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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-12



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #04-12*
*2 p.m. CST, Friday, March 5, 2004*
*Expedition 8 Crew*

Expedition 8 Commander Michael Foale today reestablished a vacuum 
between the Destiny Laboratory’s science window’s two panes of 
optical-quality glass. The window work was associated with continuing 
repairs following a small pressure leak detected on the International 
Space Station in January.

Foale, with help from Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, completed a 
procedure to remove any condensation that might have accumulated between 
the glass panes during removal a damaged flex hose used to keep the area 
between the window panes at vacuum. The procedure began about 9:20 a.m. 
CST, and was complete by noon. The final remaining steps in the repairs 
are construction of a cover to protect the hose against inadvertent 
contact and installation of a new jumper hose that was delivered by the 
resupply ship Progress 13.

Kaleri continued to troubleshoot intermittent failures of the Elektron 
oxygen generation system in the Zvezda service module. That system, 
which pulls oxygen from water, is one of several mechanisms used to 
provide breathing air. Today, Kaleri and flight controllers in Moscow 
restarted the system repeatedly in an effort to eliminate bubbles in the 
system. While repairs are ongoing, the Station’s atmosphere has been 
repressurized using oxygen from the Progress spacecraft. 
Oxygen-generating canisters also are available, but are not being used 
at this time.

The first part of the week consisted of time off and light duty for 
Foale and Kaleri after last week’s first-ever two-person spacewalk 
without a crew member inside the Station. The pair completed almost 
three-quarters of the tasks planned before Kaleri reported that drops of 
water were beginning to form inside his helmet visor and that his suit 
temperature was a little warm. After cutting short the spacewalk, the 
pair quickly detected a kink in one of the tubes in Kaleri's liquid 
cooling garment. The kink was straightened out and water began to flow 
normally.

The crew also worked with several science experiments, notably the 
PromISS protein crystal growth experiment. Wednesday, they stowed the 
experiment sample in the Aquarius incubator after a successful 30-day 
growth cycle.

In Thursday’s regularly scheduled ISS Mission Management Team meeting, 
U.S. and Russian managers discussed the status of a minute pressure 
decay in the two helium systems that pressurize the Soyuz 7 vehicle’s 
propellant tanks and lines. The pressure decay was first noted on System 
2 when the Soyuz arrived at the Station in October, and was confirmed on 
System 1 during a thruster test in preparation for last week’s 
spacewalk. Russian flight controllers have concluded that the decay 
poses no concern. The decay was extremely small and there are no plans 
to change normal entry and landing procedures.

Meanwhile, flight controllers in Houston reported seeing slight 
momentary increases in electrical current and vibration readings from 
one of the Station's Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMG) earlier this week. 
The readings were seen on CMG 3, one of three operating CMGs on the 
Station, following normal steps taken as part of a Station altitude 
reboost performed Tuesday using thrusters on the docked Progress cargo 
craft. All three CMGs continue to function well now with normal current 
indications, although flight controllers continue to evaluate the 
readings seen in recent CMG operations. Powered by electricity generated 
by the Station's solar arrays, the CMGs provide continuous orientation 
control of the Station without using the Station's limited fuel supply.

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 Friday, March 12, or earlier 
if events warrant.

- END -



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