International Space Station Status Report: SS05-025
Katherine Trinidad |
Johnson Space Center, Houston
May 20, 2005
The Expedition 11 crew had a busy and varied week on the International Space Station. The crew is into the second month of their planned six-month mission.
Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips began the week by repairing a restraint cable on the Station's exercise treadmill. The broken cable, which holds the treadmill's gyroscope in place, was detected during a routine inspection last week. The treadmill is operational and is one of three exercise options for the crew.
On Wednesday, after removing contents from Pressurized Mating Adapter No. 2, Phillips depressurized the modules. This was done to rehearse procedures for the Return to Flight (STS-114) mission to conserve Shuttle nitrogen supplies during the planned spacewalk. The modules also serve as the forward docking port for Shuttles on the U.S. segment and the Quest Airlock.
Throughout the week, Phillips set up and performed his first session of the Foot Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT) experiment. Phillips wore the Lower Extremity Monitoring Suit, a pair of customized Lycra cycling tights. The suit measures Phillips’ joint angles, muscle activity and forces on the feet during a typical day on the Station.
FOOT investigates the differences between use of the body’s lower extremities on Earth and in space, as well as changes in the musculoskeletal system during spaceflight. Without appropriate intervention, astronauts in space can lose as much bone mineral in the lower part of the body in one month as a typical post-menopausal woman loses in an entire year.
Muscle strength also can be rapidly lost during spaceflight. FOOT could shed new light on the reasons for bone and muscle loss during spaceflight. This experiment could also help understand, prevent and treat osteoporosis on Earth.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Station's 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. Starting Monday, two SFOGs will be burned daily to produce oxygen. There are more than 80 usable SFOGs on board, which can provide six weeks of oxygen for the crew.
The next Progress cargo ship is set to arrive on June 18 with additional oxygen in tanks and more solid-fuel canisters. Oxygen supplies on the Station and planned for upcoming cargo vehicles can accommodate the crew into next year. The Station's Elektron oxygen generation system, which converts water into oxygen, is 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 about possible photography of Earth sites including the Toshka Lakes in Egypt, Florida's coasts, Mexico City, and Hurricane Adrian as it passed over Central America. Photographs taken by the crew are available online at:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ The crew is scheduled for a light duty weekend, including routine housekeeping tasks and family conferences. Next week includes a session with the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity experiment and photography of the Station's solar arrays.
Information about crew activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, and Station sighting opportunities, is available on the Internet at:
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