Fri, May 28, 2004
ISS Crew Gets Goodies From Home
An unmanned Progress rocket launched from the Russian Cosmodrome
at Baikonur, Kazakstan, docked Thursday with the International
Space Station, bringing food, water, air and something else for the
two astronauts now on board.
If you'll remember, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and US
astronaut Michael Finke (on his fist space voyage) only had a
couple of months to make final preparations for the journey. They
didn't have time to gather up the personal effects that make life
in a big tin can more enjoyable. So the M-49 Progress ship, which
carried 2.76 tons of material to the ISS, brought along a few
presents from the crew's families.
Just what those presents are, we don't know at this point. But
we do know that, among the items sent to Michael Finke were the
parts of his Russian-made spacesuit that didn't make it on board
the Soyuz with him when he and Padalka launched last month. After
the crew was unable to get the water system in Finke's suit to work
properly, NASA this week ruled that US-built suits are unusable on
the ISS. There are now five Russian suits aboard the ISS.
Right down to their underwear, both men were wearing clothing
that had been tailored to fit the original mission crew. The
Progress shipment included said underwear, along with other items
of clothing, some books and DVDs.
Padalka and Finke plan a spacewalk next month, hoping to fix an
erzats power control and circuit breaker box that serves the
station's ailing gyroscopes. When that box failed last month, it
forced the crew to shut down one of the four gyros that stabilize
the station. Now, only two of the four gyros on board are working
-- the bare minimum to keep things on an even keel.
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