Sun, Aug 01, 2004
Progress 14 resupply craft undocked, BBQ'd, crew prepares for
Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike
Fincke this week marked their 100th day in orbit, oversaw the
undocking of a resupply craft and prepared for their third
The ISS Progress 14 automated resupply craft undocked from the
station, Fincke filmed its departure, and Station exterior cameras
captured rare footage of the Progress' fiery re-entry into Earth's
atmosphere. It had been filled with about a ton of trash and
equipment no longer needed aboard the orbiting outpost. It was
undocked to clear the area for the upcoming spacewalk and to make
room for the next supply vehicle, Progress 15, planned to launch
Aug. 11 and dock with the Station on Aug. 14.
Throughout the week, Padalka and Fincke prepared for their Aug.
3 spacewalk. Using Russian spacesuits and the Russian Pirs airlock,
they will replace several materials exposure experiment packages
and a thruster contamination monitor. They also will install
reflectors and communications equipment needed for the docking of a
new European Space Agency cargo ship, called the Automated Transfer
Vehicle, to fly for the first time next year. NASA Television will
broadcast the spacewalk live beginning at 1 a.m. CDT Aug. 3.
Padalka and Fincke are set to exit the hatch and begin up to six
hours of work outside at about 2:10 a.m. CDT.
This will be the 55th spacewalk in support of Space Station
assembly and maintenance, the 30th from the Station and the 12th
from the Russian airlock. Padalka will be making his fifth
spacewalk, and Fincke his third. The Expedition 9 crew, which
launched April 19, has a fourth spacewalk scheduled later in the
The Progress 15 cargo will include two spare water pumps that
engineers hope to use in repairing two U.S. spacesuits with cooling
system problems. Engineers are continuing to review detailed
photographs downlinked by the crew during last week's
Fincke spent part of his weekend working with the In Space
Soldering Investigation. He used a soldering iron to melt solder on
18 experiment samples, documenting differences in the way the
solder melted and solidified in weightlessness. Scientists hope to
learn how such materials behave in orbit. The tests may help to
verify in-flight repair procedures for electronics on the Station
and for future space exploration vehicles and outposts.
Thursday, the crew answered questions from teachers gathered for
a NASA Explorer School Workshop at the Goddard Space Flight Center
in Greenbelt, Md.
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