Status Report

ISS Science Operatiosn Status Report for week ending 29 Jan 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2003
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ISS Science Operatiosn Status Report for week ending 29 Jan 2003

During the last week, the crew focused on research that studies how the
human body adapts to living in space. The three International Space Station
(ISS) crewmembers were test subjects for experiments that examine how space
flight affects muscles and bones and kidney stone formation. These and other
aspects of human physiology must be studied to ensure humans can live and
work in space safely for extended durations.

Expedition Six Commander Ken Bowersox completed the third round of research
with the FOOT/Ground Reaction Forces During Space Flight (FOOT) experiment.
FOOT characterizes the stress on the bones and muscles in the lower
extremities. The data were sent to scientists on Earth for analysis. In
February, more measurements will be collected for FOOT.

On Tuesday, the crew completed five days of Renal Stone experiment tests.
The crew is taking potassium citrate pills or a placebo to study a possible
preventative for kidney stones in space. The microgravity environment of the
Station changes fluid metabolism and bone loss, which may increase the
chance of kidney stone formation during and after flight. The crew
collected urine samples and recorded their food, fluid, exercise and
medication to assess environmental influences other than microgravity.

The ISS crew not only looked inward at their bodies, but also looked
outward at their home, Earth. The Station provides an excellent platform for
photographing planet Earth. On Tuesday, the crew activated and set up camera
equipment for the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students
(EarthKAM) experiment. For the rest of the week, middle school students will
operate the camera.

EarthKam is a NASA education program that enables thousands of students to
photograph and examine Earth from a space crew’s perspective. Using the
Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on the
Station. This allows them to photograph the Earth’s coastlines, mountain
ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point
of space. The EarthKam team then posts the photographs on the Internet so
that they can be viewed by the public and participating classrooms around
the world. This experiment has been performed on several ISS expeditions.

Crew Earth Observation crew photography opportunities have been performed
since the first crew took up residence on the ISS. This week, the crew will
have the opportunity to photograph fires and widespread blankets of smoke
over southeast Australia. In the past week, crewmembers captured photographs
of cloud formations that are of interest to meteorologists. They also took
photographs of southern Louisiana and Florida and images of Lake Poopo in
the high tropical Andes. This week, the crew also will have the opportunity
to photograph glaciers in Patagonia, a landslide in Chili, and several more
areas in Africa, Australia, and South America.

On Tuesday, the crew started activation and checkout of the new Active Rack
Isolation System (ARIS) installed in EXPRESS Rack 3 during Expedition Five.
ARIS is a vibration- dampening system that protects delicate microgravity
experiments from tiny vibrations caused by crew movement, operating
equipment, etc. The crew will checkout several key components of the ARIS
system including eight acceleration and position sensors, actuators and
pushrods that keep the rack suspended by sensing vibrations and providing a
counter force to prevent vibrations from reaching the rack and experiments

EXPRESS Racks provide Station experiments with utilities such as power,
cooling, fluids, communications and more. Over the last week, the Payload
Operations Center and the Station crew successfully upgraded software for
several Express racks in the Destiny lab. This upgrade is expected to make
science operations even smoother.

The crew continues to prepare for the arrival of the Russian Progress
resupply ship, which is scheduled to dock with the Station next week with a
load of equipment and supplies. This equipment will include new replacement
parts (power distribution and control unit) for the Microgravity Science
Glovebox, which should restore the Glovebox to working order. This facility
supports several physical science experiments, providing a contained work
volume for crews to work safely with experiments involving fumes, fluids
flames or loose particles.

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.