Status Report

NASA Space Station Status Report Dec. 5, 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 6, 2003
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NASA Space Station Status Report Dec. 5, 2003

Expedition 8 Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri Friday wrapped up a busy week aboard the International Space Station. ISS activities included scientific experiments ranging from behavior of plasma dust subjected to radio waves in a vacuum to investigation of stresses on the feet and legs during spaceflight.

Kaleri completed the first run of the Russian Plasma Crystal-3 experiment on Thursday, after preparations on Monday and experiment setup on Tuesday. The largely automated experiment studies crystallization of plasma dust subjected to high-frequency radio waves in a vacuum chamber.

On Tuesday, Foale spent much of his day in instrumented biking tights for the Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Spaceflight (FOOT) experiment. The Lower Extremity Monitoring Suit, the cycling tights outfitted with 20 sensors, measured forces on Foale’s feet and joints and muscle activity while he went about his scheduled activities. Investigators believe the experiment will provide additional information on reasons for bone and muscle loss by people in space. That knowledge could lead to better ways to minimize such problems.

Also completed during the week was spacesuit battery maintenance – discharging and recharging the batteries, reloading of laptop computers, continued participation by crewmembers in the Renal Stone experiment, regular maintenance and standard crew exercise sessions.

On Thursday crewmembers did an inspection of the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System, the treadmill in the Zvezda Service Module mounted on a sophisticated system that minimizes transmissions of vibrations created by exercising crewmembers. Both also ran on the treadmill with its Vibration Isolation and Stabilization turned off. Instruments they had set up earlier in Zvezda and the Unity node monitored vibrations produced. Crewmembers have approval to use the TVIS in a modified configuration.

They are scheduled to spend at least four hours on Tuesday and four hours on Wednesday removing the TVIS from its housing for inspection and possible repair of a stabilizing gyroscope. Today Foale talked with TVIS experts at Johnson Space Center in preparation for next week’s work with the treadmill.

The TVIS and several other exercise devices aboard the ISS are used about 2- hours each day by each crewmember. The exercise is designed to mitigate some of those negative effects of long-term spaceflight.

On Tuesday Foale and Kaleri talked with CBS’ "Osgood Files" and with reporters from CBS Radio. Foale spent more than 15 minutes on Thursday chatting with Sir David Frost for the BBC’s "Breakfast with Frost" program.

Information on the crew’s activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at:

Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:

The next ISS status report will be issued Dec. 12, or sooner if events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.