mercredi 4 avril 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of Mar 26, 2018

ISS - Expedition 55 Mission patch.

April 4, 2018

Just a few days after arriving to their new home aboard the International Space Station, veteran astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel donned spacesuits to conduct the first spacewalk of their stay aboard the orbiting laboratory. Feustel and Arnold installed a communication antenna on the exterior of the Tranquility module and worked together to replace a camera system on the port truss.  This communication antenna will help support ECOTRESS, an upcoming external payload currently planned to arrive this the summer to the ISS.

Image above: Last week, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle removed and stowed the Transparent Alloys cartridge and hardware and restored the Microgravity Science Glovebox to its standard configuration. Image Credit: NASA.

Meanwhile, inside the space station, the crew worked hard on investigations in the fields of physical science, plant biology, human research, education and more.

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

Crew prepares for upcoming veggie harvest

Future long-duration missions into the solar system will require a fresh food supply to supplement crew diets, which means growing crops in space. The Veg-03 investigation expands on previous validation tests of the new Veggie hardware, which crew members will use to grow cabbage, lettuce and other fresh vegetables in space.

Last week, in addition to watering, photographing and tending to the crops, crew members conducted an audit of the hardware in preparation for next week’s harvest. These plants provide the crew the opportunity to consume fresh vegetables every few days, while some of the products from this run will be returned to Earth for testing.

Animation above: Roscosmos cosmonaut and current space station commander Anton Shkaplerov replaces a bottle in the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) as a part of the ACME E-FIELD Flames investigation. Animation Credit: NASA.

Other plant biology investigations aboard the station include Plant Gravity Perception, a recent addition to the lab, the Advanced Plant Habitat and soon to arrive on SpX-14, Veggie PONDS.

3D printed items removed from device, stowed

The Additive Manufacturing Facility (Manufacturing Device) is a manufacturing facility aboard the space station, providing hardware manufacturing services. The ability to manufacture in space enables on-demand repair and production capability, as well as essential research for manufacturing on long-term missions.

Image above: NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold with freshly harvested lettuce as a part of the Veg-03 investigation. Image Credit: NASA.

Last week, the crew removed and stowed a 3D printed item from the facility. These items will be analyzed for quality.

Blood samples collected in support of JAXA investigations

Blood carries molecular signals released from cells inside the body.  For the Cell-Free Epigenome (CFE) study, blood samples are collected from astronauts and cellular genes are analyzed.  The results provide insight into how human bodies function during spaceflight.  The Medical Proteomics investigation evaluates changes of proteins in blood serum, bone and skeletal muscles after space flight, and also supports identification of osteopenia-related proteins.

By combining research results for mice, astronauts and ground patients, proteins related to osteopenia can be identified using the latest proteome analysis technique.  It is anticipated that the use of the marker proteins related to osteopenia will be of benefit in the future for assessing the health of astronauts as well as osteoporosis patients on ground.

Space to Ground: Upgrading the Outpost: 03/30/2018

Last week, blood samples were collected today from two crewmembers in support of both investigations.

Other work was done on these investigations: Crew Earth Observations, Transparent Alloys, ACME E-FIELD Flames, MSG, Food Acceptability, DreamXCG, AstroPi, METEOR, HDEV, SCAN Testbed, and Lighting Effects.

Related links:


Plant Gravity Perception:

Advanced Plant Habitat:

Veggie PONDS:

Manufacturing Device:

Crew Earth Observations:

Transparent Alloys:



Food Acceptability:





SCAN Testbed:

Lighting Effects:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Yuri Guinart-Ramirez, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 55 & 56/NASA Johnson.

Best regards,

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