Search Marshall


Fact Sheets

Text Size

Space Station Science Expedition Eleven Overview Fact Sheet (03/05)
Computer-generated artist's rendering of the International Space Station following scheduled activities of July 19, 2005 Expedition 11 -- the 11th science research mission on the International Space Station -- is scheduled to begin in April 2005, when the 11th crew arrives at the Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Designated the 10S mission for the 10th Soyuz to visit the Station, a two-person crew of NASA Space Station Science Officer John L. Phillips and Russian Commander Sergei K. Krikalev, will maintain the Station and work with science teams on the ground to operate experiments and collect data.

Image at right: Computer-generated artist's rendering of the International Space Station following scheduled activities of July 19, 2005. Credit: NASA/JSC

The current Expedition 10 crew, Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov, is scheduled to return home in April on another Soyuz spacecraft – 9S – now docked at the Station.

During Expedition 11, two Russian Progress cargo flights -- called 18P and 19P for the 18th and 19th Progress vehicles -- are scheduled to dock with the Space Station. The Progress re-supply ships will transport supplies to the Station and carry scientific equipment. Much of the research activities for Expedition 11 will be carried out with scientific facilities and samples already on board the Space Station, as well as with new research facilities transported by the next two Space Shuttle missions -- STS-114 scheduled for launch in May 2005, and STS-121 scheduled for a July 2005 launch. Additional experiments are being evaluated and prepared to make use of limited cargo space on the Soyuz or Progress vehicles. The research agenda for the expedition remains flexible. While most equipment and samples can remain on board the Station with minimal or no detrimental effects, a few perishable samples -- urine samples, for example -- may be returned to Earth on the Soyuz.

The Expedition 11 crew has more than 100 hours scheduled for U.S. payload activities. Space Station science also will be conducted by remote "crewmembers" -- the team of controllers and scientists on the ground, who will continue to plan, monitor and operate experiments from control centers across the United States.

A team of controllers for Expedition 11 will work in the Space Station's Payload Operations Center -- NASA's science command post for the Space Station -- at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, Ala. Controllers work in three shifts around the clock, seven days a week in the Payload Operations Center, which links researchers around the world with their experiments and the crew aboard the Station.

Experiments Using On-board Resources

Many experiments from earlier Expeditions remain aboard the Space Station and will continue to benefit from the long-term research platform provided by the orbiting laboratory. These experiments include:

Crew Earth Observations (CEO) takes advantage of the crew in space to observe and photograph natural and man-made changes on Earth. The photographs record Earth surface changes over time, as well as more fleeting events such as storms, floods, fires and volcanic eruptions. Together they provide researchers on Earth with vital, continuous images needed to better understand the planet. Dust Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test (DAFT) releases particles in the Space Station atmosphere to test the ability of different equipment to measure the levels of dust and air quality.

Materials on the International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) is a suitcase-sized experiment attached to the outside of the Space Station. It exposes hundreds of potential space construction materials to the environment. The samples will be returned to Earth for study during a later expedition. Investigators will use the resulting data to design stronger, more durable spacecraft.

Protein Crystal Growth Single-locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES) will continue to process crystals that have been growing since Expedition 6, launched in October 2002. Crystals that also were grown on Expeditions 2 beginning in March 2001, as well as Expedition 4 launched in December 2001, and Expedition 5 beginning in June 2002, were returned to Earth for analysis. The facility provides a temperature-controlled environment for growing high-quality protein crystals of selected proteins in microgravity for later analyses on the ground to determine the proteins’ molecular structure. Research may contribute to advances in medicine, agriculture and other fields.

Space Acceleration Measurement System II (SAMS-II) and Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS) sensors measure vibrations caused by crew, equipment and other sources that could disturb microgravity experiments.

Human Life Science Investigations

Many continuing experiments will use measurements of Expedition 11 crewmembers to study changes in the body caused by exposure to the microgravity environment.

Chromosomal Aberrations in Blood Lymphocytes of Astronauts (Chromosome), will study space radiation on humans. The expected results will provide a better knowledge of the genetic risk of astronauts in space and can help to optimize radiation shielding. Promoting Sensorimotor Response to Generalizability: A Countermeasure to Mitigate Locomotor Dysfunction After Long-duration Spaceflight (Mobility) studies changes in posture and gait after long-duration spaceflight. Study results are expected to help in the development of an in-flight treadmill training program for Station crewmembers that could facilitate rapid recovery of functional mobility after long duration space flight.

Behavioral Issues Associated with Isolation and Confinement: Review and Analysis of Astronaut Journals obtains information on behavioral and human factors related to the design of the equipment and procedures and sustained human performance during long-duration missions. Study results will provide data that could be used to place a priority on various behavioral issues to prepare for future missions.

Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) involves crewmembers conducting ultrasound exams on one another to determine the accuracy of using ultrasound to diagnose certain types of on-orbit injuries and to assess whether the ultrasound is a feasible option for monitoring in-flight bone alterations.

The Biopsy experiment allows researchers to take biopsies of their calf muscles before and after their stay on board the Space Station. This will allow scientists to begin developing an in-space countermeasure exercise program aimed at keeping muscles at their peak performance during long missions in space.

Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Space Flight (FOOT) studies the load on the lower body and muscle activity in crewmembers while working on the Station. This study will provide better understanding of the bone and muscle loss in the lower extremities experienced by astronauts in microgravity. The results of this experiment will help in future space flights, as well as have significance for understanding, preventing and treating osteoporosis on Earth.

The Renal Stone experiment collects urine samples from the crew and tests a possible countermeasure for preventing kidney stone formation.

A Comprehensive Characterization of Microorganisms and Allergens in Spacecraft (Swab) will use genetic techniques for the first time to comprehensively evaluate germs on board the Space Station, including pathogens, and to study how the germ community changes as spacecraft visit the Space Station and modules are added. This study will monitor Station modules prior to launch to evaluate sources of new germs and find ways of preventing additional contamination onboard spacecraft.

Space Flight-Induced Reactivation of Latent Epstein-Barr Virus (Epstein-Barr) performs tests to study changes in human immune function using blood and urine samples collected before and after space flight. The study will provide insight for possible countermeasures to prevent the potential development of infectious illness in crewmembers during flight.

Space Shuttle Experiments

Many other experiments are scheduled to be performed during the Space Shuttle STS-121 mission. These experiments include: Fungal Pathogenesis, Tumorigenesis, and Effects of Host Immunity in Space (FIT) studies the progression of cancerous and benign tumors in sensitized mutant lines -- cells that will turn into tumors -- that show an increase in tumor formation. The effect of radiation exposure will be coupled to this study.

Incidence of Latent Virus Shielding During Spaceflight (Latent Virus) will support and expand information on latent virus -- or those inactive in the human system -- that can reactivate, such as a cold sore in space flight. Latent virus reactivation may be an important threat to crew health during extended space missions as crewmembers live and work in a closed environment. Potential applications of this research include the development of a rapid and sensitive diagnostic method for identifying crewmembers at increased risk of illness due to viral infections, and new technology from this investigation will be beneficial to both NASA and commercial applications. Bioavailablity and Performance Effects Of Promethazine During Spaceflight (PMZ) aims to develop the scientific and technological foundations for a safe and productive human presence in long duration space exploration. The experiment will identify differences between ground-based and in-flight results in the availability and effects of promethazine -- an antihistamine drug used to treat allergies or motion sickness.

Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Spaceflight (Sleep) will help to better understand the effects of spaceflight on sleep, as well as aid in the development of effective countermeasures for both short and long-duration spaceflight. The advancement of state-of-the-art technology for monitoring, diagnosing and assessing treatment effectiveness is vital to the continued treatment of insomnia on Earth and in space.

New Space Station Facilities

Three new Space Station facilities are scheduled to be launched aboard the next two Space Shuttle flights -- STS-114 and STS-121. Human Research Facility-2 (HRF-2) will provide an on-orbit laboratory that enables human life science researchers to study and evaluate the physiological, behavioral and chemical changes induced by space flight.

Minus Eighty-degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) is a cold storage unit that will maintain experiment samples at ultra-cold temperatures throughout a mission.

European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) is a large incubator that will provide control over the atmosphere, lighting and humidity of growth chambers to study plant growth. The facility was developed by the European Space Agency.

Destiny Laboratory Facilities

Several research facilities are in place aboard the Station to support Expedition 11 science investigations.

The Human Research Facility is designed to house and support a variety of life sciences experiments. It includes equipment for lung function tests, ultrasound to image the heart and many other types of computers and medical equipment.

The Microgravity Science Glovebox is the other major dedicated science facility inside Destiny. It has a large front window and built-in gloves to provide a sealed environment for conducting science and technology experiments. The Glovebox is particularly suited for handling hazardous materials when a crew is present.

The Destiny lab also is outfitted with five EXPRESS Racks. EXPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station) racks are standard payload racks designed to provide experiments with a variety of utilities such as power, data, cooling, fluids and gasses. The racks support payloads in a several disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and medicines. The racks stay in orbit, while experiments are changed as needed. EXPRESS Racks 2 and 3 are equipped with the Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS) for countering minute vibrations from crew movement or operating equipment that could disturb delicate experiments.