jeudi 3 août 2017

Astronauts Work Muscle Scans and Science Gear Upgrades










ISS - Expedition 52 Mission patch.

August 3, 2017

From leg muscle scans to observing materials burning at high temperatures, the Expedition 52 crew continued researching what happens when you live in space. The space residents also upgraded electronics gear and installed new science racks.


Image above: Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer work on station systems inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Image Credit: NASA.

Astronauts Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli are barely a week into their 4-1/2 month long mission and are already exploring what space is doing to their bodies. The astronauts took ultrasound scans of their legs today to assess the changes their leg muscles and tendons are undergoing. The data will later be compared to the condition of their muscles before and after their spaceflight mission.

Jack Fischer of NASA installed new electronics gear in a science rack to speed up the communications rate at which data is uploaded and downloaded from the research facility. Station veteran Peggy Whitson swapped out samples exposed to high temperatures inside a specialized furnace. She later installed a pair of NanoRacks research platforms in the Kibo laboratory module. The commercial science devices will support upcoming experiments being delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon mission.


Image above: A Look Inside the Space Station's Experimental BEAM Module. Image Credit: NASA.

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik looks through the hatch of the International Space Station's Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) on July 31, 2017. He shared this photo on social media on August 2, commenting, "Ever wonder how you look when you enter a new part of a spacecraft? Well, this is it.  First time inside the expandable BEAM module."

The BEAM is an experimental expandable module launched to the station aboard SpaceX's eighth commercial resupply mission on April 8, 2016, and fully expanded and pressurized on May 28.  Expandable modules weigh less and take up less room on a rocket than a traditional module, while allowing additional space for living and working. They provide protection from solar and cosmic radiation, space debris, and other contaminants. Crews traveling to the moon, Mars, asteroids, or other destinations may be able to use them as habitable structures.

BEAM berthed to ISS. Image Credits: NASA/Bigelow Aerospace

The BEAM is just over halfway into its planned two-year demonstration on the space station. NASA and Bigelow are currently focusing on measuring radiation dosage inside the BEAM. Using two active Radiation Environment Monitors (REM) inside the module, researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston are able to take real-time measurements of radiation levels.

Related article:

Dragon to be Packed with New Experiments for International Space Station
http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2017/08/dragon-to-be-packed-with-new.html

Related links:

Expedition 52: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition52/index.html

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

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

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Sarah Loff.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

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