Return to Human Space Flight home page

Expedition One Log Entries for March 18-19




We started this morning thinking that this was going to be a relaxed schedule, but the pace of the day keeps accelerating. The MPLM loading plan is coming together, and it looks like the changes to the cargo load are minimal. We are pretty surprised, however, when the laundry bags and dry trash bags get offloaded as we don't have enough " margin". The operational utility of the entire week with "Leonardo" could have been greatly increased if we had more flexibility how to put cargo in it. There are also many small details regarding outfitting which, if changed, would simplify the act of bringing the MPLM aboard and making it ready. Grounding straps is an example. In order to put the grounding straps on, two passive CBM guides have to be removed. Plus the straps have to be fitted up and bent to shape to line up the fasteners. The whole process takes at least 30 minutes. Some kind of jumper cable, such as a battery booster cable, which would just clamp to the metal fittings on both sides of the docking ring, would cut the time for this work to near zero. Isolating RACU/DDCU power cables, putting in IMV jumpers, dealing with the "O" rings are all activities which probably have more straightforward yet satisfactory solutions which would help us configure more quickly.
We get an IMAX scene in, showing the MPLM-Node-Lab area. We hope this one comes out well, as we had to use some inventive lighting techniques-we are anxious to see how they worked. We finally get the MPLM secured and egressed, and close the hatch. The deactivation, deoutfitting, etc. goes as planned. We are working quickly with no missteps and we are still unable to stay with the timeline. The Node hatch closure and vestibule leak check starts out well, but a vacuum leak in the hose slows everything down some more until the fittings are tightened. Finally the MPLM is moved away. We start settling down to the other tasks on our plate.

Sergei gets a run in on the TVIS, and it is making its clacking noise again. Yuri follows with a session, and a piece of slat breaks off and gets caught in the rear cover, and comes completely out of the tread. We take pictures and send them down. TVIS is out of commission until the long tread slat replacement procedure can be run.

We spent the rest of the day configuring DAUI's, doing the CBCS test, taking condensate samples, operating Chibis, shooting some more IMAX, and talking about more of the outstanding handover items. We think we even found some answers as to why the DZUS fasteners are hanging up----But it is time to leave these details to the next crew.

On the eve of Expedition One's departure from the station, we would like to thank the many individuals who have supported our mission-the fellow astronauts and cosmonauts who have flown up and assembled pieces of hardware, and the many hundreds--even thousands in the control centers on the ground who have made "Alpha" a reality. We will remember this time always as a most special episode in our lives and as a highlight of our space programs.

To this end, it is a tradition for the skipper of the first crew aboard a new vessel to designate those individuals who are to be considered "Plankowners":

All Astronauts, and Cosmonauts, who flew on Space Station Alpha for the purpose of building or operating the station; and all Flight Directors, Flight Controllers, and Operations Personnel who controlled Space Station "Alpha" in space, from the initial launch of Zarya Nov. 1998 until the end of the First Expedition 19 March 2001, are hereby designated as Space Station Alpha "Plankowners". All rights and privileges, such as are accorded by custom aboard naval ships, shall be conferred on said individuals.

Log entry to be made 19 March onboard "Alpha", as Expedition One is relieved by Expedition Two:

Change of command is an ancient naval tradition--the passage of responsibility for mission, welfare of crew, and integrity of vessel--from one individual to another.

Space Station Alpha has been commissioned in orbit. The service module has been activated. The power element and laboratory module have been brought aboard. A successful resupply mission with Discovery and her crew is complete. Station is at normal condition--all systems functional and ready to carry out operations

We are on a true space "ship" now, making her way above any Earthly boundary. We are not the first crew to board "Alpha", or the last to depart. But we have made "Alpha" come alive. We gave her a name, and put substance to the ideas -

That our crews can work together as equals--And our countries as partners.

That we may proceed with bolder and more enterprising voyages in space-with benefit from our differences, and with stronger purpose in our common goals.

We pass to your care "Alpha's" log--with the hope that many successful entries are recorded here---that explorations carried out onboard are prodigious, and discoveries wondrous. May the good will, spirit, and sense of "mission" we have enjoyed onboard--endure. Sail her well.

------------------------------------END OF LOG ENTRY--------------------------------------

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices