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ISS EXP 6 REPORT #03-13



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #03-13 
4 p.m. CST, Friday, March 28, 2003 
Expedition Six Crew

Expedition 6 crewmembers are finishing their 18th week on the
International Space Station, preparing for a second spacewalk and for
their return to Earth in a Russian spacecraft in May. Commander Ken
Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer
Don Pettit spent the week advancing their science agenda and getting a
major experiment apparatus, the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox (MSG),
working again after weeks of troubleshooting an electrical problem. 

The MSG, which provides a sealed environment for delicate microgravity
experiments that involve fluids or flames, completed a long-duration test
run this week and has been cleared for normal operation beginning Monday.
First up: the experiment known as InSpace (Investigating the Structure of
Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions), studying how particles
and clumps of particles respond to an external magnetic field. This
experiment is a step to the future production of improved fluids used in
braking and vibration damping systems, and for new applications like
seismic dampers to make high-rise buildings more resistant to
earthquakes. The MSG was built in collaboration by the European Space
Agency and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., the
site of the ISS Payload Operations Center. 

On-board preparations continued this week for this crew’s second
spacewalk with a checkout of tools to be used by Bowersox and Pettit on a
6½-hour spacewalk on the morning of April 8. Completing the tasks planned
on this EVA—including reconfiguring power connections, providing a second
power source for one of the station’s control moment gyroscopes, securing
thermal covers on quick disconnect fittings for the station’s thermal
control system, and releasing a light stanchion on one of the Crew and
Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) carts—will reduce the likelihood of
calling upon the two-man Expedition 7 crew to make a spacewalk. The early
April excursion will be the 51st spacewalk in support of station
assembly, the 26th to originate from the station itself. 

Crewmembers are devoting more time to planning for their return to Earth
in the Soyuz-TMA spacecraft now docked to the Russian Docking
Compartment. They reviewed procedures this week and will consult on
deorbit procedures with ground specialists next week. The crewmembers
downlinked video of the interior of the Soyuz craft while describing
their preparations for a landing in Kazakhstan in early May, made
necessary by the grounding of the space shuttle fleet after the loss of
Columbia on Feb. 1. On Wednesday Pettit used the station’s amateur radio
to talk to students about the ISS science mission. He answered questions
from students at the Higashi Kaneko Junior High School in Japan's Iruma
District, and from students at the primary school of Selnica-ob-Dravi
(Selnica on the Drava) in the Republic of Slovenia. On Thursday Pettit
was joined by Bowersox and Budarin in responding to questions from middle
school students at the Region 12 Education Service Center in Waco, Texas.


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, April 4, or sooner
if events warrant.


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