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International Space Station (ISS)

Expedition Five crewmember and flight engineer Peggy Whitson displays the progress of soybeans growing in the Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC) Experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The ADVASC experiment was one of the several new experiments and science facilities delivered to the ISS by Expedition Five aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavor STS-111 mission. An agricultural seed company will grow soybeans in the ADVASC hardware to determine whether soybean plants can produce seeds in a microgravity environment. Secondary objectives include determination of the chemical characteristics of the seed in space and any microgravity impact on the plant growth cycle. Station science will also be conducted by the ever-present ground crew, with a new cadre of controllers for Expedition Five in the ISS Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Controllers work in three shifts around the clock, 7 days a week, in the POCC, the world's primary science command post for the Space Station. The POCC links Earth-bound researchers around the world with their experiments and crew aboard the Space Station.