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ISS STATUS REPORT #33



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR - N1ORC


International Space Station Status Report #02-33 
4 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 26, 2002 
Expedition Five Crew

Commander Valery Korzun, Astronaut Peggy Whitson and Cosmonaut Sergei
Treschev passed 50 days in space aboard the International Space Station
this week, conducting scientific research, maintenance work, educational
demonstrations and hometown news interviews. 

Microgravity research included a session with the semiconductor
crystal-growing experiment known as Solidification Using a Baffle in
Sealed Ampoules, or SUBSA. Whitson set up and activated the experiment in
the Microgravity Science Glovebox inside the Destiny laboratory. In the
experiment, semiconductor samples are heated to their melting point and
allowed to cool and solidify. Whitson downlinked television pictures of
the experiment, which thanks to a transparent furnace design allowed
scientists to see the solidification of indium antimonide crystals in
space for the first time. The objective is to develop techniques for
making larger, purer semiconductors for a variety of computer and
electronics applications on Earth. 

Whitson also took electronic images of soybean plants growing in the
Advanced Astroculture experiment package, which scientists on the ground
used to confirm that the plants have begun to flower. Scientists hope to
develop soybeans with improved oil, protein, or carbohydrate content as a
result of this research, which will feature the first seed-to-seed grown
of soybeans on orbit. 

All three crewmembers worked with biological experiments associated with
their upcoming spacewalks on Aug. 16 and 23. They took turns blowing into
a tube attached to sensitive instruments on the Pulmonary Function in
Flight, or PuFF, experiment, which looks at the effects of spacewalks and
long-duration spaceflight on human lung function. They also took
background radiation readings that will help to calibrate readings from
sensors that will be placed in pockets on the liquid cooling underwear
they'll use during the spacewalks. 

Korzun and Whitson will make the first foray out of the Russian Pirs
docking compartment and airlock to install panels designed to protect the
Zvezda living quarters from space debris, as well as a new set of Russian
materials samples to be exposed to the rarified atmosphere of atomic
oxygen at the station's altitude of 242 statute miles. Korzun and
Treschev will make the second excursion, installing similar samples in a
Japanese experiment and two additional amateur radio antennas. 

The workweek began with removal and replacement of remote power converter
modules in the Quest airlock. The modules had been exhibiting signs of
malfunction, and although recoverable, these signs led engineers on the
ground to recommend their replacement. Korzun and Whitson completed the
swap, and flight controllers in Houston confirmed that the new units
appear to be working properly. The older units will be returned to Earth
for detailed inspection and analysis. 

Mission Control also followed up on repair work on the Carbon Dioxide
Removal Assembly by Korzun and Whitson. The pair had replaced one of two
absorbent beds for the system last week. On Tuesday, flight controllers
attempted to activate the replacement bed, which contains Zeolite
crystals to absorb the excess carbon dioxide breathed out by the crew.
But the replacement bed showed signs of leakage similar to that seen from
the original bed, but at a lower rate. Life support systems engineers on
the ground suspect there may be another leak elsewhere in the CDRA that
was not corrected by the bed replacement, but are still studying the data
and considering further options. They verified that the system can still
function properly with just one bed in operation. In the meantime,
scrubbers in the station's Russian segment continue to provide all of the
carbon dioxide removal required by the Expedition 5 crew and visiting
taxi crews. 

On Thursday, the crew reported hearing "clattering" noises as they ran or
walked in place on the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System. As a result,
exercise on that equipment was suspended. Instead, the station
inhabitants will use a variety of other stationary bicycles and resistive
exercise devices to maintain their cardiovascular health and muscle tone.
Treadmill experts on the ground are working to replicate the problem on a
duplicate TVIS so that they can design an effective repair. 

A full-up fire drill and checkout of emergency equipment such as fire
extinguishers and portable breathing apparatus made sure that Korzun,
Whitson and Treschev are ready to respond in the unlikely event of a fire
inside the station. 

The crew wrapped up its work week filming demonstrations for Toys in
Space, an educational outreach project intended to inspire students to
study science, engineering and mathematics so that they can become the
next generation of space explorers. They operated toys, such as yo-yos,
gyroscopes, soccer balls and a miniature hockey game, documenting the way
the toys react in microgravity. 

Russian officials conducted routine Progress thruster manifold tests in
preparation for a reboost of the International Space Station about 11
a.m. CDT Aug. 1. The reboost will put the station at the best altitude to
welcome the next unpiloted Russian Progress supply spacecraft and Soyuz
crew return vehicle in September and October. 

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future
launch dates, as well as station sighting opportunities from anywhere on
the Earth, is available on the Internet at: 

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov 

Details on station science operations can be found on an Internet site
administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at: 

http://www.scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov 

The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Aug. 2, or sooner if
events warrant. 


### 


 

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