Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev reported the installation of the final cables to the Russian Elektron system, which produces oxygen by breaking down water through the process of electrolysis. The Elektron is expected to be activated on Thursday and become the primary source of oxygen generation onboard. Up to now, per the preflight plan, Shepherd, Gidzenko and Krikalev have been burning one oxygen producing canister each day per crew member to maintain the proper level of oxygen in the ISS modules.
Meanwhile, Gidzenko and Krikalev completed the installation of a television monitor for a manual backup rendezvous system in the Zvezda module called TORU. The system would be used to guide an unmanned Progress resupply ship in for docking to the ISS in the event the Progress' automated navigation system failed. The next Progress will be launched to the ISS November 16 with a docking planned two days later. The expedition crew will unload the Progress so it can be jettisoned one day after the launch of the Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-97 mission, providing the proper clearance for Endeavour's linkup to a newly installed docking port on the ISS.
The crew for that flight - Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Mike Bloomfield and Mission Specialists Joe Tanner, Marc Garneau and Carlos Noriega - is at the Kennedy Space Center this week to simulate the final hours of the countdown. It is the final trip to Florida before the scheduled launch November 30 on the next ISS assembly flight to install the large U.S. photovoltaic solar arrays on the station. The arrays will make the ISS the most powerful vehicle ever to fly in space.
Before the crew began its sleep period today, Shepherd reminded flight controllers in Houston that he and his crewmates had completed their first week in space and would hold a "small celebration" to mark the milestone. The trio will be awakened around 10 p.m. beginning another night of work to setup their home in space.
The ISS continues to operate in excellent shape at an altitude of 237 statute miles.