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Science steps up on International Space Station with new experiments, fresh crew to operate them

A new suite of experiments will be delivered to the International Space Station by Space Shuttle Endeavour later this month -- kicking off Expedition Four and broadening scientific research onboard the orbiting space laboratory.

Endeavour will carry the Raffaello logistics module - a moving van bearing new experiment equipment for the Space Stations Destiny laboratory. Raffaello was built by the Italian Space Agency and managed by the Flight Projects Directorate at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It is making its second trip to the Station on the STS-108 Shuttle Flight. Raffaello successfully delivered many experiments to the Station last April on Space Shuttle Flight STS-100, ISS Flight 6A.

Since our first payload reached the Space Station in September 2000, we have launched more than 4.6 tons (4,200 kilograms) of research hardware and experiments, and returned more than a thousand pounds (500 kilograms) of hardware, samples and other data to Earth, said John Uri, the Expedition Four science mission manager. Uri works at NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, but his team members are stationed in NASAs Payload Operations Center at the Marshall Center - the Space Station command post for science operations.

The laboratory has five research racks, and we have accomplished the goals of 28 research payloads, supporting 41 investigations from government, industry and academia in the United States, as well as Japan, Canada, Germany and Italy.

In addition to the experiments being delivered to the Station, Endeavour will carry four Shuttle-based science experiments on the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure Carrier - a platform that Marshall Center engineers designed to fit in the rear of the Shuttle behind Raffaello. STS-108 is the first flight of this new carrier.

The combination of a talented design team and the close coordination among people at five NASA centers made it poss
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Contact: Steve Roy
steve.roy@msfc.nasa.gov
256-544-0034
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center News Center
21-Nov-2001


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