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 laboratory.