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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-51



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

*International Space Station Status Report #04-51*
*3 p.m. CDT Friday, Sept. 10, 2004*
*Expedition 9 Crew*

The oxygen-producing Elektron in of the International Space Station was 
restarted today after a troubleshooting procedure by Expedition 9 
Commander Gennady Padalka, but shut down again after operating for just 
over an hour.

Russian specialists decided to forego further troubleshooting until 
Monday to give them more time to determine why a gas analysis mechanism 
in the system commanded the Elektron to shut down two other times after 
Padalka had cleaned and flushed lines in the device.

Despite the intermittent performance of the Elektron, there is plenty of 
oxygen in the Stationís cabin atmosphere. U.S. flight controllers 
slightly increased nitrogen levels on board with nitrogen from the Quest 
airlock tanks, but no further repressurization of the cabin atmosphere 
is required in the near future. The Elektronís temporary shutdown has no 
impact to any Station operations.

After several hours of work on the system in the Zvezda Service Module 
this morning, Padalka told Russian flight controllers that the 
reassembled Elektron, which separates water into oxygen for the Station 
and hydrogen that is vented overboard, had twice run for about five 
minutes before shutting down. Eventually, Padalka and flight controllers 
disabled an Elektron gas analyzer sensor system, and the device 
continued to operate for just over an hour before it commanded itself to 
shut off again. The Elektron originally shut down on Wednesday, 
prompting Padalkaís maintenance work.

At the moment, Russian flight controllers believe that a modification in 
the software that regulates commanding for the gas analyzer could fix 
the problem early next week.

On Wednesday, Padalka used spare parts sent up on a Russian Progress 
resupply ship last May to bring a spare liquids unit for the Elektron 
back to operational status. There are no plans to use the backup unit at 
the moment, but it is available, if needed. The Progress currently 
docked to the Station has full oxygen and air tanks and additional 
oxygen is available in two high-pressure tanks on Quest, if they are 
needed. A total of 84 Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator canisters, a 42-day 
supply of oxygen for the crew, also are available, but there are no 
plans to use any reserve oxygen supplies.

Earlier in the week, Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke 
conducted routine housekeeping tasks and a few post-spacewalk tasks, 
including the stowage of spacewalking tools and the servicing of the 
Russian Orlan space suits.

Fincke also conducted optional science activities, including some 
remaining data takes with a Dutch experiment that helps to characterize 
the performance of a grooved heat pipe in microgravity. The experiment 
was brought up to the Station by European Space Agency astronaut Andre 
Kuipers in April.

Both crewmembers worked with other science and medical experiments this 
week. Padalka conducted the PLANTS experiment as well as the 
PROFILAKTIKA experiment. It is designed to study countermeasures to 
negative physiological effects of lengthy spaceflight.

Fincke also performed proficiency training for the Advanced Diagnostic 
Ultrasound in Microgravity medical experiment and on Thursday, both 
crewmembers participated in a bone scanning procedure. That research 
will not only assist with onboard medical situations but is being 
developed for possible use in remote areas on Earth.

Padalka and Fincke wrapped up their week with a televised conversation 
with Native American students at the United Tribes Technical College in 
Bismarck, ND. It was the featured event during the 35th Annual United 
Tribes International Powwow. NASA representatives from the Johnson Space 
Center and the Langley Research Center attended the powwow and tribal 
meetings to promote NASA education and Explorer Schools.

Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke completed their 145th 
day in space today and their 143rd day aboard the complex.

For information on the crew's activities aboard the Space Station, 
future launch dates, as well as a list of opportunities to see the 
Station from anywhere on the Earth, visit:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

For details on Station science operations provided by the Payload 
Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, 
Ala., visit:

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

The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Sept. 17 or 
earlier, if events warrant.

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