The Red team of astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia accomplished repairs on the third and final combustion experiment of STS-107 this afternoon, and support scientists on the ground were looking forward to working with the Blue team on the first scientific runs.
Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla reported a good leak check of the Combustion Module-2 Facility about 4 p.m. after five hours of work. She and Commander Rick Husband sent down video of the recovery procedures for the Water Mist Fire Suppression Experiment (MIST) around 2 p.m. to give engineers on the ground an opportunity to visually inspect the equipment. The combustion facility, which provides control, containment, diagnostics and communications for fire-related experiments, worked flawlessly in support of the two previous combustion experiments, but failed its initial leak checks when MIST was installed Monday.
Payload Commander Michael Anderson of the Blue team is scheduled to begin work with the MIST experiment overnight. Designed by the Center for Commercial Applications of Combustion in Space at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo., the experiment will investigate how water mist inhibits the spread of flames. Scientists hope to apply what they learn to designs for improved, lighter-weight fire suppression systems on Earth, as well as for spacecraft-based systems that won’t require ozone-damaging chemicals such as Halons.
Husband, Chawla and Red team colleagues Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon enjoyed some time off for the first half of their day, then moved ahead with other experiments in the Spacehab Research Double Module. Clark retrieved samples associated with the Bioreactor Demonstration System, which Project Scientist Tom Goodwin reported today has grown a bone and prostate cancer tumor tissue sample as large as a golf ball, the largest grown in space to date. She also collected blood and urine samples from her crewmates for the Physiology and Biochemistry (PhAB4) suite of experiments. Ramon also conducted observations of dust off the African coast for the Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX).
After a 2:39 p.m. CST wake-up to the Beach Boys singing “I Get Around,” the Blue team of Anderson, Pilot Willie McCool and Mission Specialist Dave Brown resumed work with the tests of their breathing, hearts and muscle associated with Advanced Respiratory Monitoring System. Anderson was scheduled to check on the condition of the animals on board, which has continued to be good.
The next STS-107 status report will be issued Wednesday, or as events warrant.
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