Status Report

ISS Expedition Two Science Operations Status Report for Friday, March 23, 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
March 23, 2001
Filed under ,

Flight Engineer Jim Voss today set up and activated the first science
experiment installed in the Destiny laboratory module on the International
Space Station.

The Bonner Ball Neutron Detector – one of three radiation experiments
planned for Expedition Two – is now busy measuring neutrons, which are
uncharged atomic particles that can penetrate living tissues. This
experiment is sponsored by the National Space Development Agency of Japan –
one of NASA’s International Space Station partners.

Voss thanked the Payload Operations Center on their setup instructions.
Controllers passed his comments to the Human Research Facility team, which
developed the procedures.

Voss set up the Bonner Ball Control Unit, which has a computer drive where
radiation measurements will be stored. He also activated the Detector Unit,
which consists of 6 detector spheres that measure radiation of different
spectra. When neutrons pass through the detector, it causes a reaction that
allows the radiation to be measured.

At the end of Expedition 2, Bonner Ball will be returned to Earth on Space
Shuttle mission STS-108, set for November.

One of the main science goals of Expedition 2 is characterizing the
radiation environment inside the orbital laboratory. The Space Station is
orbiting above Earth’s protective atmosphere, which blocks a variety of
harmful radiation.

Although the International Space Station provides shielding, some radiation
still gets through. Radiation is made up of a variety of particles and
energy. That’s why several different types of detectors are needed to
measure all the different types of radiation.

Two more radiation experiments – the Dosimetric Mapping experiment and
Phantom Torso – will be set up later.

Today also marked the first time that the Payload Communications Manager
talked with an Expedition Two crew member. Voss talked with PAYCOM Alan
Johnston about Bonner Ball experiment procedures.

The Payload Operations Center cadre here is busy planning the roster of
upcoming science activities. Among those are activation and checkout of the
Human Research facility rack, transferred to Destiny during the recent
STS-102 Space Shuttle mission, and activation of the Medium Rate
Communications Outage Recorder, or MCOR. During periods when the Space
Station is out of communications range with ground stations and satellites,
the MCOR stores volumes of science data. Later, the data can be transferred
to Earth. The Payload Operations Center in Huntsville schedules and conducts
use of this system by investigators.

Editor’s Note: The Payload Operations Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages all science research experiments 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.

SpaceRef staff editor.