SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
Crew Preps for Shuttle Launch
Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineers Mikhail
Tyurin and Thomas Reiter prepared this week for the planned arrival of
Space Shuttle Discovery which launches next week. The crew reviewed the
STS-116 mission plans, packed equipment to be returned to Earth, and
prepared the station's Quest airlock, spacesuits and spacewalking tools.
Reiter will be replaced aboard the station by astronaut Sunita Williams,
arriving on Discovery.
An attempted reboost of the space station’s altitude was cut short
Wednesday. The Progress cargo craft's thrusters fired for 3 minutes, 16
seconds before being automatically shut off. Russian flight controllers
suspect that sensitive software detected a slight shift in the
orientation of the station as the thrusters were fired. They are
scheduled to complete the reboost of the station on Monday.
Mission Control, Houston, has been analyzing a problem that occurred
during testing of a new software package used for commanding the
station's giant Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. The joint is used to rotate
the new solar arrays to track the sun. While running through the
software commands on Tuesday, a circuit breaker on the station opened.
The circuit breaker was successfully reset on Thursday and ground
controllers continued to refine the new software.
NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency have named two astronauts and
two cosmonauts to the next International Space Station crew, known as
Expedition 15. Astronauts Clayton Anderson and Daniel Tani will travel
to the station next year and work as flight engineers. Cosmonauts Fyodor
Yurchikhin and Dr. Oleg Kotov will spend six months aboard the orbiting