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EXP 6 Status Report #03-12



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #03-12 
4 p.m. CST, Friday, March 21, 2003 
Expedition Six Crew

Expedition 6 crewmembers on the International Space Station this week
continued science investigations and made repairs and upgrades to their
orbital home. They also studied plans for the second spacewalk of their
mission. 

Commander Ken Bowersox and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit on Monday
installed a new Pump Package Assembly (PPA) in the Moderate Temperature
Control Loop (MTL) of the Destiny Laboratoryís Thermal Control System,
which provides cooling for the stationís avionics control boxes. The old
pump had failed the previous day. The new pump was started Tuesday but
one of its check valves stuck open. Thursday, the crew and flight control
team worked together to reseat that check valve, get the PPA running, and
verify the MTL for operation. Cooling for the Labís systems was provided
through the TCSís Low Temperature Loop during the interim. 

While the Americans were installing the new pump Monday, Flight Engineer
Nikolai Budarin upgraded the Russian computer systemís control software.
Wednesday, the crew helped ground controllers respond to a
computer-commanded power down of many station systems and science
equipment. After the Russian computer system was rebooted, a Russian
terminal computer in the Zvezda module was unable to communicate with
U.S. Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) computer #2, which was in
control at the time. When the two computers couldnít talk because of the
ongoing software transition, a routine handover of station attitude
control to the Russian segment was not possible. This prompted U.S.
computers to begin powering down non-critical systems. Flight controllers
in Houston restarted all systems within hours, station attitude control
was never lost an there was no damage to any station system. The trio
also started reviewing a timeline for the second spacewalk of their tour
of duty, now scheduled for April 8. Bowersox and Pettit, who conducted
the first spacewalk of the mission on Jan. 15, are preparing for another
excursion to several sites along the stationís Integrated Truss Structure
where theyíll reconfigure power connections, release a light stanchion on
one of the Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) carts, provide a second
power source for one of the stationís control moment gyroscopes, and
secure thermal covers on quick disconnect fittings for the stationís
thermal control system. This will be the 51st spacewalk in support of
station assembly, the 26th to originate from the station itself. 

After weeks of careful troubleshooting for the cause of a power failure
in the Microgravity Science Glovebox, an inquiry board from the European
Space Agency has approved a return to normal operation for the experiment
facility in the Destiny Laboratory. The apparatus, which provides a
controlled environment for microgravity science experiments involving
fluid, fumes and flames, has been inoperative since the failure of two
power-control boxes in late November. Repaired components were installed
in early February, but after being restarted the MSG exhibited signs
similar to those seen just prior to its failure late last year. Since
then, Pettit has worked with the Payload Operations Center at NASAís
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and ESA specialists to
complete a detailed series of tests, and they have uncovered no failures
or unusual current draws. Next week, MSG will be fully powered and
evaluated, and then could be cleared for full operation. Tuesday morning,
Bowersox and Pettit talked about the goals of their mission and their
progress in achieving them with WISH-TV in Indianapolis (Bowersox is from
nearby Bedford, Ind.) and Pettitís hometown newspaper, the Silverton
(Ore.) Appeal-Tribune. 

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://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/ 

The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, March 28, or sooner
if events warrant. 

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