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ISS Status Report No.3 - 2004

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Old January 13th 04, 10:22 AM
Jacques van Oene
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Default ISS Status Report No.3 - 2004

International Space Station Status Report #04-3
2 p.m. CST, Monday, Jan. 12, 2004
Expedition 8 Crew

With the help of Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer
Alexander Kaleri, flight controllers traced the apparent cause of a tiny
pressure decay on the International Space Station Sunday to a braided flex
hose that is part of the window system in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory.

After extensive pressure checks on Saturday and Sunday in the Russian
Progress resupply ship, the Pirs Docking Compartment, the Soyuz return
vehicle and the U.S. Quest Airlock revealed no leaks, the crew used an
ultrasound leak detector device for a second time at the Lab window, and
detected an audible hissing noise emanating from the flex hose. That hose is
hooked up to quick disconnect devices as part of a system designed to vent
into space any condensation between the panes of glass to maintain the
window's optically pristine quality.

Foale said he couldn't hear any hissing noise from the flex hose during a
previous leak check last week because of other ambient noise generated by
operating payload racks in Destiny. Sunday, those racks were shut down for a
short time and the hissing noise was obvious. Foale reported that as soon as
the flex hose was disconnected, the noise stopped. While additional
evaluation is needed for confirmation, the pressure in the Station appears
to have stabilized since the removal of the flex hose.

Although the leak may now be fixed, flight controllers are planning to ask
the crew to close several hatches aboard the station this weekend, dividing
the complex into three sections to allow further leak checks and to gather
additional baseline data on normal air pressure fluctuations in portions of
the Station. Flight controllers will monitor the pressure in each section
during the weekend to gather air pressure data. All of the hatches are
planned to be reopened Sunday night. The isolated sections will include the
U.S. Destiny Lab; the Zarya Control Module, Quest Airlock and Unity Node;
and the Zvezda Service Module, Pirs Docking Compartment, Soyuz rescue
vehicle and Progress resupply vehicle. While the hatches are closed, the
crew will remain in the section that includes the Zvezda living quarters
module. To prepare, they will begin moving some additional equipment into
the living quarters on Friday. Foale normally sleeps in the Destiny Lab
while Kaleri normally sleeps in Zvezda.

Foale and Kaleri repaired the Russian Elektron oxygen generation system
today and are scheduled to press ahead with repairs to the Vozdukh carbon
dioxide removal system in the next week or so. In preparation for the
Elektron repair work, the pressure in the ISS was increased late Sunday to
about 14.2 pounds per square inch, using remaining oxygen in the Progress
resupply ship tanks. The Progress will be discarded in about two weeks in
advance of the launch of a new resupply vehicle on Jan. 29 carrying food,
fuel and supplies for the crew.

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:


Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site
administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:


The next ISS status report will be issued later this week as events warrant.



Jacques :-)

Editor: www.spacepatches.info


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