Press Release

Andromde mission science programme

By SpaceRef Editor
October 21, 2001
Filed under , ,

The experiment schedule comprises two projects concentrating on Earth observation and
ionospheric studies:

– IMEDIAS aims to collect original images of global change phenomena that
scientists will be able to combine with satellite imagery. The experiment
will acquire images of biomass fires, atmospheric aerosols, clouds,
desertification, deforestation, coastal zones and other phenomena, using
a photographic-film camera and a digital camera. The science team is
coordinated by MEDIAS FRANCE*.

– LSO (Lightning and Sprite Observations) will use two micro-cameras to
measure light emissions generated by lightning, sprites (very brief
electrical discharges above thunderstorms in the middle atmosphere, often
accompanied by X-rays and gamma rays) and elves (discharges generated
in the lower ionosphere) from the ISS. This experiment, devised by the
analysis, surveillance and environment department at CEA, the French
atomic energy agency, aims to characterize these emissions in order to
specify conditions for nadir observations of sprites using two
micro-cameras equipped with filters. The experiment will help to assess
the feasibility of a planned microsatellite mission seeking to identify the
mechanisms that underlie atmosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere
interactions above atmospheric thunderstorms.

* A grouping formed to foster global environment research in the Mediterranean basin and
subtropical Africa.

The schedule will also be focusing on life sciences, with three experiments in physiology,
neuroscience and developmental biology:

– CARDIOSCIENCE will enhance medical understanding of the
cardio-vascular system by studying the regulation of blood pressure and
heartbeat, and arterial flow distribution during the flight. Data acquired will
be compared with readings taken before and after the flight. This
experiment will remain on the ISS and more equipment will be added on
future missions. CARDIOSCIENCE is managed jointly by CNES and IMBP,
the Russian space medicine institute. The experiment will serve on
subsequent missions to monitor the health of Russian cosmonauts on the
ISS. Several French laboratories are involved in the project.

– COGNI is a neuroscience experiment devised by the LPPA physiology of
perception and action laboratory at the Collge de France. It will examine
the role that cognitive processes play in shaping human perception of
orientation and navigation in three dimensions. COGNI will thus pursue
research that has previously demonstrated the problems caused by
spatial disorientation in near-weightless conditions, especially during the
first days of a spaceflight.

– AQUARIUS will use the eggs and larvae of two amphibians, the xenopus
and the pleurodeles, at different ages to study their development. Stages
of development will be filmed regularly for further study on returning to
Earth. This experiment is being led by the experimental biology and
immunology laboratory at the UniversitŽ Henri PoincarŽ in Nancy, France,
and the developmental biology centre of the University of Toulouse,

Two material sciences experiments will also be conducted for ESA and for DLR, the German
spaceflight agency.

GRANADA CRYSTALLIZATION FACILITY (GCF) for ESA. The University of Granada, Spain, has developed
and patented a new technique for growing macromolecular biological crystals. This technique uses thin
capillaries in which reverse diffusion crystallization occurs between the precipitating solution and the
macromolecule. The main aim of the experiment is to conduct in-depth analysis and achieve the best
quantitative interpretation possible of results to assess the correlation between crystal quality and the crystal
growth environment.

PLASMA KRISTALL EXPERIMENT (PKE) for DLR. This instrument, developed by the Max Planck Institute in
Garching, is designed to study theoretical and practical aspects of the structure of dust media in a plasma in
microgravity. The experiment is already on board the ISS under a bilateral agreement between Germany and
Russia. The GREMI laboratory at the University of OrlŽans, France, will be contributing to specific
experiments during the Andromde mission.

Technology experiments will be performed using the SPICA instrument (Spectre de Particules et Influence
sur les Composants AvancŽs) that flew previously on the Mir space station. Prepared by CNES, SPICA studies
the space radiation environment and its effects on latest-generation electronic components. It will measure how
components behave on the ISS, characterize particle spectra and refine models used to estimate the risks to which
electronic components are exposed in space.

An operational experiment will focus on preparing and validating a number of elements, particularly
data transmission, for the ATV Control Centre (ATV-CC) currently in development at CNESÕs Toulouse
Space Centre. Monitoring of mission operations from Toulouse will also serve to gain hands-on
experience with equipment and to rehearse procedures that will be used at CADMOS, the
French-based centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations.

The flight schedule will also include operational experiments designed to flight test equipment and
procedures developed by the European Astronaut Corps (EAC).

French high schools have devised educational experiments, approved by specialists, which will be
performed on the ISS by Claudie HaignerŽ.

For further information, call the CNES Press Relations Office on

+33 (0)1 44 76 76 87.

Keep up with the missionÕs progress at and

SpaceRef staff editor.