Space Shuttle Columbia continues to provide a solid platform for microgravity science experiments being conducted in the Spacelab module in the orbiter’s cargo bay. The STS-94 mission Saturday passed the two-thirds complete mark with another full day of experiments in combustion and materials processing science.
Science investigations by the crew Saturday related primarily to the study of combustion processes in space and experiments in the Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility.
Taking a brief break from science operations, Red Team members Jim Halsell, Susan Still, Don Thomas and Greg Linteris sent downlink television of their choice to the ground, answering Internet questions with a videotaped lesson in combustion science. Thomas explained the goals of some of the experiments, how droplets burn in the absence of gravity and the significance of the work to life on Earth. Still took her blood pressure and pulse on-orbit and compared them to pre-flight readings. Linteris demonstrated how liquids behave in a low-gravity environment.
The three also were interviewed by WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge, La. The Red Team members took the opportunity to explain some of the combustion science work under way and commented on the quick turnaround between the shortened first flight of the MSL-1 payload in April and the reflight. STS-94 is the fastest reflight of a crew and payload in shuttle history, making up for the first attempt which was cut short by suspect performance in a fuel cell.
The Blue Team of Janice Voss, Mike Gernhardt and Roger Crouch awoke shortly before 1:30 p.m. CDT to begin its 12th flight day. The Red Team will awaken again about 11 p.m. CDT and take the duty shift about 1 a.m.
The next status report will be issued about 6 a.m. CDT Sunday.
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