Space Station (ISS) Status 1/6/06
It was back to work this week for the Expedition 12 crew after a long
New Year's weekend that marked the halfway point in their six-month
stay aboard the station. Sunday is the crew's 100th day in space.
Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur conducted ham radio contacts
with schools during the week, and the crew unloaded cargo from the
Progress spacecraft that docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment December
23. The Progress that arrived in September is docked at the aft port
of the Zvezda Service Module. The crew uses its oxygen to replenish
the station's atmosphere. The Elektron oxygen generation system will
be activated next week after being deliberately shut off in
McArthur engaged in computer training for the Foot/Ground Reaction
Forces during Space Flight experiment this week. It measures activity
and pressure on the legs and feet of crew members while in
microgravity. Results will help scientists determine how
long-duration missions contribute to bone and muscle loss.
McArthur did a dry run to calibrate the experiment on Wednesday. He
also reconfigured power supplies to the station's computers. On
Thursday, he worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy experiment, which
looks at the behavior of fine particles suspended in a liquid in
microgravity. Paint, milk and ink are common examples of colloids.
Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev worked much of the week setting up the
"Matryoshka" radiation detection experiment. It measures crew
radiation level exposure. He set up detectors around the station and
spent time with a companion "Phantom" torso experiment, placing about
370 radiation detectors around the horizontally-sliced replica of the
upper part of a human body. He mounted the dummy torso in the Pirs
for data collection.
Throughout the week, the crew performed additional scientific
experiments, installed batteries in the U.S. spacesuits, exercised
and performed station maintenance.