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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

International Space Station Status Report #04-18
4 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 9, 2004
Expedition 8 Crew

Three weeks remain in the six-month voyage aboard the International 
Space Station for Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander 
Kaleri as the Expedition 8 crew prepares to return home later this 
month. Their week aboard the station focused on wrapping up science 
experiments and tidying up for their replacement crew, which is in 
Russia for launch preparations.

On Thursday, Station managers conducted a Flight Readiness Review and 
found no issues for the planned launch at 10:19 p.m. CDT April 18 of 
Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Fincke, 
along with European Space Agency astronaut André Kuipers of the Netherlands.

This next crew completed a dress rehearsal for its launch earlier in the 
week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and will rest over the 
weekend in Moscow before returning to the launch site Tuesday for final 
launch preparations.

While the Expedition 8 crew completes its work, flight controllers and 
engineers reviewing video of the outside of the station found an unusual 
black mark on the station’s dish antenna. It was determined that over 
time, as the antenna moves to track NASA’s communications satellites, it 
has been brushing very lightly against a locking pin and handrail. 
Changing the software slightly to “tell” the dish to stop before 
gimballing that far easily solved the problem. In any case, the 
phenomenon has had no effect on the operation of the antenna.

Foale this week focused his attention on wrapping up two major 
experiments conducted on his increment. The Pore Formation of Materials 
Investigations (PFMI) and the Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space 
Flight (FOOT) experiments were completed and stowed. PFMI studies the 
formation of bubbles in metals that could lead to better ways of 
preventing that occurrence in manufacturing on Earth. FOOT is studying 
countermeasures to bone mineral loss that occurs in space travelers 
rapidly in the microgravity environment of space. The same bone mineral 
loss occurs in postmenopausal females over the course of a year or so.

Kaleri spent some of the week fixing a cooling fan that helps control 
humidity in the Soyuz spacecraft in which he and Foale will return home. 
The two also reviewed the inventory of items that will be brought home.

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 at:


Details on Station science operations can be found at:


The next ISS status report will be issued April 16, or earlier if events 

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