Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and Astronaut John Phillips conducted scientific research while troubleshooting the Station's oxygen generator and stowed trash and other unneeded items into the Progress supply vehicle for disposal next week.
Late Friday the Station was to pass over the Gulf of Mexico, offering flight controllers an opportunity to capture video of the season's first tropical storm Arlene as it tracks northward toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Krikalev - on his sixth voyage into space and third long-duration stay on space stations (one on Mir and two on the ISS) - surpassed fellow Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov on the space duration record list. He will move into the number one spot in August, which currently is held by Sergei Avdeyev (747 days).
During the week, Krikalev swapped the large liquid unit component in the Station's Elektron oxygen generation unit in preparation for an attempt in two weeks to restore its use. New filters for its gas lines are to arrive aboard the next Progress cargo vessel late next week and will be installed before the attempted activation.
In the meantime, the crew continues to replenish the cabin atmosphere each day using two solid fuel oxygen generation canisters - devices that introduce oxygen into the pressurized compartment by a chemical process. Plentiful supplies of these canisters are on board, and more are set to arrive on the next supply ship June 18.
The onboard supply combined with future shipments provides oxygen for the crew until at least January 2006 - even without use of the Elektron. In addition, new Elektron components and spares also are planned for delivery aboard supply ships later this year.
Phillips worked this week with an experiment designed to measure muscle tone primarily in his legs and feet. Strategically spaced data takes by Phillips were conducted before his mission and two of four now have been performed on orbit to allow principle investigators to correlate bone and muscle loss in order to develop countermeasures for future long-duration space flights by humans.
Early next week, the crew will wrap up stowage of trash and unneeded equipment in the Progress supply ship prior to its departure Wednesday. The undocking clears the docking port on the aft end of the Zvezda module for the arrival of ISS Progress 18 scheduled to launch June 16 and dock the evening of June 18 (U.S. time).