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STS-107: Home | The Crew | Cargo | Timeline | EVA | Investigation

Space Research Mission

STS-107 is a mission devoted to research and will include more than 80 experiments that will study Earth and space science, advanced technology development, and astronaut health and safety. The majority of the experiments will be located in Space Shuttle Columbia's middeck and the SPACEHAB Research Double Module.

In order to perform the research, STS-107's crew will be split into two teams to allow around-the-clock operations during the 16-day flight. The Red Team consists of Commander Rick Husband and Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon. Pilot William McCool and Mission Specialists David Brown and Michael Anderson are on the Blue Team.

IMAGE: SPACEHAB Research Double Module
The new SPACEHAB Double Research Module is processed at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and prepared for placement inside the shuttle's payload bay.

Payload Bay

SPACEHAB Research Double Module

The SPACEHAB Research Double Module (RDM), which is making its first flight on STS-107 is a pressurized aluminum habitat that is carried in Columbia's cargo bay to expand working space aboard the shuttle. The RDM measures 6.1 meters (20 feet) long, 4.3 meters (14 feet) wide and 3.4 meters (11 feet) high and is connected to the shuttle middeck by a pressurized access tunnel.

Outfitted as a state-of-the-art laboratory, it has a pressurized volume of 62.3 cubic meters (2,200 cubic feet) and can hold up to 61 space shuttle middeck lockers. The RDM, which has a payload capacity of 4,082 kilograms (9,000 pounds), will carry about 3,400 kilograms (7,500 pounds) of research payloads on STS-107. An additional 363 (800 pounds) of SPACEHAB-integrated payloads are flying on the shuttle middeck, making a total of 3,765 kilograms (8,300 pounds) of research payloads on STS-107.

SPACEHAB's flight services contract with NASA provides the company with 12 percent of the RDM's payload capacity to sell to commercial customers on STS-107.

SPACEHAB's commercial payloads on the mission include:

  • Advanced Respiratory Monitoring System (ARMS): an investigation of pulmonary and cardiovascular changes in humans during rest and exercise in early and later phases of space flight.
  • Miniature Satellite Threat Reporting System (MSTRS): a communications technology demonstration developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Commercial Macromolecular Protein Crystal Growth (CMPCG): a commercial facility that will be used for the production of large, high-quality protein crystals under controlled conditions in microgravity.
  • Combined 2-Phase Loop Experiment (COM2PLEX): The COM2PLEX rooftop test facility is designed to investigate the behavior of capillary-pumped loops in microgravity. The facility will demonstrate three different two-phase loops by transporting different amounts of heat from evaporator to condenser and radiating heat into space.
  • European Research In Space and Terrestrial Osteoporosis (ERISTO): an in-vitro evaluation of bone cell activity in microgravity uses the same facility hardware as the OSTEO experiment. STS-107 is the first flight of ERISTO.
  • Osteoporosis Experiment in Orbit (OSTEO) -- an in-vitro evaluation of bone cell activity in microgravity. Baseline bone cell activity and the effects of specific pharmaceutical agents will be assessed.
  • STARNAV Star Navigation Experiment: This experiment, a rooftop payload, is designed to validate a new algorithm for determining precise spacecraft attitude without prior knowledge of position and develop educational interest in space technology and astronomy.
  • Physiology and Biochemistry 4: This experiment package includes four life science investigations -- Protein Turnover During Spaceflight, Calcium Kinetics During Space Flight, Renal Stone Risk and Viral Shedding.

FREESTAR, which stands for Fast Reaction Experiments Enabling Science Technology Applications and Research, is a payload that will include six separate experiments mounted on a crossbay Hitchhiker Multipurpose Equipment Support Structure in Columbia's payload bay. The six experiments include:

  • Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX): The primary mission of the MEIDEX payload is to study the temporal and spatial distribution and physical properties of atmospheric desert dust over North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Saharan regions. This aim is achieved by a remote sensing experiment operated by the astronauts aboard the shuttle. Also, MEIDEX will accomplish diverse secondary science objectives by performing slant visibility observations, sea-surface reflectivity observations, desert surface observations and observations of Transient Luminous Events, better known as sprites.
  • Shuttle Ozone Limb Sounding Experiment-02 (SOLSE-02): an imaging spectrometer that will demonstrate a new technique to measure the vertical distribution of ozone in the atmosphere. Once proven over a wider range of viewing conditions, the SOLSE-2 technique will be used to routinely measure ozone by the next generation of weather satellites.
  • Critical Viscosity of Xenon-2 (CVX-2): The Critical Viscosity of Xenon-2 Experiment will measure the viscous behavior of xenon -- a heavy, inert gas used in flash lamps and ion rocket engines -- at its critical point.
  • Solar Constant Experiment-3 (SOLCON-3): The SOLCON instrument is designed to accurately measure the solar constant and identify variations in the value during a solar cycle. SOLCON measures the solar irradiance in space to avoid perturbations by the atmosphere of the Earth. It is also used as a reference to construct a long-duration time series of the solar irradiance. This data will ensure continuity of the solar constant level obtained by instruments mounted on free flyers, over climate time-scale duration.
  • Space Experiment Module (SEM) - The SEM is made up of 11 separate student experiments from schools across the U.S. and is the 14th flight of a SEM on the space shuttle.
  • Low Power Transceiver (LPT) experiment -- The Low Power Transceiver is a compact, flexible device that can be configured to perform custom communications and navigation functions in terrestrial, airborne and space applications.



Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System (CEBAS): a habitat for aquatic organisms that serves as a facility for conducting microgravity experiments in zoology, botany, developmental biology and ecosystems research.

Below is table of STS-107 experiments and their research areas.


  • Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC): Development of Gravity Sensitive Plant Cells in Microgravity
  • Biotechnology Demonstration System (BDS-05)
  • European Space Agency BIOPACK: Bacterial Physiology and Virulence on Earth and in Microgravity
  • Fundamental Rodent Experiments Supporting Health (FRESH-02): Anatomical Studies of Central Vestibular Adaptation
  • Fundamental Rodent Experiments Supporting Health (FRESH-02):
    Arterial Remodeling and Functional Adaptations Induced by Microgravity
  • Fundamental Rodent Experiments Supporting Health (FRESH-02): Choroidal Regulation Involved in the Cerebral Fluid Response to Altered Gravity
  • Magnetic Field Apparatus (MFA/BIOTUBE): Application of Physical and Biological Techniques to Study the Gravisensing and Response System of Plants

Biomedical Research and Countermeasures

  • Calcium Kinetics During Space Flight
  • Flight Induced Changes in Immune Defenses
  • Incidence of Latent Virus Shedding During Space Flight
  • Microbial Physiology Flight Experiments: Effects of Microgravity on Microbial Physiology and Spaceflight Effects on Fungal Growth, Metabolism and Sensitivity to Anti-fungal Drugs
  • Protein Turnover During Space Flight
  • Renal Stone Risk During Space Flight
  • Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Space Flight

Earth & Space Sciences

  • Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX)
  • Shuttle Ionospheric Modification with Pulsed Localized Exhaust (SIMPLEX)
  • Shuttle Ozone Limb Sounding Experiment-2 (SOLSE-2)
  • Solar Constant Experiment (SOLCON-3)

Physical Sciences

  • Combustion Module -2 (CM-2)
  • Critical Viscosity of Xenon-2 (CVX-2)
  • Laminar Soot Processes-2 (LSP-2)
  • Mechanics of Granular Materials-3 (MGM-3)
  • Space Acceleration Measurement System Free Flyer (SAMS-FF) and Orbiter Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE)
  • Structures of Flame Balls at Low Lewis-number (SOFBALL)

Space Product Development

  • Commercial Instrumentation Technology Associates Inc. Biomedical Experiments Payload (CIBX-2)
  • Commercial Protein Crystal Growth -- Protein Crystallization Facility (CPCG-H)
  • Water Mist Fire Suppression Experiment (MIST)
  • Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG)

Technology Development

  • Low Power Transceiver (LPT)
  • Ram Burn Observations (RAMBO)
  • Vapor Compression Distillation Flight Experiment
What is a payload?
IMAGE: Shuttle payload bay
The formal designation as a "payload" indicates that the experiment will be accorded top priority in crew time and energies during the entire flight, along with all other experiments carrying the same "payload" designation.
Related Links
*STS-107 Mission Preview (311 Kb PDF)
*Space Research STS-107 Home Page
*SPACEHAB STS-107 Mission Overview
*Floating Flame Balls
*Space Product Development
*STS-107 STARS Web Site

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 01/28/2004
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