Key persornel in the Mechanics of Granular Materials (MGM) experiment are Mark Lankton (Program Manager at University Colorado at Boulder), Susan Batiste (research assistance, UCB), and Stein Sture (principal investigator). Sand and soil grains have faces that can cause friction as they roll and slide against each other, or even cause sticking and form small voids between grains. This complex behavior can cause soil to behave like a liquid under certain conditions such as earthquakes or when powders are handled in industrial processes. MGM experiments aboard the Space Shuttle use the microgravity of space to simulate this behavior under conditions that cannot be achieved in laboratory tests on Earth. MGM is shedding light on the behavior of fine-grain materials under low effective stresses. Applications include earthquake engineering, granular flow technologies (such as powder feed systems for pharmaceuticals and fertilizers), and terrestrial and planetary geology. Nine MGM specimens have flown on two Space Shuttle flights. Another three are scheduled to fly on STS-107. The principal investigator is Stein Sture of the University of Colorado at Boulder. (Credit: University of Colorado at Boulder).