Sun, Aug 15, 2004
Crew also working on science experiments and routine
The Expedition 9 crew
aboard the International Space Station is preparing to unload a
shipment of supplies after the Russian Progress M-50 ship docked
automatically with the orbiting station right on schedule at 9:01
a.m. Moscow time, or 1:01 a.m. EDT, said Irina Manshilina, a
spokeswoman at Russian mission control outside Moscow. The crew
also worked on several science experiments and routine maintenance
of Station systems.
The Progress M-50 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan at 12:03 a.m. CDT Wednesday. Commander Gennady Padalka
and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke prepared
for the arrival of the craft by clearing room for the new supplies
and setting up video cameras to monitor its arrival. Padalka also
trained on the use of the Russian telerobotically operated docking
system that he would have operated to manually dock the Progress in
the unlikely event the automated system is not available.
During the Station's orbits above the Gulf of Mexico and the
Caribbean Sea, the crewmembers took photographs of Tropical Storm
Bonnie and Hurricane Charley while video cameras on the exterior of
the Destiny laboratory module documented the storms'
Science activities for the crew included using the advanced
ultrasound equipment to gather more data about what ultrasound
examinations of healthy crewmembers look like while in
microgravity. The work is also verifying techniques developed for
minimally trained people to conduct the examinations with the help
from doctors in remote places, such as Mission Control, Houston in
The crew worked with a Russian experiment studying plasma-dust
crystals and another studying the changes in body mass while in
space. The crew also filled out dietary logs for two days to
support the U.S. Biopsy experiment studying the effects of
long-duration space flight on human skeletal muscle.
On Monday, the crewmembers answered questions from students at
the Waimea Middle School in Kamuela, Hawaii with about 550
educators and students in attendance. Tuesday Fincke contacted
students at Good Shepherd School and St. Paul's Catholic School in
Decherd, Tennessee through the amateur radio system onboard.
Regular maintenance was conducted on the ventilation system and
periodic environmental samples were collected. The crew also
participated in a Soyuz emergency evacuation drill.
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