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International Space Station Expedition 13 Science Operations Status Report for the Week Ending August 4, 2006
Steve Roy
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

Status report: 06-093

Astronaut Jeffrey Williams began an experiment that will evaluate the effect of stress in the space environment on the generation of genetic variation in model microbial cells. Passive Observatories for Experimental Microbial Systems, or POEMS will provide important information to help evaluate risks to humans flying in space to further understand bacterial infections that may occur during long duration space missions.

Cultures are preserved in the Minus Eighty-degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or MELFI, at successive intervals over the course of six months. MELFI is a cold storage unit that maintains experiment samples at temperatures of -80° C, -26° C, or +4° C throughout a mission.

The cultures will be returned to Earth and compared to ground controls to determine if the space environment affected the rate of generation of new mutants.

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter began installation activities with the European Modular Cultivation System, or EMCS. This payload is a large incubator that will provide control over the atmosphere, lighting and humidity of growth chambers used to study plant growth.

NASA’s payload operations team at the Marshall Center coordinates U.S. science activities on space station.