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STS-113 mission and ISS Expedition Six

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Ala. 35812

        For release: Nov. 6, 2002

RELEASE: 02-281
November Shuttle mission kicks off 3rd year of Space Station science, to
deliver 3rd truss 

Next week, Space Shuttle Endeavour will deliver to the International
Space Station (ISS) the third piece of the Station's exterior truss
backbone, and kick off the third year of science inside the orbiting
laboratory by
bringing up a new load of scientific experiments.

The 14-ton, girder-like, Port One, or P1 truss -- assembled and tested at
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. -- will enhance
the Station's future cooling and power systems.  It will be attached to
the left
side of the Segment Zero, or S0 truss, during the fourth day of the
STS-113 mission.

While the Endeavour is docked with the Station, astronauts will perform
three spacewalks to outfit and activate the new truss. The Station's
other two truss structures - the S0 and Starboard One, or S1 -- were
installed earlier this year. 

"This is the first port integrated truss segment to be delivered to the
Station," said Alex Pest, the Boeing Company manager who oversaw the
completion of the P-1 truss when it was assembled and tested at the
Center. "We tested the truss' strength, as well as its electrical
connections and fluid lines that will be important for future Station
power and cooling."

The STS-113 mission also kicks off the beginning of the third year of
science aboard the orbiting research laboratory and marks the start of a
new four-month crew rotation on the ISS.  Expedition Six Commander Ken
and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit and Flight Engineer Nikolai
Budarin will conduct new scientific experiments and continue research
started on the
five prior expeditions.

Although the Station is in the process of being built and the lab is
still being outfitted, research hours are adding up.  More than 65
NASA-funded investigations have compiled more than 90,000 hours of
science operations
time on-orbit.  The Station's five Expedition crews have devoted more
than 1,000 hours to research on the ISS.

To carry out Expedition Six's 19 experiments, the crew will work closely
with ground controllers in the science command post for ISS science
operations - the Payload Operations Center at Marshall. 

"We manage all the science operations on the Station and work with
planners and scientists around the world to schedule research
activities," said Lamar
Stacy, the payload operations director who leads the Expedition Six
payload ops team at the Marshall Center. "To ensure successful
operations, we work
before each expedition, training the crew and preparing procedures for
conducting research in orbit."

Many of the Station experiments are managed by the Marshall Center.
Fundamental experiments that explore how physical processes are affected
by the microgravity, or low-gravity inside the Station, are managed by
Marshall's Microgravity Sciences and Applications Division.
research conducted through NASA's 15 Commercial Space Centers is managed
by the Space Product Development Program at the Marshall Center.

The new investigations include two series of fluid physics experiments to
be conducted inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox - a major research
facility delivered to the Station in June. The glovebox features a sealed
work area with windows and attached rubber gloves that allow crewmembers
to work safely with experiments involving chemicals, fluids and burning
or molten samples. It was built by the European Space Agency in
with the Marshall Center.

A new life sciences experiment -- Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During
Space Flight -- characterizes the load on the lower body and muscle
activity in crewmembers while working on the Station.  

The Protein Crystal Growth Single-locker Thermal Enclosure System
(PCG-STES), which has flown on three prior Station research expeditions,
will return to orbit with a new set of proteins and other biological
substances.  Scientists want to grow high-quality crystals of selected
proteins in microgravity for later analyses on the ground to determine
the proteins' molecular structure.  Research may contribute to advances
in medicine, agriculture and other fields.

New samples will be delivered for the Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace
-- an experiment sponsored by a commercial firm attempting to grow larger
crystals in microgravity, with possible applications in chemical
processes, electronic device manufacturing and other applications on

Endeavour will bring back plants, biological crystals, and microscopic
capsules that are small enough to transport drugs to specific parts of
the human body. Experiment equipment and samples will be returned to
around the world for in-depth analysis.

To launch the payloads and the new Expedition Six ISS crew safely into
orbit, Marshall managers and engineers will support the STS-113 launch
from both the Launch Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in
and Huntsville Operations Support Center at the Marshall Center. 

The Space Shuttle Projects Office at Marshall manages the Shuttle's
propulsion system, including its three main engines, external fuel tank,
twin solid rocket boosters and reusable solid rocket motors.  Marshall
serves as a key leader in NASA's research and development of the
propulsion systems that enable safe, reliable and lower-cost access to
space and space exploration.

Steve Roy
Media Relations Department
(256) 544-0034

The Web

News Release


Office of Biological and Physical Research

ISS Science Operations 

Space Station Expedition Six fact sheets

Marshall Space Flight Center
Media Relations Department
(256) 544-0034
(256) 544-5852 (fax)

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