Deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory
The Chandra X-ray Observatory was created to conduct comprehensive
studies of the universe. Chandra consists of three major elements:
a spacecraft with an inertial upper stage rocket motor, a telescope,
and a science instrument module. Its principle objectives are
to study X-ray emissions of stars and planets and to resolve images
of extended supernova remnants.
The Midcourse Space Experiment, or MSX, payload will require orbiter
thruster firings to be used as a sensor calibration and evaluation
target for the space-based ultraviolet, infrared, and visible
sensors on the MSX satellite. The satellite will be in an approximately
560 nautical mile, 99 degree inclination orbit.
The objective of Shuttle Ionespheric Modification with Pulsed
Local Exhaust payload activity is to determine the source of Very
High Frequency radar echoes caused by the orbiter and its OMS
engine firings. The Principal Investigator will use the collected
data to examine the effects of orbital kinetic energy on ionospheric
irregularities and to understand the processes that take place
with the venting of exhaust materials.
The Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System is based around a Maksutov-design
Ultraviolet, or UV, telescope and a UV-sensitive, image-intensified
Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera that frames at video frame
rates. Scientists can obtain sensitive photometric measurements
of astronomical targets.
The objective Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research
experiment is to investigate the influence of microgravity on
the processing of gelled sols. In particular, the purpose is to
demonstrate that composite ceramic precursors composed of large
particulates and small colloidal sols can be produced in space
with more structural uniformity. It will also show that this improved
uniformity will result in finer matrix grain sizes and superior
Tissue Loss - B
The focus of Space Tissue Loss - B is direct video observation
of cells in culture through the use of a video microscope imaging
system with the objective of demonstrating near real-time interactive
operations to detect and induce cellular responses.
The Light Weight Flexible Solar Array Hinge, or LFSAH, consists
of several hinges fabricated from shape memory alloys. Shape memory
deployment hinges offer controlled shockless deployment of solar
arrays and other spacecraft appendages. LFSAH demonstrates this
deployment capability for a number of hinge configurations.
The objectives of the Cell Culture Module are to validate models
for muscle, bone, and endothelial cell biochemical and functional
loss induced by microgravity stress; to evaluate cytoskeleton,
metabolism, membrane integrity and protease activity in target
cells; and to test tissue loss pharmaceuticals for efficacy.
The Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, or SAREX, demonstrates the
feasibility of amateur short-wave radio contacts between the shuttle
and ground-based amateur radio operators. SAREX also serves as
an educational opportunity for schools around the world to learn
about space by speaking directly to astronauts aboard the shuttle
via ham radio.
The EarthKAM payload will conduct Earth observations using the
Electronic Still Camera, or ESC, installed in the overhead starboard
window of the Aft Flight Deck.
Growth Investigations in Microgravity
The Plant Growth Investigations in Microgravity payload experiment
will use plants to monitor the space flight environment for stressful
conditions that affect plant growth. Because plants cannot move
away from stressful conditions, they have developed mechanisms
that monitor their environment and direct effective physiological
responses to harmful conditions.
Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus
The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus payload hardware
allows for sample processing and stowage functions. The Generic
Bioprocessing Apparatus - Isothermal Containment Module, or GBA-ICM,
is temperature controlled to maintain a preset temperature environment,
controls the activation and termination of the experiment samples,
and provides an interface for crew interaction, control and data
The Micro-Electrical Mechanical System, or MEMS, payload examines
the performance, under launch, microgravity, and reentry conditions
of a suite of MEMS devices. These devices include accelerometers,
gyros, and environmental and chemical sensors. The MEMS payload
is self-contained and requires activation and deactivation only.
Research in Canisters
The Biological Research in Canisters payload was designed to investigate
the effects of space flight on small arthropod animals and plant
specimens. The flight crew will be available at regular intervals
to monitor and control payload/experiment operations.