International Space Station Assembly Flight 5A
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.|
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.
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.
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.