Space Station (ISS) Status 12/30/05
The crew onboard the International Space Station are looking forward
to celebrating New Year's Day after spending a quiet Christmas 225
miles above the Earth.
On Sunday, Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer
Valery Tokarev spoke with their families, friends and co-workers.
They also feasted on a meal including Russian soup, bread and fish.
They opened gifts, including a Russian Santa Claus matryoshka doll,
and chocolates. The gifts arrived last Friday in a recent cargo
shipment. The crew took Monday off in observance of Christmas and
will take next Monday off for New Year's. They plan to ring in 2006
with another Russian meal.
This week, the crew unloaded almost three tons of equipment and
supplies from the Progress. The crew also logged their food intake
and collected urine samples as part of a medical study to understand
ways to prevent kidney stones in weightlessness.
There were no problems with station operations. The Elektron oxygen
generation system was intentionally shut down to deplete the oxygen
in the Progress supply ship that arrived in September. The crew had
several special audio/visual linkups in observance of the holidays.
They had a news conference with Russian media and a conversation with
Grandfather Frost, Russia's version of Santa Claus who delivers
presents to children on New Year's.
The Expedition 12 crew is halfway through a six-month mission.