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ISS Crew Returns to Normal Workload




    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC


Crew Returns to Normal Workload;Pressure Decay Investigation Continues


Expedition 8 Commander Michael Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander 
Kaleri returned to their regular workload aboard the International Space 
Station on Wednesday as flight controllers continued the investigation 
into the slight decay of Station air pressure. The crew used ultrasound 
equipment Tuesday to detect the source of a tiny decay in air pressure, 
which was first noted two weeks ago. Foale reported that he and Kaleri 
could not locate the origin of the minute pressure loss. The pressure on 
the ISS has stabilized over the last 24 hours with no further decay 
detected by sensors and other atmospheric monitoring equipment. The ISS 
is operating in excellent shape with the slight pressure decay posing no 
concern.

Kaleri will perform a leak check Friday on the Vozdukh carbon dioxide 
removal system in the Zvezda Service Module 
</station/assembly/elements/sm/index.html>. Russian officials have 
identified Vozdukh as a potential candidate for the tiny pressure loss. 
The Vozdukh vents carbon dioxide into the vacuum of space through a 
series of valves and has a tendency to develop small leaks over the 
passage of time. An Elektron oxygen-generation unit in Zvezda which 
operates separately from Vozdukh failed last week and will be replaced 
by a spare component next week.

Wednesday's activities included Foale and Kaleri conducting a simulated 
fire drill exercise. Foale also performed routine maintenance on the 
ISS' Resistive Exercise Device, and Kaleri took observations for a 
Russian ocean research program. Kaleri also took time to observe the 
Orthodox Christmas, which was celebrated Wednesday in Russia.




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