Encyclopedia Astronautica
2002.12.27 - International Space Station Status Report #02-55


International Space Station Expedition 6 crewmembers, Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit, began their second month aboard the orbiting laboratory on Christmas Day. While they had some duties to attend to - checking the environmental control system and the status of payloads aboard the U.S. laboratory Destiny - it was basically a day off.

Crewmembers did get a Christmas call from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, who chatted with them for almost 15 minutes. Each crewmember also had a private 15-minute conversation with family members at home, and each had the daily standard two hours of physical exercise. While they had no special Christmas meal on board, each selected favorite dishes for their holiday dinner. They opened presents too, sent up well in advance of the day.

The week began with the station in the YVV attitude, with the right side of the ISS in the direction of travel and the 20-inch window in the bottom of Destiny continuously facing the ground. The maneuver to that attitude took place just before midnight CST on Dec. 21, a little earlier than planned. It was done in response to high temperatures on some parts of the station. The ISS returned to the more familiar XPOP attitude, with the 240-foot solar wings continuously pointed toward the sun, late on Christmas Day.

On the science front, Bowersox on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday worked with the FOOT (Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Spaceflight). The experiment is designed to see how the joints of the hips, legs and feet move and what changes occur in their bones and muscles in the absence of gravity. On Tuesday Bowersox wore a pair of tights with 20 sensors. The information they recorded was sent to an ISS workstation on Thursday for transmission to scientists on the ground.

Bowersox was able to show off the FOOT fashion on Tuesday during a Christmas Eve chat with representatives of KOIN-TV in Portland, Ore., and WISH TV of Indianapolis. On Thursday Bowersox and Pettit talked about science activities aboard the ISS in a 20-minute live segment carried on NASA-TV.

Budarin worked with a Russian plant-growth experiment during the week, while Pettit continued his work with experiments in Destiny. On Friday each crewmember submitted to a pre-breakfast blood analysis and a periodic health assessment.

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