Living and Working in Space
The Space Shuttle system uses lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters to absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the cabin's air. The canisters have to be replaced periodically; for a 4 person crew every 24 hours, for a 7 member crew every 11 hours. Used LiOH canisters are stowed under the middeck floor.
Other housekeeping activities include the reading mail that arrives in the beginning of each work shift. All messages arrive at the Thermal Image Printer System (TIPS), where they are screened by one or two astronauts and distributed to the responsible person.
NASA uses the KU-band antenna for video and data downlink from the Space Shuttle to Mission Control. The KU-band antenna is deployed immediately after launch and during each orbit it is pointed towards the two TDRS satellites. After 24 hours of operation, the KU-band antenna has twisted 16 times around its own axis. To ensure proper function of the system, mission control requires the crew to "untwist" the antenna once a day.
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