In the ISS user centre at ESTEC (NL) Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William
McCool and the other five members of the crew are being briefed by the
scientists and engineers who have designed and built the seven microgravity
facilities, which include experiments in fluid physics, physiology, biology,
protein crystal growth, and one technology experiment.

Engineers from ESA’s Manned Spaceflight Directorate, who are responsible for
the development and utilisation of the experiment facilities, familiarise
the astronauts with the experiment and the working procedures, with the
support of the European Astronaut Centre training division. Also on hand
are a group from the Boeing company who are supporting the integration and
operation of the Spacehab module.

The Spacehab Double Research Module is a scientific laboratory that is
housed in the cargo bay of the Shuttle, connected to the cabin by a tunnel,
allowing the crew to perform experiments in a shirtsleeve environment.
Derived from the European Spacelab concept, Spacehab is a private venture,
with European participation.

By working together in this way the crew are able to work through the
precise procedures they will have to conduct in space. “Together in one
place we can work with the scientists to optimize procedures and also learn
how to handle the unexpected”, explained Dr Laurel Clark, mission specialist
on STS-107. With 32 different instruments aboard the Space Shuttle, hands-on
training like this is an integral part of their mission preparation.

For the European engineers and scientists it was useful to establish
personal contact with the STS-107 crew. “We are happy to see the crew working
here in Europe on our experiments with such motivation and we are confident
that this mission will bring highly successful scientific results”, said
Pasquale Di Palermo, ESA’s Project Manager for the STS-107 mission.

The payload includes six microgravity instruments from ESA directorate for
Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity:

* APCF: the Advanced Protein Crystallisation Facility

* ARMS: the Advanced Rspiratory Monitoring System

* Biopack: which study the behaviour of biological samples in space and
requires a significant interaction with the crew

* Biobox: a derivative of a biological facility previously flown on the
Russian FOTON capsule and there fully automated

* FAST: Facility for Adsorption and Surface Tension, studies surface tension
of bubbles and droplets in microgravity

* ERISTO: European Research in Space and Terrestrial Osteoporosis, studies
the beahaviour of bone cells in microgravity. This experiment houses in
Canadian built equipment that rose to fame when tested by the oldest man
to go to space so far, John Glenn in 1998 (STS-95)

and one technological experiment:

COM2PLEX: the combined European 2 Phase loop experiment, managed by ESA’s
technical directorate at ESTEC, which tests new cooling systems
for space use.

Related Links

* Spaceflight home page
* STS-107 crew biographies (NASA)

* Spacehab


[Image 1:]
STS-107 Spacehab crew at ESTEC (NL) for training in the ISS user centre
(May 2001). From left to right: Pilot William C. McCool, Mission Specialist
Michael P. Anderson, Mission Specialist Laurel Clark, Shuttle Commander Rick
Douglas Husband, Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon, Mission Specialist Kalpana
Chawla, Mission Specialist David M. Brown.

[Image 2:]
Mission Specialist Laurel Blair Salton Clark trains in the dedicated
facilities of the ISS user centre at ESTEC (NL) for Space Shuttle Spacehab
mission STS-107. Dr Clark is working with the Biopack microgravity
experiment, one of seven European experiments to be flown on STS-107.