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International Space Station Status Report
4 p.m. CDT Wednesday, December 17, 2007
Expedition 16 Crew

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Credit: NASA

Station Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan Tani have moved into the Quest Airlock to begin the overnight “camp out”? before the 100th spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly and maintenance. During the spacewalk, scheduled to begin about 6 a.m. EST Tuesday, Whitson and Tani will inspect the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) and the Beta Gimbal Assembly (BGA). The SARJ and BGA have been temporarily locked in place while the solar arrays still produce power.

Whitson and Tani are doing the Quest camp out to purge nitrogen from their bloodstreams and avoid decompression sickness in the pure-oxygen atmosphere of their spacesuits. Earlier on Monday, the Expedition 16 crew members tagged up with ground specialists at mission control to review spacewalk procedures.

Kirk Shireman, station program deputy manager called the spacewalk a “fact-finding mission.”? The spacewalkers will report back to ground controllers what they find and return a trundle assembly back inside the station. Specialists on the ground will use the results to determine how to restore the starboard solar array’s sun-tracking capability.

A move of the Mobile Transporter to worksite 4 in the center of the station’s truss from worksite 7 to provide its usual micrometeoroid debris protection was postponed Friday after station cameras detected what appeared to be a piece of insulation on the truss track. Flight controllers continue to analyze the situation.

Upcoming missions to the International Space Station include the launch of STS-122 and the delivery of the Columbus laboratory no earlier than Jan. 10. Also, the first part of Japan’s laboratory, Kibo, is scheduled for launch on space shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-123 in February.

For more about the crew’s activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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