lundi 6 août 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of July 30, 2018

ISS - Expedition 56 Mission patch.

Aug. 6, 2018

In addition to conducting investigations in the fields of human research, technology development, physical science and biology, the crew also prepared for the departure of the SpaceX Dragon capsule. Dragon returned to Earth from the International Space Station Friday, carrying research results and other station materials for analysis.

Image above: The SpaceX Dragon was packed with more than 3,800 pounds of cargo, including a variety of science samples that are being returned to Earth for further analysis. Image Credit: NASA.

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

Crew member stores samples to explore changes in vision

More than half of American astronauts experience vision changes and anatomical alterations to parts of their eyes during and after long-duration space flight. It is thought that the headward fluid shift that occurs during space flight leads to increased pressure in the brain, which may push on the back of the eye, causing it to change shape. The Fluid Shifts investigation measures how much fluid shifts from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels, and determines the impact these shifts have on fluid pressure in the head, changes in vision and eye structures.

Image above: A crew member captured this image of the Mataiva atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. Image Credit: NASA.

Last week, NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor collected saliva, blood, and urine at multiple points during the day and stored them in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for later analysis.

Samplers deployed in station to test for potential hazards

Aerosols are particles suspended in the air, and include soot, dust, pollen and other natural and human-made materials. Aerosols behave differently in microgravity than on Earth, posing potential hazards for crew members breathing the air inside the space station. Aerosol Sampler collects airborne particles in the cabin air and returns them to Earth for analysis using a variety of techniques including light microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy.

Animation above: NASA astronauts Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor and Drew Feustel pack science samples into a tray for Polar, a cold stowage-managed facility that provides transport and storage of science samples at cryogenic temperatures to and from the station, in preparation for its stowing in Dragon for return to Earth. Animation Credit: NASA.

Last week, aerosol samplers were deployed in Nodes 1 and 3 of the station. By flowing sampled air through a large thermal gradient in a narrow channel, these battery-powered samplers pull in air and collect particles. Data generated by this investigation could be used in the design and selection of particle detectors for future space travel, as long-duration human missions need to be able to monitor aerosol measurements to ensure crew health and comfort.

Chemical Garden investigation initiated

Chemical Gardens form when dissolvable metal salts are placed in an aqueous solution containing anions such as silicate, borate, phosphate, or carbonate. The most common solution used is sodium silicate, and when the two are combined, precipitation structures can form within minutes. The result is a vine-like array of buds, limbs and tubes. Gardens can range in color depending on the chemicals used.

Last week, the crew began operations for the investigation by removing the ampoule kit, breaking the seal between the ampoules and mixing the contents in both.

Learn more about the Chemical Gardens investigation here:

Investigation studies endothelial cells

Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the leading causes of death in developed countries. Angiex Cancer Therapy examines whether microgravity-cultured endothelial cells represent a valid in vitro model to test effects of vascular-targeted agents on normal blood vessels. Results may create a model system for designing safer drugs, targeting the vasculature of cancer tumors and helping pharmaceutical companies design safer vascular-targeted drugs.

Space to Ground: From American Soil: 08/03/2018

Last week, crew members performed microscope, sample and therapy operations for the investigation. Auñón-Chancellor observed various cell culture modules with respect to the drug treatment to which they were exposed.

Other work was done on these investigations: CEO, Space Algae, Rodent Research-7, Story Time From Space, Micro-12, Tropical Cyclone, Food Acceptability, SPHERES, Polar, Meteor, MICS, Time Perception, ELF, STAaRS BioScience-9, SCAN Testbed, CASIS PCG-11, Micro-11, Plant Habitat-01, Sally Ride EarthKAM, ACME CLD-Flame, Lighting Effects, BEST, J-SSOD, AstroPi, and BCAT-CS.

Related links:

Fluid Shifts:


Aerosol Sampler:

Chemical Gardens:

Angiex Cancer Therapy:


Space Algae:

Rodent Research-7:

Story Time From Space:



Tropical Cyclone:

Food Acceptability:





Time Perception:


STAaRS BioScience-9:

SCAN Testbed:


Plant Habitat-01:

Sally Ride EarthKAM:


Lighting Effects:





Spot the Station:

Expedition 56:

Progress 69 (69P):

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

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


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