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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-52-2



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

*International Space Station Status Report #04-52*
*4 p.m. CDT Friday, Sept. 17, 2004*
*Expedition 9 Crew*

Almost two weeks of troubleshooting apparently paid off today for the 
Expedition 9 crew as they restored an onboard oxygen generating unit to 
operation.

Work with the Elektron unit, a device that recycles waste water into 
oxygen, was one of several maintenance activities completed by Commander 
Gennady Padalka and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke this week.

With guidance from Russian ground controllers, Padalka had replaced the 
Elekron's liquids unit with one he had refurbished last week using spare 
components. The Elektron is operating without a gas analyzer that was 
removed during troubleshooting. The absence of the gas analyzer does not 
affect the Elekron's ability to generate oxygen, although it may mean 
the crew will be required to more closely monitor the unit's operations. 
Ground controllers requested the Elektron be turned off before the crew 
goes to sleep tonight to allow data gathered during its operations to be 
evaluated.

The crew flushed and cleaned several of the Elektron's lines earlier in 
the week, as well as cleaning a mounting plate and removing the gas 
analyzer.

While the Elektron was off, the Station atmosphere was repressurized 
Wednesday using oxygen from the Progress supply craft docked to the 
complex. The Station has a supply of oxygen available in its own tanks, 
the Progress tanks, and oxygen-generating candles that could be used for 
many months if it were needed.

Meanwhile, Fincke replaced a flex hose that is used to vent an area 
between panes of the window in the U.S. Destiny Lab. After 
depressurizing the window's inner panes, he replaced the hose and 
installed a protective cover. The previous hose had been damaged and 
allowed air to leak into the area.

The crew has begun some preparations for their trip home next month. 
This week, they tested the UHF and VHF communication systems of the 
Soyuz spacecraft that will carry them back to Earth. The communication 
checks were done with NASA ground stations at the White Sands Test 
Facility, the Dryden Flight Research Center and with the Wallops Flight 
Facility, allowing NASA sites to be used to supplement primary Russian 
ground communications sites. Fincke also used a camcorder to survey all 
external U.S. hardware visible from the Station windows. The video has 
been downlinked to the ground for engineers to assess the hardware's 
condition. Science activities for the crew included work with the 
Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity experiment. Assisted by 
experts on the ground, they conducted body scans with the equipment to 
practice the procedures. They also continued providing information for 
the Interactions investigation, a computer-based survey that helps 
investigators study the interpersonal relations between crewmembers and 
ground control teams during long spaceflights.

 From their altitude of more than 220 miles, Fincke captured spectacular 
views of Hurricane Ivan as it traversed the Caribbean and made landfall 
on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Those images can be accessed online at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-9/ndxpage46.html

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. 24 or 
earlier, if events warrant.

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