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Space Station Home to Canadian Science Experiments

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2001

Saint-Hubert, Quebec, December 6, 2001 - Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched last evening, is carrying a double dose of Canadian science towards the International Space Station (ISS). The two unique Canadian experiments address important issues concerning the health and safety of astronauts working in space. They also have important applications here on earth.

"Although the International Space Station is still under construction, it is providing a valuable platform for vital scientific research," said Dr. Alan Mortimer, Director of Life and Microgravity Sciences at the Canadian Space Agency. "These cutting-edge Canadian experiments will lead to improvements for astronauts as they complete work on the Station and spend more time living and working in space."

The innovative Extra-Vehicular Activity Radiation Monitors (EVARM) experiment, developed by Ottawa's Thomson-Nielsen, will be used to measure the amount of radiation astronauts receive during spacewalks. Measurements of the radiation received by astronauts specifically during spacewalks have never been taken. The results will lead to a better understanding of radiation exposure in space and to better planning of future spacewalk activities. The technology behind EVARM is already being used on earth to monitor the radiation exposure of health-care professionals and patients during cancer treatments.

The Hoffman-Reflex experiment, or H-Reflex, developed by Dr. Doug Watt of McGill University's Aerospace Medical Research Unit, is flying for the third time on a shuttle mission to the Station. H-Reflex measures how human reflexes are affected by microgravity. It will help determine exercise requirements for astronauts and may lead to improvements in managing balance disorders on earth, particularly among the elderly. It has already been performed by Expedition Two and Three crews and will now continue with Expedition Four astronauts as subjects. H-Reflex is conducted by crew members prior to launch, during their shuttle trip, while on the Station and again during and after their return flight to earth.

About the Canadian Space Agency
Established in 1989 and headquartered in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Youth Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

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Backgrounders on the EVARM and H-Reflex experiments are available at:
www.space.gc.ca/evarm and www.space.gc.ca/h-reflex

For more information:
Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4370

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