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ISS STATUS REPORT #04-63



Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - Amsat A/C #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #04-63*
*2:30 p.m. CST, Friday, Nov. 26, 2004*
*Expedition 10 Crew*

Just like many Earth-bound travelers, the International Space Station 
crew observed Thanksgiving this week and prepared for a short trip 
planned for Monday.

Expedition 10 Commander and NASA Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight 
Engineer Salizhan Sharipov will vacate the Station briefly on Monday. 
After configuring Station systems for autonomous operation, they will 
fly their Soyuz spacecraft from one parking spot to another on the 
complex. To prepare for the Soyuz repositioning, Sharipov test-fired the 
Soyuz steering jets Wednesday. Today, the crew reviewed their plans for 
the brief undocking and redocking activities with ground controllers and 
closed the hatch between the ISS Progress 15 resupply craft and the 
Zvezda Service Module. Other hatches will be closed Sunday and early 
Monday prior to the Soyuz maneuver.

At 3:29 a.m. Central time Monday, Sharipov, the Soyuz commander, and 
Chiao will undock the spacecraft from a port on the Station's Pirs 
Docking Compartment. They will back away to a distance of about 30 
meters (98 feet) and then move laterally about 14 meters (45 feet) along 
the Station to briefly hold position facing the nadir docking port on 
the complex's Zarya module. The crew will then rotate the craft to align 
with the new docking port, and will guide the Soyuz in for its redocking 
at Zarya at about 4 a.m. Central time. The move will clear Pirs for use 
as an airlock from which Chiao and Sharipov will conduct two Russian 
spacewalks early next year.

Monday's activities will be broadcast live on NASA Television beginning 
at 3 a.m. CST.

A thruster test conducted on Wednesday showed all systems ready for the 
move, although Russian flight controllers did see the same indication of 
a possible reduction in pressure or fuel flow from one Soyuz thruster as 
had been noted during the spacecraft's arrival at the complex in 
October. Since the abnormal indication poses no problem for the safe 
operation of the Soyuz on Monday or in the future, Station managers gave 
final approval Wednesday for the 30-minute maneuver. A further test of 
the same thruster originally planned during the repositioning Monday to 
gather more data for Russian specialists monitoring the system was 
canceled today by Russian managers since it involves a thruster that 
will not be used during Monday’s procedure.

Also this week, the crew began preparations for the undocking of the 
Progress cargo craft attached to the Station. The crew reinstalled a 
docking mechanism on the resupply vehicle, which will be undocked from 
the complex and deorbited a few days before Christmas.

Russian managers have elected not to conduct another reboost of the 
Station to make up for a slight shortfall in altitude resulting from 
last week’s firing of the Progress engines. As a result, Russian space 
officials are expected to move the launch of the new ISS Progress 16 
resupply craft one day -- to December 24 (December 23, U.S. time) -- 
with a docking to the Station on December 26 (Christmas Day, U.S. time) 
to meet the current altitude of the complex. A final decision on the 
adjustment to the Progress launch date is expected early next week.

The crew took the day off Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving 
holiday, enjoying packaged smoked turkey and potatoes. They also have 
off-duty time planned for the weekend before getting an early start 
Sunday evening to prepare for the Soyuz move in the wee hours Monday.

For information on the crew's activities, future launch dates, and 
Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, visit:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

The next Station status report will be issued following the Soyuz 
relocation on Monday, Nov. 29, or earlier, if events warrant.

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