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GRC News Release 01-043
For Release: June 1, 2001

Barbara L. Kakiris, InDyne, Inc.
Media Relations Office

Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office

Expanded Telescience Support Center Monitors First Local Experiments

Science teams at NASA Glenn Research Center and their university partners are now able to monitor and command their own International Space Station experiments for the first time ever. Glenn's newly renovated Telescience Support Center (TSC), a NASA telescience ground facility, provides the capability to execute ground support operations of on-orbit space station and space shuttle payloads.

"We are excited to be conducting science in space once again. Glenn's science and engineering teams have been anxiously awaiting the beginning of space station payload operations so that we can get back in the business of doing cutting-edge research in the microgravity environment of space," said Diane Malarik, telescience operations manager at Glenn.

The TSC has been improved and will soon be extended to include up to 20 consoles, which will provide enough room to accommodate 50 personnel working the consoles simultaneously. This space will also support the nearly continuous operations of the Fluids and Combustion Facility, which is being designed to conduct a minimum of 10 science experiments a year. The TSC acts as a hub in which users can either locate their operations staff within its walls at Glenn or request that TSC operation capabilities be extended to a more convenient location, such as a university.

As their introductory duty, TSC teams will monitor the operations of three Glenn experiments delivered to space station aboard STS-100, launched on April 19: Physics of Colloids in Space (PCS); Space Acceleration Measurement System II (SAMS II); and Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS).

The concept of telescience is a result of NASA's vision to provide worldwide distributed space station ground operations that will enable payload developers and scientists to control and monitor their on-board payloads from any location-not necessarily a NASA site. This concept enhances the quality of scientific and technological data while decreasing operational costs of long-term support activities because principal investigators and engineering teams can control their experiments more precisely by monitoring and adjusting them in near-real time. This new capability to work from one's home site is especially important because it closely emulates researchers' experience in ground-based labs when they conduct their experiments personally.

TSC capability is provided with the coordination of the following partners: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Huntsville Operations Support Center in Huntsville, AL; the NASA Johnson Space Center and Mission Control Center in Houston, TX; and other remote ground control facilities.

Information on Glenn's TSC and its features is available on the internet at:

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Note to Editors: Media representatives are invited to the facility on Wednesday, June 6 from 1 - 3 p.m., where they can speak with Glenn's TSC staff and the scientists who are monitoring and controlling Glenn's three experiments. The opportunity is unique due to the experiments being in various stages of activation and operation. Interested media representatives should contact Barbara Kakiris or the Media Relations Office (216-433-2901) in order to be cleared through security.


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