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More Details for 2005-02-04
International Space Station Status Report #05-6

The Expedition 10 crew turned its attention to the Space Shuttle's return to flight this week, spending several days pre-packing International Space Station items destined for return to Earth aboard Discovery.

Commander Leroy Chiao began the effort Feb. 1 and reported Friday that he has completed pre-packing all U.S. hardware identified for return, and that he and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov are working together to do the same for the appropriate Russian hardware. Chiao also completed an inventory of food supplies.

Expedition 11 Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer and Science Officer John Phillips will be on board the Station when Discovery arrives in May, and will work with the STS-114 crew to stow the return items after supplies and equipment being delivered have been transferred. The Expedition 10 crew's pre-packing efforts will help ensure that the limited amount of transfer time available during Discovery's visit is used efficiently.

Scientific research also highlighted the week, with Sharipov conducting three runs with the Russian Plasma-Crystal experiment, while Chiao worked with two student experiments. "Plazmennyi Kristall" is studying how plasma-dust crystals and fluids behave in microgravity when excited by radio waves. Sharipov set up the experiment, installing specimens and pumping the atmosphere out of its vacuum chamber so that telescience specialists on the ground could command its operations. Chiao installed the EarthKAM experiment on a bracket in one of the Station's windows for its final Expedition 10 session. Students at 160 middle schools around the world have snapped more than 900 Earth observation images by remote control so far. Chiao also worked with the Space Experiment Module-Satchel experiment, which contains 11 sample vials, one each from schools around the United States, that are exposed to microgravity for three to six months. This is the first flight of the satchel carrier, which was delivered to the Station by the Progress 16 resupply ship.

Chiao also spent several hours working to restore the Space Integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation System (SIGI) to full functionality. The system, which supplies Global Positioning Satellite navigation information to a Station guidance and navigation computer, was working normally again after Chiao rotated out one of the Destiny Laboratory's systems racks to gain access and update the system's firmware programming.

The crew will have the usual light-duty weekend with cleaning and exercise on tap. Chiao, who is the NASA ISS Science Officer, can also choose from various research activities for his optional Saturday Morning Science session.

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