Status Report

ISS Science Operations Status Report for week ending 05-29-02

By SpaceRef Editor
May 29, 2002
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The Payload Operations Center prepared during the past week for the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the beginning of the Expedition Five science mission aboard the International Space Station. Space Station experiments and payload operations are managed by the Marshall Center.

The Payload Operations Center prepared during the past week
for the arrival of Space Shuttle Endeavour and a new crew as the fourth
research expedition aboard the International Space Station comes to
an end.

“Expedition Four has been an unqualified success,” Lead Increment Scientist
John Uri said. “Essentially, all of our planned science objectives
have been met, and for some experiments, we even got some additional
work done. More science and of a greater variety was completed during
this Expedition than on any previous mission aboard the Station. The
crew has just been outstanding in participating in the various experiments
we had planned, spending more than 300 hours on the U.S. research program.
I believe science has really hit its stride, with the Space Station
splendidly performing its function as a world-class laboratory in space.”

To support docked operations during the STS-111 mission, when the Station
solar arrays are tilted to accommodate the Shuttle, controllers plan
this week to power down EXPRESS Racks 1 and 2 and their payloads.
EXPRESS Rack 4 may be re-routed to a backup power channel to reduce
the amount of power drawn from the main channel.

Analysis of Active Rack Isolation System ISS Characterization Experiment
data collected last week indicated one of eight pushrods
used to “float EXPRESS Rack 2 inside the Destiny lab module was loose.
The science team asked the crew to inspect the upper pushrods and tighten
any loose ones. Flight Engineer Carl Walz reported back that he tightened
a loose upper right pushrod. Testing is scheduled to resume this week
with one last set of hammer tests followed by Rack powerdown and installation
of alignment guides that will lock the rack in place.

The crew continued during the past week to work almost daily with the
Biomass Production System, an experiment that is examining both
technology for a permanent plant growth facility for the Station and
the microgravity performance of Apogee wheat and Brassica rapa plants.
The crew harvested plants from chamber 1 of the unit last Friday and
plants from chamber 3 on Monday. Seeds in Chamber 1 were wetted to
initiate the final growth cycle for the chamber on Monday and the crew
continues to ensure that fluid lines are clear of air and filled with
water. Their schedule for the remainder of the week included priming
the fluid reservoirs and collecting gas and water samples.

The crew conducted a background reading of EVA Radiation Monitoring
experiment badges on Monday. Flight Engineer Dan Bursch completed his
Crew Interactions computer survey also, with Flight Engineer
Carl Walz and Commander Yury Onufrienko scheduled to complete their
surveys later this week.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO) photography subjects for the week
include icebergs and ice breakaways in the South Sandwich Islands, south
Patagonian glaciers, Lake Poopo, and the Parana River in South America,
and industrialized southeast Africa.

Eleven experiments are completed and awaiting return aboard the Shuttle.
Another 11 continue operating aboard the Station, to be joined during
Expedition Five by four all-new experiments, two re-flights of earlier
experiments and additional research samples for research facilities
already on board. Arriving on the upcoming STS-111 Shuttle mission
are two new research facilities — EXPRESS Rack 3 and the Microgravity
Science Glovebox.

SpaceRef staff editor.