Aboard the International Space Station, work focused on science, spacesuit troubleshooting and routine maintenance as the Expedition 9 crew sailed through its 12th week in space.
Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke turned their attention to a human science investigation to better understand the ability to quickly and remotely transmit medical data to the ground. The application may also find benefits on Earth, allowing for much quicker injury diagnosis for patients at remote locations by doctors based at hospitals.
The advanced ultrasound experiment administered by Padalka on his “patient” Fincke was conducted through the middle of the week. It demonstrated that transmission to a flight surgeon could be accomplished in quick fashion. This bodes well for Earth applications such as cases where early diagnosis of an accident victim could be made. Individuals with little training could transmit information from remote locations to doctors who can evaluate the data before transportation of the victim to a hospital. Early diagnosis and treatment through such telescience could ultimately save lives.
Details on Station science operations, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, can be found on the Payload Operations Center’s Internet site at http://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/ .
Fincke conducted additional troubleshooting work on the U.S. spacesuits with help from Mission Control. The Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU) have cooling problems, which have tentatively been traced to pumps inside the suits. These pumps circulate water through the suit to keep spacewalkers cool or warm. Further work is planned for the week of July 19 to pinpoint the problem more precisely. Repair parts for the suits are to be launched aboard the next Progress supply craft on Aug. 11. The new Progress would dock with the Station Aug. 14. The Progress now docked to the Station, ISS Progress 14, will be undocked July 30.
The next spacewalk, using Russian Orlan suits, is planned for Aug. 3. During the spacewalk, the crew will retrieve science experiments, install others, and prepare the outside of the Zvezda module’s docking port for next year’s planned first flight of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
Late in the week, the crew simulated an onboard fire during an emergency drill and exercised the full contingency plan with flight controllers in Houston and Moscow. Similar drills are conducted periodically aboard the complex to maintain the crew's emergency preparedness.
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 Friday, July 16, or as events warrant.
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