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Mission or Study ID:   STS-113
Shuttle Program
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
14 days
STS-113 Patch

STS-113, International Space Station (ISS) Assembly Flight 11A, was the 16th assembly flight to the station. The crew consisted of Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists John Herrington and Mike Lopez-Alegria, and the Expedition Six crew, Commander Ken Bowersox and Flight Engineers Nikolai Budarin and Don Pettit. The Expedition Six crew replaced the Expedition Five crew of Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Sergei Treschev and Peggy Whitson on board the space station. The Expedition Five crew returned to Earth after more than five months in space.

The primary cargo element to be delivered on STS-113 was the first port truss segment, Port 1 (P1), of the main ISS Integrated Truss Structure (ITS). The ITS will eventually be used to support the four power-generating photo-voltaic modules of the station, the permanent external active thermal control subsystem, and will provide a translation path for the mobile servicing system along specially designed truss rails. The truss rails allow the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to be positioned at various locations along the truss for performing maintenance tasks, element installations, and providing extravehicular activity (EVA) assistance.

The P1 truss, fourth of 11 truss structures, contains the active thermal control system for the station that will be activated next year. This system serves a similar purpose to an automobile's radiator except this system uses 99.9% pure ammonia. Additionally, the P1 houses a second Ultra High Frequency (UHF) communications system to provide enhanced and extended voice and data capability, and a second mobile work platform for spacewalkers called the Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart. Like the S1, the P1 includes a thermal radiator rotary joint, which provides the mechanical and electrical energy for rotating the station's heat-rejecting radiators.

A secondary payload carried on Endeavour was the Pico Satellite (PICOSAT) Inspector payload consisting of a launcher, or garage, which houses a set of two small deployable satellites. After release, the PICOSATs operate on battery power for several days to complete mission objectives.

Several new experiments were ferried to the station on Endeavour. These experiments, which are expected to lead to insights in the fields of medicine, materials science, plant science, commercial biotechnology, and manufacturing, were:

  • Microgravity Science Glovebox-Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixture (CSLM), an experiment to investigate the interaction of small and large particles in a mixture that can have an effect on the strength of materials ranging from turbine blades to dental fillings and porcelain.
  • Microgravity Science Glovebox-InSPACE, an experiment to obtain basic data on magnetorheological fluids -- a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions, robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems.
  • Foot/Ground Reaction Forces During Spaceflight, an experiment characterizes the load on the lower body and muscle activity in crewmembers while working on the station.
  • Protein Crystal Growth Single-locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES): Proteins to be grown in the microgravity environment of the space station were delivered by the Shuttle. The PCG-STES experiment facility provides a temperature-controlled environment for growing a new set of high quality protein crystals in microgravity for analyses upon return to Earth.
  • Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace (ZCG): This experiment is sponsored by a commercial firm attempting to grow larger crystals in microgravity, with possible applications in chemical processes, electronic device manufacturing and other applications on Earth. New samples will be ferried up for processing in the ZCG furnace, which was first installed and used during Expedition Four.

    Experiments returning to Earth from the station on STS-113 are:

  • Protein Crystal Growth Single-locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES): Protein samples, ferried to the station aboard the STS-112 mission in October and crystallized during Expedition Five, were carefully loaded aboard the Shuttle for analysis upon return to Earth.
  • Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace (ZCG): Samples processed during Expedition Five were returned to Earth.
  • Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA): This Microgravity Science Glovebox experiment was designed to process crystals of indium antimonide, used to make semiconductors on Earth.
  • Microencapsulation Electrostatic Processing System (MEPS): Improvements in the manufacturing processes for enclosing liquids - including drugs - in microscopic capsules in microgravity conditions were investigated. Samples processed during Expedition Five were returned to Earth, while experiment hardware remained on board to support future experiments.

    Several Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) were also flown during the STS-113 mission. DSOs are space and life sciences investigations. Their purpose is to determine the extent of physiological deconditioning resulting from space flight, test countermeasures to those changes, and characterize the environment of the Space Shuttle and/or space station relative to crew health. DSOs performed during this mission were:

  • Bioavailability and Performance Effects of Promethazine During Spaceflight
  • Eye Movements and Motion Perception Induced by Off-Vertical Axis Rotation (OVAR) at Small Angles of Tilt After Spaceflight
  • Monitoring Latent Virus Reactivation and Shedding in Astronauts
  • Pharmacokinetics and Contributing Physiologic Changes During Spaceflight
  • Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Spaceflight
  • Space Flight and Immune Function
  • Space Flight-Induced Reactivation of Latent Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Test of Midodrine as a Counteractive Measure Against Postflight Orthostatic Hypotension

    Detailed Test Objectives (DTOs) are experiments aimed at testing, evaluating or documenting Space Shuttle systems or hardware, or proposed improvements to the Space Shuttle or space station hardware, systems and operations. The only DTO flown on STS-113 was Crosswind Landing Performance.

    STS-113 came to an end when Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This flight was the orbiter's 19th mission and the 112th in the Shuttle program's history.

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