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STS-98: Home | The Crew | Cargo | Timeline | EVA

International Space Station Assembly Flight 5A

IMAGE: Worker's install U.S. Laboratory inside Atlantis' payload bay.
Workers in the Payload Changeout Room, or PCR, check the movement of the U.S. Lab Destiny, which is being transferred to the orbiterís payload bay. The PCR is the enclosed, environmentally controlled portion of the rotating service structure that supports payload delivery at the launch pad and vertical installation in the orbiter payload bay.

Cargo Bay

U.S. Destiny Laboratory
The primary payload for STS-98 is the U.S. Destiny Laboratory. Destiny is the centerpiece of the International Space Station, where unprecedented science experiments will be performed in space. Destiny will be attached to the station by the STS-98 astronauts, who will use Space Shuttle Atlantisí robotic arm and conduct three space walks to continue the on-orbit construction of the station.

In-Cabin Experiments

The Shuttle Ionospheric Modification with Pulsed Local Exhaust, or SIMPLEX, payload has no flight hardware; Orbiter OMS thruster firings will be used to create ionospheric disturbances for observation by the SIMPLEX radars. SIMPLEX has five different radar sites on Earth used for collecting data: Arecibo, Kwajalein, Millstone Hill, Alice Springs and Jicamarca. One of the radar sites, Arecibo, will also use a low-level laser to observe the effects on the ionosphere resulting from the thruster firing.

The objective of the SIMPLEX activity is to determine the source of Very High Frequency radar echoes caused by the Orbiter and its Orbital Maneuvering System 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. SIMPLEX sensors may collect data during any encounter opportunity when the Orbiter support activities meet the criteria defined.

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.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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