Apr. 20, 1998
Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia today bypassed a faulty air pump in one of four saltwater aquarium chambers, continued tests on the adaptability of the human nervous system and collected tissue samples for studies of how space flight affects developing nervous systems.
Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialist Kay Hire worked on the Vestibular Function Experiment Unit (VFEU) that is home to four oyster toadfish; Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan, Dave Williams and Jim Pawelczyk worked as experiment operators and served as test subjects on two Sensory Motor and Performance Team experiments; Commander Rick Searfoss tended to rodents in the Animal Enclosure Module; and Payload Specialist Jay Buckey and Mission Specialist Dave Williams performed injections and dissections of pregnant mice in the General Purpose Work Station (GPWS) for a study of how reduced gravity affects the cells of developing nervous systems.
Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from KSC’s Launch Pad 39B on time Friday at 2:19 p.m. EDT. Following Thursday’s scrubbed launch attempt, workers replaced a faulty network signal processor located in the orbiter’s middeck last night. Once retests were complete, KSC launch managers worked no significant technical issues throughout the remainder of the launch countdown.
STS-90 is the first Shuttle mission to focus completely on the study of the human nervous system. Researches expect to glean information that will help overcome the physiological challenges encountered during space flight and assist in the treatment of diseases here on Earth.
Editor's Note: You can check out a listing of several Neurolab web sites at http://shuttle.nasa.gov/index.html/orbit/feature/.
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