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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-8




    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC


    International Space Station Status Report #04-8
    4 p.m. CST, Friday, Feb. 6, 2004
    Expedition 8 Crew

    Aboard the International Space Station, Mike Foale and Alexander
    Kaleri of the Expedition 8 crew spent this week unpacking the first
    fresh supplies to arrive at the complex since they began their
    mission more than three and a half months ago.

    Expedition 8 Commander and NASA Science Officer Foale and Kaleri,
    the flight engineer, began unloading more than two and a half tons
    of supplies on Sunday, among them fresh food and clothes, spare
    parts and new experiments. The ISS Progress 13 cargo craft carrying
    the gear docked with the Station on Jan. 31.

    Shortly after a test of the docked Progress craft's thrusters on
    Thursday, Foale and Kaleri saw a single, small, thin strip of
    material floating away from the Station. Viewing and photographing
    it through a window in the Zvezda living quarters module, they said
    the item did not appear to represent any hazard. They described it
    as about 8-10 inches long, appearing to be made of a soft,
    non-metallic material and moving very slowly away from the Station.
    The item drifted out of sight after a few minutes. All systems
    aboard the Station continue to function normally, and flight
    controllers in the U.S. and Russia are confident it does not pose a
    concern for the complex. However, they are continuing to evaluate
    possible sources of the material.

    Also this week, Foale initiated an experiment in cell culture growth
    in weightlessness. The experiment, which grows cultures of yeast
    cells, arrived at the Station aboard the Progress craft and may
    provide insight to improve cell culture techniques of tissues on the
    ground and during future space experiments. The study is performed
    in conjunction with an investigator at Tulane University Medical
    Center.

    Foale and Kaleri took time out today to speak with some of more than
    700 teachers from around the world who are gathered in Houston. The
    teachers are attending the International Space Station Educators
    Conference to learn how they may use the excitement of space flight
    to motivate students in math and science. 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 on Friday, Feb. 13, or
    earlier, if events warrant.


    ###




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