Status Report

ISS Science Operations Status Report for week ending July 3, 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
July 6, 2002
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The first sample runs of the Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG) experiment during
Expedition Five began last Thursday, offering potential improvements in the
printing industry and transmitting electronic data.

The science team on the ground reported this week that they are receiving
good data. The critical first 10 hours went normally with the temperature
levels rising just as expected. ZCG is scheduled to process samples for 15

During the critical first 20 hours of crystallization, the Active Rack
Isolation System operated to damp stray vibrations from the crew or
operating equipment. It was put in hold mode during the docking of the
Russian Progress 8 cargo ship on Saturday but was back in active mode on

Zeolites have the ability to absorb liquids and gases such as petroleum or
hydrogen but remain hard as a rock, giving up their contents only when
heated or under reduced pressure. They form the backbone of the chemical
processes industry, including, for instance, in production of virtually all
the world’s gasoline. In space, scientists hope the ZCG experiment will
produce larger, more perfect crystals for study back on the ground. ZCG
research began during Expedition Four. The samples processed during
Expedition Five, however, have never flown before in space, said Dr. Al
Sacco, director of the Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing
at Northeastern University in Boston.

"Everything is going wonderfully at this time," said Sacco, a payload
specialist aboard STS-73 in 1995. "The samples are all different from our
three previous zeolite experiments aboard the Space Shuttle and Expedition
Four aboard the Station. One of them is looking at a way to trap dyes for
carbonless paper, fixing the dyes so print doesn’t fade. The other one is
looking at the process for growing the first continuous quantum wires in
orbit for the next generation of electronics. Instead of electricity, these
wires would transmit light."

The crew completed a nutrient fluid exchange in the Advanced Astroculture
experiment on Thursday, removing 210 milliliters of fluid and injecting 500
milliliters of fresh nutrient fluid for the soybean plants growing inside.

On Friday, the crew completed the monthly background reading on the EVA
Radiation Monitoring badges and downloaded the data to the Human Research
Facility (HRF) laptop computer. The data, along with Pulmonary Function in
Flight data obtained two days earlier was downlinked to the ground.
Fifty-one files were received.

As scheduled on Saturday, ground controllers deactivated one of the growth
cylinders in the Protein Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System.
The remaining cylinders continued operating normally.

Also on Saturday, ground controllers and the crew completed checkout
work with the Microgravity Science Glovebox including mechanical inspection
and filter installation and inspection. The Glovebox ground team is
re-verifying procedures in preparation for the first scientific research
using the Glovebox.

The Space Acceleration Measurement System and Microgravity
Acceleration Measurement System experiments recorded vibration data during
Saturday’s docking of the Russian Progress ship.

The crew on Tuesday and today completed their Crew Interactions surveys on
the HRF laptop computer.

After a day off on July 4, the crew on Friday is scheduled to set up and
take documentation photos of the Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed
Ampoule (SUBSA) experiment in preparation for operations next week. SUBSA
is a Glovebox experiment that will examine the behavior of molten materials
used in semiconductor manufacturing.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO) photography subjects this week included air
quality over the Mediterranean, Saharan dust over the western Mediterranean,
coastline and erosional features in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, dust storms
near the Cape Verde islands, and air quality over the Ohio River valley.

SpaceRef staff editor.