Oct. 08, 2004
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-034
As Expedition 9 nears the end of its mission, the crew aboard the International Space Station prepared for the trip home by wrapping up science experiments, rehearsing, and continuing maintenance operations on the vehicle.
Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke donned their entry spacesuits and slid into the ISS Soyuz 8 (TMA-4) spacecraft docked to the Station to check for a good fit.
Next Friday, the crew will greet its first visitors in six months. Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao, Expedition 10 Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov and Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin are preparing for their launch to the Station. The Expedition 10 crew also conducted an inspection and fit check of their ISS Soyuz 9 (TMA-5) spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Chiao, Sharipov, and Shargin are scheduled to launch from Baikonur at 11:06 p.m. EDT Oct. 13. Their Soyuz will dock with the Station at 12:24 a.m. EDT Oct. 16. Padalka, Fincke and Shargin will land in Kazakhstan at 8:32 p.m. EDT Oct. 23.
In preparation for the next crew's arrival, Fincke inspected the U.S. carbon dioxide removal system, so it can be activated in addition to the Russian system. During the docked mission, it will remove the additional carbon dioxide produced when more people are onboard. He also worked with the flight control team to discuss improvements to procedures for future routine maintenance work on the system.
Fincke also continued work on the U.S. spacesuits to restore cooling operations in two of the three suits. He recently restored cooling in one of the suits and started the same procedures on the other. He replaced a gas trap and pump inlet filter in the internal cooling system this week. He will work with Chiao during the docked mission to perform a procedure to replace a rotor pump, which is what ultimately restored cooling in the first suit. Next week, the third, fully operational, suit will be hooked up and used to flush water lines in the Quest Airlock in advance of the final repair work.
The Expedition 9 crew served as test subjects for the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) experiment. Fincke set up the equipment, and he and Padalka performed ultrasound bone scans on each other by taking turns as operator and subject.
Bone scans were taken of their shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles, monitored remotely from the ground, videotaped and photographed for downlink. This research will be used to determine the accuracy of ultrasound in novel clinical conditions including: orthopedic, thoracic, ophthalmic injury and dental/sinus infections and to assess ultrasound as a feasible option for monitoring changes in bone during flight.
For his Saturday Science activities, Fincke conducted a session with the Educational Payloads Operation. The demonstrations were videotaped for later use in classrooms and NASA educational products.
The crew also continued photographing interesting geologic, environmental and other sites on Earth. The images are transmitted to the ground and available on the Web, at:
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., at:
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