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ISS STATUS REPORT #03-61



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #03-61 
2 p.m. CST Friday, November 28, 2003 
Expedition 8 Crew

The two-person crew living on the International Space Station celebrated
the Thanksgiving holiday, tested a modified configuration for an exercise
machine and worked on science experiments this week. 

Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri
enjoyed a day off Thursday for the holiday, listening to music, watching
movies and eating a Thanksgiving chicken and rice dinner. NASA
Administrator Sean O’Keefe placed a phone call to the crewmembers to wish
them well. 

On Monday, the crew ran on the exercise treadmill without its Vibration
Isolation and Stabilization (VIS) system activated. U.S. and Russian
engineers wanted to gather data about what kind of vibrations would occur
when using the treadmill without the VIS activated. After analyzing the
data, engineers gave the okay for the crew to resume using the treadmill
over the weekend in this modified configuration. The work-around is in
response to a gyroscope failure in the VIS that continues to be
investigated by engineers. 

On Wednesday, the crew heard a metallic noise during morning activities
in the Russian Zvezda Service Module. Foale said it was a sound similar
to shaking a thin sheet of metal so that it bent concave and then convex.
All Station systems were checked by ground controllers and found to be
operating normally. Exterior television cameras on the robotic arm and
the Station truss were used to inspect the exterior of Zvezda and nothing
unusual was identified. 

In support of microgravity science experiments, Foale set up video
cameras inside the Destiny laboratory to document the Fluid Dynamics
Investigation. This experiment is being conducted to help improve the use
of the Cellular Biotechnology Operational Support System (CBOSS), which
grows human tissue cells in a unique three-dimensional form in
microgravity. The CBOSS provides an unprecedented environment for
research on various types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and AIDS. 

Friday, Foale installed equipment in the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox
for the Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI). This experiment
studies how bubbles form in metal and crystal samples, thus deteriorating
the samples’ strength and usefulness in experiments. Investigators will
watch a transparent material melt and observe how the bubbles form and
interact. 

This week, Foale completed final alterations to an instrumented suit for
the Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Spaceflight (FOOT) experiment. The
Lower Extremity Monitoring Suit (LEMS), a customized pair of Lycra
cycling tights outfitted with 20 sensors, will measure forces on Foale’s
feet and joints and gauge his muscle activity while completing his normal
activities in the Station. Foale will wear the shorts next week. The
experiment's researchers hope to learn more about the reasons for bone
and muscle loss by astronauts in orbit, insight that may lead to better
countermeasures. 

The next ISS status report will be issued Dec. 5, or sooner if events
warrant. 

-end- 


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