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STS-107 MCC Status Report #10

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

STS-107 MCC Status Report #10 
Friday, January 24, 2003 -- 5 p.m. 
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 

Research continued aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia today as the seven
astronauts aboard continued to work in shifts, coordinating work with
investigators on the ground. 

Commander Rick Husband, Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla and Laurel
Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon of the Red Team began their
workday about 5 a.m. CST, focusing again on work with the SOFBALL
(Structures of Flame Balls) experiment and the ARMS (Advanced Respiratory
Monitoring System) human physiology experiment. Husband maneuvered
Columbia into the proper positions for the various experiments. 

The two teams have completed seven SOFBALL runs so far, including the
first of several using methane as a fuel, which is visible to the naked
eye as a faint blue flame. This evening, the Blue Team will attempt the
longest planned test, lasting 2 hours, 47 minutes, while the shuttle is
placed in a “free drift” configuration to eliminate thruster firings that
could affect the test. 

Pilot Willie McCool and Mission Specialists Dave Brown and Michael
Anderson of the Blue Team were awakened about 2:30 p.m. to the sounds of
“Hotel California” performed by members of McCool’s family. Their duty
shift was scheduled to begin about 5 p.m. after a pre-bedtime handover
from the Red Team. 

The Blue Team also will resume work with the Mechanics of Granular
Materials experiment, looking at how sandy soil full of water behaves
under pressure. Three compressions are planned over the next two days,
with a final run set for later in the mission. 

The study of spiral moss growth in space completed a set of time-critical
fixations on several sets of moss plants, so that their growth rates can
be established after the flight. Four more fixations are planned. The
Astroculture experiment harvested the last of its six samples of
essential oils from rose and rice flowers, which could eventually result
in new perfume fragrances. Checks of all of the insects, spiders and
animals aboard Columbia showed that all are healthy in their enclosures. 

Flight controllers and the crew continue to manage temperatures in the
Spacehab Research Double Module by periodically adjusting cooling loop
settings. Columbia is in good shape, orbiting at an altitude of 180
statute miles. 

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

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