Encyclopedia Astronautica
2003.11.07 - International Space Station Status Report #03-58


The Expedition 8 crew settled into life aboard the International Space Station this week, squaring away their new home in orbit and beginning work with several different experiments.

Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Michael Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri began their week by making room inside the habitable volume of the Station. After equalizing pressure with the Destiny Laboratory, they opened Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 (PMA2) and stowed a variety of supplies and equipment that will not be needed on short notice. They then closed the hatch to PMA2 and depressurized the module.

Foale slipped on a specially instrumented glove as part of an Italian scientific investigation into how hand and arm muscles are used differently for reaching and grasping in microgravity. The Hand Posture Analyzer also will attempt to quantify muscle fatigue associated with long-duration space flight. Measurements taken with a Posture Acquisition Glove on the hand, an Inertial Tracking System on the wrist and Hand Grip and Pinch Force Dynamometers will be compared with those taken before and after flight.

Foale and Kaleri also began taking either potassium citrate pills or placebos and recording their food, water and medication intake as part of the Renal (Kidney) Stone Risk During Spaceflight experiment. Previous on-orbit experiments have shown an increased risk in the development of kidney stones during and immediately after space flight, and the experiment is testing a proven Earth-based remedy in space.

Finally, Foale set up the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools digital camera in Destiny's optical-quality window so that students in grades six through eight could take photos of the Earth and downlink them for analysis by the student science team.

Meanwhile, Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu are at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, continuing their immediate post-flight medical evaluations and debriefings. They are expected to return to Houston on Nov. 18. They landed on Oct. 27 after spending 183 days aboard the Station. Joining them on the returning ISS Soyuz 6 spacecraft was European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque of Spain, who conducted eight days of intensive research after launching with the Expedition 8 crew.

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