Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content


Text Size

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

Sept. 24, 2004
RELEASE : SS04-032
International Space Station Status Report: SS04-032
With less than a month remaining in their stay aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke are preparing the orbiting laboratory for its next residents.

The crew's work this week included taking inventory, performing maintenance on exercise equipment and continued troubleshooting of the primary onboard oxygen generator.

Roskosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, announced this week the next Station crew will launch at 12:17 a.m. EDT Oct. 11 aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The Expedition 10 crew commander is Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov is flight engineer. Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin will accompany them for launch and spend about a week aboard the Station. Padalka, Fincke and Shargin will return to Earth Oct. 19.

This week, additional troubleshooting work continued on the Elektron oxygen-generating unit. It produces breathing oxygen from wastewater. Intermittent operations of the device led the Russian flight control team to believe contamination was preventing proper pressurization in a hydrogen line. Padalka cleaned the line. Further work is planned this weekend. As oxygen is generated from water by the unit, hydrogen is dumped overboard.

While the Elektron work continued, the Station's atmosphere was repressurized twice this week using oxygen from tanks on the Progress supply spacecraft docked to the Station. If needed, months of oxygen are available for the crew even without the use of the Elektron. Oxygen is stored in Progress tanks, Station tanks and oxygen-generating canisters.

Padalka and Fincke also performed routine maintenance work this week on the Station's treadmill, which is done every six months. The treadmill provides cardiovascular training. The crew prepared for the trip home by taking food and hardware inventory. They also began stowing cargo containers and personal items for the return trip.

The crew periodically sends down digital photographs of life in space, including Earth views, which can be viewed online 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:


- end -

text-only version of this release

NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending a blank e-mail message to To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send a blank e-mail message to

Back to NASA Newsroom | Back to NASA Homepage