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

May 27, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-012
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-012
The 14th Progress spacecraft to visit the International Space Station (ISS) arrived today. The unpiloted Russian ship linked up with the rear part of the Station's Zvezda Service Module at 9:55 a.m. EDT.

The Expedition 9 crew, Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke, opened the hatch to the Progress around 1 p.m. to begin unloading 2 ½ tons of food, fuel, equipment and other cargo. The Progress launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday. It will stay at the Station until late July.

Preparations are under way for a spacewalk that Padalka and Fincke will perform in mid-June. The goal of the spacewalk is to replace the failed Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) on the S0 Truss. The RPCM was responsible for the temporary loss of Control Moment Gyroscope No. 2 in April. The gyroscope is one of four that control ISS orientation.

Also this week, Fincke completed the final imaging session of the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3) experiment. He took more than 100 photographs of the samples of colloids, a system of fine particles suspended in a fluid such as paint, milk or ink. The colloids were mixed together during Expedition 8 and have been photographed over the past several weeks as they separated. Padalka also set up a video camera to document Fincke’s activities.

Possible future applications of the colloidal alloy experiments could be as photonic crystals for telecommunications, computer applications, extremely low threshold lasers, improved use of supercritical fluids for food extractions, pharmaceuticals, dry cleaning, and rocket propellants.

Fincke also installed a new software package called Serial Network Flow Monitor (SNFM) for one of the EXPRESS rack laptop computers. The acronym EXPRESS (Expedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station) reflects this system was developed specifically to enhance ISS research capabilities. He downloaded the program, which monitors network science traffic between EXPRESS racks. The software automatically transmits stored files to an on-orbit processor for later downlink and analysis on the ground.

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:

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

The next International Space Station status report is scheduled for issue June 4. For information about NASA, spaceflight, the ISS and agency program's on the Internet, visit:


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