Status Report

ISS Weekly Science Status Report 8 Nov 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 2001
Filed under , ,

Ground stations in Houston, Seattle, Cleveland and Birmingham commanded payloads
and downlinked experiment data from the Space Station during the past week while
the crew continued health and status monitoring of payloads and preparations
for a spacewalk.

Seven hours of crew time are scheduled for payload activities this week, as
the crew shifts their attention to the November 12 EVA. As usual, the crew is likely to complete more science activities
from a list of optional items sent to the Space Station every week. Ground
commanding is concentrated into specific blocks of time this week with the Station
in an orientation that prevents KU band communications coverage for parts of
the operational day.

The Active Rack Isolation System ISS Characterization Experiment (ARIS-ICE)
is continuing daily this week. Stiffness tests using new power umbilicals
and a variety of isolation tests were conducted to build composite ARIS
isolation performance spectra for crew waking and sleep periods. Scientists
have concluded experimental power cables for EXPRESS Rack 2
where ARIS is located -will transmit fewer vibrations to the rack
than the baseline cables. ARIS is an experimental vibration dampener,
which consists of several “powered shock absorbers” used to negate accelerations
caused by crew activities, moving equipment, docking spacecraft, etc.

The Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space completed runs of 24
hours last Friday and 12 hours on Monday and Wednesday (November 5, 7), with
another 24-hour run scheduled for today (November 8). Scientists direct samples
to be mixed, allowed to crystallize, and re-mixed while cameras and light-scattering
lasers capture the growth process to learn how colloidal systems function.
The results have implications for many products and manufacturing processes
on Earth.

All three crewmembers conducted the weekly Crew Interactions experiment
today, having completed last week’s questionnaires on Thursday and Friday.
This 20-minute computer-based survey attempts to identify and characterize important
interpersonal and cultural factors that may affect the performance of the crew
and ground support personnel during Station missions through factors like tension,
cohesion and leadership roles.

Geographic locations for the Crew Earth Observations photography program
this week included auroras expected to result from the high solar activity,
the Nile river and associated agriculture, seasonal burning in southern Africa,
forest health in the eastern United States, human development on the Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers in Turkey, and snowfall in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The crew completed a documentary filming session with the DREAMTIME
high definition television camera on Tuesday (November 6). The activity was
completed from the task list, adding more quality footage to document life aboard
the orbiting facility. The film products will be returned aboard Space Shuttle
Endeavour in December.

Several other automated experiments continued to collect and transmit data
during the past week. The Dynamically Controlled Protein Crystal Growth
experiment is progressing normally, and samples are entering the crystallization
phase. The camera system that allows experimenters on the ground to see their
samples and control the crystallization process continues to capture images
every 12 hours of Tray 2 samples and providing insights into Tray 1 crystallization.

The Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System continues to operate,
collecting vibration data about the Station. These data include measurements
and impulses primarily from aerodynamic drag and gravity-gradient effects but
will also capture any low-level propulsive events like gas or fluid venting
overboard. Other continuing automated experiments include Advanced Protein
Crystallization Facility
, and the Materials International Space Station

Preparations continue for the transition from Expedition Three to Expedition
Four later this month. The crew will be moving the Bio Technology Refrigerator
from EXPRESS Rack 1 to EXPRESS Rack 4, and Space Acceleration Measurement
hardware from Rack 2 to Rack 4. Other upcoming preparations include
programming ground and flight computers to operate new Expedition Four experiments.

SpaceRef staff editor.