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STS-107 MCC Status Report #09



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

STS-107 MCC Status Report #09 
Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 5:00 p.m. CST 
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 

The STS-107 scientific research mission aboard Columbia passed the
halfway mark today as the 80 microgravity investigations continue on
schedule. 

Highlighting the investigations today for both the Blue and Red Teams
were the SOFBALL (Structures of Flame Balls) and ARMS (Advanced
Respiratory Monitoring System) experiments, although both teams continued
to support other experiments with a variety of activities. 

Mission Specialists Michael Anderson of the Blue Team and Kalpana Chawla
of the Red Team initiated runs with the SOFBALL experiment, which is
creating tiny ball-shaped flames using hydrogen as the fuel. The tiny
flames, which are approaching some of the leanest and longest-lasting
ever, are invisible to the human eye but visible to the crew and
investigators on the ground through special video equipment. Dr. Paul
Ronney of the University of Southern California and his team hope to
discover new properties about combustion to improve engine efficiency and
fire safety, as well as reduce emissions. 

Mission Specialist Dave Brown of the Blue Team and Israeli Payload
Specialist Ilan Ramon of the Red Team concentrated on the Advanced
Respiratory Monitoring System. The European Space Agency experiment
alternated experiments targeting the human lung and circulatory system
and the human muscular system as it looked at changes brought on by
weightlessness. 

Commander Rick Husband, leader of the Red Team, and Pilot Willie McCool,
leader of the Blue Team, adjusted Columbia’s attitude relative to the
Earth to support the different requirements of the experiments. They
continued to manage the temperature inside the Spacehab Research Double
Module in the wake of problems incurred with cooling systems. No
experiments have or are expected to be affected by the cooling issue. 

Red Team Mission Specialist Laurel Clark, a medical doctor, worked with
the Bioreactor Demonstration System, which is growing tissue samples as
part of a prostate cancer study. She also beamed down data from the
Astroculture experiment growing roses and rice flowers for commercial
fragrance development. Clark also worked with bacteria and yeast cultures
being grown as part of a Microbial Physiology Flight Experiment that
looks at the effect of microgravity on antibiotics. 

In honor of the combustion experiments on this flight, the Blue Team’s
wake-up call this afternoon was “Burning Down the House,” by the Talking
Heads. 

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 6 Commander Ken
Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and ISS Science Officer Don
Pettit spent their 61st day in space and their 59th day on the station
practicing techniques with the Canadarm2 robot arm. This activity was in
preparation for the March mission of Atlantis to the ISS that will
involve a variety of uses for the space crane. 

Columbia and the ISS are both operating in normal fashion, with the
Shuttle orbiting at an altitude of 180 statute miles in an orbit inclined
39 degrees to either side of the equator and the station orbiting at an
altitude of 240 statute miles in an orbit inclined 51.6 degrees to either
side of the equator. 

The next STS-107 status report will be issued Friday afternoon, or
earlier, if events warrant. 

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