Status Report

ISS Weekly Science Status Report 9 Jan 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
January 9, 2002
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The Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space began a record 120-hour test
on Monday, January 7, in an effort to explore these novel particles with
many common uses on Earth.

"The science team is re-examining the early stages of the crystallization of
the AB-6 binary colloidal crystal alloy for a long consecutive amount of
time to produce better data on its crystallization," said Mike Doherty,
project manager of the colloids experiment at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
in Cleveland. "We are looking at the crystallization process using higher
resolution imaging in an attempt to unmask two different aspects of the
light scattering from this sample."

A colloid is a system of fine particles. Common examples are paint, milk and
ink, as well as copy machine toner, phosphors for computer screens, and
anti-slip floor coatings. They are also used in manufacturing processes such
as the polishing of silicon for computer chips. By using the low gravity
environment of the Space Station to better understand their behavior,
scientists hope to develop new materials and manufacturing processes on

Also on Monday, the Active Rack Isolation System ISS Characterization
Experiment science team began a series of one-minute isolation tests with a
new control program. ARIS is an experimental vibration dampening device
designed to protect delicate microgravity experiments from accelerations
caused by crew activity, operating equipment and other disturbances.

The crew completed checkout of equipment Monday for the Extravehicular
Activity Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment. Both the badge reader unit
and the individual radiation badges, which will be placed in the cooling
undergarments of the spacesuits checked out perfectly and the data was
downlinked to the ground. One of several radiation-monitoring experiments
aboard the station, EVARM will be the first to measure radiation dosage
encountered by the eyes, internal organs and skin during specific
spacewalks. The first use of the radiation badges during a spacewalk will be
during the 8A Space Shuttle mission to the Station. The principal
investigator is Ian Thomson of Thomson & Nielsen Electronics, Ltd., Ottawa,
Canada. It is managed by the Canadian Space Agency and NASA’s Johnson Space

Carl Walz and Dan Bursch completed the first session of the Renal Stone
experiment, including collection of urine over a 24-hour period and diet
monitoring and logging. The experiment, managed by Johnson Space Center, is
studying the risk of developing kidney stones during long-duration space
flight, as well as testing a preventative drug.

Among the photography sites for the Crew Earth Observations science program
this week are industrialized Southeastern Africa, lakes in the Sierra
Nevadas and the Peruvian Andes, Patagonian glaciers, the Tuamotu
Archipelago, biomass burning in Angola, snow and ice in the South Sandwich
Islands, the Yangtze River delta, and the Eastern United States.Untended
operations monitored by science teams on the ground continue with a pair of
protein crystal growth experiments, a suitcase-sized collection of materials
attached to the outside of the space station and vibration measuring
experiments in the Destiny laboratory module.

On Monday, Jan. 7, Flight Engineer Dan Bursch removed the hard drive from
the Payload MDM 2 and replaced it with a new memory card, carried to the
Station on the UF-1 Space Shuttle mission in December 2001. Located in
Avionics Rack 3 in the floor of the Destiny lab module, the MDM processes
all ground commands to the payload racks and science experiments, as well as
telemetry from racks and experiments to the ground. The Payload Operations
Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will be monitoring the
performance of the memory card over the next four weeks.

"The new memory card is more radiation-hardened and has three times as much
memory as the hard drive, so it gives us a more reliable, more flexible
capability," Expedition Four Payload Operations Director Tim Horvath said.

Editor’s Note: 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.