Status Report

ISS Expedition Two Science Operations Weekly Science Status Report July 19, 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
July 19, 2001
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When Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the orbiting research outpost on June
12, the event was recorded by an important Expedition Two science experiment.

The Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS) precisely recorded
both the initial Shuttle capture, followed minutes later by the hard mating
when docking latches locked the Station and Shuttle securely together, said
Kevin McPherson, project manager for Principal Investigator Microgravity Services
at NASAís Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

ìThis is the first time weíve captured a Shuttle docking event to the Space
Station,î McPherson said.Ý ìIn a few days, we will record the undocking event.Ý
For folks operating payloads through Station joint operations, these kinds of
impulsive disturbances are important to them so they know what to expect and
what precautionary action they might take to minimize the effect on their science.î

This is important basic data for scientists operating or planning experiments
that require a very stable microgravity environment.Ý Dockings, crew activities
and even operating equipment can create gravity-like accelerations that can
disturb experiments.Ý The vibration environment will change throughout the Station
program as new modules and facilities are added to the orbiting facility, which
in its current configuration weighs 130 tons and is roughly 171 feet by 240
feet in size.

The focus of Expedition Two crew activities shifted this week as planned from
payloads to joint operations with the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis, including
installation of a new airlock module and the transfer of equipment between the
Shuttle and the Station.Ý The crew conducted normal science payload status checks
to make sure experiments are operating normally.

This is a transition period for several Expedition Two experiments.Ý One is
arriving on board the Station.Ý Three others are returning to Earth at the conclusion
of their research programs.

On Monday, June 16, the crew moved the Protein Crystal Growth Enhanced Gaseous
Nitrogen Dewar
experiment from the Shuttle to the Station.Ý This is the
last Expedition Two experiment to arrive on the Station.Ý This untended experiment
will be activated after the Shuttle undocks and stowed in the Russian Zvezda
Service Module until its return on the next Shuttle mission, STS-105, now scheduled
for launch on August 9.

This is the third trip to the Station for the Dewar. Inside are hundreds of
samples of biological materials that carry out many important functions in humans,
animals and plants.Ý In space, the materials will form crystals that will be
returned to Earth, where scientists will retrieve the samples and analyze them
to determine the structure of the biological molecules.Ý Knowledge of the precise
three-dimensional molecular structure is an important tool for biochemists designing
medicines.Ý Students around the country helped prepare some of the samples and
will be able to monitor the results.Ý More than 500 schools across the country
have participated in the program since it began in 1999.

The crew was scheduled to transfer the Advanced Astroculture and
Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus
experiments to the Shuttle today
for return to Earth. ÝOn Saturday, the crew is scheduled to transfer Protein
Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System
Units 9 and 10 to the Shuttle.

Automated experiments continue to operate aboard the Station.Ý Those currently
include the Experiment on the Physics of Colloids in Space (EXPPCS),
the Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS), and three radiation monitoring
experiments — Phantom Torso, Dosimetric Mapping (DOSMAP) and the Bonner
Ball Neutron Detector

Among the list of targets uplinked to the Station this week for the Crew
Earth Observations
photography research program are smog and dust in the
Sichuan Province in China, reefs of the central Philippines, the Ganges River
delta around Calcutta, sediments and wetlands of the Irraddy River delta near
Rangoon, Burma, and the Lake Eyre basin area of Australia.

SpaceRef staff editor.