The Expedition One crew spent a relatively quiet day today aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as they prepare for the arrival of an unmanned resupply craft late next week.
ISS Commander Bill Shepherd, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev hooked up cables and other hardware to the Station's Motion Control System which will enable the ISS to automatically reactivate its jet thrusters after the docking of a Progress supply ship or a manned Soyuz vehicle. Normally, those jets are disabled just before a docking to prevent inadvertent jet firings, which could damage the solar arrays on arriving space vehicles.
The crew also configured data cables for the Zarya module's nadir, or downward facing docking port, to which the next Progress resupply ship will link up next Friday night. Launch of the Progress is set for November 15 at 7:32 p.m. CST (1:32 GMT November 16). Docking to the Zarya's nadir port is scheduled for November 17 at 9:07 p.m. CST (3:07 GMT November 18).
The Progress will contain about 2 tons of supplies and food for the crew, which will spend the better part of the next two weeks unloading the vehicle.
In addition, the three crew members spent some time today making headway in their hookup of computers and cables for the onboard laptop computer network.
The crew will be given three days off Saturday, Sunday and Monday to relax following a busy period of activity since launch on October 31. The only significant activity on tap for Saturday calls for the crew to begin the setup of ham radio equipment in Zarya. ISS crews will use that gear to talk to schools and other ham radio operators throughout the world as they orbit the Earth.
The ISS continues to operate in excellent shape at an altitude of 237 statute miles. The JSC newsroom is closed and will reopen on Monday, November 13 at 8 a.m. Central time. Over the weekend, air-to-ground conversations between the Expedition One crew and flight controllers will continue and will be heard on NASA Television as well as on the human spaceflight website at:
NASA TV will broadcast the STS-97 preflight briefings beginning at 8 a.m. Central time Monday from the Johnson Space Center and Expedition One mission commentary will resume on NASA Television at 1 a.m. Central time Tuesday.
The next Expedition One status report will be issued on Tuesday afternoon or sooner if developments warrant.
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