samedi 13 janvier 2018

Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist, week of January 1, 2018

ISS - Expedition 54 Mission patch.

Jan. 13, 2018

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

(Highlights: Week of January 1, 2018) - The crew members aboard the International Space Station had a busy week of science this week as they explored research in the fields of Earth remote sensing, radiation measurements and shielding, microbiology and orbital debris.

The Radi-N2 Neutron Field Study (Radi-N2) measures neutron radiation levels aboard the orbiting laboratory using Space Bubble Detectors, which are designed to detect neutrons and ignore all other forms of radiation. Results from this investigation may provide a better understanding of the connections between neutron radiation and DNA damage and mutation rates, symptoms that affect some astronauts, and other radiation health issues. Last week, eight bubble detectors were deployed for the experiment and this week, they were collected to be processed in the Bubble Reader.

Animation above: NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Scott Tingle and Joe Acaba aboard the space station. Animation Credit: NASA.

The Microbial Observatory of Pathogenic Viruses, Bacteria, and Fungi Project (Microbial Tracking-2) investigation seeks to catalog and characterize potential disease-causing microorganisms aboard the space station. The development of an all-encompassing, integrated, comprehensive microbial database enables various strategies of screening for, and identifying, specific subsets of microorganisms. This dataset creates a capability to compare fluctuating viral and microbial communities to "baseline" standards, enables more accurate assessments of crew health associated with a given mission and future mission planning, and capitalizes on parallel research from institutions such as the Human Microbiome Project and Indoor Microbiome Project efforts. This week, a crew member provided body and saliva samples in support of the investigation. Samples from the crew pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight, as well as environmental samples from the station’s surfaces and air are used to identify any associations between the microbial content of the samples, as well as any potential health effects.

The Space Debris Sensor (SDS) monitors the small debris environment around the space station, recording instances of debris between the sizes of .05mm to.5mm. The space station has orbital debris shields in place to protect from debris less than 1.5 centimeters in size. Larger debris pieces are tracked by ground control, and if needed, the space station thrusters can be used to safely move station away from the debris. This week, SDS was removed from Dragon’s trunk for installation on the exterior of the Columbus module.

Animation above: The Space Debris Sensor is unpacked from the trunk of the SpaceX Dragon. Animation Credit: NASA.

Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS) measures the sun's energy input to Earth. Various satellites have captured a continuous record of this solar energy input to Earth since 1978. TSIS sensors advance previous measurements with three times the accuracy, enabling scientists to study the sun’s natural influence on Earth’s ozone layer, atmospheric circulation, clouds, and ecosystems. These observations are essential for a scientific understanding of the effects of solar variability on the Earth system. Last week, TSIS was unpacked from Dragon and installed on the space station’s ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3.

Other work was done on these investigations: Two-Phase Flow, Transparent Alloys, Amyloid, Biochemical Profile, Repository, APEX-05, Meteor, At Home in Space, BEAM, Circadian Rhythms, ACME, Space Headaches, ACE-T-6, MagVector, JEM Internal Ball Camera, Synthetic Bone, Rodent Research-6, Cell Science Validation and Arthrospira-B.

Related links:

Radi-N2 Neutron Field Study (Radi-N2):

Space Bubble Detectors:

Microbial Tracking-2:

Space Debris Sensor (SDS):

Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS):

ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3:

Two-Phase Flow:

Transparent Alloys:

Biochemical Profile:




At Home in Space:


Circadian Rhythms:


Space Headaches:



JEM Internal Ball Camera:

Synthetic Bone:

Rodent Research-6:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Image (mentioned), Animations (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Erling Holm/John Love, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 53 & 54.

Best regards,

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