Status Report

ISS Expedition Two Science Operations Weekly Science Status Report 11 May 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
May 11, 2001
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The Expedition Two crew and ground controllers activated five more
experiments during the past week and continue troubleshooting work with two

The Advanced Astroculture experiment activated Thursday is one of the three
commercial experiments onboard. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin
Madison hope to grow plants through an entire life cycle – from seed to
seed. The seeds are from the same family as radishes and cabbages.
Scientists want to compare Earth-grown seeds to space-grown seeds to
determine whether there is any effect on the genetic characteristics of the

The university’s commercial partner, Space Explorers, Inc., will use the
experiment in producing an Internet-based space education program. The
company has created and marketed the Orbital Laboratory program, a school
kit and Internet multi-media educational program, that allows students to
design, conduct and analyze the space experiment. Using the kit, students
can compare data through an online student experiment database.

After the Space Station experiment is completed, students can use the actual
data to recreate the experiment in a virtual environment. The program is
the first-ever, student-designed experiment aboard the station and the first
in a series of commercial payloads used for educational purposes by Space

Also activated Thursday was the first of six growth chambers in the Protein
Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System Unit 10 experiment. Its goal
is to grow biological materials that are larger and more perfect than those
grown in Earth’s gravity. Proteins are involved in many functions in the
human body. By studying these proteins, scientists hope to gain insights
into their role in causing or preventing diseases. The remaining growth
chambers will be activated in series later in the mission. PCG-STES Unit 10
is one of two onboard.

Science teams and controllers today continue troubleshooting activities with
the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus, which shut down in the early
morning hours Wednesday, May 9, during commanding from the ground. CBGA is
devoted to studying pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

Controllers also are troubleshooting a problem that shut down the Station’s
three radiation experiments Wednesday, May 9. The problem occurred during a
data transfer using the Human Research Facility Personal computer that
controls the three radiation experiments – Bonner Ball Neutron Detector,
Dosimetric Mapping, and Phantom Torso.

The Payload Operations Center successfully downloaded the contents of the
Medium Rate Communications Outage Recorder – or MCOR – Wednesday, May 9.
The MCOR is the main science payload data recorder. Start-up difficulties
with the Station Ku-band antenna and main computer prevented the data from
being transferred earlier from the recorder to the ground. The recorder,
which stores information on experiment results and hardware operating
conditions, was about 82 percent full when downlink activities began this

On May 4, Flight Engineer Jim Voss installed and activated radiation sensors
throughout the Destiny lab module and the Unit node module as part of the
Dosimetric Mapping experiment to measure radiation fields on the Station.

On May 3, Flight Engineer Susan Helms set up and activated the Microgravity
Acceleration Measurement System and all six growth chambers in the Protein
Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System, Unit 9. MAMS is one of two
vibration measuring experiments sent to the Station. They are designed to
characterize vibrations and accelerations, such as crew exercise and
spacecraft docking, that could affect delicate microgravity experiments.
PCG-STES, Unit 9 is identical to the unit activated this week.

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.