To the sounds of "Fight On, State", Columbia’s astronauts were awakened at 5:09 a.m. Central time this morning to begin their eleventh day of neurological research work in the Spacelab science module.
The wake up music, which is the fight song for Penn State University Nittany Lions, was played in honor of Payload Specialist Jim Pawelczyk, who earned a masters degree in physiology from Penn State in 1985.
Before resuming science activities, Columbia’s astronauts will conduct a news conference from orbit, answering questions from reporters in the U.S. and Canada. The Crew News Conference will begin at 9:09 a.m. Central time and will be broadcast on NASA Television.
After a relatively light day of scientific activity on board Columbia yesterday, the science crew -- Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan and Dave Williams and Payload Specialists Jay Buckey and Pawelczyk –will resume a full day of investigations today into how the human nervous system adapts to the weightlessness of space. Williams and Linnehan will conduct dexterity experiments with young rats, designed to investigate how the young rats develop in microgravity. This includes animals launched into space that have never walked on Earth and those that have walked on Earth for a short period of time prior to launch.
Buckey, Pawelczyk and Mission Specialist Kay Hire once again will take part in an experiment aimed at exploring the influence of gravity on blood pressure. The lower body negative pressure test places a stress on the cardiovascular system similar to that experienced when standing in Earth’s gravity. Pawelczyk also is scheduled to take part in the Valsalva test, which stimulates the pressure receptors in the neck and chest and measures those responses. Both Buckey and Pawelzyk will participate as subjects and as operators in tests of the autonomic nervous system. All four science crew members will conduct tests of their pulmonary systems as well as additional runs in a rotating chair to measure the response of their eyes and inner ears in maintaining balance in a weightless environment.
This afternoon, Commander Rick Searfoss and Pilot Scott Altman will fire Columbia’s reaction control system jets in a small orbital adjustment maneuver to maintain the proper landing opportunities for the end of the flight about a week from now. At 4:19 this afternoon, Pawelczyk will take a few minutes out of his research work to take part in a question and answer session with students at Penn State.
Columbia remains in a 153 x 133 nautical mile orbit, circling the Earth every 90 minutes. All systems on board continue to operate in excellent fashion.
The next STS-90 status report will be issued about 6 p.m. Monday or as events warrant.
UPCOMING EVENTS ON NASA TV Monday, April 27, 1998
MET CDT EDT
CREW NEWS CONFERENCE 09/19:50 09:09 AM 10:09 AM
NASA VIDEO FILE 09/21:41 11:00 AM 12:00 PM
MISSION STATUS BRIEFING / 09/23:41 01:00 PM 02:00 PM ANIMAL SCIENCE BRIEFING
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY 10/03:00 04:19 PM 05:19 PM EDUCATIONAL EVENT
FLIGHT DAY HIGHLIGHTS 10/04:41 06:00 PM 07:00 PM
CREW ACTIVITY REPORT / 10:05:41 07:00 PM 08:00 PM FLIGHT DAY HIGHLIGHTS REPLAY / VIDEO FILE REPLAY (replayed every hour on the hour through crew wake up)
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