"We are doing science in all the disciplines, and the science is becoming more complex with every new expedition," said Uri. "With Expedition Three, we are pleased to bring a number of new scientists to the Space Station team, and look forward to continuing work with those who already have experiments on our newest orbital research facility."
Eight new experiments will get under way in the five research facilities, and 10 experiments -- started on Expedition One or Two -- will continue.
"One of the advantages of Space Station research is the flexibility to continue long-duration research over several expeditions, modifying research procedures and parameters to take advantage of intriguing results," said Uri. "We want science on the Station to be as much like science in an Earth-based laboratory as possible, but of course without gravity."
The first experiment to be mounted outside the Station -- the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) - will be delivered by the STS-105 crew and mounted outside the Station during an Extravehicular Activity, or space walk. MISSE will test the durability of hundreds of samples, ranging from lubricants to solar cell technologies.
By examining how coatings fare in the harsh environment of space, scientists can learn how to develop materials for future spacecraft and make materials last longer on Earth. Rachel Kamenetzky is the MISSE principal investigator at the Marshall Center, and the experiment is managed by Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and is a collaborative effort among NASA centers, the U.S. Air Force and private industry.
The first experiments with biological cell cultures also begin on the Station in Expedition Three, with delivery of a major facility: the Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support System (CBOSS).