(Highlights: Week of Feb. 17, 2014) - Aboard the International Space Station, 18 samples were completed for four different principal investigators for the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS-II) study. The BASS-II investigation looks at how a variety of fuels burn and extinguish in space. It tests the theory that some materials burn more efficiently in microgravity than they do on Earth. Understanding these differences improves flammability safety requirements for materials used in spacecrafts. Results from BASS-II will improve computer models that are used to design fire detection and suppression systems, both in spacecraft and on Earth.
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) collected data for 45 billion particles since it arrived on space station in 2011. AMS-02 is a particle physics detector that collects information from cosmic sources to advance scientists' knowledge about the low-Earth orbit space radiation environment. The AMS-02 will use the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe's origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays.
Four NanoRacks-Planet Labs-Dove satellites were deployed. To date, 16 of the 28 Dove satellites have been deployed. These satellites enable imagery of the entire changing planet to be taken on a frequent basis, with humanitarian and environmental applications ranging from monitoring deforestation and the ice caps to disaster relief, and improving agriculture yields in developing nations. This deployment is part of the Flock 1 mission and is considered the largest single constellation of Earth-imaging satellites ever to launch into space.
NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins completed his Spinal Ultrasound study. This investigation aims to use ground- and space-based studies to characterize spinal changes during and after spaceflight. Ground-based, pre- and post-flight MRI and high-fidelity ultrasound, combined with in-flight ultrasound, will be used to characterize and assign a mission health risk to microgravity-associated spinal alterations for back pain and potential injury. This research will determine the accuracy of MRI and musculoskeletal ultrasound in characterizing the anatomy of the vertebral unit, and develop novel imaging and training procedures. The investigation seeks to contribute to medical care on Earth where there is limited access to MRIs.
For the Amine Swingbed study, three additional test points were completed. The final test points are planned. This investigation assesses the effectiveness of a smaller, more efficient vacuum-regenerated amine system in removing carbon dioxide from the space station atmosphere for potential use on longer duration human spaceflight missions. This can be used in Earth applications if access to a clean-purge gas supply is available.
Other human research investigations continued for various crew members including Body Measures, Journals, Reaction Self Test, Reversible Figures, Space Headaches and Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery (Pro K).
John Love, Lead Increment Scientist