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Digitized, cataloged and archived by the Houston Audio Control Room, at the NASA Johnson Space Center.
Pad 39-A (51)
63rd Shuttle Mission
17th Flight OV-102
Night Launch (9)
Longest STS mission to date
KSC Landing (21)
Robert D. Cabana (3), Commander
James D. Halsell (1), Pilot
Richard J. Hieb (3), Payload Commander
Carl E. Walz (2), Mission specialist 2
Leroy Chiao (1), Mission Specialist 3
Donald A. Thomas (1), Mission Specialist 4
Chiaki Naito-Mukai (1), Payload Specialist 1
Jean-Jacques Favier (0), Alternate Payload Specialist (CNES)
OPF 2 -- 3/18/94
VAB HB1 -- 6/8/94 6:48pm EDT (Rollover began at 6:07pm)
IVT -- 6/13/94
PAD 39A -- 6/15/94 5:42am EDT (Rollout began at 11:26pm)
TCDT -- 6/21/94 to 6/22/94
IML-2, APCF, CPCG, AMOS, OARE, MAST, SAREX-II, EDO
For Press Kit go to:
For Additional Info on STS-65 go to:
The International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) is the second in a series of Spacelab (SL) flights designed to conduct research in a microgravity environment. The IML concept enables a scientist to apply results from one mission to the next and to broaden the scope and variety of investigations between missions. Data from the IML missions contributes to the research base for the space station.
As the name implies, IML-2 is an international mission. Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA), Canada, France, Germany and Japan are all collaborating with NASA on the IML-2 mission to provide the worldwide science community with a variety of complementary facilities and experiments. These facilities and experiments are mounted in twenty 19" racks in the IML 2 Module.
Research on IML-2 is dedicated to microgravity and life sciences. Microgravity science covers a broad range of activities from undestanding the fundamental physics involved in material behavior to using those effects to generate materials that cannot otherwise be made in the gravitational environment of the Earth. In life sciences research, a reduction of gravitation's effect allows certain characteristics of cells and organisms to be studied in isolation. These reduced gravitational effects also pose poorly understood occupational health problems for space crews ranging from space adaptation syndrome to long-term hormonal changes. On IML-2, the microgravity science and life sciences experiments are complementary in their use of SL resources. Microgravity science tends to draw heavily on spacecraft power while life sciences places the greatest demand on crew time.
Life Sciences Experiments and facilities on IML-2 include: Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit (AAEU) in Rack 3, Biorack (BR) in Rack 5, Biostack (BSK) in Rack 9, Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Program (EDOMP) and Spinal Changes in Microgravity (SCM) in the Center Isle, Lower Body Negative Pressure Device (LBNPD), Microbial Air Sampler (MAS), Performance Assessment Workstation (PAWS) in the middeck, Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (NIZEMI) in Rack 7, Real Time Radiation Monitoring Device (RRMD) and the Thermoelectric Incubator (TEI) both in Rack 3.
Microgravity experiments and facilities on IML-2 include: Applied Research on Separation Methods (RAMSES) in Rack 6, Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit (BDPU) in Rack 8, Critical Point Facility (CPF) in Rack 9, Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility (TEMPUS) in Rack 10, Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit (FFEU) in Rack 3, Large Isothermal Furnace (LIF) in Rack 7, Quasi Steady Acceleration Measurement (QSAM) in Rack 3, Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) in the Center Isle, and Vibration Isolation Box Experiment System (VIBES) in Rack 3.
Other payloads on this mission are: Advanced Protein Crystalization Facility (APCF) , Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE), Military Application of Ship Tracks (MAST), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II). Columbia is also flying with an Extended Duration Orbiter (ED0) pallet and no RMS Arm was installed. This is also the 1st flight of the payload bay door torque box modification on Columbia and the 1st flight of new OI-6 main engine software.
Friday, July 8, 1994 at 12:43:00.069am EDT. The launch occured exactly on time at the beginning of a 2.5 hour launch window. The countdown progressed smoothly but was held at the T-9 min mark due to a Return to Launch Site (RTLS) weather constraint. The count was restarted with the intent to hold again at the T-5 min mark if there were still constraints. The low pressure heated ground purge in the SRB aft skirt was not required to maintain the case/nozzle joint temperatures within the required LCC ranges. The purge was activated at T-26 minutes for the high flow rate inerting of the SRB aft skirt.
The weather constraint was cleared at 12:36am leading to an ontime liftoff. Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) sites were Banjul, Gambia (Prime), Ben Guerir, Morocco (Alternate). Preliminary data indicates that the flight performance of both RSRMs was well within the allowable performance envelopes, and was typical of the performance observed on previous flights. The RSRM propellant mean bulk temperature (PMBT) was 81 degrees F at liftoff.
Onorbit APU shutdown commenced at 12:58 EDT while Columbia was in an initial transfer orbit of 78nm over the Atlantic.
Personnel aboard the solid rocket booster retrieval ships spotted the boosters soon after splashdown and were on station at about 1:15 p.m. EDT to begin recovery operations.
Altitude: 160 nm (184 sm)
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Duration: 14 days, 17 hours, 55 minutes, 00 seconds.
Distance: 6,143,000 miles
ET : ET-64
SSME-1: SN-2019 (30 starts, 11,216 sec)
SSME-2: SN-2030 (30 starts, 9,453 secs)
SSME-3: SN-2017 (18 starts, 6,639 secs)
KSC, July 23 at 6:38:01 am EDT on Kennedy Space Center.
Shuttle Landing Facility Runway 33. Columbia landed on the 1st of two landing opportunities (6:38 EDT or 8:13 am EDT). Backup landing opportunity would have been at Edwards at 8:39am EDT. Nose Wheel touchdown was at 6:38:18 am EDT and wheel stop at 6:39:09 EDT. This gives the crew of Columbia the distinction of being the longest Shuttle mission to date (surpassing Columbias SLS-2 launch aboard STS-58 on 10/18/93) and the longest duration US space mission since the 84 day Skylab SL-4 mission by Gerald P. Carr, William R. Pogue and Edward G. Gibson on 2/8/74.
The two landing opportunities for Columbia at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility on 7/22/94 (at 6:47 a.m. EDT and 8:23 a.m. EDT) were waived due to cloud cover east of the runway that was expected to drift over the SLF. Weather at Edwards was favorable but flight controllers decided to keep Columbia in orbit one extra day and try for a KSC landing on 7/23/94.
On Friday, July 8, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 1 reports: Carrying IML-2, Columbia is now in a 163 by 160 nautical mile orbit. Onboard, the Red Team crew members -- Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot James D. Halsell, Payload Commander Richard J. Hieb and Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai -- are in the last half of their first work shift of the two-week mission. Their crew mates -- Blue Team members Donald A. Thomas, Leroy Chiao and Carl E. Walz -- are in the midst of a six- hour sleep period and will take over duties aboard at 10:28 p.m. for a 12-hour shift. Late in the afternoon, commander Robert D. Cabana played a videotape of Columbia's cockpit recorded during the liftoff and climb to orbit for flight controllers in Mission Control, describing the ascent as the tape played.
On Friday, July 8, 1994 at 7 p.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 1 reports: One of the most complex science missions in the 11-year history of the Spacelab program got underway this afternoon as the seven-member STS-65 crew powered up the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) payload. The 14-day flight schedule is packed with more than 80 experiments, to be performed in 19 life-science and microgravity-science facilities. The ambitious research agenda builds on experience gained from previous Spacelab missions, with approximately twice the number of experiments and facilities as its predecessor, IML-1, which flew in January 1992.
More than 200 scientists representing six space agencies from around the world contributed to IML-2. Their investigations will cover scientific questions that can best be answered away from gravity's influence. Experiments studying human physiology, aquatic animals or cultured cells will help reveal the role gravity plays in shaping life on Earth. Investigations of fluids and materials will uncover more about basic mechanisms which affect nearly every physical science.
Payload Specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai of Japan began the first IML-2 experiment operations at 2:35 p.m. CDT, when she activated the European Space Agency's Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility. Housed in two orbiter middeck lockers, it will operate automatically throughout the mission. The versatile space facility is the first to use three different crystal growth methods, allowing scientists to choose the best conditions for their experiments. Scientists from the U.S. and seven European countries are growing biologically important protein crystals which are difficult to produce on Earth. Some 5,000 video images of the crystals made during flight will help them determine the physical mechanisms which govern protein crystal growth.
Post-flight analysis of the space-grown crystals will help determine their structure and function, important for a better understanding of living systems and the development of advanced medicines. For instance, the pharmaceutical industry uses structural information to design a drug which binds to a specific protein, blocking a chemically active site. Such a drug fits a protein like a key in a lock to "turn off" the protein's activities, thus possibly regulating metabolic processes.
Payload Commander Rick Hieb, Pilot Jim Halsell and Mukai floated into the Spacelab module at 3:21 p.m. Hieb and Halsell had the lab up and running ahead of schedule, just minutes after 4 p.m. Payload operations control from the Marshall Space Flight Center's Spacelab Mission Operations Control facility in Huntsville began about a half hour later.
Chiaki Naito-Mukai activated the IML-2 payload, then checked out the European Space Agency's Biorack facility in preparation for loading its many sample containers. The perishable biological specimens were stored on the orbiter middeck shortly before launch. Various containers holding samples for the facility's 19 life science investigations will be relocated for experiment processing more than 2,000 times during the mission.
Operation of most of the remaining IML-2 facilities will begin over the next 12 hours. Crew members will continue activating Biorack experiments, look in on the fish and newts in Japan's Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit, and take a mental performance test on a laptop computer for comparison with tests made later in the mission. They will start up radiation and motion detectors to monitor the Spacelab environment. The first experiments will begin in the European Space Agency's Critical Point Facility and Germany's Slow-Rotating Centrifuge Microscope.
On Saturday, July 9, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 2 reports: The Blue Team astronauts -- Mission Specialists Carl Walz, Don Thomas and Leroy Chiao -- began the first shift of operational research after the Red Team -- Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai -- powered up International Microgravity Lab-2 and checked out the lab's equipment. As the Blue Team works, the Red team is awakening after an 8-hour sleep shift.
While Chiao and Thomas worked in the Spacelab module tucked in Columbia's payload bay, Walz took care of orbiter housekeeping chores, and performed the first run on the Performance Assessment Workstation, or PAWS. Using graphic input devices that coincide with targets on a computer screen, crew members will record the effects of microgravity on the cognitive skills required for successful performance of many tasks during the mission. The laptop computer will record the speed and accuracy of the cursor movements, and the time required to interpret the displayed instruction throughout the flight.
On Saturday July 9, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 3 reports: Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell managed activities in the crew compartment of the orbiter while the rest of the Red Team, consisting of Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, spent their first full day in space working in the laboratory.
Other than a short-lived problem with the bathroom aboard Columbia, all vehicle systems are performing well, with no problems being tracked by flight controllers in Mission Control. The Waste Containment System, or WCS, experienced a problem with the solid waste compactor piston when the unit became stuck briefly. Halsell worked a procedure to check the unit and it has functioned fine since. Inside the Spacelab module, the astronaut team is working on a system that relays Japanese life-sciences experiment data to scientists on the ground. One data channel on the radiation monitoring experiment was not functioning properly.
Cabana hooked up the onboard ham radio, called SAREX for Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment and talked with middle school students at the Bair Middle School in Sunrise, Florida.
On Sunday, July 10, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 4 reported: The Red Team of astronauts aboard Columbia began its third duty shift of the 14-day mission this morning as near continuous operations in the pressurized Spacelab module gather more and more data for scientists participating in the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 mission.
Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell took take care of activities in the crew compartment while Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai spent their second day working in the laboratory. The Blue Team of Mission Specialists Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas began its sleep shift about 9:30 a.m. CDT after a smooth shift. Neither the crew nor flight controllers in Houston reported any significant problems overnight.
One highlight was a television interview with Cleveland natives Walz and Thomas by a hometown television station. Displaying Cleveland penants, stickers and shirts, the pair discussed how important the STS-65 experiments are to long-duration space flight, how their academic studies helped them to become astronauts and how the Apollo 11 lunar landing motivated them 25 years ago.
On Sunday, July 10, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 5 reported: Routine housekeeping was the order of business today as Columbia circles the Earth virtually trouble free continuing to provide a stable platform for the around the clock science work ongoing in the Spacelab module. Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell are in charge of Orbiter upkeep while Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai continue science work in the laboratory in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission.
Both Hieb and Mukai spent time in a device designed to help astronauts counter the effects of microgravity on the human body. The lower body negative pressure device, or LBNP, is used to create a vacuum that pulls fluids back into the lower portions of the body as it is on Earth.
While Halsell reviewed his landing skills on the portable in-flight landing trainer, called PILOT, Cabana conducted a tour of the Orbiter watching over the shoulders of crew members as they performed various experiments throughout the spacecraft. He ended the tour with views of the Earth from the operating altitude of 163 nautical miles.
Mission manager Lanny Upton reported that Columbia astronaut Richard J. Hieb reseated an electrical connector on a cable used to transmit data to the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) in Huntsville. Data is now flowing between the medical experiments that use this connection and the shuttles onboard recorder and downlink antenna system. Previous to the fix, astronauts were manually reading out some important data and sending it down to scientists on the ground. They were also making use of an onboard camcorder to videotape some experiment data and send it in lew of using a camera built into the experiment.
On Monday, July 11, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 6 reported: The STS-65 astronauts remain focused on the work at hand as Columbia continues to provide a trouble-free environment for microgravity research. The only difficulty reported during the Blue Team's shift was the early termination of an excess supply water dump. The dump was stopped when nozzle temperatures were seen to be dropping too fast. Mission Specialist Carl Walz walked through a series of test procedures designed to determine whether ice had formed on the nozzle.
On Monday, July 11, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 7 reported: From an orbiter standpoint, no problems are being tracked by the flight control teams in the Mission Control Center monitoring systems along with the crew. The only item of interest seen early this morning was a drop in temperature on the supply water nozzle that is kept heated to prevent possible formation of ice during routine dumps of excess water overboard throughout the flight. Flight Flight controllers are evaluating the data to determine what may have caused the drop in temperature, and will dump excess water by evaporating it through an alternate system called the flash evaporator system, or FES.
On Monday, July 11, 1994 at 7 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 6 reports: Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai spent time in the Lower Body Negative Pressure device, part of NASA's Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project. For this experiment, Mukai's lower body was encased in a fabric bag, which seals around the waist of the crew member and provides negative pressure to draw body fluids back into the lower extremities. This experiment is designed to help counteract effects of space on the heart and to help crew members stay comfortable and healthy, especially upon their return to Earth. Mukai had difficulty obtaining a good seal around her waist and the experiment was concluded early. This 45-minute "ramp" test, scheduled to be performed again later in the mission for both Mukai and Payload Commander Richard J. Hieb, will include measures to ensure a good seal around the crew member's waist.
Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao placed samples of a unicellular organism, Loxodes striatus, into the Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope facility, called NIZEMI for its German name. Dr. Ruth Hemmersbach-Krause's experiment uses the various levels of gravity provided by the NIZEMI facility to study the orientation, velocities and swimming tracks of this organism to determine the point at which they begin to perceive gravitational forces. Since scientists believe these cells may function similarly to the inner ear of vertebrates, this information can provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which living creatures sense gravity.
Dr. Augusto Cogoli of Zurich, Switzerland, watched video from Spacelab of his Motion experiment as it was subjected to varying levels of gravity in the NIZEMI facility overnight. Chiao performed routine microscope refocusing steps to provide a clear view of the cells' activities during the experiment run. The Motion experiment is designed to determine whether or not immune system T- and B- cells can contact each other in a weightless environment. Observing these cells in microgravity will help scientists gain a better understanding of how the immune system works.
Dr. Antonius Michels, of the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, watched downlink video of his experiment that measures the propagation, or wave motion, of heat within the fluid sulfur hexafluoride as it neared the condition where a precise combination of temperature and pressure compel the liquid and gas phases to become identical and form one phase, the critical point. Since the properties of a fluid can be altered dramatically in this one-phase state, studies such as this one, being conducted in the European Space Agency's Critical Point Facility, can provide insight into a variety of physics problems ranging from phase changes in fluids to changes in the composition and magnetic properties of solids.
In an investigation to study the effect of disturbances caused by the onboard crew and equipment operations on extremely sensitive experiments, Chiao installed a container of diluted salt water that included an indicator dye into the Vibration Isolation Box Experiment System (VIBES). Dr. Hisao Azuma, principal investigator from Chohu-shi, Japan, watched a live video transmission as Chiao intentionally disturbed the facility to determine how well the VIBES equipment prevented disturbances in the liquid-dye solution.
Mission Specialist Don Thomas reported that Dr. Akira Takabayashi's goldfish continued to appear healthy. These goldfish are being studied to clarify causes of space motion sickness, and video downlink gave Takabayashi a good view of the goldfish as they reacted to the stimulation of light inside their container. Thomas then moved on to another Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit investigation where he injected female newts with a hormone to induce them to lay eggs in their water tank. Principal Investigator Dr. Masamichi Yamashita will examine these space-born newt eggs after the Shuttle's landing to determine the effects of gravity on cells during the early stages of their development.
Throughout their shift, Chiao and Thomas returned to the European Space Agency's Biorack, transferring containers of biological samples to various locations within the facility. Chiao worked with samples from two investigations, which are designed to help scientists understand more about the effects of gravity on skeletal system cells, as well as one which will examine the way that mouse cells multiply after exposure to retinoic acid in microgravity. As scheduled, Thomas terminated the growth of several samples of rapeseed roots that were genetically altered before launch. He then placed samples of cress seedlings in the Biorack photobox to complete planned activities for an experiment which has studied the growth patterns of these seeds in microgravity.
Materials sciences in the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility, which began late in this shift, will continue into the next shift. Also during the next 12 hours, crew members will continue life sciences experiments in the Biorack, NIZEMI and Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit facilities.
On Tuesday, July 12, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 8 reported: Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas stayed busy tending the Spacelab module's International Microgravity Laboratory-2 experiments as Mission Specialist Carl Walz took care of shuttle housekeeping. The Blue Team is scheduled to begin its sleep shift about 9:30 a.m.
From an orbiter standpoint, no significant problems are being tracked by the flight control teams in the Mission Control Center. The only item of interest is continuing analysis of a drop in temperature on the supply water nozzle. That nozzle is kept heated to prevent possible formation of ice during routine dumps of excess water overboard throughout the flight. Flight controllers are evaluating the data to determine what may have caused the drop in temperature, and postponed this morning's planned dump of waste water through an identical nozzle immediately next to the supply dump nozzle. Excess supply water continues to be dumped by evaporating it through the flash evaporator system, or FES.
On Tuesday, July 12, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 9 reported: With a few nuisances, rather than problems, aboard the Orbiter, the crew pressed on through a timeline packed with experiments representing more than 12 countries. A couple of the video tape recorders in the Spacelab module have been erratic, but four are available to record necessary experiment data. Erratic signatures seen yesterday during a supply water dump overboard were not seen today when the waste tank aboard Columbia was emptied. Possible ice in the supply water line or nozzle could explain the signatures seen yesterday.
Cabana took time out of his scheduled activities to show a tape of work ongoing aboard the spacecraft during the last 24 hours, including daily exercise, experiment work in the Spacelab and Earth observation.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 10 reports: No new difficulties were reported overnight. Two videotape recorders remained out of commission in the Spacelab module, but there are a total of four are available to record necessary experiment data.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 10 reports: After Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao checked in on the Japanese goldfish and reported that they continue to appear healthy, he got busy with biological samples in the European Space Agency's Biorack facility. Chiao completed scheduled activities on an experiment designed to study the loss of calcium in bones. This investigation, which has been going on in the Biorack facility since shortly after Spacelab activation, will help scientists understand more about what happens to the bones of astronauts when they travel in space. Results from this experiment, flown on IML-1 in 1992, showed that bones did not suffer a significant loss of calcium if exposed to periods of compression (such as exercise periods) during space flight, but more research is necessary to know how much exercise is needed to counteract the effect of spaceflight on the skeletal system.
In another experiment involving bone cells, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai extracted and refrigerated samples of bone- derived cells that have been kept in the Japanese-provided Thermoelectric Incubator at body temperature. These bone cells will help Principal Investigator Dr. Yasuhiro Kumei of Tokyo, Japan, and other reseachers study the differences in the rate of bone cell production during spaceflights as compared to Earth.
Another Biorack experiment was concluded last night when Mission Specialist Don Thomas completed scheduled activities for the Norwegian experiment to examine the growth pattern of genetically altered plant roots in space. Dr. Tor-Henning Iversen will examine these plant roots after the mission to determine whether the growth pattern of plants that grow in any direction, apparently unaffected by gravity, on Earth is similar to normal roots grown in space.
In the Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (NIZEMI) facility, Thomas completed the last run of a type of green algae, chara. This experiment will help Dr. Andreas Sievers, the principal investigator from Bonn, Germany, understand how sensitive these single plant cells are to gravity and how they adjust to various levels of gravity. Scientists must learn more about how plants grow in microgravity before they can be considered as part of the ecological system for longer stays in space.
Thomas conducted the first run of a materials science experiment which will use the NIZEMI facility to learn more about how the solidification of metals is influenced by microgravity. Chiao talked to Principal Investigator Dr. Klaus Leonartz to perform the setup and adjustment procedures for this experiment. Results of melting and solidifying a mixture such as Leonartz's succinonitrile- acetone sample will help scientists improve the way metals are produced in the future.
In the fluids science area, Dr. Antonius Michels, principal investigator from The Netherlands successfully completed his experiment. "The Critical Point Facility functioned flawlessly, especially in providing stability to our sample," said Michels, after his sulfur hexafluoride fluid finished its scheduled run last night. Dr. Michels' experiment was flown on IML-1 and again on this mission to study the point where a liquid behaves as both a liquid and a gas.
Thomas later installed another container into the European Space Agency's Critical Point Facility to begin Dr. Richard Ferrell's study of how energy is transported in a fluid once it reaches its critical point.
Chiao performed activities in preparation for the first-time activation of the French-provided facility called Applied Research on Separation Methods Using Space Electrophoresis (called RAMSES, the acronym for its French name). In the RAMSES facility, scientists will conduct experiments to gain a better understanding of the basic mechanisms that govern electrophoresis, the separation of biological samples according to their electrical properties. Away from the influence of Earth's gravity, molecules of biological samples can separate according to their electrical charges, producing an ultra-pure product.
In the Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit (BDPU) facility, an experiment to study the behavior that occurs between layers of fluids that do not mix, such as oil and water, was terminated when a layer of silicon fluid moved into the center of the container. Dr. Jean Koster, principal investigator from the University of Colorado, attributed to the problem of basic physics phenomena.
Later, Thomas placed a sealed container filled with freon into the BDPU to begin calibrations of the experiment for Dr. Johannes Straub of Munich, Germany. This investigation, designed to study physical changes during evaporation and condensation at the point where a bubble contacts the liquid, will be performed later in the mission.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology science team watched video from the Spacelab as they talked to Thomas during his adjustments to the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility called TEMPUS, the acronym for its German name. Principal Investigator Dr. Julian Szekely's experiment, which involved a 10mm (approximately 3/8 inch) sample of copper, was terminated when the sphere made contact with its containment cage. This investigation is designed to study viscosity, internal friction, and surface tension, the force that keeps liquid together in a drop.
During the next 12 hours, crew members will tend to the biological samples in the NIZEMI and Biorack facilities and conduct fluids science investigations in the Critical Point Facility.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 11 reports: Other than juggling various tape recorders aboard the Orbiter to support science requirements, the crew has spent the day fulfilling routine housekeeping chores and monitoring secondary experiments.
Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell are handling Orbiter duty while Mission Specialist Rick Hieb worked in the pressurized Spacelab module. Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai was given the first half of her day off. After lunch, Hieb took the rest of the day off and Mukai took over duty in the Spacelab. The other three astronauts, Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas, working primarily overnight, woke up about an hour ago and will begin their work day about 8 p.m. tonight.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 11 reports: IML-2 Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai and Payload Commander Rick Hieb both got four hours off today, but a full slate of experiment activities continued in orbit and at Spacelab Mission Operations Control in Huntsville.
Several IML-2 experiment facilities are being controlled extensively from the ground. This remote commanding capability, called "telescience," multiplies valuable time in orbit because it frees the crew for experiment operations where their hands and eyes are indispensable. "With this amount of science squeezed into a 14-day mission, it is critical to have both the telescience and the remote operations," said Mission Scientist Dr. Bob Snyder, referring to science experiment teams at the Huntsville facility and user support groups at remote sites in Europe and Japan.
Critical Point Facility team members in Huntsville examined live video of an experiment that studies how energy is transported within a single-component fluid. Near the critical point - the precise combination of temperature and pressure where liquid and vapor phases coexist - fluids exhibit unusual properties. For instance, energy transport by heat diffusion slows down, while transport driven by changes in pressure speeds up. Dr. Richard Ferrell of the University of Maryland is using two test cells during IML-2 to study the different forces. Today's experiment focuses on pressure changes. Tiny temperature changes are being induced both by external heaters and by heat from a pulse of current passing through a resistance wire inside the cell. An experiment to study heat diffusion is scheduled for Friday.
In addition to enhancing fundamental knowledge of fluid physics, Ferrell's experiments should aid the design of other low-gravity, critical point investigations. To plan accurate timelines for their experiments, space researchers need to know how quickly their samples will reach thermal equilibrium after temperature step changes near the critical point.
Close cooperation between ground controllers and the crew has become a routine part of operations in the TEMPUS electromagnetic containerless processing facility. Hieb kept a close eye on a zirconium-cobalt alloy as the TEMPUS team sent commands to levitate, then melt, the small metal sphere inside the TEMPUS processing chamber. "The sample looks extremely stable today," the astronaut reported. The TEMPUS team used remote commands to skillfully control their sample, reflecting the experience they have gained over several days of operating the new space facility. They applied short, repetitive bursts of heat to the alloy, causing its temperature to rise and fall. Dr. Hans J. Fecht of the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, will study the length of time it took for the addition or subtraction of heat to be reflected in the sample temperature. He will then factor the results into a new mathematical model to determine the alloy's specific heat capacity. Fecht and Dr. William L. Johnson of California Institute of Technology are using several zirconium alloys during this mission to study the formation of metallic glasses. With their unique mechanical and physical properties, metallic glasses have promising applications in many technological areas.
After transferring numerous Biorack sample containers between storage and coolers, Hieb changed out food trays for the fruit flies in Dr. Roberto Marco's experiment. He reported the flies were "buzzing around with excellent vitality." Along with the other Biorack principal investigators, Marco is conducting his experiment at Kennedy Space Center.in parallel with operations in space. Project Scientist Dr. Enno Brinckmann, the Biorack team's representative at Spacelab Control in Huntsville, said, "Dr. Marco tells us the flies in space have been more mobile than their counterparts on the ground at Kennedy." Marco's study tests his theory that premature aging of flies in previous space experiments is due to increased activity as they attempt to move in microgravity.
Thus far, 10 of the 19 Biorack experiments are complete. Mukai began her work this afternoon with a run of the NIZEMI Slow-Rotating Centrifuge Microscope's cress root experiment. "All of the seeds have germinated," she told Principal Investigator Dr. Dieter Volkmann of the University of Bonn. Scientists have studied the cress plant intensively over the last 20 years to determine in detail how it can perceive and react to gravity. Previous experiments indicate it can respond to gravity changes very quickly. Volkmann hopes to pinpoint the minimum amount of gravity to which it will respond and how long it to takes to respond. Before plants can be considered as possible sources of food or oxygen in space, scientists must thoroughly understand how changes in gravity affect plant growth.
When Hieb brought the Free Flow Electrophoresis experiment up for its first operations of the mission this morning, readouts indicated that the inner cooling system line was not functioning correctly. The Japanese life sciences team postponed the electrophoresis experiment Mukai had been scheduled to run this afternoon until the source of the problem can be isolated and corrected. In the meantime, Mukai began operations of Japan's Large Isothermal Furnace, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon. After powering up the facility, she inserted an experiment by Dr. Randall M. German of Pennsylvania State for several hours of automatic processing. The experiment will study how gravity changes heavy alloys during liquid phase sintering. Sintering is a process for combining dissimilar metals, using heat and pressure to join them without reaching the melting point of one or both metals.
On Thursday, July 14, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 12 reports: Columbia's astronauts beamed down three explanations of International Microgravity Laboratory-2 experiments overnight as virtually trouble-free operations continued on the 14-day mission to study how plants, animals and materials react to space flight. Blue Team member Carl Walz, who continued to keep watch over the shuttle's systems, explained the operation of the Performance Asses sment Workshop being used to study astronaut performance on long-duration space missions in hopes of developing techniques to forest all any loss of productivity.
Fellow Mission Specialist Don Thomas gave explanations of both the Quasi-Steady Acceleration Measurement equipment that is measuring the microgravity environment in the Spacelab module, and the Applied Research on Separation Methods experiment, which is studying e lectrophoresis methods in microgravity. Thomas and Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao took turns working in the Spacelab module and enjoying half-day vacations. Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai were awakened abo ut 4:45 a.m. CDT, and will take over the duty shift about 6:45 a.m. The Blue Team is scheduled to begin its sleep shift about 8:30 a .m.
On Thursday, July 14, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report #12 Even though the Space Shuttle's payload crew members took some scheduled time off to relax and enjoy their sixth day in space, life and materials sciences continued in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) mission overnight.
Members of the National Space Development Agency of Japan science team here discovered last night that another newt egg had hatched, bringing the total to two baby newts to be born in space.
Later, Mission Specialist Don Thomas found that one of Dr. Michael Wiederhold's adult female Japanese red-bellied newts had died since its last observation period yesterday. Wiederhold said there was always a chance that one of the newts might not make it through the flight. However, he does not expect significant impact to the results of his research. "We launched three containers of newts in order to gather science, even with an unfortunate occurrence such as this," he said. The cassette containing the dead newt was removed from the Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit (AAEU) to prevent contamination to the facility's water system. The Japanese red-bellied newts are part of an experiment studying how microgravity affects early cell development.
Researchers report that the other newts, as well as the Medaka and goldfish, continue to be appear healthy. During the first part of his shift, Thomas opened the window to the goldfish tank, allowing them to experience a period of daylight as they would on Earth.
Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao transferred chemically prepared samples of cress plant roots from the incubator to the staging area of the Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (called NIZEMI). Video downlink gave Dr. Dieter Volkmann of Bonn, Germany, a good view of how his seedlings of cress are reacting to varying levels of gravity. Studies such as this one must be conducted before plants can be considered as part of a controlled ecological environment for extended stays in space.
In another IML-2 life sciences experiment, Chiao placed containers of Dr. Dorothy Spangenberg's jellyfish into the NIZEMI facility to further observe the effects of microgravity of varying levels of gravity on their development. This experiment is intended to improve scientists' understanding of the effects of microgravity on the developmental processes of animals and the role that gravity plays in the development of organisms on Earth.
Thomas installed a test container into the European Space Agency's Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit (BDPU) for Dr. Shankar Subramanian of Potsdam, New York. His experiment, which is now underway, examines the movement and shape of gas bubbles and liquid drops in silicone oil when a temperature gradient is established within a container.
Dr. Richard Ferrell, of the University of Maryland, watched both live and recorded images of his experiment in the European Space Agency's Critical Point Facility. Ferrell's experiment is studying the properties of a pure, single- component fluid composed of identical molecules at the critical point. The critical point is the state of a fluid at which liquid and vapor exhibit the same properties.
An experiment to separate and collect ultra-pure components of biological samples was conducted in the Applied Research on Separation Methods Using Space Electrophoresis (called RAMSES, the acronym for its French name). Chiao initiated and monitored an experiment in the RAMSES facility during the first part of his shift. For this investigation, a sample of hemoglobin and bovine serum albumin (which was colored to trace its movements) was used to evaluate the degree of protein purification that is possible in microgravity. At one point in the experiment, Chiao reported seeing a bubble in the container, near the entry point for the separated molecules. Mission Specialist Carl Walz held a camera up to the experiment window to give Principal Investigator Dr. Victor Sanchez of Toulouse, France, a good view of the flow of the sample. When Sanchez determined that the proteins were separating and moving around the bubble, he decided to continue the experiment run to completion as planned.
Thomas talked to the ground operations team at the Spacelab Mission Operations Control center in Huntsville to make adjustments to the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility (called TEMPUS) in preparation for Dr. William Johnson's niobium-nickel experiment run. Johnson, from the California Institute of Technology, watched video from the Spacelab as his metallic glass sample enjoyed a complete cycle of melting, levitating and undercooling. This materials science experiment took advantage of this new facility and the unique environment of space to learn more about the physical properties of metallic glasses and undercooled alloys when heat is introduced into the equation.
On Thursday, July 14, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 13 reports: Columbia's astronauts continued around-the-clock science work in the Spacelab module housed in the payload bay, taking time to provide details of the STS-65 mission during an interview earlier today. Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell took time out of their schedules to talk with NBC's Today Show, Weekend edition, about the mission objectives and how they relate to future work on the International Space Station. They also discussed and compared their work as test pilots to being pilot astronauts. The interview is expected to air Sunday morning. Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai each worked a full day in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission, following a half day off each yesterday.
On Friday, July 15, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 14 reports: Walz beamed down television pictures of Chiao working with the Ramses electrophoresis experiment and provided a tour of the laptop computers used by the crew.
On Friday, July 15, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 15 reports: While the science work continued, Cabana demonstrated some of the crew's daily activities aboard the Space Shuttle, including food preparation, housekeeping and Earth observation. The commander of the mission also spent some time recovering the use of one of the still cameras on board that malfunctioned yesterday. He discovered a bent pin inside the body of the camera and straightened it using a pair of needle-nose pliers. Using the ham radio equipment on board, Halsell talked about the mission with students at the West Monroe High School in his hometown as Columbia flew overhead.
Cabana, Halsell and Hieb discussed mission objectives and life in space with about a dozen children during a special event with the TBS show "Feed Your Mind." The children queried the crew about what it's like to be an astronaut, what crew members did for fun in their spare time, and whether their feelings about Earth have changed since they have been in space. Cabana said, that from space, the Earth is a beautiful blue planet surrounded by a thin, delicate looking layer of atmosphere that protects it from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun. He said the sight reinforces the knowledge that humanity must take care of the planet.
On Saturday, July 16, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 17 reports: Routine business was the order of the day aboard Space Shuttle Columbia as Mission Control continues to track no problems aboard the spacecraft. Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai discussed life in space with children during an interview with the Nickelodeon channel. Questions ranged from the experiments on board, to personal hygiene to the Earth's environment. Mission Specialist Rick Hieb continued to work in the Spacelab module throughout the day.
Spacecraft communicator Mario Runco in Mission Control earlier relayed a message to the crew of STS-65 at the exact moment the Saturn V was launched 25 years ago from the Kennedy Space Center.to begin the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. At 8:32 a.m., Runco said, "On this day, at this moment 25 years ago, three of your predecessors began an epic journey that would change the way we viewed our world. Columbia's journey today, as her namesake did back then, is pushing the frontiers of knowledge and science for all mankind. Thank you, Columbia."
Runco then told the crew a fictitious engine burn was on board for them to look at to leave low Earth orbit and travel to the Moon. Commander Bob Cabana responded, "Don't we wish."
On Saturday, July 16, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 17 reports: IML-2 experiment scientists continued using the microgravity laboratory of space to explore the properties of fluids and metals today. The Spacelab crew concentrated on a Lower Body Negative Pressure experiment to monitor their own adaptation to that microgravity.
Early this morning, STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana exchanged experiment containers in the European Space Agency's Critical Point Facility, beginning a 77-hour experiment run to determine how various perturbations, such as heating or a pressure change, affect a fluid near its critical point - the special state where there is no difference between liquid and vapor at a specific temperature and pressure. This is the second part of a United States experiment which looks at how long it takes a fluid at the critical point to stabilize, or reach equilibrium, after it has been disturbed. Scientists will heat a portion of the cell's exterior, then observe how the heat transfers through the fluid.
In the first segment of the experiment, the Critical Point Facility team charged a wire inside the test cell to 500 volts, simulating approximately the pressure created by gravity on Earth. "The effect of the charging was something like turning the gravity on and off," explained Principal Investigator Dr. Richard Ferrell. "The electric field caused the fluid to be drawn toward the wire. We could see changes in the amount of fluid in the vicinity of the wire, which agreed with our theory of fluid behavior." Ferrell and his team of 10 U.S. physicists will analyze their data to see how long it took for the fluid to relax when the charges were turned off. They will compare the two experiment segments to determine how pressure changes and heat diffusion interact to transfer energy.
The Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit (BDPU) appears to have confirmed a theory proposed by Dr. Antonio Viviani of the Second University of Naples, Italy. Vapor bubbles were injected into a test cell filled with an alcohol-water solution, then alternate sides of the cell were heated and cooled. As Viviani had predicted, the bubbles did not always move toward the warmer side as they would in most materials. He explained, "This demonstrates for the first time that, in some fluids of high technology interest, bubbles can go toward the colder part of the fluid or stop in the middle, due to the particular interaction between temperature and surface tension" (the tension on the surface where the liquid and bubble meet). Insights into these mechanical properties could be applied to manufacturing new or better glasses, ceramics, composite materials and alloys in space and on Earth.
Early this morning, Dr. William Johnson of the TEMPUS electromagnetic containerless processing reported another "first" - the detection of an unknown metastable phase in their nickel-niobium sample material. In a metastable phase, a material can be quite different than it is in a stable phase. For instance, a diamond is a metastable phase of carbon. "People have been wondering for a long time about the special behavior of this alloy, but there was no explanation for it," said TEMPUS team member Dr. Knut Urban. "The excellent quality of the space images allowed us to detect a phase which had been masked by other forces on Earth." The undercooled nickel-niobium sample was solidified and will be brought back to the ground for microstructural analysis.
This afternoon, TEMPUS team members got another short look at a nickel- silicon alloy they had studied yesterday. The observation was halted when the molten alloy contacted the experiment cage.
Dr. John Charles of Johnson Space Center says his team got the information they needed during the mission's third set of Lower Body Negative Pressure measurements on Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai and Payload Commander Rick Hieb. Crew members wrapped some padding around Mukai's waist before her turn in the negative pressure bag, resulting in a tighter vacuum seal. The procedure incrementally reduced, then raised, pressure on the crew members' lower bodies to draw fluids back into their legs. Their condition was monitored by ultrasound heart images and blood pressure readings during the experiment.
Mukai reported the aquatic animals onboard are doing fine, then recorded some video of the Medaka fish. She counted around 20 baby Medaka fish in the IML-2 aquariums.
Mission Manager Lanny Upton said another repair procedure for the Free-Flow Electrophoresis Unit is being formulated. It will be similar to those attempted yesterday, where additional water was forced into the unit's fluid cooling loop to remove a suspected air bubble. However, a time slot for the maintenance procedure has not yet been designated in the crew schedule. Approximately one-half of FFEU's allocated crew time is still available to accomplish the in-flight maintenance procedure.
Eighteen of the 19 IML-2 experiment facilities are up and running well. Twenty-four of the 82 experiments are completed, and scientists have obtained quite a bit of data on most of the others.
On Sunday, July 17, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 18 reports: As business continues to be routine aboard Columbia, the Red Team is beginning its 10th day of work on International Microgravity Laboratory-2 experiments. Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai began their workday at 4:45 a.m. CDT as the crew continues to shift its schedule to be ready for Friday's planned landing.
On Sunday, July 17, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 18 reports: During their ninth day in space, Mission Specialists Don Thomas and Leroy Chiao took a few minutes out of their busy schedule to pay tribute to two NASA centers. On the 25th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, Thomas talked about some memorabilia he had onboard from those days and honored the people of Marshall Space Flight Center and Kennedy Space Center, "Who got the Apollo 11 mission off to a great start." Following their live broadcast, Thomas and Chiao got back to the business at hand, conducting life, materials and fluid science experiments in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) mission.
Dr. Antonio Viviani of Aversa, Italy, received a round of congratulations from science teams at the Spacelab Mission Operations Control center in Huntsville at the end of his last scheduled experiment run in the Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit (BDPU) last night. Chiao placed a test container into the BDPU and performed various activities during the experiment while Viviani controlled the behavior of air bubbles in the alcohol-water solution by sending ground commands to the BDPU from Huntsville. The results of Viviani's IML-2 experiment fully confirmed over two years of his on-ground research and computer modeling. "Because of gravity, this experiment can not be done on Earth," explained Viviani. "And it could not be done in space without a good theory, a good facility and test container, outstanding support from the science team and a great crew." Fluid science investigations will help researchers develop better methods of producing stronger metal alloys and glass in space.
Chiao conducted a second fluid science experiment in the BDPU overnight, using a three-layer liquid solution (consisting of fluorinert-silicone- fluorinert). Principal Investigator Dr. Jean-Claude Legros of Brussels, Belgium, wants to learn more about how to control fluid flows within the middle layer of a tri-layer solution. After Chiao agitated the test container to stir up the tracer particles inside, he installed the container into the BDPU facility, where the solution was heated. Two stainless steel curtains separating the three layers of fluid were rolled up, allowing the layers to touch. Next, the sides of the container were heated, creating a thermal gradient from one side of the container to the other. This type of research is of particular interest to scientists in the field of developing crystalline metals and semiconductors.
Chiao also performed newly defined start-up procedures for the Applied Research on Separation Methods Using Space Electrophoresis (called RAMSES) last night. During the first flight for this facility, science and engineering teams have revised their pre-launch activation procedures to include a waiting period before the actual experiment runs. Once RAMSES was ready, Chiao began the electrophoresis process to separate proteins into a pure solution, research that is being conducted for a French pharmaceutical company.
In another materials science experiment, Thomas monitored an 8mm sample of nickel and tin as the science team in Huntsville sent computer commands to the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility (called TEMPUS) to melt, levitate and solidify the metal alloy. Dr. Merton Flemings, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied the undercooling process of the nickel-tin alloy to determine how the properties of metals change in an unstable fast-frozen, supersaturated state. Flemings will share the data from his experiment with other science teams who are studying heat capacity of molten alloys, as well as the viscosity (internal friction) and surface tension (the force that keeps the liquid together in a drop).
In life sciences studies, 12 of 19 scheduled experiments have been completed for the European Space Agency's Biorack investigations, and others will be conducted throughout the mission. Last night, Thomas activated cultures of human skin fibroblast and bacterial cells that were exposed to ionized radiation before launch. He placed the cells into the Biorack incubator where they were allowed to repair themselves. After various incubation periods, Thomas transferred the cell containers to the Spacelab freezer, completing this Biorack investigation, designed to help Principal Investigator Dr. Gerda Horneck of Cologne, Germany, understand more about how radiation-damaged cells repair themselves in microgravity.
Thomas withdrew samples from two containers of baker's yeast and preserved them for a Biorack experiment which studies the effect of stirring and mixing on the growth of cells in microgravity. Dr. Augusto Cogoli of Zurich, Switzerland, will make postflight analyses of these yeast cells that were preserved at various stages of growth to help determine the best method of cultivating cells in space.
Both Chiao and Thomas worked with samples of cress roots during their shift. They removed containers of chemically prepared cress roots from the Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (called NIZEMI) static rack, activated them with water and returned them to the incubator where they will grow in microgravity for a couple of days before being exposed to varying levels of gravity. Dr. Dieter Volkmann of Bonn, Germany, is the principal investigator for this experiment, designed to determine the lowest level at which roots become sensitive to changes in microgravity.
Thomas mounted a camera on the Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit (AAEU) and turned on a light in the goldfish tank, allowing Principal Investigator Dr. Akira Takabayashi of Toyoake, Japan, to see how the goldfish react to light stimulation in microgravity. Takabayashi's experiment further explores the hypothesis that space motion sickness is caused by conflicting messages sent from the eyes and the gravity-sensing mechanism, the otolith.
Thomas also reported that the newts continue to appear healthy. He also said that of the eggs that were produced on Earth, 18 have hatched and are active, swimming around in their individual chambers.
During the next 12 hour shift, STS-65 crew members will perform an inflight maintenance procedure on the Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit, and continue life and materials science experiments.
On Sunday, July 17, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 19 reports: Today, IML-2 crew members assisted science teams with ground-commanded materials experiments, attempted to repair the Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit, and got a few well-deserved hours of rest. NASA Administrator Dan Goldin surprised the crew with a telephone call from Mission Control in Houston. He praised their hard work, saying it would help lay the groundwork for future space exploration.
Payload Commander Rick Hieb volunteered two blocks of his free time today to perform maintenance procedures on the Japanese space agency's Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit. Assisted by Pilot Jim Halsell this morning, Hieb twice replaced all the distilled water in the unit's fluid cooling system to flush out air bubbles in the line. The unit reached its normal activation state and ran well for an hour and 20 minutes, then automatically shut off. Not willing to give up, Hieb tried the procedure for a third time just before his pre-sleep period. Thus far, the unit continues to operate within specifications. If this remains to be the case, the blue shift crew will prepare for a chromosome DNA separation experiment in the unit.
Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai worked closely with ground controllers to perform a run of Dr. Klaus Leonartz' solidification study in the NIZEMI slow- rotating centrifuge. A transparent, two-component material which mimics the behavior of metal alloys was melted, then slowly resolidified, as the centrifuge turned to simulate various levels of gravity. The NIZEMI microscope gave Mukai and experiment scientists a clear view of the point where the liquid was turning into a solid, called the solidification front. "Using the NIZEMI, we can observe fluid flows and detect the gravity levels at which they begin," explained Leonartz. "We can also determine the effect of the fluid flow on the solid. If we can learn how to make semiconductors or metals more homogenous, we can improve their properties. By determining gravity thresholds, we can learn how to use other methods, such as electromagnetic forces, to surpress fluid flows during processing on Earth."
Another fluid-flow experiment was conducted in the Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit this morning. An experiment container holding three layers of immiscible (non-mixing) fluids was heated from the top and the bottom. Dr. Jean-Claude Legros of Brussels, Belgium, watched downlinked video as resulting tension differences where the fluids contacted one another began to create flows within the layers. The team will use the observations to verify numerical calculations they had made to predict the velocity and direction of the fluid flows in the middle layer. "The rough data we received from our remote support center in Belgium seems to match our predictions," said Legros. The calculations could help researchers develop methods for controlling fluid flows during the manufacture of sophisticated materials, such as silicon and metal alloys for the electronics industry.
The current Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit experiment, which continues until late tonight, uses vapor bubbles in a liquid refrigerant to study the process of evaporation and condensation where the liquid and vapor form common surfaces. It should provide a better understanding of boiling processes and the behavior of fluids at a liquid-vapor interface. Principal investigator for the experiment is Dr. Johannes Straub of the Technical University of Munich, Germany.
The TEMPUS electromagnetic containerless processing facility levitated, melted and solidified an aluminum-copper-cobalt alloy this morning. After the mission, investigators will study the preserved sample to determine its atomic arrangement. They will be looking for "quasicrystals," a recently discovered atomic structure that can give materials a high degree of hardness, as well as novel electrical and physical properties. The study aims for a better understanding of how and why quasicrystals form.
The flight crew suspended orbiter thruster firings for a short period this afternoon, providing the most stable environment possible as the TEMPUS facility melted a sphere of pure zirconium. The strong, ductile metal was heated to more than 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 degrees Celsius), several hundred degrees higher than any for any previous melt in space. The sample was levitated for about 10 seconds, then cooled down and solidified.
The Japanese space agency's Large Isothermal Furnace processed two cartridges of tungsten-nickel-iron alloys for Dr. Randall German's liquid phase sintering experiment. The material was heated so the iron and nickel formed a liquid, surrounding the uniformly dispersed powered tungsten. The method is used extensively on Earth to combine dissimilar materials, but researchers suspect gravity plays a role in distorting the microstructure of such alloys. German, of Pennsylvania State University, will compare seven different compositions of the space-processed alloy, heated for different periods of time, with similar alloys processed on Earth. He will look for differences in shape, texture, density and high-temperature strength.
On Monday, July 18, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 20 STS-65 Astronauts Leroy Chiao, Don Thomas and Carl Walz discussed their work on the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission in a live television interview overnight. Columbia's Blue Team members told CBS' "Up to the Minute" program that they are enjoying their flight and looking forward to doing similar work on the International Space Station when it becomes operational. They also said they would like to follow in the footsteps of the Apollo 11 astronauts who landed on the Moon 25 years ago this week.
Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb, and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai began their 11th workday on orbit at 4:45 a.m. CDT after awakening at 2:45 a.m. On this shift, Cabana and Halsell will test their thinking skills on the Performance Awareness Workstation. Halsell also will pract ice on the Portable In-flight Landing Operations Trainer. Hieb will start the day as a subject for the Lower Body Negative Pressure device, being tested as a possible countermeasure against the detrimental effects of space flight, with Mukai assisting. Mukai will climb into the sack-like device that pulls bodily fluids back into the legs and feet as the subject of a second LBNP run.
On Monday, July 18, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 20 While performing a scheduled examination of the Japanese newts container in the Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit (AAEU), Thomas reported that a second female adult newt had died. This Japanese red-bellied newt produced eggs earlier in the mission as part of an experiment for Dr. Masamichi Yamashita of Kanagawa, Japan, who is studying the effects of gravity on cells during the early stages of development.
Principal Investigator Dr. Ken-Ichi Ijiri of Tokyo, Japan, received video from the Spacelab of his Medaka fish. Ijiri observed the swimming behavior of the Medaka and watched the Medaka fry (that were fertilized on Earth and recently hatched on this flight) as they swam in their own separate containers within the AAEU aquarium. Also at the AAEU facility, Chiao opened the window on the goldfish tank and closed it before his shift ended, giving the goldfish a daylight period.
In the European Space Agency's Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit, Chiao initiated an investigation to study evaporation and condensation processes in fluids. More specifically, Dr. Johannes Straub, of Munich Germany, examined the boiling process of a liquid refrigerant. "For the first time, while watching video from space, we have seen that when two large bubbles join together, or coalesce, their movements produce new bubbles," explained Straub. "We are very excited about seeing this phenomenon since we can not do this experiment on Earth due to the buoyancy of bubbles. We are extremely pleased about the way the facility has performed and we appreciate the good job the crew has done to help us get this science." Knowledge gained from this investigation could influence future chemical engineering and manufacturing techniques.
Thomas installed a sample container of indium-gallium-antimony into the Japanese space agency's Large Isothermal Furnace. This experiment is designed to help Principal Investigator Dr. Akira Hirata of Tokyo, Japan, develop new techniques to uniformly mix semiconductor alloys with different densities to produce materials that will transmit electrons more efficiently. Semiconductors are widely used in computers and other electronic devices.
In an experiment to separate chromosome DNA from a nematode worm, Thomas injected concentrated suspensions of the DNA into the Japanese-provided Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit (FFEU), along with a special buffer solution designed to test isoelectric focusing. The FFEU appears to be operating well following a third inflight maintenance procedure, which was performed by the Red Team Sunday. Principal Investigator Dr. Hidesaburo Kobayashi of Saitama, Japan, is testing this method of chromosome separation in space to help solve problems in genetic mapping and molecular biology.
Chiao monitored the start up of two separate experiments in the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility (called TEMPUS) last night. In the first TEMPUS investigation, Principal Investigator Dr. Dieter Herlach studied a sphere of nickel and carbon alloy, which was undercooled, or solidified at a temperature below normal for this alloy.
In the second TEMPUS experiment run, Chiao reported on the progress of a sample of iron and nickel alloy as it was melted, levitated and undercooled for Principal Investigator Dr. Ivan Egry of Cologne, Germany. Egry is studying internal friction (viscosity) and the force that keeps a liquid together in a drop (surface tension). Although both of these samples made contact with their cage while processing in the TEMPUS facility last night, ground commanding allowed them to be successfully retracted from the heating chamber.
Chiao also conducted life science experiments in the Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope facility (called NIZEMI). He placed sample containers of slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) into the NIZEMI, where they were exposed to varying levels of gravity. This investigation will help Dr. Ingrid Block of Cologne, Germany, understand more about how single-cell organisms sense and respond to gravity.
In an experiment for Dr. Dieter Volkmann of Bonn, Germany, Chiao placed seedlings of cress roots into the NIZEMI facility. Later, Thomas talked to Volkmann about the growth status of the cress roots. Volkmann is studying these chemically prepared cress roots to determine the lowest level at which the roots become sensitive to changes in gravity.
Thomas placed samples of Loxodes striatus cells into the NIZEMI facility for an experiment to study the orientation, velocities and swimming tracks of these unicellular organisms. Since these cells may work similarly to the inner ear of vertebrates, Principal Investigator Dr. Ruth Hemmersbach-Krause of Cologne, Germany, wants to learn more about the underlying mechanisms that allow living creatures to sense gravity.
In a technology experiment for Principal Investigator Dr. Augusto Cogoli of Zurich, Switzerland, Thomas took samples of baker's yeast from their containers and preserved them for post-flight analyses. This investigation, which studies the effect of stirring and mixing on the growth of baker's yeast, may influence the way life science experiments are performed in the future.
While all these activities were going on in space, the Critical Point Facility science team in the Spacelab Mission Operations Control center in Huntsville watched video downlink of the sulfur hexafluoride sample as it was heated to reach its critical point (the state of a fluid at which liquid and vapor exhibit the same properties).
On Monday, July 18, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 21 A small thruster jet failed early this morning, but was recovered after flight controllers determined the problem was a clogged transducer. Called a vernier engine, the thruster is one of six used to fine-tune the position of the spacecraft to keep it stable. STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb, and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai took time out to talk with Larry King for the Cable News Network show airing Tuesday at 8 p.m.
As has been the case for most of the flight, Cabana and Halsell tested their proficiency skills on the Performance Awareness Worksta tion and the Portable In-flight Landing Operations Trainer. Hieb and Mukai took turns in the Lower Body Negative Pressure device, a possible countermeasure against the detrimental effects of space flight. Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas woke up just before three this afternoon and took over for their co-workers at about 5 p.m.
On Monday, July 18, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 21 Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai and Payload Commander Rick Hieb finished their fourth Lower Body Negative Pressure test today. As part of their natural adaptation to microgravity, space travelers experience a shift of fluid into their upper body. This experiment reduces pressure around a crew member's lower body to force fluids back to the legs. Echocardiograph and blood pressure tests made during various steps of lowered pressure show scientists how the crew member's cardiovascular system has adapted to microgravity. The experiment is part of the Johnson Space Center.s Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Program, designed to protect the health and safety of the crew during 12- to 17-day missions aboard the Space Shuttle.
Dr. Dieter Volkmann of Bonn, Germany, continued using the NIZEMI Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope to compare cress roots grown in microgravity with those grown in the Biorack centrifuge. The samples are being exposed to one-tenth of Earth's gravity on the NIZEMI centrifuge. "Thus far, we have observed a difference in gravity sensitivity between the microgravity samples and the one-gravity samples. That's a first," said Volkmann. "The microgravity roots responded in six minutes, while samples grown in the one- gravity centrifuge took 10 minutes." Volkmann will study the preserved roots after landing to pinpoint the structures within them that perceive low-level gravity.
IML-2 controllers adjusted today's planned schedule to allow Mukai to perform the mission's second experiment in the Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit. The Japanese space agency experiment team says the facility has been "doing great" since Payload Commander Rick Hieb completed a successful maintenance procedure yesterday afternoon. The FFEU experiment, developed by Principal Investigator Dr. Wes Hymer, of Pennsylvania State University, examines rat pituitary cells. "Previous space flights have shown that the 'factory' which leads to the production of growth hormone is modified in space," said Hymer. "We are trying to find out whether the change occurs on the surface of the cell itself or on the surface of an individual growth-hormone-containing particle within the cell."
When Mukai removed the cell culture kit from the incubator, she reported that a majority of the cells had come loose from the bottom of the container and were clumping together. She went ahead with the planned procedure for separating the sample into individual cells, but they remained clumped. Since unattached cells are required for electrophoresis, she returned the culture kits to storage. "The same procedures were done on identical cell cultures at Kennedy Space Center, and this did not happen," said Hymer. "It will take some time to determine whether flight factors caused the unexpected clumping." The second part of Hymer's experiment, which studies cells broken down into their individual sub-cellular components, will be conducted if a time slot becomes available on the next shift.
Dr. Shankar Subramanian of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, expanded his study of the interactions and migration of liquid drops in the Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit. For this experiment run, multiple drops are being injected into a container of silicone oil. Subramanian and his team are studying the drops' size, shape and speed of motion. The team will compare the observations with their calculations predicting the motion of drops in microgravity. This afternoon's Large Isothermal Furnace experiment evaluates a technique for improving the quality of alloys used in high-tech aircraft and spacecraft. Hieb placed a cartridge containing four titanium-aluminum alloys into the furnace to be melted and solidified. Two of the samples have ceramic particles added. The particles should increase the high-temperature strength of the material, improving its microstructure and thus its mechanical properties. On Earth, differences in density between the ceramic particles and the metal alloy keep the particles from distributing uniformly, but in space they should remain spread evenly within the samples. Dr. Masao Takeyama of Japan's Research Institute of Metals will compare the processed alloys to determine whether addition of ceramic particles is an effective method for controlling alloy structure.
Hieb provided additional video of the fruit flies in Dr. Roberto Marco's Biorack experiment. Marco, who is conducting parallel experiments at Kennedy Space Center, reports the IML-2 flies appear to be adapting to microgravity. After greatly accelerated activity near the beginning of the mission, their current behavior is about the same as flies in Biorack's simulated gravity centrifuge in space and in his control experiment on the ground. This confirms a similar observation aboard the Russian BION-10 satellite in 1993. Mukai reported that the Animal Aquatic Experiment Unit seems to be working well, and the Medaka fish all appear to be healthy. A procedure has been designed to remove the newt which died last night from one of the four aquarium cassettes, so decomposition products will not get into the system's water loops. It will be carried out tonight, and the newt will be frozen to preserve it for analysis after landing. Newt eggs which were launched inside the cassette will remain to continue development.
The eight principal investigators for the TEMPUS electromagnetic containerless processing facility shared brief observations of a one-quarter- inch sphere of pure nickel. They commanded operations from the ground, in order to give the crew more time for other experiment activities. The thermal equilibration experiment in the Critical Point Facility, which began Saturday, will continue throughout the night. The crew will work with Biorack, RAMSES electrophoresis separation facility, and Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit experiments.
On Tuesday, July 19, 1994 at 7 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 22 STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai started their twelfth day in space with a television interview that involved questions from Japan, Brazil and Australia. Topics included several of the experiments on the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 flight, the beauty of the Earth from orbit and the need to protect Earth's diminishing resources. Among the interviewers was Dr. Mamoru Mohri, who became the first Japanese payload specialist to fly aboard a space shuttle on the STS-47 Spacelab-J mission of September 1992. Mukai is the first female Japanese payload specialist to fly in space.
Columbia's systems continue to perform almost flawlessly. One recent item of interest has been a continuing series of error messages from one of the shuttle's three inertial measurement units, which provide guidance information for the on-board computers. Flight controllers are studying the messages carefully, but have determined that the IMU is still functioning well and capable of providing data needed to land the shuttle. The orbiter remains in a 163 by 158 nautical mile orbit, circling the Earth every 90 minutes.
On Tuesday, July 19, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 22 Mission Specialists Carl Walz, Don Thomas and Leroy Chiao took a break during their eleventh day in space to thank the French Space Agency's Jean- Jacques Favier, STS-65 alternate payload specialist at the Spacelab Mission Operations Control center in Huntsville. The crew then went back to work, conducting investigations in the weightless environment of space for the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) mission.
During the first part of his shift, Thomas performed an inflight maintenance procedure to remove the dead newt from its container in the Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit. He then placed the newt into the Spacelab freezer to preserve it for post-mission analyses. Later, Thomas reported that the remaining adult newts and the recently hatched newt larvae continue to appear healthy. He also injected the newt tank with dye, which acts as a tracer, to help Principal Investigator Dr. Michael Wiederhold of San Antonio, Texas, study development of the gravity-sensing organs in the newts that hatched during the flight.
The Japanese goldfish in the aquarium facility experienced their daylight period when Chiao opened the window to their tank at the beginning of his shift and closed the window before his shift ended.
Thomas initiated an experiment in the French Space Agency's Applied Research on Separation Methods Using Space Electrophoresis (called RAMSES) facility. For this experiment, Thomas installed the sample bag of a highly concentrated protein extract into a buffer solution, which helped the proteins flow through an electrical field. This process, known as electrophoresis, caused the proteins to separate according to their individual electrical charges. The separated proteins will be returned to Earth for analysis by a French pharmaceutical company. Bernard Schoot of Romainville, France, co- investigator and Principal Investigator Dr. Victor Sanchez of Toulouse, France, were excited by the way the proteins separated last night. "This investigation went better than expected and we are extremely pleased," said Schoot. "Because of the high concentration of protein in this sample, we can not do this investigation on Earth."
Chiao also conducted an experiment in the Japanese space agency's Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit (FFEU). This experiment run was the second part of an investigation for Dr. Wes Hymer of Pennsylvania State University. After Chiao injected a sample of rat pituitary cells with a solution that caused them to separate into growth hormones and prolactins, the cells (granules) were separated in the FFEU's electrophoresis chamber. Once the sample containers are returned to Earth, Hymer will analyze these separated cells to determine how they were affected by spaceflight.
All pre-mission objectives for two experiments in the German-provided Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (called NIZEMI) were completed last night. For the first experiment, Chiao placed a small container of succinonitrile-acetone into the NIZEMI facility. Dr. Klaus Leonartz of Aachen, Germany, watched video from the Spacelab as the two-component mixture solidified in microgravity. This type of low-gravity experiment will help improve materials in the future as scientists begin to understand more about the solidification process.
Chiao also placed additional seedlings of cress roots into the NIZEMI centrifuge, exposing them to varying levels of gravity. Dr. Dieter Volkmann of Bonn, Germany is studying these chemically prepared samples of roots to understand more about how changes in gravity affect plant growth. This information is important as we consider raising plants for food and oxygen during extended stays in space.
In the European Space Agency's Biorack facility, Chiao withdrew samples of baker's yeast to determine if it has been expanding during the flight. Researcher Dr. Augusto Cogoli of Zurich, Switzerland, is studying another way of stimulating growth in the yeast - stirring and mixing. There are two containers of baker's yeast involved in this experiment. One container has a stirring mechanism to mix the yeast culture. The second container, which serves as a control sample, does not have a stirring mechanism. Results from Cogoli's experiment may influence the way life science experiments in space are conducted in the future.
Chiao added a culture medium to Bacillus subtilis bacteria that were exposed to radiation before launch. Dr. Gerda Horneck of Cologne, Germany, is the principal investigator for this experiment to test the hypothesis that gravity affects the ability of biological systems to repair themselves after radiation damage. Scientists must understand more about radiation-damaged cells and their ability to recover from the effects of radiation - an environmental factor in space - before humans can plan for much longer missions.
Chiao deactivated the Japanese-provided Large Isothermal Furnace last night after all five of the scheduled experiment operations had been completed. After this IML-2 mission, scientists will analyze their alloy samples to better understand and improve production techniques on Earth.
During the next 12 hours, the Red Team will be performing activities in support of the Spinal Changes in Microgravity experiment and conducting life science investigations in the Biorack and NIZEMI facilities. They also will transfer containers into the Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit and deactivate the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility since all pre-mission objectives have been met.
On Tuesday, July 19, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 23 The only issue of any significance is with a backup stabilizing unit on one of the three navigation platforms in the nose of the Orbiter. Called an Inertial Measurement Unit, or IMU, the device is used to provide navigation data to the spacecraft's onboard computers. The backup rate gyroscope has experienced transient spikes periodically, but none have interfered with the operation of the navigation platform. Flight controllers have compared the IMU with one of its sister units to ensure that it is healthy.
Earlier today, the crew downlinked video of Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai working in the Spacelab module with the Aquatic Animal Enclosure Unit and the Japanese Medaka fish. Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Mukai also participated in a Canadian experiment that measures changes to the astronauts' spinal columns. The astronauts also shared Earth views as the Orbiter passed over the South American continent.
On Wednesday, July 20, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 24 STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana told reporters on the ground early Wednesday that the crew of Columbia is proud have the Apollo 11 lunar landing as part of its heritage, that today's space program is made up of people who are equally talented and hard working, and that they are ready to take on the challenge of an International Space Station.
Cabana's comments came at the start of the in-flight news conference, which also covered the crew's ability to recover the operations of five experiment mechanisms during the course of the flight, the importance of America's space program as an inspiration for the country's young people, and the willingness of many members of NASA's astronaut corps to return to the Moon. Cabana also said the close coordination seen on the STS-65 International microgravity Laboratory-2 mission will serve as a model for space station operations, especially in the area of telescience, which has been exploited heavily on this flight with some 25,000 remote commands having been sent to the Spacelab experiments so far.
Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, the first Japanese female to fly in space, fielded a variety of questions in both Japanese and English, including inquiries as what she felt was the most impressive view from orbit (The Earth's limb at sunrise and sunset), and what she would most like to do when she returns to Earth (see the people who worked so hard on this mission happy with the results).
Flight controllers continue to monitor one of Columbia's three Inertial measurement Units, which has experienced a series of transient error messages, but remain convinced that the navigation instrument is healthy and could support landing.
On Wednesday, July 20, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report # 25
STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana observed the 25th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon today in a special commemoration on board the Space Shuttle which bears the same name as the Apollo 11 command module -- Columbia. At 3:18 p.m. CDT, the exact time the lunar module Eagle landed at Tranquillity Base 25 years earlier, Cabana extended his best wishes to all those celebrating the "giant leap for mankind."
This afternoon, Cabana also talked to the crew aboard the Russia's Space Station Mir exchanging greetings and well wishes on the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11. In a linkup through the Mission Control Centers in Houston and Kaliningrad, Cabana talked with cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko, Talgat Musabayev and Dr. Valery Polyakov about life on the Shuttle and Mir, and future cooperation in space on the International Space Station.
The Orbiter systems continue to perform well allowing continuous science gathering in the pressurized Spacelab module in the payload bay in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission. In a precautionary measure, flight controllers are still monitoring the performance of Inertial Measurement Unit 1, which experienced transient errors in the redundant rate gyro earlier in the flight.
Flight controllers also are beginning to review deorbit and entry messages in preparation for Columbia's return to Earth Friday. Two landing opportunities are available for Columbia at the Kennedy Space Center -- at 5:47 a.m. and 7:23 a.m. Long-range weather shows favorable conditions forecast for the landing.
On Thursday, July 21, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 Payload Status Report # 26 reports: During their thirteenth day in orbit, Mission Specialists Don Thomas, Carl Walz and Leroy Chiao continued some of the final experiments for the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) mission and shut down some of the equipment in preparation for the Space Shuttle Columbia's planned landing on Friday.
Chiao deactivated the Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit. This multi-user facility was developed by the European Space Agency an used extensively during the mission to help scientists understand more about the behavior of fluids in microgravity.
Researcher Dr. Dorothy Spangenberg of Norfolk, Virginia, watched from the Spacelab Mission Operations Control center in Huntsville, as video from Spacelab brought images of her swimming jellyfish last night. "It was a great success," Spangenberg said, after seeing jellyfish that developed while in space swimming around in their containers inside the German-provided Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope. This microscope system, called NIZEMI, was designed to improve scientists' understanding of how microgravity affects the development of animals and plants and the role that gravity plays in the way organisms develop on Earth. Following this last NIZEMI experiment run, Chiao prepared the facility for the Shuttle landing.
The last two experiments in the European Space Agency's Biorack facility were completed overnight. Thomas photographed lentil seeds, which were exposed to both microgravity and gravity environments, to help researchers test a theory about how gravity-sensing cells at the tip of plant roots regulate root growth. Principal Investigator Dr. Ghrald Perbal of Paris, France, has been investigating which direction plant roots grow when there is no distinguishable up or down, as is the case in the weightless environment of space.
In the other completed Biorack experiment, Thomas moved one container of sea urchins to the Biorack incubator and one container to the cooler. Dr. Hans- Jurg Marthy of Banyuls-sur-Mer, France, is studying sea urchin embryos and larvae to determine if the way their skeletons absorb calcium and minerals is normal in space. Information gathered during this experiment could be applied to fighting disorders experienced by people on Earth (such as osteoporosis) and help protect future space travelers.
After Thomas completed that experiment, he packed up the Biorack equipment. Part of this process included storing seven dosimeters that have been documenting the radiation environment inside the Biorack facility throughout the STS-65 mission. Dr. Guenther Reitz of Cologne, Germany, is principal investigator for this experiment, designed to provide a baseline of radiation data for all Biorack scientists to use when analyzing their experiment results after the mission.
Biostack, a German-provided investigation, continued to collect data on the points of entry and paths of high-energy cosmic rays within the Spacelab module last night. Reitz is also the principal investigator for this multi-national program to determine the effect of radiation energy on life forms in space. Reitz's experiment uses two different strains of shrimp eggs and salad seeds. After the mission, scientists will compare any radiation damage to their IML-2 biological organisms with cosmic particle penetrations identified by the detectors.
Thomas deactivated the Real-Time Radiation Monitoring Device (RRMD). This Japanese-developed instrument, which has actively measured the high-energy cosmic radiation entering the Spacelab module during IML-2, is the first device to transmit information to the ground during a flight. On longer spaceflights in the future, it may be possible to forecast radiation storms due to increased levels of solar activity, with devices similar to the RRMD.
In another experiment to test the environment of the Spacelab module, Thomas used a hand-held, battery-powered air sampler to collect information on airborne contaminant levels in Spacelab. Results from this IML-2 investigation for Principal Investigator Duane Pierson of Houston, Texas, will be added to data from previous flights to establish baseline microbial levels during missions of different lengths to evaluate potential risk to crew health and safety.
Last night, Thomas made the final observations of the newts and goldfish in the Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit (AAEU). Thomas exposed the goldfish to light stimulation, allowing Dr. Akira Takabayashi of Toyoake, Japan, to make further studies of their swimming behavior in orbit. Takabayashi said the goldfish "appear to have adapted to the weightlessness of space." After Columbia's landing, Takabayashi will observe the goldfish to determine their ability to re-adapt to the Earth's gravity. This experiment explores the hypothesis that space motion sickness is caused by conflicting messages being sent to the brain from the eyes and the otoliths (gravity-sensing mechanisms).
An in-flight maintenance procedure was performed last night for the Applied Research on Separation Methods Using Space Electrophoresis facility (called RAMSES). After reviewing the data, managers decided not to attempt reactivation.
Thomas performed scheduled recording disk change-out procedures on the Quasi-Steady Acceleration Measurement (QSAM) device. The QSAM system, located in a rack of the Spacelab module, has been running throughout this mission, detecting steady, low-frequency, residual accelerations that may have had an effect on some of the onboard experiments. In a related experiment, Chiao exchanged a data disk in the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) instrument. The SAMS device has been measuring higher-frequency accelerations and vibrations in the Spacelab module during this flight. Scientists will compare data from the QSAM and SAMS instruments with results from their IML-2 experiments to determine if onboard investigations were affected by accelerations during the flight.
Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai prepared the Lower Body Negative Pressure device for a day of activities as part of the Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project. During the next 12 hours, Hieb and Mukai will continue with this activity, then stow the apparatus.
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