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 A Dream for the Future: “Flying with Green Fuel"
25.07.2018 | Universität Bremen

nachricht Investigating cell membranes: researchers develop a substance mimicking a vital membrane component
25.05.2018 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A materials scientist’s dream come true

21.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>