With the landing of Endeavour following the STS-100 mission and the arrival at the International Space Station of the Soyuz Taxi Crew with a new vehicle, the Expedition Two crew now is settling in to begin the process of unpacking and stowing nearly two tons of new supplies and hardware.
The three command and control computers onboard have been recovered, for the most part, with C&C 2 being used as the primary and C&C 1 as backup. The third currently is in standby while work continues to fully load the hard drive on C&C 1 with identical software as that on the primary system. The computers began exhibiting problems last Wednesday during Endeavour’s visit and flight controllers continue to reconfigure the systems to support all operations on board including the Robotic Work Station which will serve as the command post for complete checkout of the station’s new robotic arm – Canadarm2 – delivered to the station on the STS-100 mission.
While investigations into what caused the computer problems onboard continues on the ground, science activities continue onboard. Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms are overseeing the activation of several experiment racks onboard, including one that is remotely operated from the ground. It is the first to be operated in this fashion.
Except for the Human Research Facility, all station payloads are overseen from NASA’s Payloads Operations Center in Huntsville, Alabama. For details on the science investigations ongoing aboard the ISS, visit the following website:
The HRF is managed and operated by a team in the Telescience Support Center at the Johnson Space Center.
The Destiny Laboratory’s carbon-dioxide removal system is operating at half its design capability, but still working in tandem with the Russian system to provide adequate CO2 removal capability for the six crew members.
The Soyuz Taxi Crew is scheduled to depart Saturday night at 9:19 p.m. CDT in the spacecraft in which the Expedition One crew arrived last November. The new Soyuz will remain docked to the station for the next six months serving as an emergency return vehicle should that become necessary.
In preparation for that Soyuz vehicle swap, a test firing of the oldest vehicle’s thruster jets is scheduled in the next day or two to ensure it is ready to come home early Sunday morning. This test is similar to the Reaction Control System hotfire test on the shuttle before it returns home from a mission.
Beginning Thursday May 10, and occurring each Thursday thereafter leading to the next shuttle mission to the station, the crew will test the Canadian-built robot arm on the station. This will verify its operation before the next component – the U.S. airlock – arrives. The airlock can only be attached to the station using this new robot arm.
The International Space Station continues to orbit the Earth in good shape at an altitude of 245 statute miles (395 km). The next ISS Status Report will be issued Sunday, following the Soyuz Taxi Crew’s departure from the ISS, unless developments warrant.
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