The Progress cargo craft arrived last week with a 160-day supply of food in addition to spare parts and equipment for the Russian environmental control system and toilet; cameras that will be used to photograph the underside of Space Shuttle Discovery as it approaches for docking; and a new heat exchanger for Quest. The replacement of the existing heat exchanger is scheduled to be conducted throughout the week next week. The job will set the stage to restore use of the Quest Airlock as a base for spacewalks using U.S. spacesuits. The heat exchanger provides cooling for U.S. spacesuits while they are connected to the airlock.
Expedition 10 Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov also conducted some routine periodic maintenance and inspection tasks, including strategic placement of sound measuring devices that document noise levels. This typically is done twice during a crew's six-month stay aboard the Station.
The second spacewalk for Chiao and Sharipov is scheduled for the early morning hours of Monday, March 28. In preparation for that spacewalk, Chiao moved the Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm into position for optimum camera viewing of the planned work outside. Chiao also conducted several arm maneuvers to use the cameras for review of the spacewalk worksites.
Sharipov this week set up an experiment gathering measurements of radiation. He also worked with another experiment designed to study high-efficiency strains of microorganisms for producing petroleum biodegradation compounds. Both crewmembers took turns as patient and doctor on the Advanced Diagnostic in Ultrasound in Microgravity experiment. The experiments studies the use of remote ultrasound observation in space to allow doctors on the ground to diagnose medical conditions.
The Station's Elektron oxygen-generating system has operated intermittently during the past week. Sharipov is scheduled to perform a couple of hours of further troubleshooting efforts on the device on Saturday. The problem has not impacted the replenishment of oxygen in the Station cabin. The Elektron, which converts water into oxygen, is one of several methods for replenishing oxygen aboard the Station.