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ISS Status Report #03-64



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC


International Space Station Status Report #03-64
4 p.m. CST, Friday, Dec. 19, 2003
Expedition 8 Crew

Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri 
spent their ninth week in space this week splitting time between systems 
maintenance, scientific work and some holiday decorating.

Foale did a leak check early this week of ventilation valves that are 
part of the hatchway between the Station's Unity connecting module and 
the U.S. Quest Airlock. The valves had been disassembled and reassembled 
earlier this year during troubleshooting by previous Station crews. For 
the check, the hatch between Quest and the rest of the Station was shut 
and the air pressure inside the airlock decreased by about five pounds 
per square inch. The hatch remained shut overnight so any leakage 
through the valves could be measured. No leakage was detected.

While Foale worked on the leak check, Kaleri began work to replace a 
faulty heat exchanger in the Zvezda living quarters module's air 
conditioning system. After removing the old unit, Kaleri had trouble 
aligning connections on the new exchanger and securing it. Russian 
flight controllers are evaluating the problem and may continue the work 
next week. The primary air conditioning system is operating well, and 
the replacement is for a backup system.

Russian flight controllers also have been monitoring operation of the 
Elektron unit in Zvezda, a system that recycles wastewater aboard the 
Station by converting it into oxygen for the Station atmosphere. The 
Elektron has been operating only intermittently, shutting down when air 
gets into pumps that help separate liquid and gas. The problem is 
believed to be one that is sometimes experienced as membranes in that 
unit age. A replacement is onboard, but flight controllers plan to 
continue operations as they are for as long as possible before using the 
new equipment.

Oxygen also is being provided to the cabin air from tanks aboard the 
Progress cargo craft that to the complex. The oxygen in those tanks must 
be used in the next few weeks to prepare for the undocking of that 
supply craft in January. With the Progress oxygen being used, continuous 
use of the Elektron is not necessary.

Foale and Kaleri took time out on Wednesday to mark the 100th 
anniversary of powered flight. They spoke with schoolchildren in North 
Carolina and Ohio, displaying a model of the Wright Flyer, flown by 
Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903. On Friday, the crew sent down 
Christmas greetings and displayed some of the presents from friends and 
families. The crew shared their plans for the holiday, showing off 
decorations, which include Christmas trees and stockings. Foale and 
Kaleri will have Christmas Day off, and will visit with their families 
via two-way videoconferences.

Also on Friday, Foale sent down data he has gathered as part of the 
Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Space Flight experiment, a study that 
gathers information on the loads experienced by Station crewmembers on 
their lower bodies and their muscle activity as they work. The 
information is gathered via an instrumented pair of pants worn by Foale. 
Earlier in the week, Foale removed a sample from the Pore Formation and 
Mobility Investigation experiment that had been in processing when a 
circuit breaker tripped, stopping the investigation. Troubleshooting of 
the experiment is planned next week.

People in many U.S. cities will have an opportunity to see the 
International Space Station as it flies overhead during the upcoming 
week. For detailed information on sighting opportunities for hundreds of 
cities, as well as viewing tips, visit:

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 Dec. 24, or sooner if events 
warrant.


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