Status Report

NASA Space Station Status Report 21 Jun 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
June 21, 2004
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NASA Space Station Status Report 21 Jun 2004
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Father’s Day came early for astronaut Mike Fincke, 225
miles in space aboard the International Space Station, as he
received the best present on Earth — baby daughter Tarali
Paulina Fincke. Tarali Paulina was born Friday, June 18.

Although Fincke is among thousands of American fathers whose
service to the country has prevented them from attending the
birth of a child, he is the first U.S. astronaut to have
celebrated the event from space.

Fincke’s wife, Renita, gave birth to their second child in
Clear Lake, Texas. Fincke spoke to teams of flight
controllers Friday in Russia and in Houston during a
television downlink, thanking them for their support of his
family and offering a celebratory cigar and candy to
Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka. Fincke also urged
everyone to remember all those in service to their country
and support them as they make similar sacrifices away from
their families.

Today, Fincke and Padalka are getting ready for this week’s
planned spacewalk. The crew will venture outside Thursday to
fix a device that’s essentially a circuit breaker. They’ll
replace a Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) that houses
the faulty circuit breaker. The modules route power to one of
the Control Moment Gyros (CMGs).

The Station has four CMGs. They control the orientation of
the ISS in space. CMG 1 failed two years ago and will be
replaced during the next Space Shuttle mission. CMG 2 was
taken off line by the April 21 failure of the circuit breaker
and should be restored by the RPCM’s replacement. The two
functioning CMGs adequately control the Station’s attitude.

NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk begins at 4:30 p.m.
EDT Thursday, June 24. Padalka and Fincke are scheduled to
leave the Russian Pirs docking compartment at 5:50 p.m. EDT
in Russian spacesuits.

The two spacewalkers will move to the worksite, on the S0
truss, covering part of the distance using the Russian Strela
crane attached to Pirs. The replacement work should take
about 4-1/2 hours. Other tasks may be performed if time
allows.

The crew’s Russian spacesuits require a line of sight to
antennas on the Russian segment of the station, some distance
from the worksite, to communicate with the ground and with
one another. Communications access points have been
identified and four basic hand signals have been developed
should Padalka and Fincke need them.

In addition to the spacewalk preparations, the crew’s
attention last week was devoted to experiment activities. The
crew used each other as subjects in mass measurement checks
and Fincke worked with three of the Express Racks aboard the
U.S. laboratory Destiny to load new software.

The crew conducted the first of three 48-hour in-flight diet-
logging sessions for the Effect of Prolonged Space Flight on
Human Skeletal Muscle (BIOPSY) experiment. The experiment
investigates the reductions in limb muscle size, force and
power at the cellular level that are caused by microgravity.
Crewmembers are recording their food consumption for the
experiment, and biopsies were taken from their calf and foot-
flexing muscles before launch. Biopsies will be taken again
immediately when they return to Earth in October.

The neuromuscular system is one of the human systems most
affected by extended stays in space. Past space missions have
shown weightlessness can cause deterioration of muscle fiber
and physical strength. This research will determine how long
it takes for weightlessness to affect skeletal muscles, so
predictions can be made regarding muscle changes that may
occur on a roundtrip flight to Mars.

The crew also served as test subjects for the Advanced
Diagnostic Ultrasound in Micro-G experiment. Fincke set up
the equipment, after which he and Padalka performed the
ultrasound bone scans on each other by taking turns as
operator and subject.

This research will be used to determine the accuracy of
ultrasound in novel clinical conditions including:
orthopedic, thoracic, and ophthalmic injury and dental/sinus
infections; and to assess the ultrasound as a feasible option
for monitoring in-flight bone alterations.

Information about crew activities on the International Space
Station, future launch dates, and Station sighting
opportunities from Earth on the Internet, visit:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

For Details about Station science operations administered by
the Payload Operations Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Ala., on the Internet, visit:

http://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/

SpaceRef staff editor.