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For Release: 11 a.m. CST Oct. 30, 1998
Glenn to Start Crystal Growth Work in Space,
Seeking New Disease Cures, Treatments on Earth
As the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-95 mission begins its first full day in space, John Glenn will start up experiments today at approximately 11 a.m. CST that include a search for new understanding of a major childhood respiratory virus.
The virus, called Respiratory Syncytial Virus infects each year nearly four-million U.S. children, ages 1 to 5. Approximately 100,000 of these children require hospitalization and 4,000 die annually from resulting infection.
The principal investigator for the Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity is Dr. Daniel Carter, director of New Century Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Huntsville, Ala. Carter is the creator of the Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity and is available for interviews during the mission.
Microgravity research uses the unique, near-weightless environment of space to unlock nature's secrets as part of the development of better disease-fighting drugs and improvement of manufacturing processes. The results can be of great benefit for the quality of our lives on Earth.
During the STS-95 mission, the crew plans to grow over 1,500 protein crystal samples by evaporating liquid protein solutions. After the nine-day mission, these samples will be returned to Earth and used in the search for new drugs and treatments for life-threatening diseases like AIDS, diabetes and cancer.
Protein crystal growth experiments are managed by NASA's Microgravity Research Program at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
The principal investigators for each of the proteins being studied on this mission are available for telephone interviews or in-person at either NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and at NASA's Marshall Center.
What's Ahead: The next scheduled update on John Glenn's microgravity experiment activities will be issued at approximately 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 31. In the next 24 hours, Glenn is expected to mix samples of Aerogel, a high-tech insulation that may revolutionize household windows by lowering heating and cooling costs, conserving energy and saving money.
For More Information: Please contact the Marshall Center Media Relations Office at (256) 544-0034.
For daily news tips and background information about NASA's Microgravity Research Program experiments on the STS-95 mission, visit our website: /centers/msfc/NEWSROOM/