After celebrating the International Space Stationís first holiday on orbit, the Expedition One Crew continued to activate support systems this week and completed the stowage of discarded equipment on an unmanned Progress resupply ship.
Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev performed routine maintenance activities on the stationís humidity removal system, toilet and treadmill and replenished the Stationís oxygen supply from tanks on the Progress vehicle. One of four ventilation fans in the Zvezda living quarters was shut down after a blade in the fan system apparently failed. A replacement fan will be installed by the crew with no impact to the environmental conditions on board.
The crew continued to prepare for the arrival of the first Shuttle crew to visit the inhabited Space Station. Space Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled for launch at 9:06 p.m. Central time Thursday on the STS-97 mission with a five-man crew to deliver the large U.S. solar arrays to the orbiting outpost. All preparations for Endeavourís launch continue without a hitch at the Kennedy Space Center and the weather forecast is favorable for an on-time liftoff.
About 13 hours after Endeavourís launch, the Progress supply vehicle is scheduled to be undocked from the Zarya moduleís downward facing, or nadir docking port and will be placed in a parking orbit by Russian flight controllers about 2500 kilometers away from the ISS. Over the next few weeks, U.S. and Russian managers will discuss whether to attempt a redocking of the Progress to the Station in late December or another rendezvous without a docking, to test a software patch as a solution an apparent problem in the Progressí navigation system which occurred during its automated approach to the ISS back on November 17 (U.S. time).
The Progress is scheduled to depart from the Station on Friday at about 10:20 a.m. Central time, clearing a path for Endeavourís linkup to a new docking port on the ISS on Saturday just before 2 p.m. Central time. The Expedition crew conducted a successful test of the Progressí external black and white camera today in advance of its undocking.
The ISS continues to orbit the Earth at an altitude of about 230 statute miles in excellent shape. Coverage of the STS-97 mission on NASA Television will begin on Thursday at 4 p.m. Central time.
Information regarding the progress of the Expedition One mission aboard the ISS will be contained in the standard STS-97 Mission Status Reports beginning with Endeavourís launch on Thursday. The next Expedition One ISS Status Report will be issued following the STS-97 mission.
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