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Deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Payload Bay

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.


Midcourse Space Experiment
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 physical properties.

Space 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.

Cell Culture Module
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.

Plant 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.

Commercial 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 transfer.

Micro-Electrical Mechanical System
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.

Biological 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.

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
*Chandra X-Ray Observatory News
*STS-93 Press Kit
*Chandra Status Report Index
*STS-93 Videos

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/14/2002
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