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Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - Amsat A/C #31468

Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington          Dec. 10, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)


     International Space Station crewmembers this week 
continued research and maintenance activities and prepared 
for arrival of the next Progress cargo craft. On Wednesday, 
Station managers reviewed preparations for the upcoming 
launch of an unpiloted Russian Progress resupply ship, the 
16th to visit the Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 
Kazakhstan. They confirmed work is progressing well for the 
scheduled liftoff at 5:19 p.m. EST Dec. 23.

The spacecraft will bring 2.5 tons of food, fuel, clothing 
and other supplies to the complex. Almost 70 food containers 
have been added to the craft's manifest to replenish onboard 
supplies. Station managers said recent audits showed there 
were fewer rations available to the crew than previously 
thought. The Expedition 10 crewmembers, Commander Leroy Chiao 
and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, have adequate food to 
last one or two weeks beyond the arrival of the Progress. 
They are working with nutritionists to make sure the onboard 
food supply can be safely rationed.

The Progress is scheduled to arrive at the Station at about 
7:05 p.m. EST Dec. 25. Along with food, water, spare parts, 
science gear and equipment; the craft will carry Christmas 
gifts and other personal items for Chiao and Sharipov. The 
Progress already attached to the Station will be undocked 
from the rear of the Zvezda Service Module at 2:32 p.m. EST 
Dec. 22, clearing the aft port for the new vehicle.

Throughout the week, Chiao prepared the U.S. laboratory 
Destiny for the arrival of additional science experiments. He 
helped with several tests of the Active Rack Isolation System 
in one of the payload racks that will be used to house 

For the "Saturday Science" program, Chiao conducted the In-
Space Soldering Investigation experiment. He soldered 18 test 
articles, while the activity was recorded by a camcorder. He 
performed an additional test on a debris containment system 
that keeps nontoxic debris, like solder, from floating loose 
in the Station.

The tests connect the coupons, metal alloy wires of various 
configurations, together with solder and are designed to 
evaluate the effectiveness of different geometries typical of 
the kinds of operations that might be required in the future. 
The ground team monitoring the work expressed high 
satisfaction with their preliminary review of the down linked 
live video, indicating all coupons should yield important 
science data when they are returned to Earth.

Today, Chiao took photos of the Binary Colloidal Alloys Test. 
Researchers are using the experiment to study fluids like 
milk or paint that have particles suspended in them. The 
experiment samples are shaken initially and then photographed 
periodically to document how the particles settle in 
microgravity. Researchers hope to use this data to develop 
new technologies ranging from rocket propulsion to cable 

Chiao and Sharipov participated in a Russian experiment to 
test the human cardiovascular system in space. The test 
included Sharipov wearing a special suit called the Chibis. 
It simulates forces on the musculoskeletal system using 
suction and provides information for researchers to evaluate 
the body's adaptation to living in space without gravity for 
long periods.

Maintenance work this week included conditioning of U.S. 
spacesuit batteries, gathering inter-module air duct 
measurements, collecting water and air samples for analysis, 
and installing cables in the Russian segment. Crewmembers 
also held a fire drill, which included the procedures they 
would use if they had to leave the Station in an emergency.

Information about crew activities on the Space Station, 
future launch dates and Station sighting opportunities from 
Earth, is available on the Internet at:


Details about Station science operations are available on an 
Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center 
at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., 


For information about NASA and other agency missions, visit:


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