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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-3



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #04-3
2 p.m. CST, Monday, Jan. 12, 2004
Expedition 8 Crew

With the help of Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer 
Alexander Kaleri, flight controllers traced the apparent cause of a tiny 
pressure decay on the International Space Station Sunday to a braided 
flex hose that is part of the window system in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory.

After extensive pressure checks on Saturday and Sunday in the Russian 
Progress resupply ship, the Pirs Docking Compartment, the Soyuz return 
vehicle and the U.S. Quest Airlock revealed no leaks, the crew used an 
ultrasound leak detector device for a second time at the Lab window, and 
detected an audible hissing noise emanating from the flex hose. That 
hose is hooked up to quick disconnect devices as part of a system 
designed to vent into space any condensation between the panes of glass 
to maintain the window’s optically pristine quality.

Foale said he couldn’t hear any hissing noise from the flex hose during 
a previous leak check last week because of other ambient noise generated 
by operating payload racks in Destiny. Sunday, those racks were shut 
down for a short time and the hissing noise was obvious. Foale reported 
that as soon as the flex hose was disconnected, the noise stopped. While 
additional evaluation is needed for confirmation, the pressure in the 
Station appears to have stabilized since the removal of the flex hose.

Although the leak may now be fixed, flight controllers are planning to 
ask the crew to close several hatches aboard the station this weekend, 
dividing the complex into three sections to allow further leak checks 
and to gather additional baseline data on normal air pressure 
fluctuations in portions of the Station. Flight controllers will monitor 
the pressure in each section during the weekend to gather air pressure 
data. All of the hatches are planned to be reopened Sunday night. The 
isolated sections will include the U.S. Destiny Lab; the Zarya Control 
Module, Quest Airlock and Unity Node; and the Zvezda Service Module, 
Pirs Docking Compartment, Soyuz rescue vehicle and Progress resupply 
vehicle. While the hatches are closed, the crew will remain in the 
section that includes the Zvezda living quarters module. To prepare, 
they will begin moving some additional equipment into the living 
quarters on Friday. Foale normally sleeps in the Destiny Lab while 
Kaleri normally sleeps in Zvezda.

Foale and Kaleri repaired the Russian Elektron oxygen generation system 
today and are scheduled to press ahead with repairs to the Vozdukh 
carbon dioxide removal system in the next week or so. In preparation for 
the Elektron repair work, the pressure in the ISS was increased late 
Sunday to about 14.2 pounds per square inch, using remaining oxygen in 
the Progress resupply ship tanks. The Progress will be discarded in 
about two weeks in advance of the launch of a new resupply vehicle on 
Jan. 29 carrying food, fuel and supplies for the crew.

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 later this week as events 
warrant.


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