For release: 10-17-02 (for week ending 10-17-02)
Science Ops status report #: 02-261
Completed Space Station experiments return; new experiments under way
Astronauts and cosmonauts brought new experiments to the International Space Station last week and loaded completed experiments aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis for return to Earth. Space Station science experiments and payload operations are managed by the Payload Operations Center at Marshall Center.
Completed Expedition Five experiments and new experiments for the International Space Station swapped places during the visit of Space Shuttle Atlantis to the orbiting research facility.
On Friday, Oct. 11, frozen StelSys experiment liver cells processed during Expedition Five were transferred from the Destiny lab to the Shuttle middeck for return. Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG) samples grown during the Expedition also were moved to Atlantis and stored for return. A Protein Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES) growth chamber with space-grown crystals was stored in the Shuttle middeck for return and swapped places in the Destiny lab with another crystal growth unit ferried up by the Shuttle. The new PCG-STES experiment was successfully activated.
Also on Friday, the crew collected post-spacewalk readings on the EVA Radiation Monitoring dosimeter badges worn by David Wolf and Piers Sellers during their first spacewalk to install the new S-1 Truss to the Station. The crew also installed a new specially-designed electrical grounding strap on EXPRESS Rack 2 and began preparations for a new ZCG experiment in the rack. The Rack is equipped with an Active Rack Isolation System that damps out vibrations caused by crew movement and operating equipment. The grounding strap, as well as other cables connecting the rack to the lab module, is specially designed to minimize vibrations. Ground controllers, working with the crew on Friday, were unable to activate the salmonella portion of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA), a Station sortie experiment aboard Atlantis. Later, they successfully activated the yeast
growth portion of the experiment, which was completed Tuesday. The results may help in the design of bioreactors on Earth that can culture large volumes of cells for pharmaceutical and medical applications.
On Saturday, ground controllers successfully activated the Zeolite Crystal Growth experiment. It is scheduled for a 15-day processing run.
On Sunday, the Advanced Astroculture experiment growth chamber deactivated earlier in the week was transferred to the Shuttle along with its dried crop of soybean plants grown during the mission. In its place the crew transferred the Plant Growth Bioprocessing Apparatus (PGBA) from the Shuttle middeck to the Destiny lab. Over the next month, it will grow two crops of Arabidopsis plants – one planted on the ground that will be harvested by Station Science Officer Peggy Whitson before landing and the second to be planted by Whitson and then harvested by scientists after landing.
Also on Sunday, the crew performed a post-spacewalk reading on the EVARM dosimeter badges worn by Wolf and Sellers on their second spacewalk to continue installing the S1 Truss to the Station.
On Monday, selected members of the Station crew filled out their weekly Crew Interactions survey on the Human Research Facility laptop computer. Ground controllers activated the Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System to record several events of interest including the Monday spacewalk and other docked operations, as well as Wednesday’s Shuttle undocking.
On Tuesday, the crew transferred the CGBA from the Shuttle middeck to the Destiny lab where it will serve as a refrigerator for storing the Arabidopsis plants harvested by Whitson until their return. The crew also collected post-spacewalk readings on the EVARM badges following the third and final spacewalk to complete installation of the S1 Truss segment to the Station.
Crew Earth Observation subjects photographed by the crew this week included: the Konza Prairie in Kansas, air quality between the Italian Peninsula and Corsica and Sardinia, urban development in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, the Spanish Riviera, water control, road patterns and cities of the Rhone River delta, the Panama Canal, the coral reefs of the Marquises Islands, Lake Michigan, the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and other sites.
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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