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Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist
April 23, 2013
 

Robonaut, the first humanoid robot to travel to space and the first U.S.-built robot to visit the space station, performs a few finger motion and sensor checkouts aboard the Earth-orbiting outpost. (NASA) Robonaut, the first humanoid robot to travel to space and the first U.S.-built robot to visit the space station, performs a few finger motion and sensor checkouts aboard the Earth-orbiting outpost. (NASA)
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NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn uses a Capillary Flow Experiment-2 (CFE-2) vessel to perform several Interior Corner Flow tests. CFE is a suite of fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. (NASA) NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn uses a Capillary Flow Experiment-2 (CFE-2) vessel to perform several Interior Corner Flow tests. CFE is a suite of fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. (NASA)
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(Highlights: week of April 8, 2013) - The Expedition 35 crew aboard the International Space Station completed a teleoperation session on Robonaut for the first time in orbit. The crew was able to control Robonaut with voice commands and was also able to have it mimic and follow head and hand inputs. Robonaut serves as a springboard to help evolve new robotic capabilities in space. It demonstrates that a dexterous robot can launch and operate in a space vehicle, manipulate mechanisms in a microgravity environment, operate for an extended duration within the space environment, assist with tasks, and eventually interact with the crew members.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, Expedition 35 commander, took Multi-Flash Angle (MFA) photos of Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3) samples 4 and 5. MFA photos are a series of five photos taken at five different flash angles for each sample. These images will help the principal investigator determine if the sample has undergone phase separation and gives him insight on the longevity of the samples. BCAT-3 hardware supported three investigations in which station crews photographed 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 similarly to atoms. So they 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.

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn completed a series of bubble separation and bubble coarsening tests with the Interior Corner Flow-9 (ICF9) vessel during the Capillary Flow Experiment-2 (CFE-2). The ICF9 vessel consists of a "stretched pyramid" shaped test chamber and a fluid reservoir that contains a "whipper" plate for generating bubbles. This test looks at how the chamber geometry separates a bubbly mixture, which is deployed into the test chamber in two phases. This suite of fluid physics experiments investigates how fluids move up surfaces in microgravity. The results aim to improve current computer models used by designers of low-gravity fluid systems and may improve fluid transfer systems for water on future spacecraft.

Human research investigations continued for various crew members including Circadian Rhythms, Repository, Energy, Space Headaches, Reaction Self Test, Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight and Recovery (Pro K), and the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD).

Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 35/36


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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
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