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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-54



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

*International Space Station Status Report #04-54*
*4 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 1, 2004*
*Expedition 9 Crew*

The International Space Station crew made steady progress with 
maintenance work this week, restoring an oxygen generator to partial 
operation and replacing a cabin air monitoring system.

Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike 
Fincke also began packing for the trip home. The Russian Federal Space 
Agency announced that launch of the next Station crew, Expedition 10 
Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, is 
scheduled for 10:06 p.m. CDT Oct. 13. NASA and Russian Station managers 
met today to review preparations for that mission in a Flight Readiness 
Review and found everything in order.

Aboard the ISS Soyuz 9 spacecraft with Chiao and Sharipov will be 
Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin. The trio will dock 
with the Station at 11:24 p.m. CDT Oct. 15. Padalka, Fincke and Shargin 
will return to Earth in the ISS Soyuz 8 spacecraft with a landing in 
Kazakhstan at 7:32 p.m. CDT Oct. 23. Chiao and Sharipov will remain 
aboard the Station for six months.

Padalka and Fincke continued troubleshooting the Elektron oxygen 
generator this week. It has operated intermittently during the past few 
weeks. The system creates breathing oxygen from water, venting hydrogen 
overboard from the Station in the process. With plans provided by 
Russian ground controllers, the crew hooked the system's hydrogen 
venting line up to a different overboard valve in the Station's Zvezda 
module. The valve is one that is normally used as part of an atmospheric 
contaminant control system.

Hooked up to the new vent valve, the Elektron has operated well during 
several day-long test runs. Meanwhile, the crew continued periodic 
cleaning of filters in the vent valve normally used by the Elektron, 
attempting to remove what are believed to be potassium hydroxide 
particles clogging the system.

Fincke replaced a U.S. air monitoring system in the Destiny Laboratory 
this week, restoring that system to full operation. Called the Major 
Constituents Analyzer, the equipment had previously only been operating 
periodically. Now, with the installation of a new Mass Spectrometer Unit 
that was delivered to the Station aboard the last Progress cargo craft, 
the system is operated continuously.

In other work this week, U.S. flight controllers completed a checkout of 
a Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint, a joint on the Station's exterior that 
allows radiators to be swiveled to dissipate heat as efficiently as 
possible. The joints are not needed until more solar arrays are added to 
the Station after the Space Shuttle has resumed flights.

On Monday, beginning at 9:40 a.m. CDT, Padalka and Fincke will field 
questions from media representatives at NASA Headquarters, the Johnson 
Space Center and the Kennedy Space Center during an inflight news 
conference.

Science activities this week included several sessions by Fincke working 
with an investigation of soldering in space. Fincke soldered several 
samples of materials onboard the Station while ground investigators 
watched and provided real-time insights. The study is aimed at 
increasing the understanding of soldering capabilities in 
weightlessness, potentially to allow such equipment to be used for 
inflight electronics repairs on the Station and future spacecraft.

The crew also continued photographing observations of interesting 
geologic, environmental and other sites on Earth. The images are 
periodically transmitted to the ground and may be viewed online at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-9/ndxpage1.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/

Details on 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, Oct. 8 or earlier, 
if events warrant.
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