The UCSD Physiology/NASA lab conducted some exciting science on the International Space Station.
We completed our research with the Expedition Three through Six crews. We studied the effects of long-duration exposure to microgravity on the lung. The effect of spacewalks on the lung, caused by the reduced pressure of the Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) suits, was also investigated.
The PuFF experiment was part of the U.S. Lab's Human Research Facility, a laboratory module which contains hardware available for researchers to study the effects of microgravity on the human body. HRF Rack 1 was launched in March of 2001 in the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, and placed in the US Laboratory.
In the beginning of September, 2001, the Expedition 3 crew performed the PuFF experiment for the first time on the ISS. Station Commander, Frank Culbertson, and Flight Engineers, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin, all participated in the PuFF experiment.
Expedition 4 crew members, Flight Engineers, Dan Bursch and Carl Walz were the second crew to perform the PuFF experiments.
The Expedition 5 crew that participated in the PuFF experiment were Station Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineer and the first ever ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson.
The Expedition 6 crew spent 161 days aboard the International Space Station and landed in 2003. Station Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer and Science Officer Don Petit, and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin landed in Russia, so the immediate post-flight data collection was performed at Star City, Russia and continued with final post-flight sessions at JSC.
Data from all of the crews' pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight periods is being pooled to increase the statistical power of the PuFF experiments and their ability to detect changes in lung physiology associated with long duration exposure to microgravity and repeated EVA's.