For release: 02/27/02 (for week ending 02/27/02)
Science Ops status report #: 02-041
Space Station scientists await first spacewalk radiation data
Astronauts Dan Bursch and Carl Walz completed their post-spacewalk readings on the EVA Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment Friday, Feb. 22, following last Wednesday's six-hour spacewalk. The data are set to be downlinked to scientists this week. Space Station science experiments and payload operations are managed by the Payload Operations Center at the Marshall Center.
Photo: Extravehicular Activity Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment badge (NASA/JSC)
Astronauts Dan Bursch and Carl Walz completed their post-spacewalk readings on the EVA Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment on Friday, February, 22, following last Wednesday's six-hour spacewalk.
EVARM is the first experiment to measure dosage received by the eyes, internal organs and skin during specific spacewalks and relate those to the type of activity, location and other factors in the EVA environment. Each astronaut wears three radiation detectors in the cooling undergarments and communication caps of their spacesuits. Pre- and post-EVA readings determine dosage levels. The data were scheduled to be downlinked to scientists today (Wednesday, Feb. 27).
"This was the first EVA to use EVARM, so we're very pleased," said Ian Thomson, EVARM principal investigator with Thomson & Nielsen Electronics, Ltd., Ottawa, Canada. "Everything went off without a hitch thanks to Carl and Dan. We look forward to analyzing the data later this week when it is downloaded from ISS. We are getting ready for more EVAs to compare it with."
Also last Friday, Bursch and Walz performed their post-spacewalk Pulmonary Function in Flight (PuFF) tests. PuFF focuses on crew lung function both following spacewalks and inside the Space Station, laying the groundwork for future experiments in understanding and maintaining crew health. The five lung function tests measure changes in the evenness of gas exchange in the lungs and changes in respiratory muscle strength.
Crew payload activities were briefly interrupted Thursday, February 21, after the crew noticed an unusual odor in the Destiny lab and were instructed to operate from the Russian segment until the atmosphere was cleaned in the lab. The odor apparently originated in a system that cleanses U.S. spacesuit air scrubbers in the Quest Airlock, and the crew resumed normal operations Friday.
During the 138 hours of run time last week, the Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space (EXPPCS) successfully initiated the aggregation of the fast fractal sample by combining its colloid and salt solutions.
"The data gathered clearly show that the fractal structure has formed, and the aging process which we hope to study for the next four weeks has begun, said Dr. Arthur Bailey, senior scientist with the principal investigator team based at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
The EXPPCS science team and controllers currently are trouble-shooting a computer problem that occurred Sunday when they tried to initiate a ground-commanded 60-hour run. Colloids are systems of fine particles with numerous uses on Earth such as paint, milk, ink, copy machine toner, computer screen phosphors, and polishing silicon for computer chips. Fractals made from colloids are also involved in many processes on Earth, ranging from the degradation of motor oil to the spoilage of food.
The crew completed the first part of operations with the Education Payload Operations-4 payload on Monday. The payload consists of several simple toys and devices to demonstrate basic principles of physics and the microgravity environment in an effort to interest children in science, math and technology careers. The experiment will be wrapped up during a second set of activities on Friday. The crew is videotaping these demonstrations for later production into an educational video.
The Advanced Astroculture experiment is continuing to function normally. The crew collected nutrient and gas samples last weekend and photographed the experiment on Tuesday. Experiment video appears to show the emergence of seedlings. They were slated to repeat the sampling on Thursday.
Thursday's crew schedule also includes crew activation of the Protein Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES) Cylinder 8. This experiment is devoted to growing proteins that are larger and more perfectly formed. Later ground analyses of their three-dimensional structure may impact the studies of medicine, agriculture, the environment and other biosciences. Every chemical reaction essential to life depends on these biological materials.
Locations scheduled to be photographed this week for the Crew Earth Observations research program were: coastal wetlands along the Nile River, reservoir water levels along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, air pollution over the Po Valley and Adriatic Sea, aerosols over the Ohio River Valley, Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake levels in the US, ice buildup on the northwest coast of Newfoundland, the Gulf of St. Lawrence ice pack.
In the lab, EXPRESS Racks 1, 2 and 4, as well as the Human Research Facility, continue to function normally. EXPRESS Rack 5, installed during Expedition Three, is scheduled for activation on a later Expedition.
Editor’s Note: The Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages all science research experiment operations aboard the International Space Station. The center is also home for coordination of the mission-planning work of a variety of international sources, all science payload deliveries and retrieval, and payload training and payload safety programs for the Station crew and all ground personnel.
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