International Space Station Status Report #05-23
3 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 29, 2005
Expedition 11 Crew

The new crew members of the International Space Station completed their first full work week today as they conducted routine maintenance, continued to settle in and practiced photography to be used when the Space Shuttle returns to flight.

Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer John Phillips were given time each day to orient themselves with the Station and where items are stowed. They also completed an emergency evacuation drill, a standard procedure for all new crews. The practice helps them learn the location of emergency equipment and departure routes.

Both crewmembers kept busy with Station maintenance and upkeep. Krikalev conducted troubleshooting of the Russian Elektron oxygen generation system and the condensate removal system. The Elektron remains off-line, with oxygen being supplied from tanks in the Progress cargo ship, one of several oxygen supplies available. The next infusion of oxygen into the Station’s atmosphere from Progress will take place early next week.

Krikalev also completed the transfer of water from the Progress cargo ship to storage tanks in the Zvezda module. Phillips updated the Station’s computer system with software specifically designed for this crew’s mission. He also installed a remote-controlled camera at the Destiny Lab’s Earth-facing window for a week’s worth of imagery from the EarthKAM experiment, which enables middle-school students around the world to take photos of selected sites on Earth. Thousands of students from more than 100 schools took part in this week’s operations.

Early today Krikalev and Phillips were informed that NASA managers rescheduled the launch of the Shuttle Discovery to no earlier than July 13 on the STS-114 Return to Flight mission. The additional time is needed to complete a thorough analysis of the potential risks posed by several areas of possible ice debris from the Shuttle’s external fuel tank as well as an evaluation of several concerns found during recent launch preparations.

Today the crewmembers practiced with digital cameras the photographs they will take of Discovery as it approaches the Station for docking on the third day of the STS-114 mission. Phillips and Krikalev will have about 93 seconds of time available to use the cameras and high-power lenses to capture two sets of images of the Shuttle’s heat shield. Discovery Commander Eileen Collins will guide the Shuttle through a slow back flip to allow the Station crew to image both the top and bottom of the vehicle. The images will be quickly transmitted to the ground for analysis.

Krikalev and Phillips performed another step in preparations for the Shuttle visit this week as they cleared cargo from a hatch in the Unity module where a cargo container will be attached during that mission. The Station crew also conferred via space to ground communications with Discovery’s crew about the planned transfer and stowing of supplies.

Meanwhile, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, along with European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy, arrived at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia Monday morning. They rested, reunited with their families and went through medical tests following their landing in a Soyuz spacecraft. Chiao and Sharipov are expected to return to Houston in mid-May.

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/

The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, May 6, or earlier, if events warrant.

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