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From Mir to Mars
Mir animation Andy Thomas's Mission on Mir

In its trip to Mir, the space shuttle Endeavor brought supplies needed to perform experiments aboard Mir and took experiment samples and data back to Earth. Endeavor also transported astronaut Andy Thomas, who replaced fellow astronaut Dave Wolf on board the space station. In his four-month stay, Dr. Thomas will focus on several investigations in various fields:
  • Advanced technology: Dr. Thomas will evaluate new technologies and techniques for possible implementation on the International Space Station and other space vehicles.

  • Earth sciences: Using hand-held photography, Dr. Thomas will document natural and human-induced changes in ocean biochemistry and meteorology. Because Mir orbits Earth, Dr. Thomas has a unique vantage point from which to study those environmental changes.

  • Human life sciences: How do crew members adapt to weightlessness? Skeletal muscle and bone changes, immune response, psychological interactions and metabolism will be studied. This information is especially important to plans for future long-term space flights.

  • International Space Station risk mitigation: Several technology demonstrations associated with human factors and maintenance of crew health and safety aboard the space station are designed to evaluate the Mir's interior and exterior environments. Radio interference, particle impact on the station, docked configuration stability and radiation will be investigated.

  • Microgravity research: Microgravity research includes investigations in biotechnology, crystal growth and materials science. Dr. Thomas will also examine the Mir environment to support future research programs.

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