Ill., native plays key role in International Space Station science operations
A NASA engineer
from Highland Park, Ill., is playing an important role in the worldwide
science operations for the International Space Station.
is a member of the team that coordinates Space Station science research
from the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
in Huntsville, Ala. The Payload Operations Center is the science command
post for the Space Station - the most ambitious research endeavor ever
As a Shuttle
operations coordinator, Melkerson is responsible for monitoring all
Space Station payloads - the science experiments and facilities - while
they are aboard the Shuttle. He also helps plan science missions and
coordinate communications between scientists on the ground with astronauts
aboard the Space Station.
the NASA ISS team in 1989 as an attitude determination and control officer
at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and recently moved to
his new position at the Marshall Center in Huntsville.
science activities - as well as the time and space required to accommodate
experiments and programs from a host of private, commercial, industry
and government agencies worldwide - makes the job of coordinating Space
Station research a critical one.
of 13 to 19 flight controllers staff the Payload Operations Center around
Operations Center became fully operational with the launch of the Space
Station crew March 8.
The new facility
is housed in a section of the Huntsville Operations Support Center -
a historic complex that provided engineering support for Apollo, Skylab
and Space Shuttle launches, as well as Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra
X-ray Observatory operations. The complex also houses the Spacelab Mission
Operations Control Center from which more than 25 Shuttle-based science
missions were controlled.
on the Payload Operations Center and the Space Station science operations
can be found on the Internet at:
TO EDITORS / NEWS DIRECTORS: Eric Melkerson is available for interviews,
which can be arranged by contacting Steve Roy of the Marshall Center
Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034.