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ISS Status Report No. 17 - 2004

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Old April 4th 04, 10:11 AM
Jacques van Oene
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Default ISS Status Report No. 17 - 2004

International Space Station Status Report #04-17
2 p.m. CST, Friday, April 2, 2004
Expedition 8 Crew

Plans for the next crew rotation on the International Space Station are on
schedule this week, as the Expedition 8 crew members moved into their final
month on orbit and their successors to within weeks of their scheduled

On Thursday, Station managers conducted a Stage Operations Readiness Review
and found no constraints to the planned April 19 launch of the ISS Soyuz 8
carrying Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike
Fincke, along with European Space Agency astronaut André Kuipers of the
Netherlands. Kuipers will be aboard the Station for nine days performing
scientific experiments under a commercial contract between ESA and the
Federal Space Agency (of Russia) during the handover to the new permanent

Preparations for the Expedition 9 flight will be further evaluated next week
during a Flight Readiness Review. Meanwhile, the crew received its final
certification for flight from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star
City, Russia, this week.

Aboard the Station, Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander
Kaleri successfully completed the initial maintenance and some functional
testing of two new Russian Orlan spacesuits delivered in January aboard the
most recent Progress supply ship. Those suits replace three older Orlan
units on the complex. Padalka and Fincke plant to use them on the first
spacewalk of Expedition 9.

Foale also completed an external survey of the Station using cameras on the
Canadarm2 robotic arm. Foale was conducting his final proficiency training
operating the arm. During the survey, Foale solved a mystery, reporting to
Mission Control that a sound he has heard from outside of the Destiny
laboratory module was being caused each time he commanded the Lab's external
camera to tilt up and down.

On Friday morning, Kaleri reported another noise to Mission Control in
Moscow. He and Foale heard a metallic sound from Zvezda's Instrument
Compartment, a sound they said was very similar to a noise they reported on
Nov. 26, 2003, coming from the same area. Russian controllers told the crew
that the fact that the noise has apparently repeated itself would likely
indicate the cause is the operation of a system on the station or some other
activity. Russia and U.S. controllers will continue to evaluate the report.
All systems on the complex continue to operate normally.

Russian specialists are reviewing plans to replace a cooling fan motor in
the Soyuz spacecraft's descent module. The fan, which stopped functioning
during the trip to the Station last October, helps maintain a proper level
of humidity inside the Soyuz.

Mission Control completed a successful test of software that will operate
the Thermal Rotary Radiator Joints on the Station's truss. The large
rotating joints will be used to position the Station's radiators as they
dissipate heat from the complex. Ground controllers ran the check of
programs that will automate the positioning of the Station's radiators as
they dissipate heat in the future when the Station's full cooling system is

Foale and Kaleri took time to discuss the progress of their mission with
students twice during the week. The crew answered questions from a group of
Houston-area middle school students affiliated with the Aerospace Academy
for Engineering and Teacher Education. They also demonstrated how some
common tools, such as a wrench and hammer, function in space during a talk
with elementary school students from the Center for Science and Industry in
Columbus, Ohio.

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 at:


The next ISS status report will be issued April 9, or earlier if events



Jacques :-)



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