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EXP 6 - ISS STATUS 2/14/2003



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #03-7 
4 p.m. CST, Friday, Feb. 14, 2003 
Expedition Six Crew

Approaching three months into their stay in space aboard the
International Space Station, the Expedition 6 crewmembers continued
unpacking newly arrived supplies this week, watched their home’s altitude
rise, held a news conference and operated the station’s robotic arm. 

A Russian Progress resupply ship arrived at the station last week
delivering a ton of food, fuel, clothing and other materials that should
sustain Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, and NASA
ISS Science Officer Don Pettit through at least the end of June, if
required. 

The Progress’ engines were used Tuesday to boost the altitude of the ISS
by about 6 miles to an average 248-mile orbit. This was the first of
three planned maneuvers to prepare the station for the arrival of a new
Soyuz return spacecraft in late April. During the reboost maneuver,
scientific accelerometers in the Destiny lab measured vibrations from the
engines to help scientists study how motion may affect delicate
microgravity experiments. 

Bowersox, Pettit and Budarin spoke with reporters gathered at various
NASA centers across the country in their first news conference since the
Columbia accident. Most questions focused on the crew’s reaction and
thoughts on Columbia’s astronauts and how the accident might affect their
mission. 

“We've had time to grieve our friends,” Bowersox said. “When you're up
here this long, you can't just bottle up your emotions and focus all the
time. It's important for us to acknowledge that the people on STS-107
were our friends and we had a connection with them and that we feel their
loss. Each of us had a chance to shed some tears. But now it's time to
move forward and we're doing that slowly. This press conference today is
a huge step that's helping us move along towards our normal objectives
and fulfilling our mission here.” 

Thursday, Bowersox and Pettit operated Canadarm2, the Space Station
Robotic Manipulator System. The activities helped maintain the crew’s
proficiency in using the Robotic Work Station in Destiny to control the
system as they performed checkout procedures to validate the arm’s
capabilities in space. 

Early this week, flight controllers noticed a slight decrease in the flow
of air through the Inter-Module Valve system between the various
components of the station. Bowersox and Pettit removed several fans in
the ductwork and cleaned lint and dust from the filters, significantly
increasing the airflow. 

Troubleshooting of the Microgravity Science Glovebox by specialists from
the European Space Agency and the Payload Operations Center at Marshall
Space Flight Center continues. Last week, a circuit breaker tripped when
Pettit installed replacement parts that arrived on the Progress. Pettit
powered down the equipment until the experts develop a plan for him to
implement on orbit. 

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, Feb. 21, or sooner,
if events warrant.

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