Status Report

ISS Science Operations Status Report for week ending June 12, 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
June 12, 2002
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Working ahead of schedule, Space Station and Space Shuttle crews during the
past week have almost completed moving new Expedition Five science
experiments and lab equipment into the Station and transferring completed
experiments to the Shuttle for waiting scientists on the ground.

On Saturday, crews moved the new EXPRESS Rack 3 from the Leonardo Multi
Purpose Logistics Module into position in the Station’s Destiny laboratory.
There are now five floor-to-ceiling EXPRESS experiment racks in the lab.
The racks, built by Boeing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, provide experiments with basic utilities such as power,
communications, cooling, and fluids. Like EXPRESS Rack 2 already on board,
Rack 3 is equipped with the Active Rack Isolation System for protecting
delicate microgravity experiments inside from vibrations caused by crew
movement and operating equipment. Transferred inside the rack was the
Microencapsulation Electrostatic Processing System (MEPS) experiment.

On Sunday, the crew transferred the Microgravity Science Glovebox to
the Destiny lab, a day ahead of schedule. The glovebox is a sealed
container with built-in gloves that will make it possible for crews to do
more hands-on science experiments involving fluids, flames, particles, and
fumes. The gloves allow crews to change samples, adjust video and perform
other operations in a sealed atmosphere. The Payload Operations Center will
be working with the crew to complete the Glovebox’s installation and
checkout during the first week in July. The Glovebox was built by the
European Space Agency with help from engineers in the Microgravity and
Applications Department at Marshall.

Two Glovebox experiments were also transferred from the Shuttle to the
Station during the past week. The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed
Ampoules (SUBSA) experiment places samples in a furnace inside the Glovebox
to study production of semiconductor materials. The Pore Formation and
Mobility Investigation experiment also uses a furnace inside the Glovebox to
examine the formation and movement of bubbles in molten materials in

Last Thursday aboard the Station, one day after the Shuttle lifted off, the
Expedition 4 crew planted the last set of wheat seeds in the Biomass
Production System (BPS), a plant growth system developed by Orbital
Technology Corp, Madison, WI, for the Space Station Biological Research
Project at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The crew then
transferred BPS to the Shuttle on Saturday. The seeds from this
fast-growing hybrid were expected to germinate and grow while the Shuttle is
docked with the Station. When Endeavour returns to Earth, the scientists
from Orbital Technology Corp and Kennedy Space Center will harvest the
plants and compare it with other plants grown during the two months that the
BPS was on-orbit.

On Friday, the crew moved the new ARCTIC 2 freezer from the logistics module
to a temporary location next to EXPRESS Rack 4. ARCTIC is used to preserve
biological samples after processing until they can be returned to Earth.
They also transferred the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus from
the Station to the Shuttle for return to Earth.

On Saturday, the crew transferred the Protein Crystal Growth Single
Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES) experiment from Endeavour to the Station
and activated it on Sunday. Crystals of biological substances will be grown
during the Expedition.

Frozen human liver cells and the media pouches to support the StelSys
investigation of those cells functioning in microgravity were transferred
from the Shuttle to the Station on Saturday. The cells are kept frozen in a
liquid nitrogen dewar, and the media pouches were placed in the ARCTIC 1
refrigerator on the ISS. The dewar will maintain the viability of the liver
cells until they are injected into the media pouches on June 18 for
incubation in the Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller.

On Sunday, Flight Engineer Dan Bursch conducted pre-spacewalk readings of
the EVA Radiation Monitoring experiment dosimeter badges worn by STS-111
crewmwmbers Franklin Chang-Diaz and Philippe Perrin during their spacewalk
later that day.

Also on Sunday, the crew transferred the Advanced Astroculture commercial
plant growth experiment from the Shuttle into the Station and activated it
on Tuesday, initiating the germination of soybean seeds for a planned growth
period of 71 days.

On Monday, the Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space was transferred to
a temporary location in the logistics module for later stowage and return to

Crew Earth Observations (CEO) photography subjects during the past week
included vegetation and coastal dunes in Somalia, Amazon delta wetlands, and
reefs and lagoons of the Tuamotu Archipelago.

Eleven experiments are completed and scheduled for return aboard the
Shuttle. Another 11 continue operating aboard the Station, joined now by
four all-new Expedition Five experiments, two re-flights of earlier
experiments and additional research samples for research facilities already
on board.

Ahead this week, the crew will transfer the Protein Crystal Growth Enhanced
Gasseous Nitrogen dewar experiment from the Station to the Shuttle for
return on Saturday.

The upcoming week is an unusually good time for people in North America to
spot the International Space Station docked with Space Shuttle Endeavour.
For more information, please click on:

SpaceRef staff editor.