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

* Expedition 10 Completes First Week as ISS Resident Crew 
Expedition 10 spent its first week as the resident crew of International 
Space Station working with science experiments and getting familiar with 
the orbital outpost. However, Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer 
Salizhan Sharipov began the week with some well-deserved light duty 
after completing eight days of joint operations and handover activities 
with the Expedition 9 crew 
<http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/crew/exp9/index.html>. Chiao and 
Sharipov took over Station operations Oct. 23 from Expedition 9 
Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Fincke.

Science activities throughout the week included work with the Earth 
Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) experiment 
<http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/background/facts/earthkam.html> in 
the Destiny Laboratory Module 
EarthKAM allows students to use the Internet to control a special 
digital camera in the ISS to photograph and examine Earth from the 
crew's perspective. Chiao and Sharipov also participated in biomedical 
experiments studying the long-term effects of microgravity.

Each day the duo had time set aside for Station familiarization. The 
crew also participated in a mandatory emergency escape drill and 
reviewed ISS window inspection techniques.

Mission Control told the crew that the Russian Elektron oxygen 
generation system has been cleared for around-the-clock operations.

On the ground, Expedition 9 is in Star City, Russia, for several weeks 
of post-flight debriefings and medical exams before returning to Houston 
in mid-November.

Of the millions of American citizens eligible to vote this Election Day 
(Nov. 2), there's only one who won't be on the planet. But Expedition 10 
Commander Leroy Chiao isn't letting that little detail keep him from 
casting his ballot.

Image left:Chiao gives a "thumbs up" on the way to the launch pad in 
Kazakhstan on October 13. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.* Click for 
larger image*

Even though he'll be floating around the Earth 230 miles up on the 
International Space Station, Chiao is not too far from the polls to 
stand up and be counted, thanks to a bill passed in 1997 by Texas 

The bill sets up a technical procedure for astronauts -- nearly all of 
whom live in Houston -- to vote from space. (And here's a bonus bit of 
presidential trivia: The bill was signed by the then-governor of Texas, 
George W. Bush.)

Here's how it will work. An electronic ballot, generated by the 
Galveston County Clerk's office, will be emailed to Chaio's secure 
account at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Mission Control Center there 
will transfer the email to the Station using a high-speed modem via 
satellite, the same way they send all astronauts e-mails to the Station.

Then, Chiao will cast his vote and use a secure e-mail connection to 
send his ballot back to the clerk's office to be recorded. It will be 
the first vote ever to be cast in a presidential election from space. 
But Chiao's democracy in orbit doesn't end there.


He's using his unique experience to encourage others to exercise their 
civic duty. He's sent a special message from space to all eligible 
voters urging them to go to the polls. The get out and vote public 
service announcements are airing on the NASA TV 
<http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html> Video File.

Watch Chiao's Message:
2.9 Mb Quicktime 
| 2.7 Mb Windows Media 

"A few years ago, the Texas State Legislature passed a bill allowing 
astronauts to vote from space," Chiao said from aboard the Space 
Station. "Why did they go to so much trouble for just a few people? 
Because voting is each citizen's most basic, yet most powerful tool for 
participating in America's cherished right to choose its leaders."

Chiao is only a few days into a six-month mission as commander of the 
tenth crew of the International Space Station. His Expedition 10 
crewmate is Russian Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov. Returning Expedition 9 
crewmember Mike Fincke will be voting by absentee ballot, because he'll 
be in Russia for post-flight activities on Election Day.
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