dimanche 5 août 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of July 23, 2018

ISS - Expedition 56 Mission patch.

August 5, 2018

The International Space Station crew continued its ongoing work on scientific investigations this week, growing plants in space, transferring samples to the exposed environment outside of the space station, processing samples for a study of the gut microbiome, and more. 

Image above: Arabidopsis plants, seen growing in the Advanced Plant Habitat, ready for harvest for the Plant Habitat-1 investigation. Image Credit: NASA.

Members of Expedition 56 also continued packing the SpaceX CRS 15 Dragon with research, hardware, and crew supplies, in anticipation of the craft’s planned return to Earth in early August.

Read more details about scientific work last week aboard your orbiting laboratory:

A green thumb for science

Harvest of Arabidopsis plants continued for the Plant Habitat-01 investigation, which conducts comprehensive comparison of differences in genetics, metabolism, photosynthesis, and gravity sensing between plants grown in space and on Earth. Understanding how plants respond to stresses of the space environment is part of developing the ability to grow plants for food and oxygen generation on future missions. 

Image above: European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst examines a Space Algae culture bag as part of operations on the experiment this week. Space Algae explores the genetic basis for productivity of algae cultivated in space and whether this requires genetic adaptations or not. Image Credit: NASA.

On Tuesday, NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold harvested all plants in the plant habitat growth chamber, placing 24 in the General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (Glacier) at -160 C and the remainder in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) at -95 C. Samples in Glacier were transferred to MELFI on Wednesday.

Science also happens on the outside of the space station

Also this week, crew members prepared the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock Slide Table to transfer samples for a series of ongoing Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) experiments. ExHAM is mounted on the outside of the JEM Exposed Facility (JEM-EF). The crew placed samples on the Handhold Experiment Platform (HXP) for transfer via the JEM Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), then robotic specialists on the ground in Japan used the Small Fine Arm of the JEMRMS to conduct the transfer.

ExHAM takes advantage of Kibo having both an airlock and a robotic arm on the space station to enable experiments in an exposed environment on the JEM-EF.

These pictures are worth more than 1,000 words

Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission 62 (EKAM#62) began Monday with set-up by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst in Node 1. This mission continues until July 28 and more than 80 schools representing some 7,300 students and 21 countries have signed up to request images and submitted more than 10,000 image requests for Mission 62. As of Wednesday, EarthKAM had posted 1,032 images to the website.

EarthKam, operated by the US Space and Rocket Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, is an educational camera system that students control via the Internet to take photographs of Earth from space. The EarthKAM team then posts the images on the EarthKam website for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world. Since operations began in 1996, EarthKam missions have generated tens of thousands of photos of Earth.

Image above: EarthKAM also captured this photo of New Zealand’s Foveaux Strait. Foveaux means “path of the whale” in Māori and according to legend, a whale created the strait, which separates Steward Island and the South Island. Image Credit: NASA.

In other work this week, crew members started BCAT-CS, which examines forces between particles that cluster together by studying sediments of quartz and clay particles. Quartz/clay mixtures occur in a wide variety of settings such as rivers, lakes, and oceans and affect deep sea hydrocarbon drilling, carbon dioxide sequestration and other activities.

Crew members removed an LMM Biophysics-4 growth plate from the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) for return on SpaceX-15. LMM Biophysics-4 examines why proteins crystallized in microgravity are often higher quality than those grown on Earth by examining movement of single protein molecules in microgravity. Researchers locate and acquire images of crystals of interest as they grow during the duration of the experiment.

Image above: The Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) seen through a window in the Kibo Japanese Experiment Pressurized Module (JPM) with an Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) and an Exposed Facility Unit (EFU) in view. Image Credit: NASA.

Operations for Effects of Spaceflight on Gastrointestinal Microbiota in Mice: Mechanisms and Impact on Multi-System Physiology (RR-7) have continued since its arrival to the station aboard the SpaceX CRS-15 flight. Crew members performed bone densitometry scans and sampling operations. The next major milestone for this investigation is planned in approximately two months. RR-7 examines how the space environment affects the gut microbiome, and, in turn, other physiological systems, including the gastrointestinal, immune, metabolic and circadian systems.

Space to Ground: Locally Grown: 07/27/2018

Other work was done on these investigations: Micro 11, Angiex, ISS HAM, Fluid Shifts, MELFI, Micro-12, Food Acceptability, CEO, MagVector,  Space Algae, ICE Cubes Facility, Aerosol Sampler, and PK-4.

Related links:

Expedition 56: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition56/index.html

SpaceX CRS 15 Dragon: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/space-life-physical-sciences-research-and-applications-spacex-15-experiments-payloads

Plant Habitat-01: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2032

General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (Glacier): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=342

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

ExHAM: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=911

EarthKam website: https://www.earthkam.org/home

BCAT-CS: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7668

LMM Biophysics-4: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1927

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=351

Mice: Mechanisms and Impact on Multi-System Physiology (RR-7): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7425

Micro 11: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1922

Angiex: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7502

ISS HAM: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=337

Fluid Shifts: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1126

MELFI: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=56

Micro-12: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7470

Food Acceptability: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7562

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

MagVector: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1070

Space Algae: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7446

ICE Cubes Facility: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7607

Aerosol Sampler: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2034

PK-4: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1192

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

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

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire