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Fw: 2001 International Space Station Status Report #50


12 p.m. CST, Friday, Dec. 21, 2001 
Expedition Four Crew

Expedition Four Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Carl Walz
and Dan Bursch have completed their first week of independent operations
aboard the International Space Station.

Last Saturday, the three new station crewmembers bid farewell to their
predecessors, the Expedition Three crew, and the crew of Endeavour as the
shuttle undocked to begin its journey home. The Expedition Three crew of
Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer
Mikhail Tyurin returned to Earth on Monday and to Houston on Wednesday.
The three have begun several weeks of physical rehabilitation to help
their bodies readjust to the pull of Earth’s gravity

Aboard the station, Onufrienko, Bursch and Walz spent the week activating
science experiments, including a cell growth experiment used to study
colon and ovarian cancer cells and human kidney cells. They also
continued to familiarize themselves with their new home, unload the
Progress 6 cargo ship, and unpack equipment and supplies brought aboard

The crew will continue experiment work next week, and they will have a
day off on Christmas Day to observe the holiday. The station's food
stores include turkey and some other traditional holiday foods. The crew
also will observe a holiday on New Year's Day.

All International Space Station systems are currently operating well.
However, on Tuesday flight controllers noted that the Beta Gimbal
Assembly that rotates the port-side U.S. solar array experienced strain
on its electric motor and briefly stalled. The mechanism was restarted
quickly and has since been performing normally. The stall had no
significant impact on station operations and is similar to events seen
several times in the past. The Beta Gimbal Assemblies rotate the
station's arrays, allowing them to precisely track the sun, generating
the maximum possible power for the station.

During Endeavour's flight, thermal blankets were installed on both
assemblies to better insulate them in hopes of alleviating such problems.
Engineers have confidence the mechanisms will continue to operate, and
they are continuing to gather data from both the port and starboard
mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of the new insulation.

For the latest information on what the Expedition Four crew is doing
aboard the space station; future launch dates and times; as well as
station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, please visit
the Web at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/ 

Overall coordination of the research aboard the space station is the
responsibility of the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Human Research Facility is managed
by the Johnson Space Center. Details on station science operations can be
found on the Web at: http://www.scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov 

The next ISS status report will be issued Jan. 4, 2002.


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