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STS-107 MCC STATUS REPORT #7



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC



In this issue
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 17:52:48 -0600 (CST)
STS-107
Report #07 
Tuesday, January 21, 2003 - 6 p.m. CST 
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 

The seven astronauts aboard Columbia continued to conduct scientific
studies 24-7 today, concentrating their efforts on combustion in
weightlessness, the growth of cell cultures, and measurements of the
ozone layer.

The Blue Team was awakened at 3:39 p.m. CDT to the sounds of "The Wedding
Song" by Paul Stookey, uplinked from Mission Control especially for Pilot
Willie McCool. McCool and Blue Team Astronauts Dave Brown and Michael
Anderson will begin work after a handover at 5:24 p.m. The Red Team of
Rick Husband, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon begins its
sleep shift at 7:39 p.m.

Israel Space Agency Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon took a break from
observations of thunderstorms today to speak with Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon and other dignitaries in Jerusalem. Ramon captured
never-before-photographed lightning phenomena, known as
"sprites" and "elves," in the extreme upper
atmosphere using Middle Eastern Dust Experiment (MEIDEX) cameras. The
experiment's primary objective is to study dust storms in the Middle
East, but clouds in the region have delayed those observations thus far.

Work continued with a study of combustion in space, focusing on
understanding the nature of soot. The Laminar Soot Processes experiment
was operated by Ramon to burn various fuels in weightlessness and study
production of soot. Weightlessness alllows the process to be studied
without the interference caused by gravity-induced convection.

Other experiments run today included continued growth of prostate cancer
cells in the Bioreactor Demonstration System (BDS), a device that has
been shown on previous flights to grow cultures of much greater fidelity
than can be produced in ground labs. The space-grown cultures may help
scientists unlock lethal secrets of prostate cancer that allow it to
spread through the bones and other body tissues. Mission Specialist
Laurel Clark, a medical doctor, worked with the culture device today,
checking its operation and photographing the tissues that have grown.

For other experiments, Commander Rick Husband steered Columbia to aim
payload-bay mounted instruments to study ozone in the upper atmosphere
and another experiment that studies the solar constant. The Shuttle Ozone
Limb Sounding Experiment-2 (SOLSE-2) uses observations of sunlight
scattering by the atmosphere to measure ozone. The Solar Constant
Experiment (SOLCON) measures solar irradiance above the atmosphere.

The Blue Team will continue observations of "sprites" with the MEIDEX
cameras, studies of soot with the Laminar Soot Process apparatus and
examinations of bone cell activity in microgravity using the Osteoporosis
Experiment in Orbit. The second half of its day will include off-duty
time to help stay fresh for the extended-duration mission.

Cooling and humidity control of the Spacehab module is being managed
through minor adjustments to systems aboard Columbia and the science
module. The Spacehab's dehumidifiers remain off due to problems
experienced in the last few days. The cooling glitch is not expected to
interrupt any of the mission's ongoing research. Flight controllers are
continuing to investigate options for reactivating the dehumidifiers.

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