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

July 9, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-020
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-020
Aboard the International Space Station, work is focused on science, spacesuit troubleshooting and routine maintenance as the Expedition 9 crew is sailing through its twelfth week in space.

Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Fincke turned their attention this week 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. Early diagnosis and treatment through such "telemedicine" could ultimately save lives.

The crew conducted the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Micro-G (ADUM) experiment. Fincke set up the equipment, after which he and Padalka performed the ultrasound bone scans on each other. They took turns scanning the other's shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle. The team on the ground at the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., monitored the experiment, which was videotaped and photographed for downlink.

This research will be used to determine the accuracy of ultrasound in novel clinical conditions including orthopedic, thoracic and ophthalmic injury, and dental/sinus infections; and to assess the ultrasound as a feasible option for monitoring in-flight bone alterations.

Fincke conducted additional troubleshooting work on the U.S. spacesuits with assistance 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. More work is planned for the week of July 19 to pinpoint the problem more precisely. Repair parts for the suits are scheduled to arrive at the Station on the next Progress supply spacecraft on Aug. 14.

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 supply spacecraft called the Automated Transfer Vehicle.

The crew also took time this week to simulate 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 orbiting laboratory to maintain the crew's emergency preparedness.

For information about NASA and agency missions on the Internet, visit:

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 Marshall Space Flight Center at:


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