Status Report

ISS Status Report #01-44 – 15 Nov 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2001
Filed under , ,

After completing the final space walk planned for Expedition Three, the crew
of the International Space Station this week begins to get ready for the
arrival of a cargo vessel, a space shuttle and a replacement crew later this

Engineers at the Mission Control Center outside of Moscow conducted a series
of tests and verified that the exterior connections made by Commander Frank
Culbertson and Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov during Monday’s space walk had
successfully brought the Pirs Docking Compartment’s automated Kurs telemetry
system to full functionality.

With the help of Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, they spent Wednesday
cleaning up, servicing and storing the Orlan spacesuits they had used on the
5-hour, 4-minute space walk. They also spent about 20 minutes answering
questions posed by middle school students in Texas and Kansas as part of a
regional education conference.

With those activities complete, the trio of space researchers began getting
ready for a series of comings and goings, and packing for their impending
return home. The Progress 5 resupply craft currently docked to the Zvezda
service module is scheduled to undock Nov. 22; it later will be commanded to
re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere where it will burn up along with refuse
being stored inside by the crew this week. Another supply vehicle, Progress
6, is scheduled to launch Nov. 26 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
and dock with the station Nov. 28.

All preparations for the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the
Expedition Four crew – Commander Yuri Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Dan
Bursch and Carl Walz – are on schedule for launch at 6:42 p.m. CST Nov. 29.
Mission managers will meet at Kennedy Space Center this Thursday to review
all preparations for launch; an official launch target is expected at the
conclusion of that meeting. The shuttle crew – Commander Dom Gorie, Pilot
Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Linda Godwin and Dan Tani – joined the
new station crew in Florida for a final dress rehearsal of the launch last

While visiting the station, the shuttle crew will conduct a space walk to
install insulation blankets on the beta gimbal assemblies for the station’s
large solar array wings. These large swivels, which allow the solar arrays
to track the Sun’s rays and provide maximum power generation, appear to be
experiencing adverse effects related to the extreme temperature swings that
occur as the station moves in and out of direct sunlight. These multi-layer
insulation blankets are expected to reduce the temperature swings and allow
normal operation of the solar arrays.

Meanwhile in Florida, the next major component to be launched to the space
station has successfully completed acceptance testing and been moved to a
work platform for final closeouts. One last software test remains, and that
will be completed in January. The S-zero truss, which will serve as the base
section of a framework connecting more large solar array wings, is scheduled
for launch on STS-110 in March 2002.

With systems operating normally, the station is orbiting at an average
altitude of 247 statute miles (397 km). For the latest information on launch
dates and times, as well as sighting opportunities from anywhere on the
Earth, visit the Web at:

Science work aboard the station continues with emphasis on human physiology
experiments as the crew nears the end of its time on orbit, and with
autonomous microgravity materials research. Overall coordination of the
research is the responsibility of the Payload Operations Center at NASA’s
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Human Research Facility
is managed by the Johnson Space Center. Details on station science
operations can be found on the Web at:

The next status report will be issued on Wednesday, Nov. 21, or earlier, if
events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.