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    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington                         May 7, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-4769)


     Members of the new crew of the International Space 
Station (ISS) are wrapping up their first full week in orbit 
by themselves. During the week, they concentrated on life 
science research, spacewalk preparations and settling in to 
their new home.

Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science 
Officer Mike Fincke took part in a variety of experiments 
that focus on learning how the human body responds to 
extended periods without gravity. The crewmembers completed 
the first sessions of a series of Russian biomedical 
experiments measuring body mass and calf volume and drawing 
blood to measure red blood cell mass. They also performed 
operations with two European Space Agency experiments, 
looking into adaptation of the vestibular system to
weightlessness. The vestibular system provides the body's 
sense of balance and sensations of up and down.

Padalka and Fincke also completed their first periodic 
fitness evaluation and received a briefing on upcoming 
Station payload operations from ISS Program Scientist Don 
Thomas, Lead Increment Scientist Janice Voss, and Increment 
Payload Operations Director Lamar Stacy.

Fincke finished the seventh imaging session of the Binary 
Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3) experiment. After setting up 
the slow-growth sample module on the maintenance work area, 
Fincke photographed the samples sequentially with a digital 
still camera and then stowed the equipment. The BCAT-3 
experiment of the microgravity research program at NASA's 
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, began on Expedition 8, 
with astronaut Mike Foale using magnets to mix samples of 
colloids. Colloids are systems of fine particles suspended 
in a fluid such as paint, milk or ink. The samples have been 
photographed over the past few weeks as they began to 

Possible future applications of the colloidal alloy 
experiments are photonic crystals for telecommunications and 
computer applications and extremely low threshold lasers, as 
well as improved use of supercritical fluids for food 
extractions, pharmaceuticals, dry cleaning and rocket 

Padalka and Fincke launched last month with plans to conduct 
two spacewalks, but they learned last weekend that a third 
had officially been put on their schedule. The planned June 
10 spacewalk calls for the crewmembers to replace a Remote 
Power Controller Module (RPCM), a type of remote-controlled 
circuit breaker, on the Station's S0 truss. The RPCM failed 
April 21, cutting power to one of the Control Moment 
Gyroscopes (CMGs), which provide attitude control for ISS. 
There are still two CMGs operating well and controlling the 
Station's orientation. As managers continue to evaluate the 
spacewalk plans, Padalka and Fincke will conduct a fit check 
of the U.S. spacesuits next week.

This week, Fincke also completed maintenance work with the 
spacesuit battery chargers and batteries and began a 
procedure to regenerate canisters, which remove the carbon 
dioxide spacewalkers exhale from the suits.

The previous Station crew, Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale 
and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, are at the Gagarin 
Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, this week 
for post-flight debriefings and checks. Foale is expected to 
return to Houston this month.

For information about NASA and agency missions on the 
Internet, visit:


Information about crew activities on the Space Station, 
future launch dates, and Station sighting opportunities from 
Earth, is available on the Internet at:


Details about Station science operations are available on an 
Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center 
at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., 




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