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22 May 2005

Space News: ISS Status Report: 21 May 2005

The Expedition 11 crew had a busy and varied week on the
International Space Station. The crew is into the second month
of their planned six-month mission.

Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips
began the week by repairing a restraint cable on the Station's
exercise treadmill. The broken cable, which holds the
treadmill's gyroscope in place, was detected during a routine
inspection last week. The treadmill is operational and is one
of three exercise options for the crew.

On Wednesday, after removing contents from Pressurized Mating
Adapter No. 2, Phillips depressurized the modules. This was
done to rehearse procedures for the Return to Flight (STS-114)
mission to conserve Shuttle nitrogen supplies during the
planned spacewalk. The modules also serve as the forward
docking port for Shuttles on the U.S. segment and the Quest

Throughout the week, Phillips set up and performed his first
session of the Foot Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT)
experiment. Phillips wore the Lower Extremity Monitoring Suit,
a pair of customized Lycra cycling tights. The suit measures
Phillips' joint angles, muscle activity and forces on the feet
during a typical day on the Station.

FOOT investigates the differences between use of the body's
lower extremities on Earth and in space, as well as changes in
the musculoskeletal system during spaceflight. Without
appropriate intervention, astronauts in space can lose as much
bone mineral in the lower part of the body in one month as a
typical post-menopausal woman loses in an entire year.

Muscle strength also can be rapidly lost during spaceflight.
FOOT could shed new light on the reasons for bone and muscle
loss during spaceflight. This experiment could also help
understand, prevent and treat osteoporosis on Earth.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Station's atmosphere was
repressurized with air and oxygen from the remaining supplies
in the tanks of the docked Russian Progress cargo ship. The
Progress tanks were depleted in preparation for its undocking
next month.

The crew conducted test ignitions of two Solid Fuel Oxygen
Generators (SFOG) canisters on Friday to verify their
performance and activation procedures. Starting Monday, two
SFOGs will be burned daily to produce oxygen. There are more
than 80 usable SFOGs on board, which can provide six weeks of
oxygen for the crew.

The next Progress cargo ship is set to arrive on June 18 with
additional oxygen in tanks and more solid-fuel canisters.
Oxygen supplies on the Station and planned for upcoming cargo
vehicles can accommodate the crew into next year. The Station's
Elektron oxygen generation system, which converts water into
oxygen, is inoperable.

Earlier in the week, the crew performed routine inspections of
emergency fire extinguishers and portable breathing apparatus
as well as the routine monitoring of carbon dioxide and
formaldehyde levels.

During the week, Krikalev and Phillips were given information
about possible photography of Earth sites including the Toshka
Lakes in Egypt, Florida's coasts, Mexico City, and Hurricane
Adrian as it passed over Central America. Photographs taken by
the crew are available online at:

The crew is scheduled for a light duty weekend, including
routine housekeeping tasks and family conferences. Next week
includes a session with the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in
Microgravity experiment and photography of the Station's solar

More Space News

Space News: Space Station: Status Report
HD stock footage