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ISS STATUS REPORT #SS04-024



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat A/C #31468

Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington                  August 3, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT: SS04-024

     Two spacewalkers began rolling out the welcome mat for a new 
cargo vehicle this morning. International Space Station 
Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science 
Officer Mike Fincke spent 4½ hours outside the Station, 
swapping out experiments and installing hardware associated 
with Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), scheduled to 
launch on its maiden voyage to the Station next year.

During the spacewalk Padalka and Fincke worked smoothly 
around the exterior of the Russian Zvezda Service Module in 
their Orlan spacesuits. The pair exited the Pirs Docking 
Compartment airlock at 2:58 a.m. EDT and began work on the 
Russian segment immediately.

The crewmembers moved to the aft end cone of Zvezda, where 
their first task was to replace a sample container in an 
experiment, called SKK, which exposes materials to the space 
environment. They also replaced a Kromka experiment unit that 
measures contamination from Service Module thruster firings.

Their attention then turned to preparing the Station for the 
arrival of ATVs by installing new rendezvous and docking 
equipment. They installed two antennas and replaced three 
laser reflectors with three more advanced versions than the 
ones launched with Zvezda in 2000. One three-dimensional 
reflector was also installed to replace three other old 
reflectors the spacewalkers removed.

The ATV is an unpiloted cargo carrier like the Russian 
Progress supply vehicles but has a cargo capacity about 2½ 
times that of a Progress. The European Space Agency's (ESA) 
ATV is scheduled for its first launch in the fall of 2005 
aboard an ESA Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. In addition 
to carrying cargo, including fuel, water, oxygen and 
nitrogen, it also can reboost the Station. Like the Progress, 
the ATV will burn up when it re-enters the atmosphere.

The crew also disconnected a cable for a camera that has 
broken and will be replaced on a future spacewalk. They 
retrieved another materials experiment, Platan-M. The crew 
returned to Pirs with the Platan-M, Kromka No.2, SKK No. 2 
and the six old laser reflectors in tow.

As they worked at the rear of the Service Module, the three 
600-pound Control Moment Gyroscopes that control the 
Station's orientation in space built up momentum and 
approached their saturation level, a condition that had been 
anticipated. According to plan, the Station was placed in 
free drift while the spacewalkers continued working. During 
this drift period, solar-generated power was affected, so 
master control in Houston proactively began conserving power 
in a process called "load-shedding."  During this time, the 
crew temporarily lost S-band communications with the ground.

At about 5:15 a.m. EDT, the spacewalkers, who were about 40 
minutes ahead of their timeline, were asked to clear the 
area. Once they moved forward, the thrusters on the Service 
Module were activated to realign the Station's attitude and 
S-band communication was also restored.

At about 6 a.m. EDT, the Control Moment Gyroscopes reassumed 
attitude control and the Service Module thrusters were turned 
off. The spacewalkers then returned to work at the rear of 
the Service Module.

The crew closed the hatch and ended the spacewalk at 6:28 
a.m. CDT. This was the 55th spacewalk in support of Station 
assembly and maintenance, the 30th staged from the Station 
itself, the fifth for Padalka and Fincke's third.

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

http://www.nasa.gov

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

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

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., 
at:

http://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/
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