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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

May 25, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-011
International Space Station Status Report: Ss04-011
A Russian Progress robotic resupply ship launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to deliver cargo to the residents of the International Space Station (ISS).

As the Station flew over Africa, the 14th Progress spacecraft to travel to the ISS lifted off its Central Asian launch pad right on time at 8:34 a.m. EDT. Less than 10 minutes later, craft reached orbit, deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas. Its computers are loaded with preprogrammed commands for engine firings and rendezvous maneuvers for an automated linkup to the rear port of the Station's Zvezda Service Module on Thursday at 10:55 a.m. EDT.

Moments after liftoff, flight controllers in Houston notified the ISS crew, Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA Science Officer and Flight Engineer Mike Fincke, of the successful Progress launch.

The docking will be broadcast live on NASA TV on Thursday beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The new Progress is loaded with 2½ tons of spare parts, fresh food and fuel for Padalka and Fincke, who are in the second month of a planned six-month mission on the ISS.

The launch of the new resupply vehicle occurred a little over 24 hours after an identical Progress ship departed the Station. That Progress undocked yesterday from Zvezda at 5:19 a.m. EDT. It was sent into a temporary "parking" orbit well away from the Station. Over the next 10 days, Russian engineers will gather data from its motion control system to determine whether microgravity experiments can be conducted in such a craft. The Progress, the 13th to visit Station, will be deorbited on June 3.

Yesterday, ISS mission managers decided to proceed with a spacewalk around June 16. Padalka and Fincke will wear Russian Orlan spacesuits out of the Russian Pirs Docking Compartment, rather than in U.S. spacesuits out of the U.S. Quest Airlock. The decision was made after unsuccessful troubleshooting efforts on Saturday to provide cooling for Padalka's Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) and for a third U.S. spacesuit on board.

The spacewalk is designed to replace a power controller on the Station's truss that failed April 21, resulting in the temporary loss of one of four Control Moment Gyros (CMGs) that govern the orientation of the complex.

U.S. and Russian flight directors and spacewalk specialists are having comprehensive discussions about the details of the spacewalk. Padalka and Fincke are expected to begin Orlan suit preparations next week. They are expected to climb into the Russian suits around June 11 for a dress rehearsal to ensure the suits are properly operating.

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

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

The next International Space Station status report will be issued following the Progress 14 docking on Thursday.


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