MPLM installed on to Node 1

by Chris Bergin

The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) has been unloaded from Shuttle Discovery’s payload bay, and docked on to Node 1 of the International Space Station (ISS) – at the start of Flight Day Four for STS-121.

The container, called Leonardo, more than two tons of equipment, supplies, spare parts, crew supplies and experiments.

**STS-121: Launch: July 4 Launch/Debris/Flight Day 1** – Flight Day 2 Updates** – **Flight Day 3 Updates**

**STS-121 Flight Day 4 LIVE**

Leonardo, making its 4th trip to ISS, contains 3 Resupply Stowage Racks (RSRs). 5 Resupply Stowage Platforms (RSPs). 1 Express Transportation Rack (ETR). Minus Eighty-Degree/Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). 1st rack of the Oxygen Generation System (OGS).

MELFI will provide the capability to preserve science samples. OGS will eventually provide enough oxygen to support six crew members.

Equipment and Supplies on STS-121 for ISS Expedition 13 On-board Experiments:

ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects in Astronauts’ Central Nervous System):
Measures the exposure of crewmembers to cosmic radiation to further our understanding of the impacts of radiation on the human central nervous system and visual system. Provides an assessment of the radiation environment in the ISS. Livio Narici, Ph.D., University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ and INFN, Rome, Italy.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): A suite of fluid physics flight experiments to investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. Results will provide computer models that may be applied by designers of low gravity fluid systems in future spacecraft. Mark Weislogel, Ph.D., Portland State University, Portland, OR.

DAFT (Dust and Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test): Tests the effectiveness of a device that counts ultra-fine dust particles in a microgravity environment. A precursor and risk mitigation activity for the next generation of spacecraft fire detection hardware. David Urban, Ph.D., Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH.

Journals (Behavioral Issues Associated with Isolation and Confinement):
Crew journals and surveys are studied to help evaluate the most important factors for coping with isolation and long duration space flight. Jack Stuster, Ph.D., Anacapa Sciences, Incorporated, Santa Barbara, CA.

MISSE-3 and 4
(Materials International Space Station Experiment – 3 and 4): Part of an ongoing experiment and will be installed during an EVA. Test beds attached to the outside of the ISS containing materials and coatings are being evaluated for the effects of atomic oxygen, direct sunlight, and extremes of heat and cold. Allows development and testing of new materials to better withstand the rigors of space environments. Many of the materials may have applications in the design of future spacecraft. William H. Kinard, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.

MISSE-5 (Materials International Space Station Experiment -5): Part of an ongoing materials testbed experiment and will be retrieved during an EVA. Robert Walters, Ph.D., Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC and William Kinard, Ph.D., Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.

Nutrition (Nutrition Status Assessment):
Allows for a more complete assessment of space flight impact on crew nutritional status, bone health, and rehabilitation by expanding on the current Clinical Nutrition Assessment. The data collected will allow for the evaluation of the efficacy of current and potential countermeasures. Scott Smith, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

POEMS (Passive Observatories for Experimental Microbial Systems):
Will evaluate the effect of genetic variation within model microbial cells. Enhances understanding of the growth and ecology of microorganisms in space. Michael Roberts, Ph.D., Dynamac Corporation, Kennedy Space Center, FL.

Renal Stone (Renal Stone Risk During Space Flight: Assessment and Countermeasure Validation): Tests the efficacy of potassium citrate as a countermeasure to renal stone formation during long-duration space flight. Kidney stone formation is a significant risk during long duration space flight that could endanger crew health. Peggy A. Whitson, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

SAMS-II (Space Acceleration Measurement System-II): An intermittent study of the small forces (vibrations and accelerations) on the ISS that result from the operation of hardware, crew activities, as well as dockings and maneuvering. Results will be used to generalize the types of vibrations affecting vibration-sensitive experiments.

SEM (Space Experiment Module): Students conduct research on the effects of microgravity, radiation and space flight on various materials. Encourages students to probe into the physics of radiation, microgravity and space flight through planning, performing and analyzing materials experiments on board the ISS. Ruthan Lewis, Ph.D., Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites): Bowling-ball sized free-flying spheres test control algorithms for spacecraft by performing independent formation flight and docking maneuvers inside the ISS. The results are important for satellite servicing, vehicle assembly, and formation flown interferometers. David W. Miller, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Stability (Stability of Pharmacotherapeutic and Nutritional Compounds):
Past space flights have suggested that the space environment can reduce the potency of medicines and the nutritional value of foods commonly used by space explorers. Determine the magnitude of these effects on the stability of medicines and food to develop improved storage, countermeasures, and preserve items for future long duration expeditions to the Moon and Mars. Scott Smith, Ph.D. and Lakshmi Putcha, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

SWAB (Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization):
Human presence in space, permanent or transient, is accompanied by the presence of microorganisms. Will provide better understanding of the microbial flora thorough microbial risk assessment to the crew and the spacecraft for human exploration to the Moon and Mars. Used to advanced molecular technologies and better understand the types of organisms that the crew could encounter, their sources, and the potential risks to the crew. Duane L. Pierson, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

Tropi (Analysis of a Novel Sensory Mechanism in Root Phototropism): Video tape, sample and analyze plants sprouted from seeds to determine which genes are responsible for successful plant growth in microgravity. May lead to sustainable agriculture for future long duration space missions. John Kiss, Ph.D., Miami University, Oxford, OH.

FIT (Fungal Pathogenesis, Tumorigenesis, and Effects of Host Immunity in Space): Investigate susceptibility to fungal infection, progression of radiation-induced tumors and changes in immune function in sensitized Drosophila (fruit fly) lines. Sharmila Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA and Deborah Kimbrell, Ph.D., University of California-Davis, Davis, CA.

Latent Virus (Incidence of Latent Virus Shedding During Space Flight):
Study Astronauts to determine frequencies of reactivation of latent viruses and clinical diseases after exposure to the physical, physiological and psychological stressors associated with short duration space flight. Duane L. Pierson, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX and Satish K. Mehta, Ph.D., Enterprise Advisory Services, Incorporated, Houston, TX.

MAUI (Maui Analysis of Upper Atmospheric Injections):
Observe exhaust plume of the Space Shuttle to assess spacecraft plume interactions with the upper atmosphere. Rainer Dressler, Ph.D., Hanscom Air Force Base, Lexington, MA.

PMZ (Bioavailability and Performance Effects of Promethazine During Space Flight): Examine bioavailability and performance impacting side-effects of Promethazine as a motion sickness medication taken by the Space Shuttle astronauts. Lakshmi Putcha, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

RAMBO (Ram Burn Observations):
Observes Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System engine burns to improve plume models. Sensors will observe selected rendezvous and orbit adjust burns. William L. Dimpfl, Ph.D., Aerospace Corporation. Los Angeles, CA.

Sleep-Short (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Space Flight-Short):
Examine effects of space flight on the sleep-wake cycles of the astronauts during Space Shuttle missions. Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA.

European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) European Space Agency:

EMCS provides a facility where small organisms (plants, microbes, insects, amphibians) can grow in variable gravity conditions (0.001G to 2.0G) using a rotating centrifuge. It was designed for multi-generation experiments and studies on gravity effects on early development and growth in a variety of organisms.

EMCS will facilitate long-term plant growth studies, including multi-generation studies (seed to seed), early development events in plants, gravity influence on early development and growth (g-level threshold research) and how plants perceive and respond to gravity as they grow.

FACILITY OPERATION: SEMCS consists of a gas tight incubator containing two centrifuges with space for 4 Experiment Containers on each rotor; the life support and water supply system, and the illumination and the observation system are located on the rotors.

Once on ISS, the turning of the rotors can be used to apply a gravity effect between the normal microgravity and 1G experienced on Earth.

Minus Eighty Degrees Laboratory Freezer (MELFI):

FACILITY SUMMARY: This multi-purpose freezer significantly enhances the research
capabilities of the US Laboratory on ISS.

Supports a wide range of life science experiments by
preserving biological samples (such as blood, saliva, urine, microbial or plant samples) collected onboard ISS for later return and analysis back on Earth.

Samples from the ISS Medical Project will be stored in MELFI
and contribute to multiple studies of the effect of space flight on human health in support of the Vision for Space Exploration.

FACILITY OPERATIONS: The freezer is based on the Brayton Thermodynamic Cycle which uses nitrogen as a working fluid. It includes four nitrogen-cooled dewars which can be controlled independently to keep samples at any of three different temperatures: -80, -26 and +4°C (-112, -15 and 39°F).

After Leonardo is unloaded, used equipment and trash will be transferred from ISS for return to Earth. The logistics module will be detached from the ISS and positioned back into Shuttle’s cargo bay for return.

Other key events for Flight Day Four include:
Preparations for for EVA 1.
Perform Orbiter Boom Sensor System focused inspection survey.
Transfer logistics and Shuttle middeck items.

**FREE VIDEOS** – Docking, Hatch Opening. Rbar (RPM) Video (8x). Fligh Deck ascent video. Five videos of the debris events. Full T-30 mins to T+60 mins STS-121 launch video and all views of launch, plus more.
(Video section is FREE, but you need to sign up as a member of the forum to enter the video section of the site. We only use your e-mail to send you your password. It will not be used for spam etc.)

** Job Opportunities** 

              LIVE UPDATE PAGES

Related Articles