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Fact sheet number: FS-2002-03-56-MSFC
Release date: 03/02

International Space Station Expedition Five:
Science Operations Overview

Photo shows International Space Station on April 17, 2002, newly equipped with the 27,000 pound S0 (S-zero) truss.
International Space Station on April 17, 2002, newly equipped with the 27,000 pound S0 (S-zero) truss. (NASA/JSC)

New laboratory equipment, as well as new experiments, will arrive onboard the International Space Station during Expedition Five.

The Station's fifth crew will be launched to the Station aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-111) in the spring of 2002. Their four-month mission will end when Endeavour (STS-113) returns to the Station with the Expedition Six crew and lands in the fall of 2002. Expedition Five will include an additional Shuttle flight (STS-112) in August 2002, and one or two Russian Progress cargo flights. STS-111 will carry the Multi Purpose Logistics Module, developed for the Station program to carry payload racks, scientific equipment and other supplies to sustain the Station and its crew.

Several new experiments and science facilities will be ferried to the orbiting outpost during Expedition Five. The research complement will include 24 new and continuing investigations - 10 human life sciences studies, six in microgravity, five in space product development, and three sponsored by the Office of Space Flight.

The new experiments are expected to lead to new insights in the fields of materials, plant science, commercial biotechnology, and the long-term effects of space flight on humans. Several experiments begun on earlier Expeditions will return to Earth, while several others will continue operating during Expedition Five.

The three Expedition Five crewmembers are scheduled to devote at least 280 hours to research while continuing to build the orbiting research complex. Station science also will be conducted by its ever-present "fourth crewmember" - the team of controllers and scientists on the ground who will continue to plan, monitor and operate experiments from control centers around the country. In addition, the autonomous payloads will accrue several thousand hours of operational time.

Expedition Five crewmembers are cosmonaut Valeri Korzun, commander; astronaut Peggy Whitson, flight engineer; and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, flight engineer. They will continue maintaining the Space Station, adding to its capabilities, and working with science teams on the ground to operate experiments and collect data. On Earth, a new cadre of controllers for Expedition Five will replace their Expedition Four colleagues in the International Space Station's Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Controllers work in three shifts around the clock, seven days a week in the Payload Operations Center, the world's primary science command post for the Space Station. Its mission is to link Earth-bound researchers around the world with their experiments and crew aboard the Space Station.

New research facilities

Photo shows ARCTIC sample freezer installed in EXPRESS Rack 4 photographed April 17, 2002 following arrival on STS-110.
ARCTIC sample freezer installed in EXPRESS Rack 4 photographed April 17, 2002 following arrival on STS-110. (NASA/JSC)

Three new facilities will be ferried to the Station during Expedition Five and set up in the Destiny lab module to enhance the research capabilities of the Station. These include the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), EXPRESS Rack 3 and the second of two ARCTIC freezers. The Glovebox has a large front window and built-in gloves to provide a sealed environment for conducting small science and technology experiments. The Glovebox is particularly suited for handling hazardous materials in a manned environment. EXPRESS Rack 3 will join four other similar racks already in the Destiny lab module. The racks provide power, fluids, cooling, data and other basic utilities to experiments inside. Like Rack 2 already aboard the Station, Rack 3 will be outfitted with the Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS) for protecting delicate microgravity experiments from vibrations caused by crew movement, operating equipment, etc. ARCTIC will support experiments requiring low temperature preservation of biological materials, reagents and perishable items.

New experiments

Expedition Five Shuttle flights will bring with them to the Station several experiments that are new or making a repeat flight. These include:

Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC): An agricultural seed company will grow soybeans in the ADVASC hardware to determine if these space-grown plants produce seeds with a unique chemical composition. The major objective of the experiment is to determine whether soybean plants can produce seed in a microgravity environment. Secondary objectives include determination of the chemical characteristics of the seed produced in space and any microgravity impact on the plant growth cycle.

Protein Crystal Growth Single-locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES): Following flights on Expeditions Two and Four, this facility will again provide 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 more.

Microencapsulation Eletrostatic Processing System (MEPS): This commercial experiment is aimed at developing a process for producing large quantities of multi-layered microcapsules of drugs that could be placed in the human body. This process could provide new treatments for diseases such as cancer and resistant infection.

Plant Growth Bioprocessing Apparatus (PGBA): An evolution of a Space Shuttle experiment, PGBA will investigate the effects of microgravity on plants. It will test the hypothesis that metabolic pathways are altered, resulting in differing ratios of materials normally devoted to structural integrity. The alteration of structural components is significant to the paper, wood and food industries.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA): On this expedition, CGBA will serve as a refrigerator to stabilize plant samples from the Plant Growth Bioprocessing Apparatus for postflight analyses.

Effect of Prolonged Spaceflight on Human Skeletal Muscle (Biopsy): Pre- and post-expedition tests on crew members will help determine the progression and extent of functional and structural change in limb skeletal muscle in prolonged space flight.

Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA): This Glovebox experiment will grow crystals of indium antimonide crystals. The science objectives of this investigation are to test an automatically moving baffle to see if it can further reduce gravitationally induced convective effects in the sample. The behavior and possible advantages of liquid encapsulation in microgravity conditions also will be investigated.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI): This Glovebox experiment will melt samples of transparent modeling material to study how bubbles can be trapped in metal or crystal samples during space processing.

StelSys: One of the specialized functions of the liver is to break down drugs or toxins into less harmful and more water-soluble substances that can be excreted from the body. The StelSys experiment will test this function of human liver cells in microgravity vs. the function of duplicate cells on Earth.

Education Payload Operations-5 (EPO-5): The crew will film demonstrations using toys in microgravity with the goal of capturing student interest in science, math and technology careers.

Human physiology: Several experiments will use pre- and post-flight measurements of Expedition Five crew members to study changes in the body caused by exposure to the microgravity environment. Experiments are:

  • Promoting Sensorimotor Response to Generalizability: A Countermeasure to Mitigate Locomotor Dysfunction after Long-duration spaceflight (Mobility); a pre- and -post-flight investigation studying changes in posture and gait after long-duration space flight;
  • Space Flight-Induced Reactivation of Latent Epstein-Barr Virus (Epstein-Barr): a pre- and post-fight investigation studying changes in human immune function; and
  • Test of Mideodrine as a Countermeasure against Postflight Orthostatic Hypotension (Midodrine): a pre- and post-flight investigation studying orthostatic intolerance and a possible counter measure drug.

Continuing experiments

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: Space Acceleration Measurement System and Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System, sensors designed to measure vibrations caused by crew, equipment and other sources that could disturb microgravity experiments.

Photo shows microscopic image taken on the ground shows fractal soot clusters in motor oil.
Fractal soot clusters in motor oil. Clusters similar to these are being studied by the Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space. (Harvard University)

Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space, a fluids experiment that could lead to new materials and products. Colloids are found in numerous products, such as paint, milk, ink and copy machine toner, and are used in many manufacturing processes, such as polishing silicon for computer chips and removing bitter tastes from wine and fruit juices;

Crew Interactions, an experiment to identify and characterize interpersonal and cultural factors that may affect crew and ground support personnel performance during Space Station missions;

Crew Earth Observations, an experiment to photograph natural and manmade changes on Earth;

Renal Stone, research studying a possible countermeasure for kidney stone formation;

Pulmonary Function in Flight (PuFF), an experiment, examining long-term lung function in microgravity;

Xenon 1, a pre- and post-flight experiment studying effects of space flight on vascular microcirculation;

Subregional Bone, a pre- and post-flight experiment studying changes in bone density caused by long-duration space flight;

Materials International Space Station Experiment, a suit-case-sized experiment attached to the outside of the Space Station to expose hundreds of sample materials to the space environment. By examining how the coatings fare in the harsh environment of space, researchers seek new insight into developing materials for future spacecraft, as well as making materials last longer on Earth.

Photo shows microscopic zeolite crystals. The zeolite crystals grown on the ground, left, are smaller than ones grown in space, right. If larger, more perfect crystals can be grown, researchers learn more about the way zeolites are made.
The zeolite crystals grown on the ground, left, are smaller than ones grown in space, right. If larger, more perfect crystals can be grown, researchers learn more about the way zeolites are made. (NASA/MSFC)

Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace (ZCG) a commercial experiment attempting to grow larger crystals in microgravity, with possible applications in chemical processes, electronic device manufacturing and other applications on Earth.

Extra Vehicular Activity Radiation Monitoring (EVARM), sets of three sensors worn in pockets in U.S. EVA suits that will help determine the levels of radiation received to the skin, eyes, and blood-forming organs of crewmembers, and ways to mitigate exposure.

Returning experiments

Four Expedition Four payloads are returning to Earth on STS-111 at the end of the mission. They are: Biomass Production System (BPS) and Photosynthesis Experiment and System Testing Operation (PESTO); Protein Crystal Growth Enhanced Gaseous Nitrogen Dewar (PCG-EGN); Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus; and Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG).

On the Internet

For fact sheets, imagery and more on Expedition Five experiments and payload operations, visit the Science Operations Web site at:

Steve Roy
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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