(Highlights: week of Feb. 18, 2013)
Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Week of Feb. 18, 2013
-- NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn configured Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR
), Light Microscopy Module (LMM
) and Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE
) hardware aboard the International Space Station in preparation for ACE samples arriving on SpaceX-2. ACE produces microscopic images of materials, which contain small colloidal particles. It examines flow characteristics and the evolution and ordering effects within these colloidal materials in 1-G and microgravity environments. Engineering, manipulation and the fundamental understanding of materials of this nature potentially enhances our ability to produce, store and manipulate materials, which rely on similar physical properties.
The DEvice for the study of Critical LIquids and Crystallization-Alice Like Insert (DECLIC-ALI
) run started via ground commanding. DECLIC-ALI studies liquids at the verge of boiling. The flow of heat during boiling events is different in microgravity than it is on Earth. Understanding how heat flows in fluids at the verge of boiling will help scientists develop cooling systems for use in microgravity.
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield concluded the third of four RaDI-N 2 Neutron Field Study (RaDI-N 2
) sessions. This investigation measures neutron radiation levels aboard the space station. It uses bubble detectors as neutron monitors which have been designed to only detect neutrons and ignore all other radiation. RaDI-N 2 is a follow-on investigation designed to characterize the neutron radiation environment onboard the space station. The objective of this investigation is to better characterize the station neutron environment and define the risk posed to the crew members' health and provide the data necessary to develop advanced protective measures for future spaceflight.
Hadfield completed a European Drawer Rack (EDR
) software upgrade. The EDR is a multidisciplinary facility that supports as many as seven modular Experiment Modules (EMs). A payload may be composed of several EMs. Each payload has its own cooling, power and data communications, as well as vacuum, venting and nitrogen supply, if required. The rack provides housing for smaller experiments in the Columbus module, allowing more research to be performed aboard space station. The EDR provides a low-cost location for compact, low-mass experiments that would be far too small to travel in a standard payload rack.
Other human research investigations continued for various crew members including Nutrition
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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