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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights For the Week of August 13, 2012
08.28.12
 
This digital still image sequence of the BASS investigation shows a flame burning a cotton-fiberglass fabric in opposed flow. In this view, air blows from bottom to top, and the flame spreads in the same direction. In the left frame, the igniter wire can still be seen glowing. The flow is decreased in discrete steps until the flame goes out. Total burn time is 90 seconds. (NASA) This digital still image sequence of the BASS investigation shows a flame burning a cotton-fiberglass fabric in opposed flow. In this view, air blows from bottom to top, and the flame spreads in the same direction. In the left frame, the igniter wire can still be seen glowing. The flow is decreased in discrete steps until the flame goes out. Total burn time is 90 seconds. (NASA)
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This astronaut photograph for the Crew Earth Observations highlights Nevada’s Walker Lake, one of only two remnant lakes that contain water throughout the year. Walker Lake is located in an enclosed basin bounded by the Wassuk Range to the west and the Gillis Range to the east. (NASA) This astronaut photograph for the Crew Earth Observations highlights Nevada’s Walker Lake, one of only two remnant lakes that contain water throughout the year. Walker Lake is located in an enclosed basin bounded by the Wassuk Range to the west and the Gillis Range to the east. (NASA)
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(Highlights: Week of August 13, 2012) -- The first experiment run was conducted for the Canadian Space Agency's Binary Colloidal Alloy Test - C1 (BCAT-C1). The science team reports good images. Examination of the sample reveals an abundant presence of crystals. This investigation studies the kinetics of phase separation when gas, solid and liquid phases of a colloidal suspension co-exist. It also explores the effects of seeding the growth of colloidal crystals.

Two new experiments with specific space applications began initial operations, HiMassSEE and SCAN Testbed. Spacecraft Single Event Environments at High Shielding Mass (HiMassSEE) will determine the effects of secondary radiation on the functioning of electronics and the shelf-life of pharmaceuticals in the space station as well as providing data for validation of space radiation transport codes used to predict space radiation effects in support of spacecraft design and verification. The Space Communications and Navigation Testbed (SCAN Testbed) consists of reconfigurable software defined radios with software based communications and navigation functions that provide ground mission planners the capability to change the functionality of the radio once on-orbit. The ability to change the operating characteristics of the radio's software after launch allows missions to change the way a radio communicates with ground controllers, and offers the flexibility to adapt to new science opportunities and increased data return.

Quiescent test points were successfully run using newly installed igniters for the Flame Extinguishment Experiment -2 (FLEX-2). FLEX-2 encompasses five distinct investigation classes using pure and bi-component mixed fuels. The results from these test points will lead to greater fuel efficiency of liquid-fuel engines and will minimize pollutant emissions. On Earth, FLEX-2 will help in the understanding of combustion generated pollution, and address fire hazards associated with using liquid combustibles.

Three tests were successfully completed for the Burning And Suppression of Solids (BASS) investigation. 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 microgravity. BASS results contribute to combustion computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems in microgravity and on Earth.

Another session was completed of the Vane Gap 2 operations for the Capillary Flow Experiments - 2 (CFE-2). This suite of fluid physics investigations studies how fluids move up surfaces in microgravity. The results aim to improve current computer models that are used by designers of low-gravity fluid systems and may improve transfer systems for water on future spacecraft. On Earth, CFE-2 results also may be used to improve fluid flow in miniaturized biological devices used for health screening and analysis.

Through Aug. 13, 5,738 images have been received for reviewing and cataloging for the Crew Earth Observations investigation (CEO). Recent images include Perth Australia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Nevada; and Moscow. For this investigation, station crew members photograph natural and human-made changes on Earth. These images provide researchers with key data to better understand the planet.

Crew members made successful contact with students in Canada, Australia and Japan as part of the International Space Station HAM Radio experiment (ISS HAM Radio). By utilizing ham radios, this experiment gets students interested in space exploration by allowing them to talk directly with the crews living and working aboard the space station. To date, crew members have made 54 contacts in 2012 and 744 project events since ISS HAM inception.

A crew member conducted a session of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Education Payload Operation-9. The crew member completed JAXA Report -- an activity to write a report in Japanese concerning the space station's ordinary life to attract attention for manned space activity and to gain support for future manned space exploration from the Japanese public. JAXA's payload operation activities demonstrate educational events and artistic performances on board the Kibo module.

Other human research investigations continued for various crew members including, ALTEA-Shield, Biological Rhythms, Hair, SPRINT, Journals, Integrated Cardiovascular, VO2max, Pro K, Nutrition and Reaction Self Test.

John Love, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 31/32


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