February 23, 1998 - JIS #1, Orbiter CEIT

A very, very busy week for the Neurolab crew. We had our first JIS (Joint Integrated Simulation) this week, which simulated one of our busier days of the flight. While Pappy manned the fixed base alone, surrogates filled in at the Spacelab simulator and the rest of the crew remained busy with payload operations in the Neurolab mockup. The practical reality of this simulation meant that the crew was spread across most of the JSC campus! Working between 3 simulators left the comm plan a little more complicated than usual, but eventually all the wrinkles smoothed out and we got down to work. Pappy handled a number of simulated Spacelab failures adeptly, and a series of planned problems in the mockup threatened to reduce the science return, but some quick planning on the ground prevented any loss of data. In all, a very nice JIS.

The rest of the week was spent at KSC for the Orbiter CEIT (Crew Equipment Interface Test). Bones and Animal toured the payload bay in preparation for any contingency EVAs, the orbiter crew looked over the middeck and flight deck, and the payload specialists spent their time in the Spacelab reviewing items not covered at our Spacelab CEIT. This was an important milestone for flight integration and the workers at the Cape did a superb job preparing the Orbiter for this test. Also, we had the opportunity to meet the many fine people who support the animal subject portion of our payload. It is truly amazing to see the size of the ground operation required to support the Neurolab payload, and it was our delight to meet the people who work behind the scenes to make Neurolab a reality.

Next week: yet another baseline data collection!

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