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2002 ISS Status Report #1

--------- Forwarded message ----------

2002 Report # 1 
 2 p.m. CST, Friday, Jan. 4, 2002  
 Expedition Four Crew 
 The International Space Station's Expedition Four crew began a new year
in space this week conducting a variety of experiments, testing new
techniques with the station's robotic arm and beginning to prepare for a
spacewalk planned later this month.

Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch
observed a quiet New Year's holiday in orbit, spending time relaxing and
communicating with family and friends. Later in the week, work resumed as
the crew operated two experiments that study astronauts' reactions to
weightlessness. Walz and Bursch both participated in the H-Reflex
experiment, a study that gauges the effects of weightlessness on spinal
cord excitability and reflexes, and the Pulmonary Function experiment, a
study of the effects of space flight and space walks on lung function.

Bursch and Walz had an opportunity to train in the operation of the
station's robotic arm, the Canadarm2, while maneuvering the arm on
Thursday to latch on to fixtures on the exterior of the station. In
addition to providing training for the crew, the arm operations tested a
new technique being developed to alleviate tension that has been seen as
the arm releases its latch on a fixture. The tests provided valuable data
for engineers on the ground developing those techniques, and similar
tests may be repeated later in the mission.

The crew members have virtually completed unpacking and stowing the more
than three tons of supplies and equipment brought to the station with
them aboard the space shuttle in early December. Their attention next
week will turn to an upcoming milestone for their flight -- the first of
two planned this month and as many as four spacewalks that are planned
during their five-month stay aboard the station. Walz and Onufrienko are
planned to conduct a spacewalk for up to six hours tentatively beginning
at about 2:50 p.m. CST Jan. 14. This weekend, the crew will begin
shifting their sleep period later to adjust for the timing of the
upcoming spacewalk, and, next week, checkouts will begin of the
spacesuits and spacewalking gear that will be used for the work outside.

The spacewalk will use Russian Orlan space suits and originate from the
Russian Pirs docking compartment airlock. Onufrienko and Walz will
reposition an exterior Russian strela cargo crane from the station's
pressurized mating adapter 1 to the station's Zarya module, moving it
within reach of a similar crane on the Pirs compartment. The move will
allow the cranes to be used in tandem to maneuver equipment on the
station's exterior during future space walks.

For the latest information on the crew's activities 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:

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. Details of 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. 11, 2002.

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