Johnson Space Center, Houston
Dec. 31, 2004
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-048
The Expedition 10 crew is wrapping up the last week of 2004 unloading contents from the Russian Progress supply spacecraft that arrived on Christmas and making plans to ring in the new year International Space Station-style.
Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov will count down to 2005 tonight on their own, as they watch the onboard clock reach midnight Greenwich Mean Time, the official time of the International Space Station. The Station is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. As they started their day, they watched for fireworks from orbit and tried to capture images with onboard cameras. After watching the world celebrate, Chiao and Sharipov have New Year's Day off, with only light routine housekeeping tasks planned.
The crew spent this week hard at work unloading the 5,000 pounds of supplies that arrived on the 16th Progress to dock with the Station. Working with the ground team and the Inventory Management System, the crew systematically transferred items into long-term stowage locations. On the Progress manifest were 1,235 pounds of propellant, 926 pounds of water and 110 pounds of air, plus other hardware and science equipment. The vehicle also brought 69 food containers, which is about 112 days worth of food for the crew.
Included in the science materials are student experiments from 11 schools and organizations. Experiments include a variety of materials and seeds packaged in 20 small, clear vials that will be returned to Earth on a future Space Shuttle flight. After receiving the space-flown samples, students will compare their development with ground samples.
Flight controllers and Earth observation specialists in Houston are working to identify opportunities for the crew to photograph coastal changes caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Experts hope to have electronic images early next week after the Station passes over the affected areas in daylight, and while the crew is awake.
Other tasks throughout the week included calibration of the onboard gas analyzer; a test activation of Atmosphere Purification System Emergency Vacuum Valves; cable replacement and calibration for the Resistive Exercise Device. Chiao also conducted a routine inspection of the portable breathing apparatus, fire extinguisher and emergency lighting power supplies on the U.S. modules.
The crew also took part in a number of video and audio conferences, including two news conferences, management and planning discussions and time with their families.
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