In FY 2001, NASAs safety quest continued to build momentum. In the past year, NASA continued its successful plan for reducing injuries to a rate of 0.75 occurrences per 100 workers, well below the goal specified by the Presidents direction arising from the Federal Worker 2000 Presidential Initiative. To continue this positive trend, NASAs Centers are working to be certified under the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). NASA has set a goal for all of its Centers to be VPP certified. By the end of FY 2001, 2 of the 10 Centers had been certified. NASA safety and mission assurance experts provided assessment, oversight, and critical evaluation for NASA Space Shuttle missions, International Space Station missions and operations, and NASA spacecraft missions. In addition, NASA conducted several focused assessments including operational and engineering reviews of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory microdevices laboratory and Unitary Wind Tunnel at the Ames Research Center; a critical facilities maintenance assessment to determine the safety and mission support posture of critical facilities across NASA; an assessment of X-37 safety and mission assurance processes and design features; the United Space Alliance Ground Operations workforce survey; and the Boeing Seal Beach onsite assessment and review. NASA instituted an Aviation Safety Board to oversee aviation safety programs. To strengthen the Agencys safety and mission assurance capabilities, NASA introduced the following two new tools: the Systems Analysis Program for Hands-On Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE), a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) software application developed for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which now serves as the baseline PRA tool for NASA; and the Process-Based Mission Assurance Web resource, which provides NASAs program managers with the framework to help build the right level of safety and mission assurance activity into their program.
In the human space flight area, NASA successfully accomplished seven Space Shuttle missions in support of complex International Space Station (ISS) assembly operations during FY 2001. From the launch of STS-98 in February 2001 to the landing of STS-105 in August 2001, NASA flew five flights in six months, maintaining a vehicle in orbit for more than one third of that time. The ISS had its first permanent occupants in FY 2001, beginning with the launch of the Expedition 1 crew aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on October 31, 2000. The Expedition 2 and 3 crews also began their stays on the ISS during FY 2001.
The STS-92 mission, which launched on October 11, 2000, was the 100th Shuttle mission. For STS-92, during its 12-day mission to the ISS, all assigned objectives to install the Zenith Z1 Truss structure and the third pressurized mating adapter (PMA3) for use as a docking port on subsequent Shuttle missions were completed. On flight day three, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata deftly maneuvered Discoverys robotic arm to lift the Zenith Z1 Truss from the Shuttles payload bay and berthed it to a port on the Unity connecting module. Inside Unity, pilot Pam Melroy and crewmate Jeff Wisoff opened the hatch where the new truss was attached and installed grounding connections between the framework and the Station. Discoverys five mission specialists performed a total of four extravehicular activities (EVAs) during the STS-92 mission. The crew also successfully completed testing of the four control moment gyroscopes that will be used to orient the ISS as it orbits Earth.
On November 30, 2000, the STS-97 mission was successfully launched. For STS-97, an 11-day mission, the astronauts completed three spacewalks to deliver and connect the first set of U.S.-provided solar arrays to the ISS, prepare a docking port for arrival of the U.S. Laboratory Destiny, install a sophisticated instrumentation package to measure electrical potential surrounding the Station, install a camera cable outside the Unity module, and transfer supplies, equipment, and refuse between Endeavour and the ISS. The successful checkout of the extravehicular mobility units (EMUs), the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) units, the Remote Manipulator System RMS, the Orbiter Space Vision System (OSVS), and the Orbiter Docking System (ODS) were all completed nominally. Also, the ODS centerline camera was installed smoothly.
The STS-98 mission launched on February 7, 2001. On STS-98, after docking to the ISS, Station and Shuttle crews opened hatches and unloaded supplies: bags of water, a spare computer, cables to be installed inside the Station to power up the Destiny Laboratory, and various personal items for the Station crew. The U.S. Laboratory Destiny was successfully installed on the ISS using the RMS and concurrent EVAs. Shuttle and Station astronauts also activated air systems, fire extinguishers, alarm systems, computers, and internal communications, plus continued equipment transfers from the Shuttle to the Station. They also filmed onboard scenes using an IMAX camera.
On March 8, 2001, the STS-102 mission launched at sunrise and carried the second resident crew (Expedition 2) to the ISS, as well as the first Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, Leonardo, full of supplies and equipment plus science racks for transfer to the U.S. Laboratory Destiny. Joint operations between the Shuttle and the Station crews resulted in unloading almost 5 tons of experiments and equipment from Leonardo and packing almost 1 ton of items for return to Earth. Discoverys spacewalkersJames Voss, Susan Helms, Andrew Thomas, and Paul Richardsset the stage for continued expansion of the Station by installing a platform that will eventually be used to mount a Canadian-built robotic arm, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), to the Station on a future mission. They also removed a Lab Cradle Assembly from Discoverys cargo bay and installed it on the side of the U.S. Lab Destiny, where it will form the base for the SSRMS that was delivered on a mission in April 2001.
The STS-100 mission launched on April 19 and docked with the ISS 2 days later. The advanced robotic arm, called Canadarm2, was attached to a pallet on the outside of Destiny. It later was directed to "walk off" the pallet and grab onto an electrical grapple fixture on the Lab, which would provide data, power, and telemetry to the arm. Days later, the arm was used to hand off the cradle, on which it rested inside Endeavours payload bay during launch, to the orbiters arm. The exchange of the cradle from Station arm to Shuttle arm marked the first-ever robotic-to-robotic transfer in space. Other crew activities during the mission included attaching an ultra-high-frequency antenna on the outside of the Station and, inside, calibrating the Space Vision System, an alignment aid for operating the robotic arm, plus helping repair the Space Stations treadmill and filming for IMAX.
For STS-104, liftoff occurred on July 12, 2001. The primary mission goal was to deliver the joint airlock Quest module to the ISS. This mission marked the end of the second phase of Station assembly. After docking with the ISS on July 13, both Atlantis and ISS crews prepared for the planned three EVAs. In a series of three spacewalks, the joint airlock module was attached to the Unity Node and high-pressure gas tanks attached to the airlock. Both Station and Shuttle crews checked out and activated the new Quest airlock, conducting a dry run before the inaugural event. This mission was the first launch of the Block II Space Shuttle Main Engine. Approximately a month later, on August 10, 2001, the STS-105 mission launched. Part of the mission was to bring the next resident crew, Expedition 3, to the ISS and return Expedition 2 to Earth. The payload included the Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS), to be installed on the outside of the ISS, and Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo. During the time docked with the ISS, crews unloaded 7,000 pounds of supplies, equipment, and science racks from the MPLM Leonardo, storing it on the Space Station. This was the second flight of the Leonardo to the ISS. Mission specialists completed the first of two EVAs to install the EAS on August 16, 2001.
The Expedition 1 crew began their stay on the ISS in November 2000, following an October 31 launch (Flight 2R). The outfitting of the ISS continued with the delivery of supplies via a Russian Progress supply vehicle (2P) in mid-November. The STS-97 crew then launched on November 30, 2000, delivering the first U.S. solar array and radiator (Flight 4A), the 11th flight in the ISS assembly sequence. Next, the Expedition 1 crew received the 12th flight in the ISS assembly sequence, 5A, the delivery of the U.S. Lab on STS-98 in February 2001. This mission was followed by the third Russian Progress supply mission and the 13th ISS flight (3P) on February 25, 2001. The Stations first permanent crew spent more than 4 months on the ISS and supported four assembly and logistics missions before the arrival of the Expedition 2 crew.
Increment 2 crew operations were initiated on STS-102, the premier launch of the first Italian-made MPLM Leonardo (Flight 5A.1) on March 8. It was the first docking with the ISS under U.S. Orbital Segment (USOS) attitude control and the first ISS crew rotation. On April 16, the Progress M-244 resupply ship (3P) was jettisoned from the Service Module (SM) aft port, after having delivered approximately 2 metric tons of goods and propellants, and conducted three reboost maneuvers of the ISS. On April 19, 2001, STS-100 lifted off on ISS mission 6A with a crew of seven (including one Russian) to deliver the second Italian-built MPLM "Raffaello" and the Canadian space station remote manipulator system "Canadarm2" to the ISS. The first Soyuz (crew return vehicle) exchange (2S) was accomplished with an April 28 launch to provide the replacement Soyuz and return the "spent" Soyuz TM-31 (2R) to Earth.
Following this mission, the fourth Progress logistics flight (4P) was launched to the ISS on May 20. On July 12, STS-104 was launched with five crewmembers on assembly mission 7A to conduct joint operations with the Expedition 2 crew and, in three spacewalks, to install the Joint Airlock "Quest" and outfit it with four high-pressure gas tanks.
As NASA has accelerated the transition from ISS development work into operations, all elements for ISS assembly flight elements through 12A have been delivered either to orbit (Node 1 Unity, the FGB, the first solar arrays, thermal radiators, the Z1 Truss, Control Moment Gyros (CMG) attitude control systems, PMA-1, 2, and 3, and the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny) or to KSC (the remaining truss segments, communications system, integrated electronics, and the U.S. Airlock). NASA determined that it is in the best interest of the Government to concentrate resources on assembly planning, operations, and utilization readiness, and on the on-orbit assembly of the ISS.
From an operational perspective, the communications systems with Mission Control Center (MCC)-Houston, MCC-Moscow, and the U.S.-led international control teams have been vigorously exercised as they worked anomaly resolution, avoidance maneuvers, Soyuz and Progress dockings, and redocking tests at different ISS ports, as well as ISS reboosts as required. Mission Control was officially handed over to MCC-Houston after the 5A.1 mission in March 2001.
The establishment of a permanent human presence on the ISS created remarkable opportunities for the Space Medicine Program. While traditional support continued for astronaut healthcare, medical certification, and Shuttle medical operations, the space medicine emphasis at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) shifted to worldwide long-duration operations, onorbit deconditioning countermeasures, onorbit medical certification and intervention, and comprehensive rehabilitation services postflight. In addition, the planning process was begun to integrate exciting new capabilities such as the onorbit ultrasound to improve both astronaut healthcare and research possibilities.
The Space Medicine Program successfully implemented many changes to medical operations that included 24-hour-per-day medical support at multiple sites such as JSC, the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, and in Kazakhstan. Preflight, inflight, and postflight medical support was provided for seven Shuttle missions and ISS Expeditions 1, 2, and 3. Preparation for each mission included preflight medical screening, crew training on the use of medical, exercise, and environmental monitoring hardware, cross-cultural and isolation- coping techniques training, contingency medical procedures training, medical kit preparation, strength and endurance physical training, and ground crew mission-specific preparation.
Initial ISS support operations were conducted from Moscow utilizing an integrated medical team approach developed between the Russian and U.S. support staff. The integrated medical team continued daily communication and planning when flight control shifted to Houston during Expedition 2. All of the ISS International Partners participated in multilateral flight crew certification and in integrated flight readiness program reviews. An integrated catalog of all Russian and U.S. medical systems and hardware was also developed.
The Crew Health Care System (CHeCS) comprised of the Environmental Monitoring System, Health Maintenance System, and Countermeasure System was launched and operationally deployed. Medical systems for ISS are unique in that components of CHeCS can be commanded from the ground. These commands can implement a verification of onorbit systems or initiate data downlink operations. Data within JSC are transferred using a file transfer protocol server with virtual private network (VPN) connectivity to MCC-Houston and JSC Medical Lab facilities.
Medical services were enhanced with the implementation of an electronic medical record, replacing the paper-based system in the flight medicine clinic. Data are now automatically entered into the Longitudinal Study of Astronaut Health (LSAH) database. The LSAH project provides data for evidence-based decisionmaking for the development of selection standards and appropriate Earth and space-based prevention and treatment capabilities within the Space Medicine Program.
A critical new part of the Space Medicine Program is the physical training, preflight conditioning, and postflight rehabilitation of the astronauts. The Astronaut Strength, Conditioning, and Rehabilitation (ASCR) program was implemented for long-duration ISS crewmembers. EVA-assigned crewmembers received physical training specifically to address conditioning for the required task of EVA. ISS crewmembers exercise activities were monitored and specific exercise prescriptions uplinked weekly. As a result, ISS crewmembers returned to Earth with acceptable performance margins to be able to exit the Shuttle with minimal assistance. The postflight program is designed to return the astronauts to their normal state of health while providing safety factors to prevent injury during their rehabilitation.
Upgrading the onboard space medicine preventive, diagnostic, and treatment capabilities is an ongoing process. Among many new developments this year, an important concept was improving telepresence techniques to optimally utilize Earth-based resources and expertise to extend crewmember capabilities. One example this year was the development of procedures to use ultrasound techniques to provide high-quality diagnostic imaging with nonmedical personnel. Using this technique, onorbit crew can be guided by a remotely located flight surgeon and Earth-based experts via the ISS telecommunications infrastructure.
It has also become clear that the crewmembers on long-duration missions need considerable support for psychosocial considerations. Behavioral health programs were implemented in 2001 to support the ISS crewmembers and their families. These support elements included cross-cultural training, cognitive self-assessment, and fatigue self-assessment tools to enable maximum performance and safety of the crew.
The primary goal of the Space Shuttle Safety Upgrade Program continued to be the improvement of crew flight safety and situational awareness, protect people both during flight and on the ground, and increase the overall reliability of the Shuttle system. During FY 2001, NASA continued working on improving existing Space Shuttle operational mission assurance and reliability through several safety and supportability upgrade initiatives. To improve Shuttle safety, an effort was initiated to proactively upgrade the Shuttle elements and keep it flying safely and efficiently through FY 2012 and beyond to meet Agency commitments and goals for human access to space. The suite of high- priority safety upgrades included the Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU), the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), Advance Health Management System (AHMS), Electric Auxiliary Power Unit (EAPU), and the Solid Rocket Booster Advance Thrust Vector Control system. CAU, which will enhance crew situational awareness and reduce crew workload by providing automated control of complex procedures, is currently underway. The EAPU would have replaced the hydrazine-powered units by using battery-powered electric motors, but, due to technology development required before initiating the implementation, this project was cancelled. In addition, the Solid Rocket Booster Advance Thrust Vector Control upgrade, which if implemented could replace the hydrazine-powered turbines, was delayed due to budget constraints.
FY 2001 included the first flight of the upgraded SSME designated Block II on the STS-104 flight. The Block II Maine Engine configuration included a new Pratt & Whitney high-pressure fuel turbopump. The main modification to the engine was the elimination of welds by using a casting process for the housing and in integral shaft/disk with thin-wall blades and ceramic bearings. These changes doubled the reliability of the engine. This modification should increase the number of flights between major overhauls.
The operational character of the Space Shuttle Program places a significant burden on NASA resources. Although "operational" by NASA standards, the Space Shuttle requires significant specialized skills and facilities to maintain and operate at appropriate safety levels. Over the past 6 years, NASA has reduced the annual operation cost of the Space Shuttle by almost 40 percent. NASA has already made significant strides toward privatization of the Space Shuttle by completing a series of contract consolidations. In 1997, NASA turned over daily operations of the Shuttle to a jointly owned corporation called United Space Alliance (USA). During FY 2001, however, the Shuttle program still required about 1,800 highly skilled civil service personnel to carry out the remaining Government operational and oversight responsibilities. Additionally, for continued safe operations of the Space Shuttle until the middle of the next decade, significant investments are required to maintain Space Shuttle flight system and aging ground infrastructure assets.
The challenges to complete Space Shuttle privatization continued to be centered on ensuring that safety is not compromised while at the same time achieving further cost benefit to the Government. During FY 2001, NASA began the current Space Shuttle privatization effort by chartering an internal task team to perform a review and assessment of options for privatizing the Shuttle, developing screening criteria for all privatization options, and providing recommendations on the best options to senior Agency officials.
In the area of space communications, NASAs Space, Deep Space, Ground, and Wide-Area Networks successfully supported all NASA flight missions and numerous commercial, foreign, and other U.S. Government agency missions. Included were the launch of ISS hardware, Mars Odyssey, Microwave Anisotrophy Probe, Genesis, Artemis, and GOES-M. Emergency support of spacecraft anomalies were provided to Artemis, GOES, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, Mars Global Surveyor, Terra, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, and Cassini. Other support included the NEAR landing on the asteroid Eros, Deep Space-1 encounter with comet Borrelly, Astro-D re-entry with impact in the Pacific Ocean, and Landsat-4 end-of-life maneuvers.
The Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) completed its 33rd month of a 5-year basic period of performance. Operations support continued at Johnson Space Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Kennedy Space Center.
Other significant activities included installation of Ka-Band uplink capability at Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex to support the Cassini mission; installation of 70-meter X-Band uplink capability at the Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia, stations; completion of the mechanical life extension study for the Deep Space Networks 70-meter antennas; automation of the 26-meter antenna operations at Goldstone station; automation of the packet telemetry processing facility that supports the Hubble Space Telescope; installation of a 5-meter Ka-Band antenna at Wallops Flight Facility to support flight demonstrations; initiation of construction of a new 34-meter antenna at Madrid, to be operational for the armada of spacecraft arriving at Mars in late 2003/early 2004; and preparations for the launch of TDRS-I and TDRS-J.
There were 18 U.S. Expendable Launch Vehicle launches in FY 2001. Seven of the 18 launches were NASA-managed missions, 9 were Department of Defense (DoD)-managed missions, and 2 were FAA-licensed commercial launches. In addition, NASA flew one payload as a secondary payload on one of the FAA-licensed commercial launches. The last launch of the fiscal year was a NASA-managed launch from the Alaska Spaceport on Kodiak Island, the first orbital launch from the new commercial Spaceport. There was one launch failure this year. An FAA-licensed launch of the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) Taurus with a NASA secondary payload onboard did not achieve orbit due to a launch vehicle first-stage failure.
NASA began a new Spaceport and Range Technology Development Initiative to develop and demonstrate advanced spaceport and range technologies to keep pace with the upgrades of current and the development of new launch vehicles. This initiative was an outgrowth of an Administration interagency study on the primary Federal launch ranges. The Kennedy Space Center is leading the initiative. Throughout FY 2001, NASA continued to define potential human/robotic exploration architectures and technologies through the efforts of an interagency planning team. As reported in FY 2000, the Decadal Planning Team (now known as the NASA Exploration Team or NEXT) focused upon science-driven and technology-enabled capabilities for future applications and destinations. These studies have changed the way NASA has approached exploration, and, at the end of the fiscal year, NASA planned to continue them.
To tackle the many technical challenges, the HEDS Technology and Commercialization Initiative (HTCI) was initiated following a 6-month program formulation involving numerous NASA Enterprises, Field Centers, universities, and companies. The focus of this initiative was to identify new concepts and develop new technologies to enable the future human/robotic exploration and commercial development of space. In February 2001, HTCI issued a Cooperative Agreement Notice that yielded 152 proposals, from which 43 were recommended for funding in May 2001. Unfortunately, however, a few months later, HTCI funds were frozen, and then the funds were transferred to the ISS Program to cover budget issues.
In lieu of HTCI as a means of implementing technology research in the near term, efforts to foster development continued by cooperative interaction among the NASA Enterprises and Centers. The cooperation encompasses a continuing specific focus in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The SBIR/STTR programs in the Advanced Programs Office are geared to support HEDS technology research with focused topics in high-priority technologies. In addition, the programs have been given a push in nontraditional research avenues via the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) outreach activity. This activity resulted in a new STTR phase one contract in FY 2001 and is expected to generate additional contracts in FY 2002. The HBCU research institutions represent a far underutilized resource that could form a new approach toward meeting the HEDS technology challenges.
In the space science arena, NASA successfully launched three spacecraft in FY 2001: the 2001 Mars Odyssey, the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), and Genesis. In addition, the many spacecraft already operating delivered a wealth of scientific data.
The launch of Odyssey in April 2001 represented a milestone for space science: the rebirth of the Mars program after the devastating losses of Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander in late 1999. Odyssey was the first Mars mission designed under the newly renovated Mars program, so naturally all eyes were focused closely on this particular mission. From the beginning, the spacecraft operated beautifully, but the proof would not come until the spacecraft successfully achieved Mars Orbit Insertion after the close of FY 2001.
In June 2001, NASA launched the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, a mission designed to measure the temperature of the cosmic background radiation over the full sky with unprecedented accuracy. This map of the remnant heat from the Big Bang will provide answers to fundamental questions about the origin and fate of our universe. Immediately after the end of FY 2001, MAP arrived safely at its permanent observing station at L2 Lagrange Point, some 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, and scientists eagerly await the data it will deliver over its 2-year prime mission.
In August 2001, NASA launched a unique Sun-Earth Connection mission called Genesis. Genesis is designed to collect particles of solar wind in an attempt to answer two fundamental scientific questions: What is the Sun made of? Are the Earth and other planets made of the same stuff? At the end of FY 2001, the spacecraft was on its million-mile journey toward the Sun.
NASAs other orbiting spacecraft continued to deliver many new scientific discoveries and fascinating images. The Hubble Space Telescopenow in orbit for 12 yearsdiscovered a supernova blast in the early universe that greatly bolsters the case for the existence of a mysterious form of "dark energy" pervading the universe. The concept of dark energy, which shoves galaxies away from each other at an ever-increasing speed, was first proposedand then discardedby Albert Einstein early in the last century. The Hubble discovery also reinforces the startling idea that the universe only recently began to speed up.
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker spacecraft achieved an unprecedented feat in FY 2001. It conducted the first soft landing on an asteroid following a year-long orbital mission at the asteroid Eros, during which the mission returned enormous quantities of scientific data and images.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory celebrated 2 years in orbit and continued unlocking secrets of mysterious high-energy astrophysical events. Chandra enhanced our understanding of black holes on many fronts. It took the deepest x-ray images ever and found the early universe teeming with black holes, it probed the theoretical edge of a black hole known as the event horizon, and it captured the first x-ray flare ever seen from the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way.
The Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) made news when a stellar apocalypse yielded the first evidence of water-bearing worlds beyond our solar system. The SWAS observations provided the first evidence that extra-solar planetary systems contain water, an essential ingredient for known forms of life.
The Mars Global Surveyor continued to send back tens of thousands of surface images over the past year that featured dust storms, dust devils, 3-D sand dunes, a recent image of "the face," and dark streaks that may have been caused by dust avalanches. Other images revealed evidence of ground ice on Mars as recently as 10 million years ago.
With more than 30 space science missions currently in operation, these highlights represent only a fraction of the scientific discoveries and insights that the Office of Space Science gained over the past year. At the end of FY 2001, the Space Science Enterprise planned to launch seven new missions before the end of 2002, covering a wide variety of new scientific objectives.
FY 2001 was the most successful year to date for NASAs Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) in fulfilling its mission to develop a scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to natural and human-induced changes so as to enable improved prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards for present and future generations. ESEs unique vantage point of space allowed unprecedented global views of the Earth systems atmosphere, land, oceans, ice, and life. ESE combines space observations with airborne and in situ measurements, data analysis, and modeling to conduct basic research and provide validated data products. In FY 2001, ESE more than doubled its output of top-rated scientific discoveries compared to previous years. Together with its partners, ESE enhanced the availability of Earth science results to decisionmakers, providing a sound, scientific basis for economic investment and policy decisions. ESEs strategic goals in FY 2001 were to expand scientific knowledge by characterizing the Earth system, disseminate information about the Earth system, and enable the productive use of ESE science and technology in the public and private sectors.
On November 21, 2000, ESE successfully launched the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) technology demonstration satellite, its first New Millennium Program mission. EO-1 included the worlds first space-based hyperspectral sensor. At one-quarter the weight and one-third the cost of traditional Landsat satellites, EO-1 demonstrated its ability to produce Landsat-like imagery at a fraction of the mission costs. EO-1 flies in formation with the Earth Observing System Terra (EOS-Terra) satellite, Landsat 7, and the joint U.S.-Argentina SAC-C satellite, and has demonstrated the satellite constellation concept in which the combined capabilities create a super-satellite. Once validated, several of the EO-1 technologies will be turned over to the private sector for commercial development.
Two international collaborations in FY 2001 provided new tools that should allow policymakers and scientists to identify major sources of air pollution and to track the movement of pollution globally. ESE and its partners tracked hazardous smoke and smog around the globe using the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Earth Probe (TOMS-EP). By examining data from Indonesian and African fires in 1997, researchers discovered that smoke and smog move through the atmosphere in different ways. In the second collaboration, ESE developed the most complete view of the worlds air pollution using new observations from the Canadian Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument on the Terra spacecraft. Analysis of the new data revealed that plumes of carbon monoxide travel across the world, and that air pollution therefore is not just a local issue. Early warning of pollution events can help to mitigate their potentially hazardous effects on human health.
ESE successfully conducted an international field experiment, the Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific (TRACE-P) airborne campaign. During the 45-day campaign in March/April 2001, ESE scientists combined data collected by two specially equipped NASA airplanes flying near Hong Kong and Japan with satellite and ground station measurements. By studying the seasonal airflow from Asia across the Pacific, researchers gained insight into the way in which natural and human-induced changes affect our global climate and contributed to our understanding of the dynamics of atmospheric chemistry.
Using 3 years of continuous, daily observations of ocean algae and land plants from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) launched in 1997, ESE created the most comprehensive global biological record of the Earth ever assembled. Researchers are using the record, which ESE plans to extend to 10 years or more, to study the fate of carbon in the atmosphere, the length of growing seasons, and the vitality of the oceans food web. Other uses include monitoring the health of coral reefs, tracking harmful "red tides" and algae blooms, and improving global climate models.
In FY 2001, ESE made advances in understanding seasonal to interannual climate change. The Clouds and Earths Radiation Energy System (CERES) instrument on the Terra spacecraft provided the most accurate and first complete year of global radiation measurements. Using Terras ability to collect data twice per day over the entire planet, the new measurements captured both incoming and outgoing energy globally. The results from a second NASA-funded study suggested that solar activity affects the jet stream over North America, possibly causing a change in cloud cover patterns. In years of increased solar activity, more ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by stratospheric ozone, which warms the stratosphere and may affect circulation in the troposphere. Researchers found that the U.S. is on average 2 percent cloudier in years of solar maximum. Understanding the links between solar radiation, atmospheric chemistry, cloud cover, and atmospheric circulation will help narrow the uncertainties in predictions of both weather and future climate change. ESE and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) completed the second Antarctic Mapping Mission that was begun in FY 2000. By precisely navigating the CSAs RADARSAT-1 satellite to obtain data from six passes, researchers created detailed topographic maps and were able to measure the speed of moving glaciers. The first-ever velocity map of the Lambert Glacier revealed that the ice stream reaches speeds of more than 1 kilometer per year. By comparing the new map of Antarctica with the first map made in 1997, researches found that some glaciers are retreating while others are advancing. The full map should be completed in FY 2002. ESE researchers also monitored the development of a crack 15 miles long in Antarcticas Pine Island Glacierevidence of the imminent birth of a massive icebergusing images from Landsat 7, Terra, CSAs RADARSAT, and the European Space Agencys radar imager. These results are giving scientists a better understanding of long-term change in the polar regions, a very sensitive component of the Earth system.
ESE was also highly successful in disseminating Earth science data and information. The Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) manages data from NASAs past and current Earth science research satellites and field measurement programs. The EOSDIS network was very successful in FY 2001, distributing more data faster as the median product delivery time was reduced to less than 1 day. EOSDIS distributed approximately 1.2 million data products per month in response to approximately 150,000 user requests. In addition, ESE conducted 482 workshops training K12 teachers on Earth science education products, reaching 9,295 educators (K12). Schools participating in Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) increased to 13,800, and participating countries increased to 97.
Finally, FY 2001 was also a successful year for enabling productive use of ESE science and technology. Using a newly developed 512-node Silicon Graphics, Inc., supercomputer, ESE researchers simulated more than 900 days of the Earths climate in 1 day of computer time. Previous capability had been limited to the simulation of 70 days. Researchers demonstrated experimental seasonal climate predictions using ESE data sets from the TOPEX/Poseidon, SeaWiFS, TRMM, and Terra satellites. The combination of a faster computer, more accurate climate models, and the use of more global satellite observations will result in more accurate prediction of climate change for policy makers.
To improve access to and understanding of remote-sensing data, ESE hosted five workshops around the United States. The workshops demonstrated the use of ESE science and technology to over 550 decisionmakers representing nearly every state. A survey conducted during the workshops found that 35 percent of respondents had never used satellite data. A follow-up survey after the workshops demonstrated that the number fell to 20 percent.
In FY 2001, ESE worked to extend the benefits of remote sensing to policymakers in urban and rural areas. Researchers at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Earth Science Applications Center produced more accurate and detailed maps of major cities around the country using Landsat-7 data. These maps should help urban planners studying city growth and how rainfall runoff over paved surfaces impacts regional water quality. ESE also provided imagery from the EOS-Terra satellite to the Rapid Response Project for tracking and combating wildfires in the Western United States. Federal, State and local Governments, and firefighters used the data to help mitigate this natural disaster. In a third effort, ESE created a commercial partnership that will place advanced Global Positioning Satellite technologies in tractors, giving American farmers access to precision farming technologies. Precision farming helps farmers use less water, fertilizer, and weed control, reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture and increasing efficiencies in food and fiber production.
Through a collaborative project with the Department of Defense, ESE continued to monitor and predict disease outbreaks in an effort to reduce their impact on society. Using near-real-time satellite vegetation measurements and associated climate data sets, scientists developed the capability to make predictions about emerging Rift Valley Fever (RVF) epidemics in East Africa several months before an outbreak occurs. Additionally, ESE investigators provided data support to the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research during an RVF outbreak in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
In the area of aeronautics and aerospace technology, NASA's Office of Aerospace Technology (OAT) continued to manage a portfolio of technology development activities designed to improve air travel, making it safer, faster, and quieter, as well as more affordable, accessible, and environmentally sound. It also continued working to develop more affordable, reliable, and safe access to space; improve the way in which air and space vehicles are designed and built; and ensure new aerospace technologies are available to benefit the public.
In the area of aviation safety, there were a number of significant accomplishments. NASA demonstrated a "daisy-chain flight control allocation scheme," based on a second-generation neural flight control architecture applied to generic transport aircraft simulation. The daisy-chain scheme utilizes remaining operational surfaces and the propulsion system in an unconventional manner (e.g., symmetric ailerons or symmetric throttles for pitch control and rudder or differential throttles for yaw-based roll control) in order to compensate for more severe failures. These simulations showed that the system provided redundant control power in the event of the loss of actuator control, additional control authority in the event of actuator control saturation, and demonstrated ability to provide improved handling qualities for severe failures in a reduced flight envelope that would otherwise result in a catastrophic event.
The aviation safety program system selected design concepts that showed the greatest promise for accident prevention in the areas of fire prevention, fire detection, synthetic vision, and an integrated vehicle health management for continued development. One of these, the tactical Synthetic Vision System (SVS) is a technology that has the potential to eliminate low-visibility conditions as a causal factor to civil aircraft accidents, as well as replicate the operational benefits of flight operations on a clear, sunny day, regardless of the outside weather condition or time of day. Flight demonstration of conventional media head-up and head-down tactical SVS display concepts intended for retrofit in commercial and business aircraft were conducted over a three-week period in August and September 2001. Seven evaluation pilots representing Boeing, the FAA, and three major airlines conducted 11 research flights for a total of 106 airport approaches. The concepts were evaluated in flight tests designed to evaluate pilot acceptability/usability and terrain awareness benefits. Early results indicated that pilot terrain awareness was higher when using the selected SVS display concepts compared to present-day displays.
Studies have shown that 5 to 10 percent of rotorcraft accidents are the result of gear failure and drive train failure. NASA personnel established design guidelines to prevent catastrophic rim fractures. This work should enable ultra-safe gears to be designed, eliminating nearly all catastrophic failure modes for lightweight thin-rimmed aircraft gears. The model accurately predicts crack propagation paths and has been validated using the NASA Gear Fatigue Test Rig.
During FY 2001, NASA developed the Collaborative Arrival Planner (CAP) tool to exchange real-time air traffic control information with Airline Operational Control (AOC) centers such that decisions made by AOCs regarding their aircraft operations could be based on the most up-to-date information possible. This increased arrival prediction accuracy in the AOCs has enabled airlines to make better decisions regarding flight diversions, gate utilization, and push-back times, leading to improved operational efficiency and financial savings. In addition, an en route decision support tool for efficient, conflict-free routing was also developed. The "Direct-to" (D-2) decision support tool underwent field testing in the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center. The D-2 controller tool identifies aircraft that can save flight time by flying directly to a down-stream fix along its route of flight. This technology has demonstrated the ability to save several minutes per flight, with commensurate reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. Finally, NASA personnel developed and flight tested an Air Traffic Control (ATC)/cockpit information exchange capability. Software tools that support decisionmaking by ATC require an ability to accurately predict future aircraft positions during flight. To perform long-range trajectory predictions, Center TRACON Automation System (CTAS) relies on the availability of aircraft state, aircraft performance, flight plan intent, and atmospheric data. The ATC/cockpit information exchange successfully demonstrated the capability to downlink aircraft state and intent information from the cockpit directly to CTAS by means of a real-time air-to-ground data link. A comparison of climb predictions at 15,000 feet to actual radar tracks showed that the direct downlink predictions reduced the peak altitude error by over 3,000 feet from the standard system.
NASA continued conducting a balanced effort at making major advances in aircraft noise reduction. Previously, NASA had demonstrated technologies that resulted in a 5-decibel reduction in aviation noise. In FY 2001, researchers tested additional technologies including a Pratt & Whitney 4098 engine and improved inlets. NASA personnel also conducted tests to separate and assess core noise. Airframe noise-reduction concepts (flap edge, slat cove, flap and slat trailing edge treatments, and landing gear modifications) were validated on the Subsonic Technology Assessment Research model, a detailed 26 percent Boeing 777, which was tested in the 40 x 80-foot tunnel at NASAs Ames Research Center. Two flight tests were conducted to validate engine system noise reduction. A "chevron" nozzle and other jet noise-reduction concepts were validated on a Lear 25, and both jet and fan noise-reduction concepts were validated on a Falcon 20. A system analysis of the test results demonstrated an additional 2-decibel reduction for large transport aircraft and 3 decibels for regional and business classes of aircraft.
In the area of technology innovation, NASA set a new world altitude record for a solar-powered aircraft, reaching an altitude of 96,863 feet on August 13, 2001 from the U.S. Navys Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Although short of the 100,000-foot altitude that project officials hoped for, the altitude is the highest ever flown by a nonrocket-powered aircraft in sustained horizontal flight and well above the current world altitude record of 85,068 feet for sustained horizontal flight by a conventional aircraft, set by a U.S. Air Force Lockheed SR-71A reconnaissance aircraft in July 1976. It also surpassed the existing altitude record for propeller-driven aircraft, 80,201 feet, set by the Helios Prototypes predecessor, the Pathfinder-Plus, in August 1998. The 96,863-foot record altitude remains unofficial, however, until certified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.
The Helios Prototype flew for more than 40 minutes above a 96,000-foot altitude before beginning its descent. It was in the air for almost 17 hours on the record flight, having lifted off the PMRF runway at 8:48 a.m. and landing at 1:43 a.m. the following morning after a 9.5-hour descent. Electrical power for post-sunset flight was provided by the generating capability of the motors using the windmill effects of the propellers as the aircraft glided down.
Production variants of Helios might see service as long-term Earth environmental monitors, disaster monitoring, as well as communications relays, reducing dependence on satellites and providing service in areas not covered by satellites. The record altitude flight also provided NASA and AeroVironment with information on how an aircraft would fly in a Mars-like atmospheric condition, since the atmosphere at that altitude above the Earth is similar to the atmosphere near the Martian surface.
Another aircraft mission was not as successful. The X-43A is designed to be the first scramjet-powered vehicle, capable of attaining speeds as high as Mach 10. The X-43A mission on June 2, 2001 was lost moments after the X-43A and its launch vehicle were released from the wing of the NASA B-52 carrier aircraft. Following launch vehicle ignition, the combined launch vehicle and X-43A experienced structural failure, deviated from its flight path, and was deliberately terminated. A Mishap Investigation Board (MIB) was immediately formed and began conducting a thorough review of the failure. The MIB results were released in April 2002 and will be addressed prior to scheduling the next X-43 flight.
With the cessation of the X-33 and the X-34 programs, the Aerospace Technology Enterprise has taken a new approach toward developing reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technologies to enable the eventual routine access to space. This effort is called the Second-Generation RLV Program. In FY 2001, NASA awarded contracts valued at $767 million to 22 contractors, including large and small companies, to allow maximum competition. The money will be used to develop concepts and the technologies needed to pioneer this extraordinary effort, which is expected to make the vehicle at least 10 times safer and crew survivability 100 times greater, all at one-tenth the cost of todays space launch systems.
At the beginning of FY 2001, NASA created the Biological and Physical Research Enterprise (BPR) to strengthen NASAs interdisciplinary program of research in space. As humans make the first steps off Earth and into space, we enter a new realm of opportunity to explore profound questions, new and old, about the laws of nature. At the same time, we enter an environment unique in our evolutionary history that poses serious physiological, psychological, and environmental challenges. NASAs Biological and Physical Research Enterprise addresses the opportunities and challenges of space flight through basic and applied research on the ground and in space. BPR seeks to exploit the rich opportunities of space flight for fundamental research and commercial development, while conducting research to enable efficient and effective systems for protecting and sustaining humans in space.
The Biological and Physical Research Enterprise (BPRE) closed its first fiscal year with a significant record of accomplishment. The Enterprise initiated a program of research on the International Space Station to take advantage of available resources during the construction phase, released three NASA research announcements, and strengthened its research investigator community.
BPR established a new Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, conducted a joint research solicitation with the National Cancer Institute, and continued work under 18 other agreements with the National Institutes of Health. In a truly auspicious sign of things to come, a BPRE investigator received the Nobel Prize in physics for ground-based research that he plans to extend and expand on the International Space Station.
FY 2001 also included major efforts to restructure International Space Station research. These efforts respond to substantial reductions in available budgets for research equipment (facilities), support, and operations. In addition, BPR continued working to address potential reductions in available onorbit resources for research. While this restructuring is of central importance for the future of ISS research, it did not materially affect resources necessary for executing BPRs planned research program in fiscal year 2001.
ISS outfitting for research began with the delivery of the Human Research Facility in March 2001. NASA delivered two research equipment racks in mid-April and an additional two at the beginning of Expedition 3 in August 2001. At the end of the fiscal year, the Agency is on track to deliver another five research equipment racks by the end of 2002. Despite underestimation of Station maintenance requirements and a greater-than-expected volume of "off-normal" activities during Expeditions 1 and 2, the ISS team was able to meet the minimum research objectives of these increments.
The Expedition 1 crew initiated a small number of U.S. research activities, including crew Earth observations, the Educational SEEDS experiment (plant growth in microgravity), biological crystal growth (structural biology), space technology motion and vibration experiments, and human research baseline data collection.
With Expedition 2, completed in July, the research program on the ISS was underway. Eighteen experiments were conducted. The Expedition focus was on biomedical research and included studies of biological effects of space radiation, characterization of the ISS radiation environment, bone loss and spinal cord response during space flight, and interpersonal influences on crewmember and crew-ground interactions. Other experiments included plant germination and growth; Earth observations; and experiments aimed at resolving the exact structures of important biological molecules.
Research on Expedition 3 included 8 new and 10 continuing experiments. New Expedition 3 experiments included investigation of the mechanism that causes space travelers to suffer from dizziness and an inability to stand on returning to Earth (a condition called orthostatic intolerance); a study of heart and lung function in space and as affected by spacewalks; a study of the risk factors associated with kidney stone formation during and after space flight; new techniques for structural biology in space; and a study of materials passively exposed to the space environment around the ISS to better define changes in material properties and onorbit degradation trends.
Research results from the ISS will be forthcoming as data are collected and analyzed. Results reported in FY 2001 based on earlier research missions and ground-based experiments support continued progress in understanding and controlling the negative effects of space travel.
Research published in 2001 suggests that the human brain contains an internal model of gravity and that this model may be very difficult or potentially even impossible to "unlearn." (Nature Neuroscience, 4, 693694, 2001). Astronauts quickly adjust to many of the challenges of orientation and movement associated with space flight, but the new results suggest there may be limits to this adaptability. Astronauts attempted to catch a "falling" object moving at different constant speeds. The test subjects proved unable to adjust to the fact that such objects do not "fall" faster and faster in space. The expectation that a "falling" object would accelerate proved impossible to unlearn over the course of this brief experiment. This experiment raises the possibility that the nervous system may contain a "hardwired" model of gravity. If confirmed, this would be a fundamental discovery that could influence medical treatments for people with damaged or impaired nervous systems. In addition, this finding has important implications for the design of safe and efficient environments and systems for human space flight.
In what may be a breakthrough for astronauts and osteoporosis victims alike, researchers were able to prevent bone loss using mild vibrations (FASEB J, October 2001). Normally, rats lose bone when their hind limbs are suspended and no longer support the weight of the body. BPRE researchers were able to counteract this bone loss by exposing the rats to mild vibrations. This study opens the door to a new method for controlling the 1% per month loss of bone that astronauts experience in space, and clinical studies are planned to determine the usefulness of vibration for treating or preventing osteoporosis on Earth.
In addition to research aimed at controlling the physical challenges of space flight, BPR exploits the space environment to conduct unique experiments in physics, chemistry, and biology that would be impossible to conduct on Earth. A broader program of ground-based research supports research progress in space and develops new hypotheses for testing.
2001 was a banner year for BPRE basic physics research. Early in the year, BPRE researchers reported that they had "brought light to a full stop, held it, and then sent it on its way." (Physical Review Letters, January 29, 2001, Vol. 86, Issue 5). Researchers used lasers they developed under BPRE funding to bring a beam of light to a complete stop in a specially designed trap, and then released it again.
Another team of BPRE researchers created a gas cloud riddled with tiny whirlpools like those that cause "starquakes." (Science, Vol. 292, No. 5516, 20 April 2001). The researchers used an ultra-cold cloud of sodium gas and quantum effects to create a physical model of phenomena that take place deep inside distant stars.
The importance of this kind of low-temperature physics research was reinforced at the end of 2001 when Dr. Ketterle was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his seminal BPRE-funded work on Bose-Einstein Condensate, a new state of matter in which individual atoms merge into each other.
These experiments represent substantial milestones in physicists quest to study quantum phenomena (physical phenomena that are ordinarily only observable at microscopic scales) in macroscopic systems. This research could have far-reaching implications for the future of information and communication technologies.
In biotechnology research, a research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology grew heart tissue with "significantly improved" structural and electrophysiological properties using NASA bioreactor technology (Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Jan. 2001). Unlike tissue grown using more conventional technology, the tissue grown in the NASA bioreactor was actually made to beat like native heart tissue. The NASA bioreactor allows researchers to grow tissues in the laboratory that much more faithfully reproduce the properties of natural tissues in the body. These tissues allow researchers to explore mechanisms of disease and may ultimately improve processes for creating engineered tissue for use in treatment and transplant.
Twenty-four cell cultures, including colon, kidney, neuroendocrine, and ovarian cell cultures, were grown aboard the ISS in 2001. This represents our first opportunity to use a sophisticated bioreactor to grow cells in space. Bioreactor cell growth in microgravity permits cultivation of tissue cultures of sizes and quantities not possible on Earth. Cells may grow in low gravity more like they grow in the human body, increasing research capability in areas pertinent to the study of human diseases.
BPR provides knowledge, policies, and technical support to facilitate industry investment in space research. BPR enables commercial researchers to take advantage of space flight opportunities for proprietary research. FY 2001 included continued growth in the number of commercial partners participating in the program and an initial set of 56 experiments conducted aboard the ISS.
In fiscal year 2001, StelSys (a joint venture of FVI and In Vitro Technologies) signed an agreement with NASA to explore commercial applications of bioreactor technology research specifically in areas related to biological systems.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Center for BioServe Space Technologies reported that production of antibiotics is substantially greater in microgravity than on the ground with more antibiotic produced in flight samples. They are working to apply this research to ground-based processes.
BPRs Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering (CBSE) formed an exclusive partnership with Athersys, Inc., a premier genomics company. Genomics is the science of describing the proteins that are encoded by the genes in our DNA. CBSE has developed a world-class capability to determine the exact shapes and structures of proteins through the process of protein crystallography. Precise information on the protein structure is critical to the design of highly specific and effective new drugs.
BPR seeks to use its research activities to encourage educational excellence and to improve scientific literacy from primary school through the university level and beyond. We deliver value to the American people by facilitating access to the experience and excitement of space research. BPRE strives to involve society as a whole in the transformations that will be brought about by research in space.
During FY 2001, BPR held its first interactive education and public outreach broadcast as part of a technically oriented Pan Pacific Microgravity Workshop. BPR revamped its material on the Worldwide Web to reflect our new NASA Enterprise status and mission, and to group material specifically for public, educational, and technical audiences. The Enterprise had requests for and distributed over 4,000 interactive CDs explaining space flight and space research to the layperson and educator as a result of our electric light tower exhibit touring the country. In collaboration with the USAF Academy Department of Biology, we completed development of an undergraduate-level course in Space Biology.
During FY 2001, NASA continued its international activities, expanding cooperation with its partners through new agreements, discussions in multilateral fora, and support for ongoing missions. NASA concluded over 90 cooperative and reimbursable international agreements for projects in each of NASAs five Strategic Enterprises. These agreements included ground-based research, aircraft campaigns, and satellite missions in the fields of Earth science, space science, and human space flight and research. Significant international agreements signed during FY 2001 include several government-to-government framework agreements, under which future cooperation will be carried out, and agency-to-agency Memoranda of Understanding for specific projects.
In the area of framework agreements, the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Hungary on Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes was signed on May 14, 2001. This agreement establishes the foundation for future bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Hungary in the areas of space science, Earth and atmospheric science, and human space exploration. The Agreement Between NASA and the National Commission for Space Activities of the Argentine Republic for Cooperation in the Civil Uses of Space was extended on August 2, 2001, for an additional l5 years. This agreement provides the framework for strengthening cooperation in the uses of space for research in Earth science and global climate change.
In space science, specifically in the area of solar system exploration, NASA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) signed an Implementing Agreement for Flight of the Russian High-Energy Neutron Detector (HEND) instrument to fly on NASAs Mars 2001 Odyssey mission. This mission was launched by NASA on April 7, 2001 and entered the orbit of Mars after the end of FY 2001. The HEND instrument will provide unique data to scientists to assist in the ongoing search for water on Mars. NASA also signed project-level agreements for scientific participation by Germany and Denmark in NASAs Mars Exploration Rover mission, to be launched in 2003. In the area of space physics, NASA signed project-level agreements covering the participation of several nations in NASAs planned Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory mission: Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, and Hungary, and the European Space Agency (ESA). In astrophysics, NASA signed initial project-level agreements with the ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for cooperation in the Next-Generation Space Telescope mission, NASAs planned follow-on to the highly successful Hubble Space Telescope mission. In addition, NASA signed a series of project-level agreements with ESA covering U.S. participation in several future ESA astrophysics and planetary missions: the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, the International Rosetta mission (an in situ investigation of the Comet Wirtanen), and Mars Express. The NASA Astrobiology Institute accepted two new international affiliate members during FY 2001, the United Kingdom Astrobiology Forum and the Australia Centre for Astrobiology.
In Earth science, NASA and the CSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the SciSat-1 Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) mission on October 24, 2000. As of the end of FY 2001, the SciSat-1 ACE mission was scheduled for launch no earlier than December 2002. The objective of the SciSat-1 ACE mission is to improve our understanding of the chemical processes involved in the depletion of the ozone layer, with particular emphasis on the processes occurring over Canada and the Arctic. On May 29, 2001, NASA and The Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programmes signed an MoU for the Dutch-built Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to fly on NASAs Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura spacecraft, scheduled for launch in mid-2003. OMI will measure total column ozone, ozone profiles, and other atmospheric constituents, such as clouds and aerosols. These important measurements will help scientists determine how the Earths ozone layer and ultraviolet radiation is responding to the phase-out of ozone-destroying chemicals, as well as to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and atmospheric particulates (e.g., dust and soot) caused by human activity.
Also in Earth science, NASA and the Israel Space Agency signed an MOU for cooperation related to the Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on August 16, 2001. Both agencies are now completing work on the Israeli instrument, which is scheduled for flight as a secondary payload on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2002. The primary objective of the MEIDEX payload is to investigate the geographical variation of the optical, physical, and chemical properties of desert aerosols, including the location and temporal variation of its sinks, sources, and transport. An Israeli payload specialist, Colonel Ilan Ramon, who will be the first Israeli to fly in space, will conduct the MEIDEX experiment in flight. NASA established a series of agreements with institutes from Japan, China, Taiwan, and Germany in support of the NASA Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific atmospheric science experiment. This experiment, which included NASA aircraft and ground-validation sites, was conducted in March and April 2001 in Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan.
In addition, NASA and the Argentine Space Commission (CONAE) signed an agreement for an airborne validation campaign on December 27, 2000, to complement cooperation between NASA and CONAE under the Memorandum of Understanding for the Scientific Applications Satellite-C (SAC-C) Earth Observing Mission (signed October 28, 1996). Under this agreement, the NASA Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) was deployed to Argentina to conduct calibration and validation activities for the EO-1 and SAC-C satellites shortly after their joint launch in November 2000.
In human space flight and research, the NASA Administrator led a NASA delegation to witness the historic launch of the first crew (Expedition 1) to the International Space Station (ISS), which took place at the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on October 31, 2000. Following approval procedures in the U.S., Japan, and Russia, the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) Concerning Cooperation on the Civil International Space Station entered into force on March 28, 2001. The International Space Station Partners approved the flight of the first space flight participant, Mr. Dennis Tito, to the ISS in April 2001 aboard a Soyuz taxi mission. In December 2000, as part of the U.S. Government team, NASA successfully concluded discussions with the government of Japan that clarified and updated the 1995 Agreement Between the United States and the Government of Japan Concerning Cross-Waiver of Liability for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Space for Peaceful Purposes. This agreement ensures that Japan and the United States agree to waive liability claims for cooperative U.S./Japan space activities.
Also during FY 2001, NASA participated in numerous multilateral fora
and meetings designed to review ongoing cooperation or to foster new cooperation.
These included: the Inter-Agency Consultative Group for Space Science
and its International Living with a Star Task Group; the Committee on
Earth Observing Satellites; the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses
of Outer Space and its subcommittees; the ISS IGA Triennial Review; the
ISS Forum 2001; and the International Astronautical Federation. NASA senior
management engaged in bilateral discussions with current and potential
future international partners, hosting meetings with space officials from
around the world, and visiting foreign space officials and facilities.
One of the developments in this regard was the initiation of preliminary
discussions between the U.S. Government and the government of Turkey on
potential civil space cooperation. A Turkish Space Symposium was held
in May 2001 in Ankara, Turkey, and senior NASA management participated
in this meeting. Several months later, a high-level Turkish delegation
visited NASA Headquarters and several NASA Field Centers in August 2001
to continue the exploratory discussions.