STS-90 Day 3 Highlights
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- On Sunday, April 19, 1998, 6:30 a.m. CDT, STS-90 MCC Status Report # 4
- The science research efforts aboard Columbia will continue today when
Commander Rick Searfoss, Pilot Scott Altman, Mission Specialists Rick
Linnehan, Kay Hire and Dave Williams along with Payload Specialists
Jay Buckey and Jim Pawelczyk receive a wake-up call from Mission
Control at 7:39 a.m. Central.
- Activities onboard Columbia today for the most part will be as
originally planned with the crew continuing to conduct both human and
animal research experiments in the Spacelab module. During the
morning, the payload crew members Linnehan, Williams, Buckey and
Pawelczyk -- will be performing transfer activities with the Animal
Enclosure Module, setting up the General Purpose Work Station (GPWS)
and operations with the ball catch experiment. In the afternoon,
their attention will be on injections and dissections with some of the
research animals along with an objects recognition test.
- Since Neurolab focuses on basic research questions in neuroscience,
the mission will provide a unique contribution to the study and
treatment of neurological diseases and disorders. While the foremost
goal of Neurolab is to expand our understanding of how the nervous
system develops and functions in space, the research will also
increase our knowledge of how this system develops and functions on
- One additional item added to the crew's Flight Day 3 activities
will be some troubleshooting of a minor problem seen with the aquarium
being carried in the Spacelab known as the Vestibular Function
Experiment Unit (VFEU). The air pump for fish pack #3 has failed so
Altman and Hire will set up a bypass to allow the air pump from the #4
unit to support both. The VFEU has four separate aquariums to house
the fish and snails being carried as research subjects for the
Neurolab aquatic experiments.
- Hire will spend the first part of her day monitoring the Bioreactor
Demonstration System (BDS) cell tissue growth unit that is growing
renal tissue and bone marrow samples. Later in the day, Hire will be
testing a new Water Dump Monitoring System (WDMS) using a laptop
computer. The remainder of Altmans day will involve some of the Get
Away Special (GAS) experiments as well as running a fuel cell
monitoring system test.
- Early this afternoon, Searfoss and Altman will talk with WBBM, an
all-news radio station in Chicago. The interview, being done on
behalf of itself, WBBM-TV and the CBS Newspath syndicated news service
will focus on Illinois-native Scott Altman and will happen just before
- Columbia continues to operate in excellent condition in a 154 x 137
n.m. orbit allowing the crew to devote all of their attention to
STS-90 science objectives. The crew will go to sleep at 11:19
p.m. Central tonight and receive a wake up call from Mission Control
on Monday morning at 7:19 a.m.
- On Sunday, April 19, 1998, 6:00 p.m. CDT, STS-90 MCC Status Report # 5
- Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia today bypassed a faulty
air pump in one of four saltwater aquarium chambers, continued tests
on the adaptability of the human nervous system and collected tissue
samples for studies of how space flight affects developing nervous
- Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialist Kay Hire worked on the
Vestibular Function Experiment Unit (VFEU) that is home to four oyster
toadfish early in their day. They used backup air hoses to bypass a
faulty air pump on one fish chamber, routing air from the pump
supporting another chamber. Scientists in the Payload Operations
Control Center reported that all fish chambers were receiving adequate
air after the maintenance procedure.
- Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan, Dave Williams and Jim Pawelczyk
worked as experiment operators and served as test subjects on two
Sensory Motor and Performance Team experiments. One uses equipment
developed by the French Space Agency (CNES) to test the astronauts
ability to catch a ball propelled toward them from above. The second
investigation uses virtual reality headgear called the Virtual
Environment Generator (VEG) to evaluate how the use of visual and
inner ear cues help the astronauts determine body orientation changes
in the absence of gravity. Both experiments could have important
applications for people on Earth suffering from balance and
- Commander Rick Searfoss tended to rodents in the Animal Enclosure
Module, and Payload Specialist Jay Buckey and Mission Specialist Dave
Williams performed injections and dissections of pregnant mice in the
General Purpose Work Station (GPWS) for a study of how reduced gravity
affects the cells of developing nervous systems.
- The shuttle crew also checked on the Bioreactor Demonstration
System's (BDS) renal tissue and bone marrow samples, tested a new
Water Dump Monitoring System (WDMS) using a laptop computer and worked
on Get Away Special (GAS) experiments.
- Columbia continues to circle the Earth in a 154 x 137 n.m. orbit.
The crew will go to sleep at 11:19 p.m. CDT and receive a wake up call
from Mission Control on Monday morning at 7:19 a.m.
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