Status Report

ISS Expedition Two Weekly Science Status Report 2 May 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
May 2, 2001
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Science experiments transferred from the Space Shuttle to the International
Space Station last week continue to be activated by the Expedition Two crew.

All research experiments transferred from the Shuttle to the Station last
week were installed in the Destiny laboratory module, along with EXPRESS
science racks 1 and 2.

EXPRESS Rack 1 was activated April 24. Two commercial experiments,
Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus and Commercial Protein Crystal
Growth-High Density, were installed in the rack and activated April 25, and
have continued to operate normally in the past week. Both are related to
the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research. EXPRESS Rack 2 is
expected to be powered up soon.

Other experiments installed in the two payload racks were: Protein Crystal
Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System Units 9 and 10, Advanced
Astroculture, Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System, Space
Acceleration Measurement System, and Experiment on Physics of Colloids in
Space. EXPRESS Rack 2 also contains the Active Rack Isolation System and an
experiment to test the effectiveness of this vibration-dampening device.

The EXPRESS Rack, developed by the Marshall Center, is a standardized
payload rack system that transports, stores and supports experiments aboard
the station. The refrigerator-sized racks provide connections for power,
cooling, data, gasses, and vacuum.

Flight Engineer Jim Voss today began activating part of the Phantom Torso
radiation detection experiment. He set up the Tissue Equivalent
Proportional Counter, which consists of a spectrometer unit and a
cylindrical detector unit placed within about a foot of a full size plastic
model designed to mimic the tissues and muscles of a male head and torso.

More than 300 passive dosimeters embedded in the torso are recording
radiation data that will be read when the torso returns to Earth. There are
also five active detectors in the head, neck, heart, stomach, and colon
sections that remain to be activated. Radiation is considered a hazard
during long duration space flight. Three experiments during the five-month
Expedition Two will study radiation and its effects on humans.

Voss also set up and activated the EarthKAM experiment this week in the
Russian-built Zarya Service Module. After initial testing, the EarthKAM
will be electrnically linked to the Principal Investigator team at the
University of California, San Diego, and then later this month middle school
students will be participating in the experiment in which they select Earth
sites for photography using the remotely controlled camera.

On Tuesday, scientists on Earth for the first time sent commands to their
experiment on the International Space Station, making the orbiting research
center and its facilities more accessible to researchers on the ground.

Scientists at BioServe Space Technologies, located at the University of
Colorado at Boulder, sent commands from their remote site through the NASA
communications network to determine their experiment’s exact operating time
and other performance data. Operators confirmed that they received the
proper response from the experiment, which studies the process of
fermentation for antibiotic production.

“We’re excited to be conducting one of the first commercial pharmaceutical
experiments aboard the International Space Station,” said Dr. David M.
Klaus, associate director of research at BioServe. “We are looking forward
to getting the antibiotic compounds back in July for analysis.”

The BioServe site is one of nine Expedition Two remote sites that allow
scientists to work closer to their laboratories. In the past, scientists
had to gather in control rooms at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville
or the Johnson Space Center in Houston to monitor and control their

The Marshall Center developed a computer communications system that allows
scientists to receive information and transmit commands to their experiments
on the Station via the Internet. The Payload Operations Center oversees
these remote sites, while the Mission Control Center in Houston enables

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.