International Space Station Status Report #05-26
The Expedition 11 crew, now into the second month of its stay on the International Space Station, had a varied week highlighted by repair of an exercise treadmill, tests of an oxygen supply and preparations for the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight.
Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips began the week with the repair of a faulty restraint cable on the Station exercise treadmill. The broken cable, which is used to hold the treadmillís gyroscope in place, had been detected during a routine inspection by the crew last week. The treadmill is one of three exercise options for the Space Station crew and has been operational since the repair.
On Wednesday, after removing contents from Pressurized Mating Adapter No. 2, which also serves as the forward docking port for Space Shuttles on the U.S. segment, and the Quest Airlock, Phillips depressurized the modules. This was done to rehearse procedures that will be employed during the STS-114 mission to conserve Shuttle nitrogen supplies during the spacewalk.
Throughout the week, Phillips set up and performed his first session of the FOOT (Foot Reaction Forces During Space Flight) experiment. He wore specially-designed leggings that allow researchers to capture data regarding forces and use of the lower extremity muscles. The data will help scientists design effective muscle and bone loss countermeasure programs for crewmembers involved in long duration spaceflight. The crew also worked with a variety of other U.S. and Russian biomedical experiments.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Stationís atmosphere was repressurized with air and oxygen from the remaining supplies in the tanks of the docked Russian Progress cargo ship. The Progress tanks were depleted in preparation for its undocking next month.
The crew conducted test ignitions of two Solid Fuel Oxygen Generators (SFOG) canisters on Friday to verify their performance and activation procedures. Beginning Monday, two SFOGs will be burned each day to produce oxygen. There are more than 80 usable SFOGs currently on board, which can provide 6 weeks worth of oxygen for the two-person crew. Another Progress cargo ship is set to arrive on June 18 with additional oxygen in tanks and more solid-fuel canisters. Oxygen supplies onboard and those manifested on upcoming cargo vehicles can accommodate the crew into next year. The Station's Elektron oxygen generation system, which converts water into oxygen, remains inoperable.
Earlier in the week, the crew performed routine inspections of emergency fire extinguishers and portable breathing apparatus as well as the routine monitoring of carbon dioxide and formaldehyde levels.
During the week, Krikalev and Phillips were given information on possible photography of Earth sites including the Toshka Lakes in Egypt, the Florida coasts, Mexico City, and Hurricane Adrian as it passed over Central America. Photographs taken by the crew are available online at:
The crew is scheduled for a light duty weekend, including routine housekeeping tasks and family conferences. Next week will include a session with the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity experiment and photography of the Stationís solar arrays. 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:
The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, May 27, or earlier if events warrant.
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