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Sun, May 15, 2005

ISS Oxygen Generator Beyond Repair

It's Dead, John

The Russian oxygen generator on board the International Space Station is down for the count. The crew will have to depend on backup oxygen supplies until repair parts can be sent up in June.

The often broken Elektron generator has been a challenge for the astronauts. Expedition 11 Commander Sergei Krikalev attempted to repair the unit recently to no avail. NASA says a new electronic box will be shipped up on the Russian supply ship that is scheduled to arrive in mid-June.

Oxygen supplies on board the station can last for five months. The crew is currently using oxygen from the Progress cargo carrier that is docked to the station. This oxygen will last until about May 22 before the crew will have to start using oxygen generators similar to those used in some commercial airliners. An additional 100 days supply is in tanks attached to the station US Quest Airlock.

Total air supply is about 140 days.

NASA Science Officer and Flight Engineer John Phillips and Commander Krikalev have now been on the Station for one month of their scheduled six-month stay. They arrived April 14th and are scheduled to depart on October 7th.



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