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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Fourth Week of October
10.28.11
 
A bee sample is seen with the Light Microscopy Module that is used for the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment - 2, or PACE-2 A bee sample is seen with the Light Microscopy Module that is used for the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment - 2, or PACE-2. (NASA)
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Volcan Parinacota ( Volcan Parinacota ("flamingo lake" in the regional Aymara language) is a potentially active stratovolcano located on the Altiplano, a high plateau situated within the Andes mountains of west-central South America. While no direct observations of eruptive activity are recorded, surface exposure age-dating of lava flows suggests that activity occurred as recently as 290 AD ± 300 years. Local Aymara stories also suggest that the volcano has erupted during the past 1000 years. (NASA)
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(Highlights: Fourth Week of October 2011) -- Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa completed their fifth sessions with the Biomechanical Analysis of Treadmill Exercise on the International Space Station, or (Treadmill Kinematics) experiment. It is the first rigorous investigation to determine the most beneficial treadmill exercise conditions to maintain or improve crew health during long-duration spaceflight.

Crew members continue sessions with the Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test (Reaction Self Test) every four days. The experiment is a portable five-minute reaction time task that allows crew members to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while aboard the station. It helps crew members to objectively identify when their performance capability is degraded by various fatigue-related conditions that can occur as a result of station operations and time in space.

Observations of the final tissue samples for the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment - 2 (PACE-2) were completed on Oct. 14. These samples included a leaf, a bee, a fluorescent sample and a letter from the alphabet. PACE-2 characterizes the resolution of the high magnification colloid experiments with the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) to determine the minimum size of the particles that can be resolved by the future Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE). ACE will fly samples that may have an important impact on our understanding of fundamental physics. An immediate space application for this technology demonstration is in extending the shelf-life of consumables on future long-duration missions.

Through Oct. 17, nearly 20,174 images have been received for the Crew Earth Observation (CEO) experiment. For this experiment, station crew members photograph natural and human-made changes on Earth. These images provide researchers with key data to better understand the planet. Most recent images include the Volcan Parinacota -- a potentially active stratovolcano located within the Andes mountains of west-central South America.

The first operations began for the European Space Agency's Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument - Aggregation of Colloidal Solutions (SODI-Colloid) experiment with installation of the hardware into the Microgravity Science Glovebox on Oct. 17. The experiment will study the aggregation, or mass, phenomena of colloids in the microgravity environment of space. For Colloids, ESA also is interested in investigating the viability of these colloid samples after long-duration space exposure.

On Oct. 13 and 14, Furukawa completed video recordings of Japanese islands for the Super-Sensitive High Definition TV (SS-HDTV) experiment. This system takes video images during orbital nights, Earth nights, lightning, auroras, cosmic showers, and other amazing events. The video images taken by SS-HDTV are recorded to SD cards, which are downlinked to the ground via data-relay satellites.



Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 29/30


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