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Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Dec. 03, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-043a
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-043a
The International Space Station's crew completed the first 50 days of their six-month mission this week, highlighted by a short flight in their Soyuz spacecraft.

To put the Station in the preferred configuration for two spacewalks out of the Russian Pirs Docking Compartment next year, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov moved their Soyuz spacecraft Monday to the Earth-facing docking port on the Zarya module. The flight lasted 21-minutes. The work to prepare the Station for possible autonomous operations, and then to reconfigure it for normal operations, stretched from Sunday afternoon until early Monday afternoon.

After getting Tuesday and Wednesday to rest, Chiao and Sharipov spent the rest of the week on routine maintenance tasks, such as the regeneration of filter cartridges in the Elektron oxygen generation system.

They also completed audits of on board computer hardware and food as mission managers finalize the appropriate manifest for the next Russian cargo craft. The Progress spacecraft will ferry food, fuel, clothing and other supplies to the Station on Dec. 25. The audit of food supplies aboard the Station confirmed sufficient food remains for the crew until arrival of the next supply craft. However, managers have adjusted the amount of food carried on the Progress to ensure onboard stores are fully replenished.

Also included in the cargo are three laptop computers to return the Station Support Computer network to full functionality. This week one of the computers failed crewmembers use to access messages while working at the Zvezda module's command post. Another computer was moved from Sharipov's sleep station to the command post until the new laptops are delivered.

The new Progress cargo ship is scheduled for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:19 p.m. EST on Dec. 23. It is due to arrive at the Station just after 6 p.m. EST on Christmas.

Chiao and Sharipov will spend time over the next three weeks loading unneeded materials from throughout the Station into the Progress spacecraft docked to the Zvezda module. It will be undocked and deorbited on Dec. 22.

On Tuesday, Sharipov located a missing component of an American spacesuit's cooling pump. The shim, a washer-shaped piece of metal that is custom fitted for each spacesuit, was missing last month when Chiao was repairing the spacesuit's pump assembly. The shim was planned for installation in a portion of the spacesuit in a pure oxygen environment to ensure it is in pristine condition and free of contamination. Spacewalk specialists at NASA's Johnson Space Center decided further spacesuit repair attempts would use a new shim delivered on the upcoming Progress to avoid any potential contamination from the shim that was temporarily lost.

Information about crew activities on the Space Station, future launch dates and Station sighting opportunities from Earth, is available on the Internet at:

Details about Station science operations are available on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.,

For information about NASA and other agency missions, visit:


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