vendredi 1 juin 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of May 28, 2018











ISS - Expedition 55 Mission patch.

June 1, 2018

Crew members aboard the International Space Station continued scientific activities this week, including work on new investigations that arrived last week aboard the Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship. These included observing nearly-frozen atoms, activating floating robot cameras, studying melt convection and more.


Image above: The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship next to the Soyuz spacecraft, which will deliver NASA astronaut Scott Tingle and crewmates Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) back to Earth this weekend. Image Credit: NASA.

In addition, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle and crewmates Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) made final preparations for their return to Earth on June 3.

Here are more details on some of the science that happened last week aboard your orbiting laboratory:

Minimizing melt motion moves forward

Accelerations of the space station produce circular motions in fluids called melt convection, which affect flight experiments on crystal growth for semiconductor materials. Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) tests an automatically moving baffle to minimize melt motion and identify its causes in order to advance understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth in space.


Image above: The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) setup in the Microgravity Science Glovebox aboard the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.

Crew set up the SUBSA hardware this week, ran a calibration sample, and then began processing samples. High-definition video imaging allows monitoring of samples in real-time along with remote commanding of thermal control parameters.

Stone cold space science

The crew installed and configured the Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) and began operation of a six-week checkout.


Animation above: CAL uses lasers and magnetic traps to slow down atoms until they are almost motionless, creating clouds of atoms ten billion times colder than deep space. In microgravity, scientists can observe these ultra-cold atoms for much longer than possible on the ground, which could help answer some big questions in modern physics. Animation Credit: NASA.

CAL uses lasers and magnetic traps to slow down atoms until they are almost motionless, creating clouds of atoms ten billion times colder than deep space. In microgravity, scientists can observe these ultra-cold atoms for much longer than possible on the ground, which could help answer some big questions in modern physics. Ultimately, results of this research could improve a number of different technologies, including sensors, quantum computers and atomic clocks used in spacecraft navigation.          

Those samples don’t collect themselves

Crew member health remains an important area of research, with many of these investigations requiring astronauts to collect samples of their blood, urine or saliva. This week, crew collected saliva and other samples for the Microbial Tracking-2 (MT-2), which monitors microbes present on the space station in order to catalog and characterize potential disease-causing microorganisms. Crew stored the MT-2 samples inside a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

Once these samples are returned to Earth, they will be analyzed along with those collected pre- and post-flight, as well as environmental samples from surface and air locations on the station. This molecular analysis identifies specific microbes in order to understand the microbial flora diversity aboard the station and how it changes over time. Crew also collected samples for the Functional Immune and Probiotics investigations.

JAXA’s JEM Camera Robot floats free

The Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Camera Robot, a free floating, remote-control panoramic camera, helps crews monitor operations aboard the JEM. It provides real-time video and image downloads to remote operators, freeing astronauts to use their hands for other tasks. Because it operates untethered, the camera also offers a view outside the visual field of other cameras in the JEM.


Image above: The JEM Robot Camera hovering in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) during activation. Image Credit: NASA.

Crew completed check-out of this hardware under various conditions in preparation for activating it in support of scientific activities.

Space to Ground: Handoff: 06/01/2018

Other work was done on these investigations: Atomization, Nanoracks/Barrios PCG, Probiotics, Vascular Echo, Lighting Effects, CEO, ASIM, MISSE FF, Area PADLES, Active Tissue Equivalent Dosimeter, and Functional Immune.

Related links:

Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7396

Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=56

Functional Immune: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2011

Probiotics: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2047

Camera Robot: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7516

Atomization: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=282

Nanoracks/Barrios PCG: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7726

Vascular Echo: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1664

Lighting Effects: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2013

CEO: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=84

ASIM: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1822

MISSE FF: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7515

Area PADLES: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=877

Active Tissue Equivalent Dosimeter: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7437

Spot the Station: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Expedition 55: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition55/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, Animation (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Yuri Guinart-ramirez, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 55 & 56.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

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