Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield works with the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station. (NASA)
View large image (Highlights: week of Feb. 11, 2013) - The first Binary Colloidal Alloy Test (BCAT-C1) run of Simon Fraser University's sample seven was set up and initialized. Intervalometer changes occurred and the run is ongoing. The BCAT-C1 experiment will study nano-scale particles dispersed in liquid, known as a colloidal suspension, commonly found in such commercial commodities as paint, electronic polishing compounds and food products. These suspensions will have the unique property that the particles will phase separate (like oil and water) and the particles will self-assemble into crystals that interact strongly with light (like opal). This study will allow the development of new insights into this important material process. BCAT-C1 samples are contained within a small case the size of a school textbook. The experiment requires a crew member to set up Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) hardware and start the EarthKAM software to take digital photographs of each sample at close range using the onboard Kodak DCS760 camera. Scripts for running the EarthKAM camera can be uploaded from Earth to control the experiment once it is running. All samples also require that manual photographs (at least initially) be taken by an astronaut. The pictures are downlinked to investigators on the ground for analysis. Photographing these samples in microgravity will allow the measurement of these processes while avoiding the effects of particle sinking due to gravity.
Watch Hadfield below describe BCAT-C1 from the space station:
In preparation for the SpaceX-2 Crossover payload - Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixtures-3 (CSLM-3) - Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield located CSLM hardware aboard the International Space Station. CSLM-3 is the next Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) payload after InSpace-3, short for Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions-3. 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.
Hadfield removed the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor (VCAM) locker unit from the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments for Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 2. He packed it for return on SpaceX-2. VCAM identifies gases that are present in minute quantities in the space station breathing air that could harm the crew's health. Instruments like VCAM could accompany crew members during long-duration exploration missions.
NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, Expedition 34 commander, NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Hadfield performed body mass measurements with the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD). SLAMMD follows Isaac Newton's Second Law of Motion by having two springs generate a known force against a crew member mounted on an extension arm, the resulting acceleration being used to calculate the subject's mass. The device is accurate to 0.5 pounds over a range from 90 pounds to 240 pounds.
Other human research investigations continued for various crew members including Nutrition, Repository, Reaction Self Test and Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight and Recovery, or Pro K.
Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist
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