The on-orbit microgravity environment for the winner of the Microgravity Research Competition will nominally be in the 10-5 g range. However, orbital maneuvers and attitude adjustments will cause disturbances of various magnitudes and durations.
The spacecraft will cycle through certain operational modes over the course of the 4.5-day mission. The initial approximately 60 hours of the approximately 110-hour mission will involve orbital maneuvers and attitude variations affecting the microgravity. Maximum linear accelerations during this phase are in the 0.04 g range. This is followed by approximately 15 hours of advanced spacecraft checkouts during which only attitude adjustments are planned. The table below provides expected acceleration envelopes during this relatively quiescent phase of the mission. The final approximately 35 hours of the mission involve de-orbit preparations and execution.
Experiments can be executed at any time during the mission although the advanced checkout phase will provide the optimal period of microgravity.