Status Report

ISS Science Operations Status Report for week ending 01-03-03

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2003
Filed under , ,
ISS Science Operations Status Report for week ending 01-03-03

The International Space Station science team completed its first 15-day research run of Expedition Six with the Zeolite Crystal Growth experiment, which could help improve energy production and the use of cleaner fuels on Earth. The goal of the Zeolite Crystal Growth experiment is to grow larger, higher-quality crystals used in petroleum production that could lead to advances in using cheaper, cleaner-burning hydrogen as fuel. Space Station science experiments and payload operations are managed by the Payload Operations Center at Marshall Center.

p>The International Space Station science team successfully
completed the first Expedition Six research with the Zeolite Crystal Growth
experiment on Wednesday.

The second 15-day sample run is scheduled to begin
on Friday. The experiment was developed by the Center for Advanced Microgravity
Materials Processing at Northeastern University in Boston.

Zeolites are used in many manufacturing processes on
Earth. Virtually all the worldís gasoline is produced or upgraded using zeolites.
Improving zeolites could make gasoline production more efficient or lead to
ways of storing clean-burning hydrogen for fuel. Zeolites can also be applied
to detergents, optical cables, gas and vapor detectors for environmental monitoring.

The microgravity environment of the Space Station allows
scientists to grow higher-quality crystals that are 100 to 500 times larger
than normal for analysis and test the crystallization process in ìslow motionî
without being rushed by the effects of gravity.

On December 20, the station crew and ground controllers
successfully installed and checked out a new High rate Communications Outage
Recorder (HCOR), significantly upgrading the Stationís research capabilities.
The HCOR replaces the Medium rate Communications Outage Recorder (MCOR). The
purpose of these two payload recorders is to store science data during periods
when the Station is not in communications contact via satellite with the ground.
The new HCOR can store 220 gigabits of data, record from up to eight input sources
simultaneously and playback two channels of data simultaneously. The MCOR could
store 75 gigabits of data, record two input sources, and playback one channel
at a time. The new HCOR is also more resistant to radiation-induced errors
that require ground controllers to reboot the recorder.

On Tuesday, December 24, Bowersox performed the first
FOOT/Ground Reaction Forces During Space Flight (FOOT) research, collecting
nine hours of data with this human life science experiment.† FOOT is designed
to characterize the stress on the lower extremity bones and muscles in microgravity.
Bowersox downlinked the data to the ground on December 26. The next FOOT session
is planned for January 6, 2003.

Also on December 24, Expedition Six Science Officer
Don Pettit relocated part of the Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC) experiment
inside the Destiny lab module. On Friday, December 27, he relocated the Biotechnology
Specimen Temperature Controller and its associated Gas Supply Module. All transfers
were in preparation to support new experiments arriving on the Utilization and
Logistics Flight-1 mission.

On Monday, December 30, the crew conducted their regular
monthly data collection with the EVA Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment
dosimeter badges.

Also Monday, Pettit conducted a science conference
with Expedition Six Lead Payload Operations Director Lamar Stacy on possible
ways to maximize use of the Microgravity Science Glovebox once it is
repaired and reactivated.

On Tuesday, Pettit reviewed the procedures for using
the Human Research Facility (HRF) Ultrasound imaging system in
preparation for today’s (Thursday’s) checkout of the device. Ultrasound provides
medical imaging of the heart and other organs, muscles and blood vessels for
a variety of research and diagnostic applications.

The crew during the week also continued to perform
daily status and maintenance checks on Station science payloads and equipment.

Among the Crew Earth Observation (CEO) photography
subjects for this week were protected forests of the Ganges River Delta, Rangoon,
Burma, coastal changes in the Irrawaddy River Delta, Bangkok, Thailand, Karachi,
Pakistan, Bombay, India, Dakar, Senegal, the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand,
human development in the Congo near the Ubangi and Congo Rivers, the Limpopo
River Delta, the Cape Town region of South Africa, the northern part of South
America, the Grand Canyon, and vegetation patterns in Costa Rica.

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.