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ISS STATUS REPORT #50



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 15:32:36 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov

 
2002
Report #50 
4 p.m. CST, Friday, Nov. 8, 2002 
Expedition 5 Crew 

All six people living aboard the International Space Station have started
packing up for their return to Earth. The visiting "taxi crew" will be
coming home tomorrow after delivering a new crew return capsule and
performing a host of experiments, and the Expedition 5 crew, which has
been on orbit for nearly five months, will return aboard the space
shuttle later this month.
 
The week started out with Expedition 5 Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS
Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev making
sure station systems are ready to support installation of the next piece
of the orbiting outpost's truss structure. They performed a final
checkout of the Mobile Transporter, Canadarm2, the Quest airlock, and the
spacewalk tools and equipment that already are on board. After those
activities were complete, they began pre-packing items that will come
home with them aboard Endeavour, which is set to launch with a
replacement crew between 11 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday CST.  
 
Once the Port One (P1)1 truss is installed, the Expedition 5 crew will
hand over control of the station to Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox
and Flight Engineers Nikolai Budarin and Don Pettit and return home with
Endeavour's crew – Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart and
Mission Specialists Mike Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington.
 
The visiting taxi crew – Commander Sergei Zalyotin, European Space
Agency Flight Engineer Frank DeWinne from Belgium and Russian Flight
Engineer Yuri Lonchakov – will undock from the station at 2:41 p.m.
CST on Saturday. Zalyotin will fire the Soyuz deorbit engines at 5:10
p.m., bringing his crew in for a landing on the Kazakh steppes at 6:04
p.m. 
 
The taxi crew, which rode into orbit aboard an upgraded Soyuz TMA capsule
with more legroom and more modern cockpit controls, displays and
computers, will ride home in the older Soyuz TM-34 return vehicle that
has been at the station since April. A fresh Soyuz is delivered to the
ISS every six months to provide an assured return capability for station
residents in the unlikely event they would need to come home early.
 
During their eight-day stay on the station, the taxi crew conducted a
host of medical, protein crystal growth and materials processing
experiments. With DeWinne leading the investigations, the crew looked at
human physiology in microgravity and how crystals grow and alloys form
inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox in the Destiny Laboratory
module.
 
Flight controllers in Houston are troubleshooting with the Carbon Dioxide
Removal Assembly in the Destiny lab. CDRA is a system of absorption beds,
tubing and valves that remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
after it is expelled during breathing and vents it overboard. Two of six
valves appear to be malfunctioning, causing the system to shut down
several hours after it is started. The system supplements the station's
Russian Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal system when more than three
crewmembers are on board. 
 
Troubleshooters have confirmed that a recent lab systems software update
is not the cause of the problems, and they are refining their activation
procedures to try to support the upcoming shuttle and Expedition 6 crews
with CDRA using additional ground commanding. Lithium hydroxide
canisters, which absorb carbon dioxide through a chemical process, may
also be used to supplement the primary system; one canister was used
during some of the CDRA troubleshooting activities.
 
The Elektron unit that generates oxygen by separating the oxygen and
hydrogen atoms from water molecules also is not working properly. Korzun
and Treschev conducted troubleshooting activities this week and are
scheduled to replace the unit's liquid electrolysis module on Sunday.
Additional oxygen is available in the Progress vehicle docked to the aft
end of Zvezda. Oxygen and nitrogen also are available in tanks attached
to the Quest airlock. Oxygen also is available from Russian oxygen
generating "candles." 
 
Saturday's departure of the taxi crew will set the stage for the launch
of the shuttle Endeavour. The crew arrived at the Kennedy Space Center
last night, and the launch countdown began today. Endeavour will take the
1 truss structure and additional resupply items, as well as two
replacement valves for the station's CDRA system to the ISS.  The
three-pound aluminum replacement valves are about 5 by 9 by 6 inches, and
look like valves in a home air conditioning system.
 
Information on the crew's activities, 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 Saturday, Nov. 9, after
undocking of the Soyuz.
- -end-
 

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