Status Report

ISS Science Update 6 Feb 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
February 12, 2003
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Science operations continue on the International Space
Station. Basic and applied research is being conducted in
biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, medicine, materials
science, manufacturing and the long-term effects of space
flight on humans.

During the past week, the Expedition Six crewmembers,
Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolay Budarin and
NASA Station Science Officer Don Pettit, completed several
sessions in support of the Human Research Facility (HRF).
The HRF is a floor-to-ceiling, facility-class rack located
in the Station’s Destiny laboratory. It is designed to
support human life science investigations, such as the
Pulmonary Function in Flight (PuFF) experiment. The PuFF
experiment evaluates how the lungs function in space. Little
is known about how the lungs can be affected by long-term
exposure to microgravity like the near-weightlessness inside
the Space Station.

The science data recorded from previous life sciences
experiments was beamed down to a team at NASA’s Johnson
Space Center in Houston. Pettit read the EVA Radiation
Monitoring (EVARM) experiment dosimeter badges and
downloaded the data from the reader to the HRF laptop
computer. The data from the badges is read once a week and
then downloaded to the computer on a bi-weekly basis. The
badges measured radiation absorbed by the eyes, skin, and
blood-forming organs when previous expedition and Shuttle
crews wore them outside during spacewalks. The dosimeters
are located at strategic locations inside the Destiny
laboratory, where they measure radiation inside the
laboratory. Scientists will compare data collected by the
EVARM badges with data collected by other nearby radiation
measurement devices inside Destiny.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Russian Progress re-supply ship
arrived at the Station on schedule with a load of supplies,
including scientific equipment. After the Progress docked,
the crew began unloading equipment and supplies, including a
new power distribution box and an electronics module for the
Microgravity Science Glovebox. On Feb. 5, Pettit installed
the new parts, powered up the Glovebox and activated the
facility. This resulted in a circuit breaker trip, and
further activity was put on hold. The Glovebox team on the
ground is working with the European Space Agency, which built
the facility, to develop a troubleshooting plan for the
Station crew.

The Glovebox supports several physical science experiments,
providing a contained work volume for crews to safely work
with experiments involving fumes, fluids, flames or loose
particles. Several experiments are onboard the Station and
are ready to resume inside the Glovebox when it is restored
to working order.

The crew set up a camera in the Station’s high-quality
optical window, and students from 30 schools across the
globe used it to do their geography lessons. Students
remotely controlled the special digital camera through the
Internet and took 767 images of Earth during the past week.
They selected and photographed Earth’s coastlines, mountain
ranges and other geographic areas of interest.

The Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students
(EarthKAM) educational program team posted the photographs
on the Internet. They are available to the public and
participating classrooms around the world. This experiment
has been performed on several Station expeditions, giving
thousands of students a chance to study Earth from the
unique vantage point of space. Images are available at:

The crew took photographs this week as part of the Crew
Earth Observation (CEO) program. The crew had the
opportunity to photograph many places in India, Africa,
Panama, Puerto Rico, South America, and Asia. The CEO
science team praised recent detailed shots of glaciers on
the west side of the Andes, which is often covered by clouds
and difficult to photograph.

Upcoming science activities for the crew include work 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 next FOOT session is
planned for Thursday, Feb. 13.

The Payload Operations Center at NASA’s Marshall Space
Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala., manages all
science research experiment operations aboard the Space
Station. For supporting materials for this news release,
such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and
more, visit the MSFC Web site at:

SpaceRef staff editor.