March 9, 1998 - The Long JIS, Middeck bench review

The major event of the week was a two-day JIS that simulated some of our most complicated payload activites - an experiment designed to test the effect of microgravity exposure on the autonomic nervous system. We were able to complete our simulated study of the payload crew during this period despite the valiant efforts of our devious sim sups.

What happened? Well, what didnít! We had a simulated depressurization emergency in the Spacelab (which turned out to be caused by a bad valve), the loss of one of the computers controlling Spacelab activities, and a hydrogen leak that threatened one of our fuel cells. (Loss of fuel cell is a sure-fire ticket home.) Top this off with numerous simulated problems with the experiments, and you get the idea what kind of day we had. Making things worse on the ground than theyíre likely to be in-flight is a good way to help insure the flight proceeds smoothly.

We also had our bench review, where we looked over our flight equipment stowed in the middeck. The main items are tools, food, clothing, film, and experiment items, but there are many, many other incidental items. Bench review provides a chance to be sure every configuration is the way you want it for flight, so itís a time to do things like label, add velcro, and ask questions. With just minor issues, Neurolab continues to shape up well!

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