Space Station (ISS) Status 12/02/05
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, the NASA station science officer, worked with the Human
Research Facility 2, setting up a refrigerated centrifuge for
biological samples for future experiments. He also conducted
experiments with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3. It 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.
McArthur also inspected samples for the InSPACE magnetic materials
experiment. The investigation studies the physics of magnetic
particles in a fluid to gain insight into the processes used in many
electromechanical applications on Earth. McArthur also repaired a
trace contaminant monitor in the Destiny Lab. The monitor measures
the amount of gases in the cabin air. He replaced thermal fuses and
will activate and check the device next week.
During the week, the crew performed a variety of maintenance
activities, labeled fire ports in the Unity Node, conducted an
inventory of water containers and performed 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.
Tokarev worked with the docked Progress resupply spacecraft and
repressurized the station atmosphere using oxygen from the craft. The
Elektron oxygen generation system in the Zvezda Service Module was
intentionally shut down last week to use the oxygen from the
Tokarev continued unpacking the craft and loading it with unneeded
gear. Propellant from the Progress tanks was transferred to station
tanks on the Zarya module. Both crew members completed routine
medical officer proficiency training.
Station managers are evaluating a proposal from Russian engineers to
delay the scheduled Dec. 20 Progress undocking. The proposal would
leave the Progress attached to the station longer, allowing the crew
additional time to use it for trash disposal and to use its oxygen
supply. Regardless of whether the Progress is docked or undocked,
launch and docking of the next Progress is Dec. 21 and Dec. 23. The
new Progress will deliver food, water, fuel, air and holiday gifts
for the crew. It will be the 20th Progress to go to the station.