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Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office
216-433-2406
katherine.martin@grc.nasa.gov

March 11, 2008
 
RELEASE : 08-021
 
 
NASA's Current Space Shuttle Mission has Ohio Connections
 
 
CLEVELAND - The launch of space shuttle Endeavour on Tuesday that began the STS-123 mission to the International Space Station carries with it three astronauts with ties to Ohio and four experiments developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center.

The STS-123 crew members with Ohio connections include Mission Specialist Mike Foreman, of Wadsworth, Ohio; Pilot Gregory H. Johnson, a graduate of Park Hills High School in Fairborn, Ohio; and Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan, who received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.

Delivery of the first section of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory is one of the main goals of the mission. Kibo consists of several components, one of them being the Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized Section. NASA Glenn's Gary Pease, an aerospace engineer, led all the power system verification activities for this module, including power interfaces and heater controller compatibility with power provided by shuttle. The tests were performed at JAXA's Tsukuba Space Center, just north of Tokyo.

The 16-day mission will allow Endeavour's crew to add science capabilities to the space station plus deliver equipment to aid in future maintenance operations. Astronauts will deliver and install several Glenn designed and built experiments on the complex as part of an integrated research program that optimizes use of shuttle crew members and long duration station crew members to address research questions in a variety of disciplines. The experiments include:

  • Coarsening in Solid Liquid Materials -- three new samples will be utilized to improve the understanding of factors controlling solid-liquid interactions during coarsening, allowing investigators to study the process of making alloys in the microgravity environment.

  • Shear History Extensional Rheology -- additional fluid samples for the hardware already on station leading to a greater understanding of the behavior of fluids in space, particularly the effect of a phenomenon called shearing or rotational flow on the development of weaknesses in polymer solutions.

  • BCAT-4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-4) -- 10 colloidal samples containing polymer and colloidal particles (tiny spheres suspended in liquid) to observe the phase separation of the mixtures over time, leading to a better understanding of shelf life for products on Earth and in space.

  • Materials International Space Station Experiment-6 (MISSE) -- This test bed for materials and coatings attached to the outside of the station will include test samples of small O-rings that will be exposed to the space environment for nine months. The resulting data will help characterize the seal material that will impact future seal design decisions for the low impact docking seals to be used on Orion, part of NASA's next space exploration vehicle, Ares I.

Closer to home, residents of Cuyahoga County and the boundary county areas with radio frequency scanners will be able to listen in on live air to ground space shuttle commentary, status reports and mission media briefings. Amateur radio operators can tune their radios to 145.67 MHz during the shuttle mission. Members of the NASA Glenn Amateur Radio Club are making the programming available for this mission and future shuttle missions.

Guests at NASA Glenn's Visitor Center can watch the exciting events of the mission on the large video screen, including the installation of the first section of Kibo and the Canadian-made robotics system known as Dextre. STS-123 also will feature five spacewalks, one of which will include the installation of MISSE.

For more information on STS-123, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

For more information on Glenn's Visitor Center, visit:

http://visit.grc.nasa.gov

 

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