International Space Station Status Report #02-54
4 p.m. CST, Friday, Dec. 20, 2002
Expedition Six Crew

After almost a month on the International Space Station, crewmembers were literally bouncing off the walls of the orbiting laboratory on Monday. They wound up the week with extensive and successful robotic arm operations on Thursday and on Friday worked with setup of the High Rate Communications Outage Recorder (HCOR).

The contact with the walls of the station's U.S. laboratory Destiny was carefully planned. It produced vibrations for a data take with the Internal Wireless Instrumentation System (IWIS). IWIS software has been upgraded and the data take was for a structural dynamics experiment.

Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit worked during the week on a number of science activities, including biomedical tests and the Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG) experiment. Bowersox suggested spinning the autoclaves of the experiment, designed to produce Zeolite crystals larger than can be grown on Earth, to concentrate bubbles that formed in the sample's center. The suggestion contributed to the success of the experiment. Bowersox also had a practice run for his upcoming Foot/Ground Reaction Forces (FOOT) experiment. Pettit installed the Express Rack 3 laptop and later activated and checked out the rack, delivered to the station several months ago.

The crew and Russian ground stations tested the Kurs-P passive ring, and later Budarin reconfigured the Kurs-P radar system, used in Russian automated rendezvous and docking operations. The crew did more than three hours of tests of the Canadarm2 on Thursday. Tests included a series of grapples on a Mobile Base System fixture while collecting Force Moment Sensor (FMS) data.

The HCOR is a data recorder that stores information collected while the station is not in contact with the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system, for later transmission to the ground. It will replace a medium rate recorder, giving the station greater capacity to store information from scientific experiments and elsewhere and transmit it when the station can use the TDRS system.

Flight control teams in Houston and Moscow continue to work on rescheduling the increment's only planned spacewalk, now expected to occur in January. The spacewalk includes tasks to continue outfitting the station's new P1 Truss.

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://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

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:

http://www.scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/

The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Dec. 27, or sooner if events warrant.

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