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EXP 6 - ISS STATUS 2/12/2003



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington                   Feb. 12, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-1753)
 
Steve Roy
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256/544-0034)
 
RELEASE: 03-066
 
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SCIENCE UPDATE
 
     Science operations continue on the International Space 
Station. Basic and applied research is being conducted in 
biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, medicine, materials 
science, manufacturing and the long-term effects of space 
flight on humans.
 
During the past week, the Expedition Six crewmembers, 
Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolay Budarin and 
NASA Station Science Officer Don Pettit, completed several 
sessions in support of the Human Research Facility (HRF). 
The HRF is a floor-to-ceiling, facility-class rack located 
in the Station's Destiny laboratory. It is designed to 
support human life science investigations, such as the 
Pulmonary Function in Flight (PuFF) experiment. The PuFF 
experiment evaluates how the lungs function in space. Little 
is known about how the lungs can be affected by long-term 
exposure to microgravity like the near-weightlessness inside 
the Space Station.
 
The science data recorded from previous life sciences 
experiments was beamed down to a team at NASA's Johnson 
Space Center in Houston. Pettit read the EVA Radiation 
Monitoring (EVARM) experiment dosimeter badges and 
downloaded the data from the reader to the HRF laptop 
computer. The data from the badges is read once a week and 
then downloaded to the computer on a bi-weekly basis. The 
badges measured radiation absorbed by the eyes, skin, and 
blood-forming organs when previous expedition and Shuttle 
crews wore them outside during spacewalks. The dosimeters 
are located at strategic locations inside the Destiny 
laboratory, where they measure radiation inside the 
laboratory. Scientists will compare data collected by the 
EVARM badges with data collected by other nearby radiation 
measurement devices inside Destiny.
 
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Russian Progress re-supply ship 
arrived at the Station on schedule with a load of supplies, 
including scientific equipment. After the Progress docked, 
the crew began unloading equipment and supplies, including a 
new power distribution box and an electronics module for the 
Microgravity Science Glovebox. On Feb. 5, Pettit installed 
the new parts, powered up the Glovebox and activated the 
facility. This resulted in a circuit breaker trip, and 
further activity was put on hold. The Glovebox team on the 
ground is working with the European Space Agency, which built 
the facility, to develop a troubleshooting plan for the 
Station crew.
 
The Glovebox supports several physical science experiments, 
providing a contained work volume for crews to safely work 
with experiments involving fumes, fluids, flames or loose 
particles. Several experiments are onboard the Station and 
are ready to resume inside the Glovebox when it is restored 
to working order.
 
The crew set up a camera in the Station's high-quality 
optical window, and students from 30 schools across the 
globe used it to do their geography lessons. Students 
remotely controlled the special digital camera through the 
Internet and took 767 images of Earth during the past week. 
They selected and photographed Earth's coastlines, mountain 
ranges and other geographic areas of interest.
 
The Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students 
(EarthKAM) educational program team posted the photographs 
on the Internet. They are available to the public and 
participating classrooms around the world. This experiment 
has been performed on several Station expeditions, giving 
thousands of students a chance to study Earth from the 
unique vantage point of space. Images are available at:
http://datasystems@earthkam.ucsd.edu
 
The crew took photographs this week as part of the Crew 
Earth Observation (CEO) program. The crew had the 
opportunity to photograph many places in India, Africa, 
Panama, Puerto Rico, South America, and Asia. The CEO 
science team praised recent detailed shots of glaciers on 
the west side of the Andes, which is often covered by clouds 
and difficult to photograph.
 
Upcoming science activities for the crew include work with 
the FOOT/Ground Reaction Forces During Space Flight (FOOT) 
experiment. FOOT characterizes the stress on the bones and 
muscles in the lower extremities. The next FOOT session is 
planned for Thursday, Feb. 13.
 
The Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space 
Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala., manages all 
science research experiment operations aboard the Space 
Station. For supporting materials for this news release, 
such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and 
more, visit the MSFC Web site at:
 
www.msfc.nasa.gov/news  

 
 

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