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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington                      March 26, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-4769)


     The oxygen-producing Elektron unit aboard the Space 
Station continues to function well, as it has since it was 
restarted early last Saturday. Expedition 8 Commander Michael 
Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri spent two days 
last week replacing a liquids unit and a water flow system of 
the Russian Elektron, in the Zvezda Service Module. The 
Elektron separates water into oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen 
is used in the Station's atmosphere, while the hydrogen is 
vented over board. 

The Elektron had shut down repeatedly after only brief 
periods of operation during the past several weeks. In the 
meantime, the crew used oxygen and air from the Progress 
cargo vehicle docked at the Station to replenish the 
atmosphere, as well as Solid Fuel Oxygen Generation (SFOG) 
canisters. Each canister can supply the oxygen needs of one 
crewmember for one day. 

Thirteen SFOGs were used during the week before the Elektron 
was repaired and activated. More than 100 SFOGs remain on 
board, and two high-pressure tanks on the Station's Quest 
airlock contain a supply of oxygen that could last several 
months if needed.

With the Elektron running smoothly, Foale and Kaleri devoted 
much of the week to science activities. Kaleri tended the 
Rasteniya experiment, a greenhouse containing peas, designed 
to see how plants grow in a microgravity environment. Kaleri 
also did a test of the Russian TORU manual docking system, 
using the Station Progress 13 vehicle docked to Zvezda. That 
Progress will be undocked, and it will burn up in the Earth's 
atmosphere in mid-May, the day before a new Progress arrives 
with about two-and-a-half tons of equipment, supplies, water 
and fuel.

Foale worked with the Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG) 
experiment. It involves injecting honey into a water 
container to see how the two combine in weightlessness. He 
also worked with the Pore Formation and Mobility 
Investigation, melting a transparent material in the 
Microgravity Science Glovebox to observe the formation and 
interaction of bubbles in the material. The experiment could 
help in prevention of bubble formation during such processes, 
perhaps resulting in stronger materials. 

Foale also set up the hardware for the Binary Colloidal Alloy 
Test 3 (BCAT-3) experiment. BCAT-3 studies the behavior of 
tiny particles suspended in fluid. On Earth, gravity causes 
colloids to separate, causing sedimentation. The Station's 
microgravity environment gives researchers a chance to study 
the complex fluids without this effect.

On Monday and Tuesday, both crewmembers wore acoustic 
dosimeters for about eight hours as part of regularly 
scheduled tests of the Station's noise levels. For the last 
half of both days, they removed the dosimeters and set them 
up in stationary locations. 

On Tuesday, both crewmembers talked with students at Mill 
Middle School in Williamsville, N.Y.

Today Foale and Kaleri did a periodic, detailed inspection of 
one of two U.S. spacesuits on the Station. The other is not 
scheduled for inspection for several months.

Information about crew activities is available on the 
Internet at:


Details about Station science operations is available on the 
Internet, at: 


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