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NASA HSF News Digest V1 #136

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 15:48:04 -0600 (CST)
Subject: International Space Station Status Report #53

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 

Nearing the end of their third week on orbit, the crewmembers of the
sixth expedition to the International Space Station have dug in to the
agenda of scientific research laid out for their four-month tour of duty.

Early this week Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin,
and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit completed the first of three
rounds of sample collection for a Human Life Sciences experiment looking
into the risk of kidney stone formation in astronauts during extended
spaceflights.  The investigation, developed by Peggy Whitson before her
assignment on the Expedition 5 crew, tests whether the use of potassium
citrate, which has been used successfully to combat kidney stones in
people on Earth, decreases the occurrence of stone formation in
astronauts during long periods in a microgravity environment.  This week
Bowersox, Budarin and Pettit also finished their first monthly session
with an apparatus that measures pulmonary function, gathering data on
possible adverse impacts from being in zero-g or in the lower-than-normal
atmospheric pressure inside a spacesuit during a spacewalk.

On Thursday Pettit completed a scheduled monthly check of the GASMAP
equipment in the Human Research Facility rack.   The Gas Analyzer System
for Metabolic Physiology analyzes gases in a crewmember's breath so
flight surgeons can assess aerobic capacity; it also measures cardiac
output and lung volume and efficiency.

Flight control teams in Houston and Moscow continue to work on
rescheduling the increment's only planned spacewalk, which was postponed
this week.  The spacewalk by Bowersox and Budarin, which includes tasks
to continue outfitting the station's new P1 Truss but is not
time-critical, is being considered for late January.

The station's Expedition 5 crewmembers—Commander Valery Korzun,
NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson, and Flight Engineer Sergei
Treschev—completed their 185-day spaceflight Dec. 7 when the space
shuttle Endeavour and its crew, after waiting out three days of poor
weather, landed at Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour delivered Expedition 6
and the P1 Truss during its two-week mission.  Korzun, Whitson and
Treschev returned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston Monday to
continue their physical rehabilitation after six months in

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:


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:


The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Dec. 20, or sooner
if events warrant.


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