Flight Engineer Carl Walz worked with computer experts on the ground to install and activate a new solid state mass memory unit for one of the station's three main command and control computers, known by its acronym of "C&C1." It took Walz about two hours to remove the older mass memory unit, which used a spinning disk design, and another two hours for flight controllers on the ground to complete the reactivation of C&C1. Computer experts on the ground are continuing to evaluate data on the health of the computer, but expect to place it in the backup spot to the primary computer, C&C2, on Jan. 23. C&C2 had its mass memory unit upgraded earlier this month. The final new mass memory unit is to be installed in C&C3 on Feb. 1. In addition, flight controllers this week also installed new software in two guidance, navigation and control computers on the station.
Meanwhile, Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineer Dan Bursch continued preparations for the next spacewalk, scheduled for Jan. 25. This week, they replenished space suit consumables used by Onufrienko and Walz on Monday, dried out the suits and readied the hardware items they will install on the outer skin of the station. The spacewalk is expected to begin at 9:35 a.m. CST next Friday, and last about 5 1/2 hours. Onufrienko and Bursch will wear Russian Orlan spacesuits and exit the station through the Pirs module, which serves as a docking module and airlock. Walz will provide support inside, monitoring their progress and moving the robotic Canadarm 2 for television coverage of their activities. It will be the 33rd spacewalk in support of space station assembly, and the eighth conducted from the station itself.
The two space-age construction workers will install 11 different systems on the outside of the Zvezda Service Module, including six thruster plume deflectors, the second of four ham radio antennae, a replacement experiment for studying contaminating particles from control jets, and a physics experiment. The Efflux Protection Assembly deflectors are designed to redirect plumes from the jets that help control the station's orientation so that they do not leave potentially harmful residues on the outside of the station where spacewalkers must work. The suitcase-like Kromka 1 experiment will replace the existing Kromka 1-0 experiment package, placing new materials samples where they can collect contaminants from the thrusters for future analysis (the Kromka 1-0 samples will be bagged and returned to the station for delivery to Earth aboard a Soyuz return craft). The Platan-M package is a physics experiment designed to search for natural low-energy heavy nuclei of solar and galactic origin.
The amateur radio antenna is one of four that eventually will allow space station crew members to make "ham" radio contacts from the comfort of their living quarters inside Zvezda.
While crew members concentrated on construction and maintenance tasks, inside the Destiny Laboratory, a host of scientific experiments continued to collect information about the effects of long-term space flight on humans, biotechnology, medicine, agriculture, electronics and pharmaceutical compounds.