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Sun, May 11, 2003

ISS-7 Crew Makes Itself At Home - Minus Third Member

Malenchenko And Lu Setting Up Shop

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I
--Bill Withers, "Just The Two Of Us"

ISS Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu are wrapping up their first week of independent operations aboard the International Space Station after departure of their Expedition 6 predecessors on May 3. A Russian holiday gave them some time off Saturday.

The week began with Sunday and Monday off for Malenchenko and Lu to help them become accustomed to their home for the next six months. An hour of ISS familiarization followed on Tuesday, along with standard maintenance and inspection activities.

Does Rotor-Rooter Make ISS Calls?

The station's toilet system underwent three hours of periodic maintenance on Wednesday, with Malenchenko changing out elements, including hoses and filter inserts. Lu also had a three-hour project, inspecting emergency lighting power sources in the station's US segment.

The first medical tests for the new crew were a Thursday highlight. The experiments looked at crew body mass, red blood cell count and heart activity. The Resistive Exercise Device (RED) was out of kilter, showing higher than normal resistance and making unusual sounds.

Saturday was a Russian holiday, Victory Day, marking the end of World War II in Europe. The crew had the day off, but they did perform scheduled maintenance and two sessions each of physical exercise.  Lu changed out canisters on the RED. The device is functioning well after the canister exchange.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 6 crew remains at Star City, the Russian cosmonaut training center near Moscow, after its landing in Kazakhstan on May 3. E6 Commander Ken Bowersox, Cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit are undergoing debriefings and physical rehabilitation. Bowersox and Pettit are scheduled to return to Johnson Space Center a little over a week from now.



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