The Progress docked to the station at 3:10 p.m. EST Wednesday with a cargo of 2.3 tons of equipment and supplies. Aboard were propellant, oxygen and air, and water.
A 160-day supply of food also is on the Progress, as well as spare parts and equipment for the Russian environmental control system and toilet. Cameras and telephoto lenses to be used to photograph thermal protection tiles of the Space Shuttle Discovery as the return to flight mission approaches the Station, and a new heat exchanger for the U.S Quest airlock which should allow resumption of U.S. spacewalks from the orbiting laboratory.
Early-week preparations involved Sharipov setting up and practicing with a manual docking system for use in the unlikely event of a problem with the automated docking system. It was not needed. The automated system functioned well.
Unloading activities included entering items of the cargo into the Inventory Management System. The IMS is a computerized bar code system that keeps track of items aboard the station.
In preparation for Progress activities, crewmembers had shifted their sleep period later, getting their wakeup tone at about 6:30 a.m. instead of the standard 1 a.m. much of the week. They will return gradually to their usual schedule.
Chiao and Sharipov continued daily exercise sessions, did scheduled maintenance on Station systems and participated in several medical and other scientific experiments.
In other activities, the crew talked with high school students in the Levelland, Texas, area on Monday. Late Thursday, Chiao radioed congratulations to Steve Fossett, who that day completed a three-day, non-stop, solo around-the-world flight with a landing in Salina, Kan. On the Station, Chiao and Sharipov circle the Earth more than 15 times a day, as they have for four months.