Today marked the crew's 118th day on orbit. Sample processing for the Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI) concluded today after beginning Wednesday inside the U.S. laboratory Destiny and the protective environment of the Microgravity Science Glovebox. Processing of the first Expedition 7 sample had been postponed from the previous week due to a missing data cable. Lu found the cable after he talked with former Station Science Officer Don Pettit via cell phone. Plans call for Lu to process seven more samples.
Malenchenko participated in his fifth session with a Russian heart experiment, Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest, with Lu assisting as crew medical officer and administering the electrocardiogram. Lu also performed periodic health tests with a portable clinical blood analyzer.
"The crew is in great spirits and looking forward to a busy week of departures and arrivals next week," said Expedition 7 Lead Flight Director John McCullough.
As the crew exhausted the supply of oxygen from the Progress 10 cargo vehicle docked to the back of the Zvezda Service Module to repressurize the Station, they continued filling it with trash and worn-out equipment. The old Progress is scheduled to undock from Zvezda at 5:43 p.m. CDT Aug. 27, and later will be commanded to re-enter and burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. That undocking will vacate a port for the Progress 12 vehicle that is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8:48p.m. CDT Aug. 28, and dock to Zvezda at 10:43p.m. CDT Aug. 30. Progress 12 will deliver about 1,000 pounds of food, supplies and equipment for use on the Station.
Early next month, the Progress 11 resupply craft will depart its Pirs docking compartment moorings to make room for the Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft that will ferry the Expedition 8 crew and European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque of Spain to the Station on Oct. 20. Expedition 8 Commander Michael Foale and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri will replace the Expedition 7 crew, which will return to Earth Oct. 28 with Duque after he completes more than a week of science activities.