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ISS STATUS REPORT #05-28



Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - AMSAT A/C#31468

*International Space Station Status Report #05-28*
*3 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 3, 2005*
*Expedition 11 Crew*

A new capability was added to the operation of the International Space 
Station this week as a final round of tests to commission remote control 
of the Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm from the ground was completed.

The 60-foot-long arm was maneuvered by ground control Friday to move in, 
latch onto a fixture on the exterior of the Station, then release and 
move back out. The tests were the second and most complex remote control 
operations of the arm performed by the ground. A first set of tests, 
completed earlier this year, involved only basic movements. Completion 
of these two phases of commissioning will qualify the ground control 
capability to be considered for use during future Station operations if 
needed.

During the tests, the arm was controlled by the robotics officer, or 
ROBO, in the Space Station Flight Control Room of Mission Control. 
Aboard the Station, Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer John 
Phillips monitored the activity. Normally, the arm is controlled by the 
Station crew using a robotics workstation in the complex's Destiny 
Laboratory.

Other activities this week for the Expedition 11 crew included some 
brief additional troubleshooting of the Elektron oxygen generation unit 
on the Station. At the direction of Russian flight controllers, 
Commander Sergei Krikalev tightened a valve in the unit, attempted to 
pressurize the system and checked for leakage. Similar attempts may 
continue in the future using other Elektron components and additional 
monitoring. The Elektron, a system that can derive oxygen from water for 
use in the Station atmosphere, remains inoperable.

The crew continues to replenish oxygen aboard the Station each day using 
two solid fuel oxygen generation canisters, canisters that contain 
chemicals that release oxygen when heated. Plentiful supplies of oxygen 
remain aboard the Station, and more is set to arrive on the next supply 
ship later this month. With reserves onboard the complex now plus those 
planned to arrive on future supply ships, oxygen is available to provide 
for the crew until at least January 2006 even without use of the 
Elektron. In addition, new Elektron components and spares also are 
planned to be launched aboard future supply ships later this year.

Phillips worked this week with an experiment that studies the forces 
involved as fluids of different thicknesses are mixed. The Miscible 
Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG) investigation may provide insight into how 
fluids dissolve, and, in particular, the role played by surface tension 
in that process. On Earth, gravity makes it difficult to study the role 
of surface tension during mixture. Information from the experiment may 
be useful in many processes on Earth and in space science experiments 
that deal with mixing fluids, among them are investigations that grow 
protein crystals of use in medical research.

Next week, the crew will begin packing trash and unneeded equipment in 
the Progress supply ship currently docked to the Station. The current 
Progress will be undocked from the complex on June 15. The next supply 
ship, ISS Progress 18, will launch on June 16 and dock to the Station 
June 18.

The crew is scheduled for a light duty weekend, including routine 
housekeeping tasks and family conferences. Information on the crew's 
activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as 
Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available 
on the Internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, June 10, or earlier 
if events warrant.

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