Modernday Torture Chamber

For the science crew, at least, to say that SLS-1 was their 'home' for the next week would not be an over-exaggeration, for as well as working in the Spacelab module, they also slept there, finding it more comfortable than the cramped middeck. ''They all thought it was a great place to sleep,'' O'Connor told Mission Control. Moreover, all seven astronauts typically put their all into their work, starting their science activities earlier than timetabled and working through mealtimes. The result was a dramatic increase in the overall scientific yield from the mission.

One of the most important experiments focused on the heart, lungs and blood vessels and was slightly delayed on 5 June when a crucial piece of equipment - the Gas Analyser Mass Spectrometer (GAMS) - experienced difficulties and needed additional time to stabilise itself. Detailed studies were conducted into the cause of light-headedness reported by many astronauts upon standing after landing; one experiment tested the theory that it may arise because the normal reflex system regulating blood pressure behaves differently after adapting to microgravity. Crew members wore a specially designed neck cuff, akin to a 'whiplash collar', that detected blood-pressure levels in their necks.

Other experiments evaluated how rapidly astronauts adapted to microgravity through prolonged expiration and 'rebreathing' - inhaling previously exhaled gases -while at rest or pedalling a stationary bicycle. This yielded data on the amount of blood being pumped out by the heart, oxygen usage and the amount of carbon

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