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4 p.m. CDT Friday, Sept. 12, 2003
Expedition 7 Crew
International Space Station Status Report #03-46
The unloading of nearly three tons of new supplies from a Progress cargo vehicle began in earnest this week aboard the International Space Station. Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu spent time each day unpacking, cataloging and stowing the equipment.

The ISS Progress 12 (12P) vehicle brought food, fuel and equipment to the Station Aug. 30,U.S. time. This week, the thrusters on 12P were successfully tested and can be used to increase the Station's altitude when necessary. Also, nitrogen from the cargo vehicle's gas tanks was used to add pressure to the atmosphere inside the Station, while oxygen repressurization from 12P will occur later.

Among the new supplies were two canisters for the Resistive Exercise Device weightlifting machine, which Lu installed Friday. Coincidentally, Lu had trouble adjusting the resistance on one of the previous canisters Wednesday. He removed that set and will work to repair the problematic canister next week so that the new ones that arrived on Progress can be reserved for the next crew to live aboard the Station.

Friday, flight controllers in Mission Control Houston worked on the communication link between the Space Station and control centers in Houston, Moscow and Huntsville, Ala. The crewmembers noticed they were barely able to hear voice calls from the capcoms, or spacecraft communicators, from each of the centers. The problem was narrowed down to equipment in Houston that relays the audio to the Station from all the control centers. Engineers will continue to troubleshoot the issue with the hardware. In the meantime, the audio link to the Station has been restored to normal levels by temporarily bypassing that specific piece of hardware.

Information on the crew's continuing activities on the Space Station, future launch dates and Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on Earth is available at:

Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:

The next ISS status report will be issued Sept. 19, or sooner if events warrant.

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