1/5/98 - Baseline data collection and Spacelab CEIT
Nearly half the experiments aboard Neurolab use the crew as research subjects. Prior to flight the crew participates in a series of data collection sessions to establish an earth baseline for their responses. This week included monitored sleep testing (a mesh cap to monitor brain electrical activity or EEG, EKG electrodes, a spandex jumpsuit to record chest movement while breathing, and a pill that transmits body temperature). Rolling around a lot is not a good idea - you could find yourself in a Georgian knot!
Other experiments looked at vestibular (inner ear) function using a spinning chair to cause acceleration, tests of eye-hand coordination, and a series of psychological tests designed to measure how strongly things we see influence our sense of up and down. We enjoy this time with the investigators - just when it seems that enthusiasm can't grow, the Pis generate more excitement!
Later in the week we went to Kennedy Space Center to participate in our Spacelab Crew Equipment Interface Testing (CEIT). Think of this like a "walk through" of a new house before you accept it for purchase. Every item we require in the Spacelab is checked by the crew to be sure it looks, feels, and fits as it should. After this test, the Spacelab will be closed and moved to the orbiter processing facility at KSC, where it will be placed in the shuttle cargo bay.
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