Space Station glovebox parts returned to Earth for repair

December 04, 2002

Elements of the Microgravity Science Glovebox were packed aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour for return to Earth for repairs this week after extensive troubleshooting efforts by the crew of the International Space Station.

Expedition Five Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Expedition Six Science Officer Don Pettit conducted a variety of tests - including electronic continuity checks - on the Glovebox on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The crew and control teams concluded that in-orbit repair was not possible on the Glovebox. The Power Distribution and Control (PDC) box and a related component, the Exchangeable Standard Electronics Module (ESEM) #3, were packed aboard Endeavour Sunday before undocking on Monday. Replacement parts are in the final stages of testing and will be ready for the next shuttle flight to Space Station in March. The returned parts will be examined for failure analysis. If there is an inherent design problem, a modification will be attempted prior to re-flight in March. The Glovebox experienced a loss of power on November 20 during sample processing on the Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation. Subsequent attempts to re-power the Glovebox were unsuccessful. Glovebox science activities will be deferred until the returned equipment can be repaired and ferried back to the Station.

Before Shuttle undocking on Monday, the crews completed the transfer of new Expedition Six experiments to the orbiting lab and stowing completed Expedition Five payloads aboard the Space Shuttle. Five new experiments or additional samples for current experiments were stowed in the Destiny lab module. Plants and biological samples grown and processed during Expedition Five will be returned to science teams on the ground for analysis.

Beginning today (Dec. 4) and scheduled to continue through Saturday, Pettit, Nikolai Budarin and Ken Bowersox did the computer-based training, diet log and urine sample collections for the Renal Stone experiment. Pettit is scheduled to stow the experiment hardware on Sunday. The crew will do the Renal Stone research two more times during Expedition Six, in addition to daily ingestion of Potassium Citrate/Placebo pills as part of the countermeasure study.

Also today, Pettit - together with the science team and controllers on the ground - installed a new computer hard drive into the Human Research Facility (HRF) laptop computer and upgrading the HRF rack operating software to support Expedition Six research operations. Ground controllers verified that the software upgrade worked correctly.

Pettit today was also scheduled to download radiation data from the EVA Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment to the HRF laptop, which were later sent to the ground. The data was collected by dosimeter badges worn in the U.S. EVA suits during three spacewalks to attach a new section of framework to the Station. The badges measure radiation absorbed by the eyes, skin, and blood-forming organs.

On Friday, Pettit is scheduled to prepare and check out the HRF workstation to support the new Foot Reaction Forces During Space Flight (FOOT) experiment. This experiment will study the stress on the lower extremity bones and muscles during extended missions in microgravity. Experiment operations are planned for later this month.

Crew Earth Observation subjects for this week included: lake levels in the Central Andes related to El Nino-related rainfall patterns, Central Andes Mts., the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, Guatemala's Santiaguito and Pacaya volcanoes, the Peten rain forest, major coral reefs of the Yucatan coastline, panoramic views of Cuba, the Bounty Islands, North Island and Aukland in New Zealand, Honolulu, Hawaii, Lake Eyre in Australia, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the active volcano of Mt. Cameroon, Bamako, Mali, Navassa Island in the Caribbean, and Mexico City.

The Expedition Six crew this week continued to conduct daily status health and status checks on new and continuing research payloads.
-end-


NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center News Center

Related International Space Station Articles from Brightsurf:

Amyloid formation in the International Space Station
The collaborative research team of Japan using the International Space Station (ISS) successfully characterized Alzheimer's disease-related amyloid fibril formation under microgravity conditions.

Bacteria on the International Space Station no more dangerous than earthbound strains
Two particularly tenacious species of bacteria have colonized the potable water dispenser aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but a new study suggests that they are no more dangerous than closely related strains on Earth.

NASA researchers catalogue all microbes and fungi on the International Space Station
A comprehensive catalogue of the bacteria and fungi found on surfaces inside the International Space Station (ISS) is being presented in a study published in the open-access journal Microbiome.

Superbugs have colonized the International Space Station -- but there's a silver lining
Researchers have taken another small step towards deep space exploration, by testing a new silver- and ruthenium-based antimicrobial coating aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Technology developed in Brazil will be part of the International Space Station
Presented during FAPESP Week London, instrument created in São Paulo will be improved in collaboration with Russia and will measure solar flares; launch is scheduled for 2022.

'Dust up' on International Space Station hints at sources of structure
In a lab on Earth, electrically charged dust generally lines up either along the downward pull of gravity or across it.

May the forest be with you: GEDI moves toward launch to space station
GEDI (pronounced like 'Jedi,' of Star Wars fame) is a first-of-its-kind laser instrument designed to map the world's forests in 3-D from space.

The bacterial community on the International Space Station resembles homes
Microbiologists at the University of California, Davis analyzed swabs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and compared them with samples from homes on earth as well as the Human Microbiome Project.

NASA watching Harvey from satellites and the International Space Station
NASA has a lot of resources providing information on Tropical Storm Harvey as it continues to drop tremendous, flooding rainfall on Texas and Louisiana.

Experiment aboard space station studies 'space weather'
To study conditions in the ionosphere, Cornell University research engineer Steven Powell and others in the College of Engineering have developed the FOTON (Fast Orbital TEC for Orbit and Navigation) GPS receiver.

Read More: International Space Station News and International Space Station Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.