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Sunday April 19, 1998, 6:30 a.m. CDT
STS-90 Mission Control Center Status Report # 4

The science research efforts aboard Columbia will continue today when Commander Rick Searfoss, Pilot Scott Altman, Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan, Kay Hire and Dave Williams along with Payload Specialists Jay Buckey and Jim Pawelczyk receive a wake-up call from Mission Control at 7:39 a.m. Central.

Activities onboard Columbia today for the most part will be as originally planned with the crew continuing to conduct both human and animal research experiments in the Spacelab module. During the morning, the payload crew members – Linnehan, Williams, Buckey and Pawelczyk -- will be performing transfer activities with the Animal Enclosure Module, setting up the General Purpose Work Station (GPWS) and operations with the ball catch experiment. In the afternoon, their attention will be on injections and dissections with some of the research animals along with an objects recognition test.

Since Neurolab focuses on basic research questions in neuroscience, the mission will provide a unique contribution to the study and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders. While the foremost goal of Neurolab is to expand our understanding of how the nervous system develops and functions in space, the research will also increase our knowledge of how this system develops and functions on Earth. One additional item added to the crew’s Flight Day 3 activities will be some troubleshooting of a minor problem seen with the aquarium being carried in the Spacelab known as the Vestibular Function Experiment Unit (VFEU). The air pump for fish pack #3 has failed so Altman and Hire will set up a bypass to allow the air pump from the #4 unit to support both. The VFEU has four separate aquariums to house the fish and snails being carried as research subjects for the Neurolab aquatic experiments.

Hire will spend the first part of her day monitoring the Bioreactor Demonstration System (BDS) cell tissue growth unit that is growing renal tissue and bone marrow samples. Later in the day, Hire will be testing a new Water Dump Monitoring System (WDMS) using a laptop computer. The remainder of Altman’s day will involve some of the Get Away Special (GAS) experiments as well as running a fuel cell monitoring system test.

Early this afternoon, Searfoss and Altman will talk with WBBM, an all-news radio station in Chicago. The interview, being done on behalf of itself, WBBM-TV and the CBS Newspath syndicated news service will focus on Illinois-native Scott Altman and will happen just before 1 p.m.

Columbia continues to operate in excellent condition in a 154 x 137 n.m. orbit allowing the crew to devote all of their attention to STS-90 science objectives. The crew will go to sleep at 11:19 p.m. Central tonight and receive a wake up call from Mission Control on Monday morning at 7:19 a.m.

The next STS-90 status report will be issued around 6 p.m. Central time Sunday


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