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ARISS Information Update



All,

We are starting to get some direction on what will happen on ISS over the 
next few months and how this will affect the ARISS program.  What I 
describe to you is very tentative.  Things continue to be very dynamic as 
the Columbia accident investigation unfolds.

As you have probably seen in the press, the current crew of three is 
scheduled to return to Earth using the Soyuz return vehicle that is 
currently docked on ISS.  This is expected to occur around May 
3.  Expedition 7 will consist of a crew of two.  They will be launched on 
the Soyuz rescue vehicle that will stay at ISS for the next 6 months.  It 
is my understanding that they are launching a crew of two to save 
consumables (food and water) but to keep the ISS operational.  It is not 
clear who will be part of the ISS Expedition 7 crew.  What we do know is 
that we expect there to be one US astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut 
on-board.  One option is to fly Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko on Expedition 
7.  This is the highest probable scenario, in my opinion.  But is not 
definite yet.

Pedro Duque, who planned to use the ARISS equipment on the upcoming Soyuz 
flight, will probably fly in the fall.

Despite the reduction in crew size, the ARISS team has been told that we 
will continue to perform 1-2 ARISS school group contacts a week.  Since 
most of the science investigations are uploaded to ISS using the Shuttle, 
there will be less science operations while the shuttle program is 
grounded.  This allows the opportunities for school contacts to remain the 
same.

As one would expect with the Shuttle grounded, consumables (food and water) 
are the highest priority items to be launched on Progress.  This means that 
the ARISS hardware that was planned to be flown this year will probably be 
delayed.  This includes the SSTV equipment, the Phase 2 hardware (Kenwood 
D700 and Yeasu FT-100 radios) and the Naval Academy PCSat2.  We are 
continuing in earnest to have this equipment ready for any upcoming flights.

Despite the significant operations changes on ISS, ARISS operations have 
fared quite well.  I strongly believe that we have fared well because we 
have continually conveyed a very conservative, realistic operations 
expectations throughout the very difficult and extensive ISS replan process.

I hope this helps explain where we are at this time.  As we get more 
information, we will share it with you.

73,

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS Chairman

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