Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA payloads feature on Space Shuttle research mission

16.01.2003


European scientists will be ‘turning off’ the effects of gravity during the STS-107 Space Shuttle research mission this month in order to gain a better understanding of processes in medicine, technology and science.


The image above shows the view from the Space Shuttle’s cabin towards the Spacehab science module during the 16-day Neurolab research mission in the spring of 1998.

Credits: NASA


STS-107 crew: Rick D. Husband (seated at front left), William McCool (seated at front right) , (standing from left) David Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michel Anderson and Ilan Ramon.



Their investigations will be among some 80 experiments performed during a 16-day mission in Earth orbit to be launched from Cape Canaveral tomorrow.

Seven of the 31 payloads are sponsored by ESA, and the crew will work 24 hours a day in two alternating shifts on experiments covering astronaut health and safety, advanced technology development, and life and physical sciences.


The Shuttle mission is a dress rehearsal for routine research operations on board the International Space Station, currently being assembled in orbit. ESA’s involvement in STS-107 is the outcome of a barter agreement with NASA.

"Under the barter agreement, ESA has provided NASA with an Airbus Super Guppy to fly large International Space Station elements across the US and in exchange has the opportunity to fly 450 kg of microgravity payload on NASA Space Shuttle missions", explains Jörg Feustel-Büechl, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight.

Six of the seven ESA payloads will perform life or physical science experiments – the Advanced Protein Crystallisation Facility (APCF), the Advanced Respiratory Monitoring System (ARMS), Biobox, Biopack, the European Research in Space and Terrestrial Osteoporosis (ERISTO) facility, and the Facility for Adsorption and Surface Tension studies (FAST).

The seventh is a technology demonstration called the Combined 2 Phase Loop Experiment (COM2PLEX), which will test three new heat transfer systems for thermal control of instruments on satellites.

"STS-107 is a very important mission for Europe. It builds on our experience with Spacelab on dedicated Shuttle flights and will ultimately support longer, more ambitious research aboard the Space Station," said Marc Heppener, Head of ESA’s International Space Station Utilisation and Microgravity Promotion Division.

In addition to the research being performed already aboard the International Space Station while it is still being assembled, such Shuttle missions are important because they allow scientists and researchers to ‘turn off’ the effects of gravity and unmask basic phenomena that play key roles in biology, physics, and chemistry.

ESA’s scientific payloads are concentrated in a pressurised module known as Spacehab, located in the Shuttle’s payload bay and connected to the Shuttle crew compartment by a tunnel. The concept and the technology of Spacehab are derived from ESA’s Spacelab programme.

Europe has a long history of participation in Shuttle flights with an emphasis on microgravity research – from the early days of Spacelab to the more recent Neurolab.

ESA mission manager, Pasquale Di Palermo, describes the flight as "a valuable opportunity for Europe both to experiment in space and to prepare on the ground so as to be ready for full operations on board the Space Station".

The ESA payloads involve the crew in numerous activities – from straightforward activation of the experiments to all procedures involved in their in-orbit operation including, if necessary, repair.

For ARMS in particular, the crew are actually part of the experiment and have undergone intensive training to ensure that they are familiar with the equipment and can carry out medical tests on themselves.

ARMS, on its first ever flight, is designed for respiratory and cardiovascular monitoring in microgravity, allowing scientists to unveil the workings of a complex human system whose functions are normally masked by gravity.

By putting four crew members through a carefully controlled set of exercise and test routines before, during and after the mission, ARMS will measure changes caused by the absence of gravity in their pulmonary and cardiovascular functions.

After the STS-107 mission, ARMS will become a key ground research tool with exciting long-term prospects – from developing new medical diagnostic tools which may help doctors to determine physical fitness and even predict illness, through to devising new kinds of rehabilitation for specific illnesses.

For further details contact:

Pasquale Di Palermo
STS 107 Mission Manager
Tel: +1-281-467-1320

ESA Media Relations Service
Tel: +33(0)1.53.69.7155
Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690

Pasquale Di Palermo | EurekAlert!

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms
17.10.2016 | Duke University

nachricht New evidence on terrestrial and oceanic responses to climate change over last millennium
11.10.2016 | University of Granada

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>