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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights For the Week of Feb. 27, 2012
03.09.12
 
This Crew Earth Observation photo depicts winter on Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir on the Missouri River in west-central North Dakota. For a sense of scale, the arms of the lake to either side of New Town are approximately six miles apart. (NASA) This Crew Earth Observation photo depicts winter on Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir on the Missouri River in west-central North Dakota. For a sense of scale, the arms of the lake to either side of New Town are approximately six miles apart. (NASA)
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(Highlights: Week of February 27, 2012) -- Flame tests continued for the Structure and Liftoff In Combustion Experiment (SLICE). A total of 25 lifting tests, or ignitions, including approximately 140 flow conditions, were performed. The tests yielded stable lifted flames which can be simpler to numerically model, and as such are the preferred flame configuration for this research. SLICE investigates the nature of flames in microgravity. The results from these investigations could lead to improvements in technologies which aim to reduce pollution emissions and improve burning efficiency for a wide variety of industries.

Two more sessions were conducted with the Capillary Flow Experiments - 2 (CFE-2). Critical wetting/de-wetting events were found with greater accuracy than previously determined. CFE-2 is a suite of fluid physics investigations that study 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 fluid transfer systems for water on future spacecraft. On Earth, CFE-2 results are also being considered for improving fluid flow in miniaturized biological devices used for health screening and analysis.

To date, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer - 02 (AMS-02) has collected data on more than 13 billion particles and continues to collect data from 40 million cosmic rays daily. The AMS-02 uses the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe's origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and measuring cosmic rays.

74,561 images have been received for reviewing and cataloging for the Crew Earth Observation (CEO). 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.

Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers completed sessions with the Nutritional Status Assessment (Nutrition) investigation. This comprehensive in-flight study is designed to understand changes in human physiology during long-duration spaceflight. They also completed sessions of the Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery (Pro K) investigation. It is NASA’s first evaluation of a dietary countermeasure to lessen bone loss of astronauts.



Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 29/30


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