Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Mars Exploration News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

The Journey to Mars Begins with People on Earth
by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Oct 06, 2015

The Payload Operations Integration Center at Marshall serves as NASA's mission control for science activities on the International Space Station. Flight controllers at the POIC plan and coordinate research on the station and are on-hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help astronauts and scientists on the ground with hundreds of investigations. Image courtesy NASA. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Scientists around the world are advancing knowledge of our world and beyond using the state-of-the-art facilities in the International Space Station. But all of the action isn't in space. Much of what makes an experiment successful takes place before the science investigation makes it to orbit.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, has hundreds of experts working on the ground to ensure successful science operations in space to benefit people on Earth and pave the way for deep space exploration.

More than 2,400 scientists from greater than 83 countries have conducted more than 1,700 investigations on the space station. The laboratory offers unique characteristics such as a microgravity environment, a great view of Earth and direct exposure to space.

It is impossible for all of those scientists to work with their orbiting investigations first hand in space, so they work closely with the flight controllers at the Payload Operations Integration Center (POIC) at Marshall.

The POIC is essentially NASA's mission control for science aboard the space station. It is responsible for planning and executing research and integrating science payloads ranging from understanding the effects of long duration spaceflight on the human body to growing and harvesting food aboard the station.

Two space station crew members - NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko - are now halfway through their one-year mission, staying in orbit nearly twice as long as the standard mission to the space station. Throughout the year, they and other crew members have measured changes in motor skills, eyesight, fluid shifts in their bodies and basic neurology. Data drawn from these studies will affect all aspects of the journey to Mars, from space suit design to the menus for meals and even recreation periods during flight.

Astronauts on the space station recently took another step toward self-sufficiency by harvesting and eating vegetables grown on the station. The Veggie investigation provides lighting and nutrient supply for plants in a low-cost growth chamber. The chamber can support a variety of plant species that can be cultivated for fresh food for crew members on long-duration missions.

Veggie is a low mass, low maintenance system. Data from this investigation also could benefit agricultural practices on Earth by designing systems that use valuable resources, such as water, more efficiently.

Flight controllers at the POIC are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help astronauts in orbit and scientists on the ground with hundreds of investigations. Work on the experiments begins before it ever gets to space with concept, planning and training to define all the requirements for the investigation.

Payload controllers work with scientists to ensure the experiment will work in space, even before it launches. Once installed on the station, the POIC provides payload telemetry processing, command uplink, and planning capabilities for local flight controllers and international partners.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Veggies at NASA
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Space experts swoon for 'The Martian' despite inaccuracies
Miami (AFP) Sept 25, 2015
Surviving in space is hard and scientists say "The Martian" shows precisely what challenges astronauts will face on a pioneering mission to Mars, even though it contains some big inaccuracies right from the get-go. Case in point - the colossal storm that causes the crew to abandon the movie's main character, botanist Mark Watney played by Matt Damon, would not have packed much of a punch on ... read more

Space startup confirms plans for robotic moon landings

Asteroids found to be the moon's main 'water supply'

Russian scientist hope to get rocket fuel, water, oxygen from Lunar ice

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Dance with Eclipses

Exhibition on "father of Chinese rocketry" opens in U.S.

The First Meeting of the U.S.-China Space Dialogue

China's new carrier rocket succeeds in 1st trip

China launches new type of carrier rocket: state media

Meet the International Docking Adapter

NASA extends Boeing contract for International Space Station

Russian launches cargo spaceship to the ISS

Successful re-entry of H-II Transfer Vehicle Kounotori5

Pluto's Big Moon Charon Reveals a Colorful and Violent History

Layman help sought in solving dwarf planet mysteries

Pluto at Twilight

New 'Snakeskin' Image and More from New Horizons

Saturn's Moon Enceladus Hosts A Global Ocean

Cassini Finds Global Ocean in Saturn's Moon Enceladus

Under Saturnian moon's icy crust lies a 'global' ocean

At Saturn, One of These Rings is not like the Others

SMOS meets ocean monsters

Monsoon mission: A better way to predict Indian weather

Satellite Data Helps Migrating Birds Survive

exactEarth Launches Advanced Equatorial AIS Satellite

Selected NASA Discovery Missions Include Three With PSI Ties

NASA Selects Investigations for Future Key Planetary Mission

Chinese herbal expert among Nobel medicine prize winners

Down to Earth and walking the line

The Most Stable Source of Light in the World

Earth-class planets likely have protective magnetic fields, aiding life

Stellar atmosphere can be used to predict the composition of rocky exoplanets

Watching an exoplanet in motion around a distant star

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement