Malenchenko and Lu answered questions posed by reporters from CNN, CBS and KCRA-TV, Sacramento, Calif., during breaks in their Progress unloading and scientific research. Lu even took a moment in one interview to play a short rendition of the "Peanuts" theme on a keyboard he has been practicing with on orbit.
But for the most part, it was a busy week of work as the pair unloaded about two tons of food, water, clothing, office supplies, environmental system replacement parts and experiment gear from Progress 11. The Russian cargo craft automatically docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment on June 11; the Expedition 7 crew began unloading the cargo ship last Friday. Water transfers were effected using hoses and a portable electric pump that moved about 210 liters of drinking water from the Progress into a bladder in the Zvezda Service Module. Each crewmember uses about 2 liters of water per day.
In addition, propellant valves were opened between the Service Module fuel system and the Pirs system to enable fuel to be transferred from the new Progress to Zvezda.
Tuesday, Lu slipped his hands into the Microgravity Science Glovebox to continue work with the Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE) experiment. InSPACE is investigating a type of "smart fluids" that researchers hope will help improve braking and vibration damping systems. Lu beamed down video of his setup and deactivation of the experiment, as well as shots of the bright green liquid inside the experiment chamber. Scientists at the Payload Operations Center at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., monitored the experiment and the associated video.
Next week, the crew will continue unpacking the Progress and transferring fuel to Zvezda's tanks. Also on the schedule is a ship-to-ship conversation between the crew and Peggy Whitson, the Expedition 5 science officer who is commanding a 14-day underwater research mission as part of the NASA Extreme Environment Operations (NEEMO) project. That conversation will be broadcast live on NASA TV at 11:25 a.m. CDT Wednesday, June 25, between the ISS and the Aquarius underwater lab off the coast of Key Largo, Fla.