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

Oct. 29, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-037
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-037
The crewmembers aboard the International Space Station took a brief break early this week following handover from their departing colleagues. The crew is acclimatizing themselves to their new home and orbiting laboratory.

Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov activated one experiment, the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM). They participated in several ongoing medical studies related to lengthy stays in microgravity and performed routine maintenance tasks. Their six-month mission will include two spacewalks and preparations for the resumption of Space Shuttle flights and end with a scheduled return to Earth on April 25, 2005.

Early in the week, the pair received word from Mission Control Elektron oxygen generation system telemetry readings were normal, and the device was approved for around-the-clock operations. The Elektron had been used only when the crew was awake until Sharipov and departing Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka were able to install several replacement parts during joint crew operations.

The return to normal operations came after engineers in Russia used the new hardware to verify the Elektron was successfully separating oxygen and hydrogen atoms from recycled water after the repairs. Mission Management Team members reviewed and validated the recommendation on Monday. A software adjustment was uplinked by Russian flight controllers on Tuesday to implement the decision.

Later in the week, Chiao and Sharipov received on-board training in emergency departure procedures and equipment, as well as window inspection techniques. These training sessions were in addition to an hour a day reserved for general familiarization with Space Station systems and procedures. That's something afforded each new crew as it settles in.

Chiao took time Wednesday for his first solo media interviews aboard the Station. He answered questions about his plans to vote by secure e-mail in upcoming local, state and national elections. He spoke with reporters from ABC and CNN.

Meanwhile, Expedition 9 Science Officer and Flight Engineer Mike Fincke, Padalka and Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin returned to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, where they began rehabilitation and debriefings. The three landed in Kazakhstan last weekend. Padalka and Fincke will remain in Star City for several weeks of post-flight debriefings and medical exams before returning to Houston in mid-November.

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 a Web site administered by the Payload Operations Center, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., at:


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