Document Detail

A status report on the characterization of the microgravity environment of the International Space Station.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15806740     Owner:  NASA     Status:  MEDLINE    
A primary objective of the International Space Station is to provide a long-term quiescent environment for the conduct of scientific research for a variety of microgravity science disciplines. Since continuous human presence on the space station began in November 2000 through the end of Increment-6, over 1260 hours of crew time have been allocated to research. However, far more research time has been accumulated by experiments controlled on the ground. By the end of the time period covered by this paper (end of Increment-6), the total experiment hours performed on the station are well over 100,000 hours (Expedition 6 Press Kit: Station Begins Third Year of Human Occupation, Boeing/USA/NASA, October 25, 2002). This paper presents the results of the on-going effort by the Principal Investigator Microgravity Services project, at NASA Glenn Research Center, in Cleveland, Ohio, to characterize the microgravity environment of the International Space Station in order to keep the microgravity scientific community apprised of the reduced gravity environment provided by the station for the performance of space experiments. This paper focuses on the station microgravity environment for Increments 5 and 6. During that period over 580 Gbytes of acceleration data were collected, out of which over 34,790 hours were analyzed. The results presented in this paper are divided into two sections: quasi-steady and vibratory. For the quasi-steady analysis, over 7794 hours of acceleration data were analyzed, while over 27,000 hours were analyzed for the vibratory analysis. The results of the data analysis are presented in this paper in the form of a grand summary for the period under consideration. For the quasi-steady acceleration response, results are presented in the form of a 95% confidence interval for the station during "normal microgravity mode operations" for the following three attitudes: local vertical local horizontal, X-axis perpendicular to the orbit plane and the Russian torque equilibrium attitude. The same analysis was performed for the station during "non-microgravity mode operations" to assess the station quasi-steady acceleration environment over a long period of time. The same type of analysis was performed for the vibratory, but a 95th percentile benchmark was used, which shows the overall acceleration magnitude during Increments 5 and 6. The results, for both quasi-steady and vibratory acceleration response, show that the station is not yet meeting the microgravity requirements during the microgravity mode operations. However, it should be stressed that the requirements apply only at assembly complete, whereas the results presented below apply up to the station's configuration at the end of Increment-6.
Kenol Jules; Kevin McPherson; Kenneth Hrovat; Eric Kelly; Timothy Reckart
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta astronautica     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0094-5765     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Astronaut     Publication Date:    2004 Aug-Nov
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-04-04     Completed Date:  2005-07-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9890631     Medline TA:  Acta Astronaut     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  335-64     Citation Subset:  S    
Copyright Information:
c2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135-3191, USA.
Space Flight Mission:
Flight Experiment; ISS Project; long duration; manned
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MeSH Terms
Data Collection / methods
Environment, Controlled
Gravity, Altered
Space Flight / instrumentation*
Spacecraft / instrumentation*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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