Endeavour's astronauts Thursday worked on semiconductor crystal experiments that could lead to smaller portable computers and cellular phones.
The six-man crew spent the fifth day of a 10-day flight conducting crystal-growth, metal and navigation experiments.The astronauts are trying to develop large, ultrapure crystals that could be used as the basic material for electronic devices and infrared detectors. Researchers say such crystals could produce faster and more efficient electronic devices that require less power.
Through cameras, scientists on the ground were able to watch the experiment and help the astronauts.
In another crystal-growth experiment, the astronauts studied material for better optical devices.