lundi 26 février 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of Feb 19, 2018

ISS - Expedition 54 Mission patch.

Feb. 26, 2018

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

In addition to many hours of scientific investigations, crew members aboard the International Space Station spent the week preparing for the departure of Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei, who will return to Earth next week.

Take a more detailed look at some of the science that happened last week aboard your orbiting laboratory:

Plant Habitat continues grow-out of two separate species of plant

Understanding how plants grow and thrive in harsh environments, both on Earth and in space, is important for advancements in agriculture. The Advanced Plant Habitat Facility (Plant Habitat) is a fully automated facility used to conduct plant bioscience research and provides a large, enclosed, environmentally controlled chamber aboard the space station.

Image above: NASA astronaut Joe Acaba works within the EMCS as a part of the Gravity Perception Systems (Plant Gravity Perception) investigation. Plant Gravity Perception studies plants’ gravity and light perception in the microgravity environment of the space station. Image Credit: NASA.

For the past five weeks, the Plant Habitat has been performing a validation grow-out of 2 different species of plants, Arabidopsis and dwarf wheat.

Facility prepared for arrival of new investigation

Mouse Stress Defense, a JAXA investigation, examines how Nuclear factor-like 2 (Nrf2), a protein that controls the rate of transcription of genetic information, contributes to effective prevention against the space-originated stressors.

Image above: NASA astronaut Scott Tingle works within the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) as part of the ACME-CLD FLAME investigation. Image Credit: NASA.

This week, crew members prepared the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) for the arrival of the investigation. The CBEF is used in various life science experiments and consists of an incubator and control equipment for control and communications.

Igniter tip replaced as a part of the ACME investigation

The Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment (ACME) investigation is a set of five independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted in the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR), one of which being Coflow Laminar Diffusion Flame (CLD Flame). ACME’s goals are to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollutant production in practical combustion on Earth, and to improve spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

This week, the crew successfully partially removed the ACME chamber insert from the combustion chamber, replaced a burned out igniter tip and reinstalled the chamber insert.

Crew members monitor potential changes in blood vessels and heart

As humans get older, arteries stiffen, causing an increase in blood pressure and elevating the risk for cardiovascular disease. Recently, it has been observed that some crew members returning from the space station have much stiffer arteries than when they went into space. The Cardiac and Vessel Structure and Function with Long-Duration Space Flight and Recovery (Vascular Echo) investigation examines changes in crew members’ blood vessels and heart, while in space and upon their return home, following them through their recovery. The results could provide insight into potential countermeasures to help maintain crew member health, and quality of life for those on Earth.

Image above: NASA astronaut with a saliva sample, taken as a part of the Functional Immune investigation. Functional Immune studies previously uninvestigated areas of the body’s immune response and if spaceflight alters a crew member’s susceptibility to disease. Image Credit: NASA.

This week, crew members conducted scanning activities using Electrocardiography (ECG) and leg cuffs before transferring information to ground teams for analysis.

Space to Ground: Successful Spacewalk: 02/23/2018

Other work was done on these investigations: Crew Earth Observations, BEAM, EMCS, MagVector, Space Headaches, Lighting Effects, Transparent Alloys, DOSIS-3D, EIISS, Manufacturing Device, VESSEL ID, Plant Gravity Perception, VEG-03, EarthKAM, Rodent Research-6, Circadian Rhythms, Biochem Profile, Meteor, BioLab, NICER, Two Phase Flow, Functional Immune, Marrow, Cerebral Autoregulation, and DreamXCG.

Related links:

Plant Habitat:

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF):

Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment (ACME):

Combustion Integration Rack (CIR):

Coflow Laminar Diffusion Flame (CLD Flame):

Vascular Echo:

Crew Earth Observations:




Space Headaches:

Lighting Effects:

Transparent Alloys:



Manufacturing Device:


Plant Gravity Perception:



Rodent Research-6:

Circadian Rhythms:

Biochem Profile:




Two Phase Flow:

Functional Immune:


Cerebral Autoregulation:


Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/John Love, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 53 & 54.

Best regards,

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