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For Release: November 29, 2001

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

Pamelia Caswell
Media Relations Office

Roundtrip or One-Way: Endeavour Transports Ohio Astronaut and Center Experiments

Two experiments from NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland will be on board with Ohio astronaut Carl Walz during Space Shuttle Endeavour's next flight. While Walz's stop is the International Space Station (ISS) where he'll become a new resident, Glenn's experiments will make a roundtrip during the 11-day mission. STS-108 is scheduled to launch Friday, November 30 at 7:18 p.m.

COLLisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE-2) intends to study the collisions between small particles in planetary rings and the building blocks of planets that occur at very low speeds. For example, there is very little gravitational pull between rocks and dust in Saturn's rings, which causes even the slowest collisions to eject material. The experiment's predecessor, COLLIDE, determined that there is a threshold at which no material is ejected as a result of impact. COLLIDE- 2, which will be housed in a Get Away Special (GAS) canister, continues these efforts by trying to identify the precise energy threshold. The experiment is being conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.

Also to be housed in a GAS canister is Glenn's Microgravity Smoldering Combustion experiment, which will test smoldering combustion in different airflow conditions using new imaging technology to record test results. Data gained from this experiment will help researchers understand the complex processes of smoldering combustion and lead to a better theoretical computer model of the mechanisms of smoldering combustion. This experiment is being conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

Astronaut Carl Walz is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Walz is one of three Expedition Four crewmembers that will stay aboard the ISS for five months. A veteran of three spaceflights, Walz was a Mission Specialist with STS-51, STS-65 and STS-79, the fourth Shuttle/Mir docking mission.

Also being ferried to the ISS are the last two (of eight) Glenn-built circuit isolation devices. The devices allow an astronaut during an extravehicular activity (EVA) to remove power from selected loads so that umbilicals and other equipment can be attached or detached safely. Another "item" staying on ISS is a little bit more of Glenn's expertise. An important task for the STS-108 mission is putting insulation blankets on the solar array's gimbal assemblies. The gimbals keep the arrays pointed to the Sun. The blankets will protect the gimbals from temperature extremes and keep them operating properly. Glenn analysts used an ISS power analysis code, SPACE, to determine the array's power output for various sun/shadow scenarios. The results helped mission planners prepare for the EVA to install the blankets.

Glenn is NASA's lead Center for all aspects of Microgravity Combustion Science, Fluid Physics and Transport Phenomena and Acceleration Measurement Programs. Its Microgravity Science Division (MSD) conducts and sponsors ground-based scientific and technological studies that lead to space experiments. These efforts contribute new scientific knowledge by studying the effects of low gravity (microgravity) on important chemical and physical processes to improve the quality of life on Earth and to advance the presence of humans in space. The MSD will continue to contribute to future Shuttle and ISS missions in many ways including the design, buildup, testing and integration of experiment hardware packages.

More information on STS-108 is available on the Internet:

More information on Glenn's Microgravity Science Division is available on the Internet:

More information on Glenn's Power and On-Board Propulsion Technology Division is available on the Internet:

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Page updated by David M. DeFelice, Community and Media Relations Office

Responsible official: David M. DeFelice, Community and Media Relations Office


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