ISS crew prepares for Atlantis visit

August 14, 2006
The International Space Station

Refurbishing an exercise treadmill and preparing for a facility expansion highlighted activities aboard the International Space Station last week.

NASA said ISS commander Pavel Vinogradov, flight engineer Jeff Williams and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter are preparing for the second space shuttle visit to the station during Expedition 13.

The shuttle Atlantis, scheduled to launch during a window that opens Aug. 27, will resume major orbital construction of the complex. Atlantis is set to deliver and install a 17.5-ton, bus-sized segment of the station's girder-like truss that includes another set of solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics.

The station crew spent two days last week performing standard maintenance work on the special exercise treadmill located on the floor of the Zvezda living quarters module. Crews perform the maintenance task every six months to inspect the treadmill's components, replace worn items and install new bearings.

The treadmill uses gyroscopes to stabilize itself and isolates the vibrations created by exercise from being transmitted to the station's structure, where they could disturb sensitive experiments. Extensive exercise is a daily regimen for station crew members as one method of counteracting the effects of long exposure to weightlessness.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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