4 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 8, 2005
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
International Space Station Status Report #05-35
After a light duty three-day holiday weekend, the International Space Station Expedition 11 crew returned to work for a short, but intense week of science experiments, spacesuit preparations and packing for the upcoming Space Shuttle mission.
Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips spent much of their time this week gathering and packing items on board to be returned in the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) during Discovery's visit to the Station next week. The MPLM will weigh 18,166 pounds when it is launched aboard Discovery and 19,745 pounds when it returns, after supplies for the Station have been unloaded and unneeded gear loaded. The crew also made room for additional stowage in the Quest Airlock to be available during the docked operations. With a Wednesday launch, the Shuttle will dock with the Station on July 16.
Three spacewalks are scheduled during the mission using U.S. spacesuits. To maximize the efficiency of the batteries, Phillips conducted a series of charging and discharging cycles of the spacesuit batteries this week.
On Tuesday, the Space Station was raised nearly 4 miles in order to better position the complex for the Space Shuttle rendezvous. Engines on the docked Progress vehicle were fired for just over seven minutes, increasing the amount of days the Shuttle can launch and rendezvous on the third day of the mission.
Station television cameras captured video as it passed over then Tropical Storm Dennis. Late Wednesday, cameras captured views of the storm as the Station passed over the Caribbean, south of Haiti. Additional sighting opportunities for Hurricane Dennis are anticipated over the weekend and will be provided next week.
Throughout the week, the crew had numerous other Earth observation and photo opportunities including sightings of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, the Nile River Delta in Egypt, and Hong Kong.
Krikalev repressurized the Station atmosphere using oxygen from the newly arrived Progress vehicle. He also transferred water from tanks on the Progress to tanks in the Service Module.
Phillips and Krikalev conducted the second of three sessions with the Renal Stone experiment. The experiment investigates whether potassium citrate can be used as a countermeasure to minimize the risk of kidney stone formation in space.
The crew ended its week with a live news conference with journalists at NASA's Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center. The weekend includes mostly off-duty time as well as routine housekeeping activities and conferences with management and support staff.
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://www.nasa.gov/station
ISS status reports will not be issued during the STS-114 Space Shuttle mission. Station activities will be included in the Shuttle mission status reports, which are planned twice daily or as events warrant.
- end -
text-only version of this release