For release: 03-29-04, w/e 03-26-04
Science Ops status report #: 04-081
Expedition 8 Commander and International Space Station Science Officer Mike Foale has conducted the first runs of the new experiment Miscible Fluids in Microgravity on the Space Station. The principal investigator, Dr. John Pojman, was at the console in the Telescience Support Center at the Marshall Center to talk to Foale as he was about to perform the experiment. The experiment involves injecting honey into a water container to see how the two combine in weightlessness.
NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Foale conducted the first runs of a new experiment called Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG). The Principal Investigator, Dr. John Pojman, was at the console in the Telescience Support Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to talk to Foale, as he was about to perform the experiment. The experiment is the first of its kind in which the behavior of miscible fluids — fluids that dissolve in each other — was studied in weightlessness to see if the fluids could sometimes act like immiscible fluids, such as oil and water. MFMG mixes Russian honey and water with spare syringes and drinking straws. This research could help scientists improve the way plastics are produced on Earth and in space. More experiments will be performed later in the spring.
Foale completed more sessions with the Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation (PFMI) inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The experiment melts materials at high temperatures, and it is operated inside the glovebox. As the sample was processed,
a video system allowed scientists working at the telescience center at the Marshall Center to watch as bubbles formed and moved around in the transparent modeling material sample. Bubbles that become trapped in metals or crystals can form defects that decrease the material’s strength and usefulness. By studying bubble formation in materials in microgravity, scientist will gain insights to improve solidification processing on future space experiments and similar processes on Earth. Several other sample runs of this experiment have also been conducted on Expeditions 5, 6 and 7.
NASA’s payload operations team at the Marshall Center coordinates science activities on Space Station.
For supporting materials for this news release — such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more — please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at: