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Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist - Week of April 1, 2013
April 12, 2013
 

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy conducts a session of the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. (NASA) NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy conducts a session of the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. (NASA)
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This is one of a series of close-up images photographed during a run of the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) experiment. (NASA) This is one of a series of close-up images photographed during a run of the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) experiment. (NASA)
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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Expedition 33 flight engineer Aki Hoshide fills the Aquatic Habitat with water in preparation for adding the fish. (NASA) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Expedition 33 flight engineer Aki Hoshide fills the Aquatic Habitat with water in preparation for adding the fish. (NASA)
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(Highlights: week of April 1, 2013) - Aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy successfully installed the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) hardware into the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), and verified proper operation of all components including the igniter, and video and still cameras. BASS examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. The BASS investigation will guide strategies for extinguishing accidental fires in space. BASS results contribute to the combustion computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems in microgravity and on Earth.

The Expedition 35 crew closed out the Aquatic Habitat after completion of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's Medaka Osteoclast investigation. Aquatic Habitat is a unique investigation designed to study small fresh water fish including the Medaka and Zebrafish. This facility consists of two aquariums with a closed loop water circulation system, automatic feeding system, day/night light cycle and cameras. This microgravity investigation allows researchers to study changes to bones, the loss of muscle mass, the effects of radiation and the biological development of living organisms.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, Expedition 35 commander, configured the Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixtures-3 (CSLM-3) hardware to support the Sample Processing Unit (SPU) 4 data transfer from the electronic control unit (ECU). The files were successfully transferred to the MSG Laptop Computer (MLC), and data was processed on the ground. The data showed the temperature profile was as expected for a successful run. CSLM-3 is a materials science investigation that studies the growth (coarsening) of metal tree-like (dendritic) structures. During the casting process, the coarsening of dendrites changes their shape and the spacing between branches of the dendrites, which alters the mechanical properties of the solidified metals and alloys. By understanding how temperature and time control the growth of such dendrites, researchers hope to develop more efficient and economical means of producing higher quality products derived from the casting of molten metals. CSLM-3 operated for three weeks within the MSG.

Hadfield and Cassidy set up the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3) sample module, checked the other components and took pictures of the final setup. BCAT-3 hardware supports three investigations in which station crews photograph samples of colloidal particles (tiny nanoscale spheres suspended in liquid) to document liquid/gas phase changes, growth of binary crystals, and the formation of colloidal crystals confined to a surface. Colloids are small enough that in a microgravity environment without sedimentation and convection, they behave much as atoms and so can be used to model all sorts of phenomena because their size, shape and interactions can be controlled. Increased knowledge of some of the areas may have future benefits in the application of the same physical processes on Earth. The binary alloy experiment provides information that may allow improvement of fiber optics, and allow development of new computers that process data with light instead of electricity.

Human research investigations continued for various crew members including Circadian Rhythms, Repository, Energy, Space Headaches, Reaction Self Test and Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight and Recovery, or Pro K.

Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 35/36


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