lundi 21 mai 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of May 14, 2018

ISS - Expedition 55 Mission patch.

May 21, 2018

Last week, NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold exited the International Space Station to complete the fifth spacewalk of this year. The two astronauts moved the Pump Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS) from a spare parts platform on the station’s truss to the Dextre robotic arm. The PFCS drives and controls the flow of ammonia through the exterior portions of the station’s cooling system. The team then removed and replaced a camera group and a degraded Space to Ground Transmitter Receiver Controller.

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 54 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes working outside the station in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.

Image above: The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) experienced a laptop battery change inside the station last week. Image Credit: NASA.

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

Combustion rack undergoes maintenance

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 E-Fields 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.

Image above: NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold works within the Combustion Integration Rack as part of the ACME E-Fields Flame investigation. Image Credit: NASA.

Last week, the crew completed five-year maintenance to the CIR in order to continue with the investigation’s operations. This included the replacement of manifold bottles and endcaps seals.

J-SSOD prepares for new investigation

The JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) provides a novel, safe, small satellite launching capability to the space station. The J-SSOD is a unique satellite launcher, handled by the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which provides containment and deployment mechanisms for several individual small satellites.

Animation above: The J-SSOD is a unique satellite launcher, handled by the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which provides containment and deployment mechanisms for several individual small satellites. Animation Credit: NASA.

Last week, the crew reconfigured the J-SSOD for JAXA’s Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) #2. The ExHAM is a cuboid mechanism equipped with a fixture on the upper surface for grappling by the JEM Remote Manipulator System Small Fine Arm, and components on the under surface for attaching the ExHAM to the handrail on the JEM EF.

Investigation begins to collect data

As we travel farther into space, clever solutions to problems like engine part malfunctions and other possible mishaps will be a vital part of the planning process. The Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-7 investigation (ACE-T-7) explores the feasibility of creating self-assembling microscopic particles for use in the manufacturing of materials during spaceflight. These microscopic particles come together like building blocks to create materials with tailored nanostructures, giving scientists the ability to change the behavioral properties of a material according to a set of instructions embedded within the particle.

Last week, the investigation continues to collect data on the first of two modules. Learn more about ACE-T-7 here:

Space to Ground: Kilauea Volcano: 05/18/2018

Other work was done on these investigations: Crew Earth Observations, Veggie PONDS, Two-Phase Flow, Radi-N2, ASIM, Circadian Rhythms, DOSIS-3D, MARES, Space Headaches, VESSEL ID,  Biochemical Profile, BEAM, J-SSOD, Food Acceptability, Team Task Switching, Multi-Omics, and Vascular Echo.

Related article:

Veteran Astronauts Conclude Spacewalk for Thermal Maintenance

Related links:

Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment (ACME):

Combustion Integration Rack (CIR):

E-Fields Flame:

JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD):

Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-7 investigation (ACE-T-7):

Crew Earth Observations:

Veggie PONDS:

Two-Phase Flow:



Circadian Rhythms:



Space Headaches:


Biochemical Profile:



Food Acceptability:

Team Task Switching:


Vascular Echo:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

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

Best regards,

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