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ISS STATUS REPORT 04-10




    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC


*International Space Station Status Report #04-10*
*4 p.m. CST, Friday, February 20, 2004*
*Expedition 8 Crew*

All systems remain “go” for the only planned spacewalk by the 
International Space Station’s Expedition 8 crewmembers. Commander Mike 
Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, who observed the four-month 
anniversary of their launch to the Space Station on Wednesday, finished 
up a long list of tasks this week to be ready for a spacewalk to be 
staged from the Pirs Docking Compartment Thursday, Feb. 26, starting at 
3 p.m. CST. NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 2 
p.m. CST.

This week, the crewmembers worked closely with specialists at the 
Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, near Moscow, as they unpacked 
their Russian Orlan spacesuits, tested them, demonstrated their ability 
to enter the Soyuz spacecraft from Pirs while wearing the suits, and 
completed a thorough review of the spacewalk plan. Foale and Kaleri are 
now shifting their daily schedule to maximize communications with 
Russian flight controllers through Russian ground stations during 
Thursday’s excursion.

The tasks planned during the five and a half hour long spacewalk include 
the retrieval of a set of retroreflectors from the aft end of the Zvezda 
Service Module. Retrieval of the retroreflectors will assist the 
preparation of navigational data for next year’s maiden arrival of a new 
European supply ship. While outside the Station, the spacewalkers also 
will deploy an experiment test bed designed to study the radiation 
environment and change sample packages in a Japanese materials exposure 
experiment. They also will change sample packages in a Russian apparatus 
that is used to study the residue created from Station thruster firings.

All systems on board the Station are in good condition, including the 
Elektron air-generating system, which was shut down for part of the 
week. The Elektron separates oxygen out of water to supply breathing air 
for the Station crewmembers. It shut off unexpectedly on Tuesday. After 
evaluation, the Elektron was restarted Friday morning and has been 
running fine since. Spare parts for Elektron are on board ISS along with 
other plentiful backup sources of oxygen for the crew if required.

This week, Russian specialists positively identified a piece of debris 
seen floating by the Station’s port side on Sunday. Photographs taken by 
Foale and Kaleri through a window in the Zvezda module showed a bolt and 
an accompanying washer. From a part number that was visible in the 
picture, the items were identified as coming from a mechanism that held 
the Progress ship’s starboard solar array in place during launch. Those 
items, which served no purpose after the array was deployed prior to its 
arrival at ISS, drifted slowly away from the Station and pose no danger. 
Russian specialists are studying how to prevent similar bolts on other 
ships from coming loose in the future. Plans described in prior reports 
for Foale to vent residual condensation from the inner panes of the main 
window in the Destiny laboratory module last weekend were put on hold 
due to spacewalk preparations. Venting that moisture, and installing a 
new flex hose to prevent condensate buildup between those panes in the 
future, is expected to be assigned to the crew’s task list in early March.

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 Feb. 26, after the spacewalk, 
or sooner if events warrant.

###




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