No Show Leaves LEO A Space Duet

July 18, 2005

The Space Station Expedition 11 crew worked last week on final preparations for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Discovery on its Return to Flight mission (STS-114).

Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips worked to wrap up packing items for return to Earth on Discovery. They also performed scientific experiments, physical exercises and routine Station maintenance.

On Friday, the crew tested their Soyuz capsule's motion control system in preparation to relocate it. The Soyuz is the crew's lifeboat for evacuation of the Station and their ride home at the end of their six-month mission.

With Discovery's launch delayed, the crew will move the Soyuz Tuesday from the Pirs Docking Compartment to the Zarya module to clear the way for an August spacewalk. The move, originally planned for after Discovery's mission, will free the Pirs airlock for use by Krikalev and Phillips during the spacewalk.

Krikalev continued to use oxygen from the tanks of the Progress cargo craft docked at the rear of the Zvezda Service Module to repressurize the Station's atmosphere. He also completed fuel transfer to the Station from the Progress for the Russian attitude control system thrusters.

Last Monday the crew held a radio tag up with Discovery's crew. Last Tuesday Krikalev and Phillips performed routine smoke detector inspections, and on Wednesday made preparations for Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver (RPM) photography.

They will take pictures of the orbiter's thermal protection system as Discovery does a slow back flip about 600 feet below the Station.

On Thursday Krikalev and Phillips enjoyed a relatively light day. Duties included configuring cameras for the RPM maneuver.

Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed by United Press International

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