Kotov worked in the Russian segment, replacing current converter units in the Zarya module.

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International Space Station Provides Classroom for Students Around the World
Houston TX (SPX) Jun 29, 2007
Imagine a classroom project to build training hardware for astronauts. Or growing plants on the International Space Station. Or snapping photographs from space. For more than six years, the space station -- where crews perform experiments 220 miles above Earth -- has become a base for an integral part of school curriculums around the world.

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