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ISS STATUS REPORT #03-65




Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #03-65
2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2003
Expedition 8 Crew

The Expedition 8 crew had a busy three days of science and International 
Space Station maintenance activities before beginning to wind down 
Wednesday afternoon for a Christmas day off. Mike Foale, commander and 
NASA ISS science officer, and Alexander Kaleri, the flight engineer, 
also showed off their Christmas preparations to viewers on Earth.

On Wednesday, the crew's 68th day in space, Kaleri spent some time 
working with the Russian air conditioning system. He had replaced a 
filter for condensate water on Tuesday. When the air conditioner was 
restarted sensors indicated tanks to which the water is supposed to flow 
were full. Kaleri had established water flow through the new filter by 
Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile Foale spent more than three hours gathering and organizing 
clothing, some of it from previous crews, and stowing it in the 
Station's Unity node.

Flight controllers in Moscow continue to monitor the oxygen-generating 
Elektron unit in Zvezda. The Elektron converts water to oxygen, for the 
Station's atmosphere, and hydrogen, which is vented overboard. The 
Elektron had shut down several times, apparently because air had gotten 
into pumps that help separate liquid and gas. The unit was operating 
normally Wednesday afternoon.

Foale and Kaleri talked with reporters from KNX Radio in Los Angeles and 
National Public Radio on Tuesday. Representatives of both asked about 
Christmas on the International Space Station. Foale and Kaleri showed 
the interviewers their two Christmas trees, one embroidered on a blanket 
and the other a small artificial tree.

The crew also shared their plans for the holiday in a video sent down to 
Houston's Mission Control Center and shown on NASA television. They 
filmed and talked about decorations, including their Christmas trees, 
and stockings with gifts sent up long in advance. Foale and Kaleri will 
have Christmas Day off, with only minimal tasks and physical exercise 
scheduled. They are scheduled to visit with their families in private 
two-way videoconferences.

On Monday, after a quiet weekend, Foale did troubleshooting involving 
the Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation (PFMI) experiment. A circuit 
breaker tripped earlier this month when the experiment was in the 
Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). Foale removed the MSG's thermal 
chamber and sent down video and descriptions of what he saw. Engineers 
in Houston are working on a fix for a binding gear in the chamber. Both 
crewmembers spent more than two hours doing an Inventory Management 
System audit and sorting items for disposal on the unpiloted Progress 
cargo spacecraft docked to the back of the Zvezda Service Module. Both 
crewmembers began Monday with medical experiments involving body mass 
and calf volume measurements.

Tuesday morning Kaleri set up three acoustic dosimeters in Zvezda to 
take sound level measurements for 16 hours. He also did troubleshooting 
on an antenna for a Russian satellite navigation system. Foale spent 
several hours working with the Fluid Dynamics Investigation on the 
Cellular Biotechnology Support System. The investigation and the system 
are designed to grow cell cultures in three dimensions.

People in many U.S. cities will have an opportunity to see the 
International Space Station as it flies overhead during the next several 
days. 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 Jan. 2, or sooner if events 
warrant.




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