mardi 21 juin 2016

Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist June 21, 2016












ISS - International Space Station patch.

June 21, 2016

(Highlights: Week of June 6, 2016) - Crew members on the International Space Station investigated the building blocks of the solar system this week while preparing groundbreaking recordings of a spacecraft re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake installed the Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) to the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Slide Table to prepare for retrieval of several samples that have been exposed to the space environment for more than a year on the JEM Kibo’s Exposed Facility (EF), including a study into interstellar dust called the Quest for the Compositional identification and Chemical evolutional understanding of the Interstellar Dust (ExHAM-Interstellar Carbonaceous Solids) investigation.


Image above: The Reentry Breakup Recorder with Wireless Sensors (REBR-W) was installed in the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft attached to the station. When the capsule re-enters Earth's atmosphere June 22, the device inside the vehicle will record data about when and how the craft breaks apart. Image Credits: NASA.

Grains of dust formed in the stellar ejecta of dying stars fills the space between stars in a galaxy affected by various astrophysical events. Scientists have been unable to identify the precise nature of the carbon-containing compounds included in interstellar dust, which makes for an incomplete picture of the cycling of matter in galaxies. The Ex-HAM Interstellar Carbonaceous Solids investigation takes dust-like particles that have been created in the laboratory and exposes them to space, providing new information about the chemical and physical processes that may link the laboratory dust and the cosmic dust grains.

This JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) investigation will provide new information about the changes that take place in carbonaceous compounds while exposed to the harsh environment of space. The space station is the better laboratory for this investigation because scientists cannot simultaneously replicate the microgravity, radiation, and bombardment by high energy photons and cosmic rays on interstellar dust while on Earth.

ExHAM enables more experiments in the exposed environment of space by attaching to the exterior of JAXA's Kibo module. It is a cube that can carry up to 20 samples. ExHAM is equipped with grapple fixtures where the JEM Remote Manipulator System Small Fine Arm can attach it to one of Kibo's handrails.


Image above: The Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility is seen to the left of the JAXA Kibo module. Image Credits: NASA.

Crew members spent part of the week preparing for the June 14 departure of the Cygnus resupply ship, including activating a device that will provide insight into just how the ship breaks apart as it falls toward Earth.

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams installed and activated the Reentry Breakup Recorder with Wireless Sensors (REBR-W) into the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft attached to the station. When the capsule re-enters Earth's atmosphere June 22, the device inside the vehicle will record data about when and how the craft breaks apart. This information can be used for reentry hazard prediction studies, reducing risks and improving planning for spacecraft that eventually will deorbit.

If a spacecraft's mission ends because of an accident, a broken part, low propellant, or failing components, NASA and the Department of Defense require that it re-enter over unpopulated areas -- such as the open ocean -- to prevent injury to people or damage to property. This sometimes means de-orbiting a spacecraft before it fails completely to ensure control over where it comes down. Data from the REBR-W device will provide new insight that could eliminate the need for deorbiting a spacecraft before it naturally falls to Earth. This would extend mission life and reduce cost and complexity while minimizing risk. The investigation may also lead to new ways for scientists to perform hypersonic flight testing, test new thermal protection materials, and study the uppermost layers of the atmosphere.


Image above: NASA astronaut Jeff Williams conducts Earth observations from the cupola on the International Space Station. Image Credits: NASA.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra gathered up the hard drives containing valuable data for the Plasma Kristall-4 investigation to send back to Earth in the coming weeks. This ESA study is the latest in a series of investigations of complex plasma containing micro-particles. These particles can become highly charged and interact with each other to form plasma crystals.

Gravity plays an important role for the structure of plasma crystals. In microgravity, large three-dimensional plasma crystals can be grown. As a fundamental state of matter in our universe, studying plasma is critical for space exploration. PK-4 investigates transport properties, thermodynamics, kinetics and statistical physics of the plasma structures. The investigation will provide a better understanding of the space environment, the phenomenon of plasma, and could provide answers to Earth plasmas such as lightning.

Progress made on other investigations and facilities this week included Auxin Transport, EPO Peake, ISS Ham, MagVector, MSL Batch 2b, PBRE, AMO2-Express, Manufacturing Device, NanoRack Cubesat Deployer, Radi-N2, BEAM, and SAMS.

Human research investigations conducted this week included At Home in Space, Biochemical Profile, Cardio Ox, Microbiome, Repository, Cognition, Immuno-2/EDOS-2, Fine Motor Skills, Marrow, Dose Tracker, Habitability, Multi-Omics, Vascular Echo, Skin-B, and Space Headaches.

Related links:

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM): http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/kiboexp/ef/exham/

Quest for the Compositional identification and Chemical evolutional understanding of the Interstellar Dust (ExHAM-Interstellar Carbonaceous Solids) investigation: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2052.html

Reentry Breakup Recorder with Wireless Sensors (REBR-W): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/940.html

Auxin Transport: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1991.html

ISS Ham: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/346.html

MagVector: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1176.html

Radi-N2: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/898.html

BEAM: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1804.html

Habitability: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1772.html

Multi-Omics: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1949.html

Vascular Echo: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1921.html

Space Headaches: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/181.html

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA): http://global.jaxa.jp/

European Space Agency (ESA): http://www.esa.int/ESA

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Kristine Rainey/Yuri Guinart-Ramirez, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 47 & 48.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire