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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC 0- Amsat#31468

*International Space Station Status Report #04-19*
*3 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 16, 2004*
*Expedition 8 Crew*

Work to prepare for the eighth International Space Station crew exchange 
continued on schedule this week, both on the Station and at the Baikonur 
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, Flight Engineer Mike Fincke, and 
European Space Agency astronaut André Kuipers of the Netherlands are at 
the launch site, ready to go. The ISS Soyuz 8 spacecraft was mated with 
its rocket booster today, and the pair will be rolled out to the launch 
site Saturday. Launch remains on schedule for 10:19 p.m. CDT April 18.

Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri 
spent the week preparing the Station for the replacement crew's arrival, 
packing for the trip home after six months on orbit, and wrapping up 
work on several experiments.

Foale and Kaleri supported a test of their ISS Soyuz 7 return vehicle's 
maneuvering jets, which verified that all thrusters are ready to support 
undocking, deorbit burn and re-entry. Russian flight controllers 
monitoring the test reported seeing evidence of the same helium leak 
that was initially seen in telemetry during the Expedition 8 crew's 
launch in October. On Friday, Russian controllers conducted an 
additional test of the helium system used to pressurize the Soyuz fuel 
tanks to gather additional data on the leak rate, which is believed to 
have increased some over previous observations. Russian flight 
controllers are continuing to evaluate data from the tests. However, no 
impact to the normal Soyuz descent and landing is anticipated.

Kaleri also spent several hours in the Soyuz descent module changing out 
a pair of ventilation and humidity removal fans. He replaced the fans 
with a spare stored in the Zarya control module and verified that they 
are working well. The old fan package, which has one working fan, will 
be retained on the Station as a spare.

Foale conducted a final session with the Hand Posture Analyzer 
experiment on Thursday, after wrapping up work with the Pore Formation 
of Materials Investigations (PFMI) and the Foot/Ground Reaction Forces 
during Space Flight (FOOT) experiments last week. The Hand Posture 
Analyzer is an Italian investigation looking at how humans use their 
arms, wrists and hands for reaching and grasping in microgravity. Final 
sessions with the RENAL kidney stone experiment were conducted Friday.

Foale also spent several hours Wednesday setting up and activating ESA's 
HEAT experiment in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for his visiting 
colleague, Kuipers. HEAT will evaluate whether a grooved heat pipe can 
be used effectively in the weightlessness of space to transfer heat from 
hot surfaces, such as electronic devices, to cold surfaces, such as 
radiator panels.

Otherwise, the crew conducted a series of routine periodic fitness 
evaluation tests on themselves, and collected samples of a variety of 
environmental factors inside the Station for return to Earth and 
evaluation by scientists on the ground when they return home.

The Expedition 9 crew is scheduled to rendezvous and dock with the 
Station at 12:04 a.m. CDT Wednesday. Hatches will open and the five 
spacefarers will greet each other at 1:25 a.m. that morning, beginning 
more than a week of joint operations.

Additional 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:


For more information about ESA's activities on this mission, visit:


The next ISS status report will be issued after the ISS Soyuz 8 launch, 
or earlier if events warrant.


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