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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the week of Jan. 30, 2012
02.13.12
 
ISSAC (camera on the right) and EKAM (camera on the left) are set-up inside the WORF rack in front of the lab window. (NASA) ISSAC (camera on the right) and EarthKAM (camera on the left) are set-up inside the WORF rack in front of the lab window. (NASA)
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The sakura, or cherry blossoms, were recorded floating in microgravity using a 3D camera. (JAXA) The sakura, or cherry blossoms, were recorded floating in microgravity using a 3D camera. (JAXA)
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(Highlights: Week of January 30, 2012) -- Nineteen runs have been completed out of a total of 29 planned for the Capillary Flow Experiments - 2 (CFE-2) during Increments 29 and 30. This is a suite of fluid physics investigations that study how fluids move up surfaces in microgravity. Results of this investigation 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.

Don Pettit completed the "Shuttle, Satellite, and Rocket" model and the "Land Yacht" model for the LEGO® Bricks investigation. This educational activity includes a series of toy LEGO® kits that are assembled on orbit and used to demonstrate scientific concepts. He recorded the construction for an educational video. NASA and the education toy company are working together to use the unique learning environment of microgravity to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics content and careers.

More than 100 schools from around the world participated in the winter session for the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM). Students used the onboard EarthKAM camera in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) to take Earth observation photos. WORF is a facility equipped with Earth science remote sensing instruments in the Destiny science window with the highest quality optics ever flown on a human-occupied spacecraft. EarthKAM is a NASA education program that offers a powerful way for students to investigate Earth from the unique perspective of space. The image collection is posted on the EarthKAM website for both public use and participating classrooms around the world.

The International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC) recently focused on the United States. ISSAC takes frequent images, in visible and infrared light, principally of vegetated areas -- growing crops, grasslands and forests. The sensor also is being used to study dynamic Earth processes around the world, such as melting glaciers, ecosystem responses to seasonal changes, and human impacts including rapid-response monitoring of natural disasters. ISSAC has captured a total of 2,550 images to date for Increments 29 and 30.

The Crew Earth Observations (CEO) team created several time-lapsed videos from a series of still images taken onboard the International Space Station. This investigation allows crew members to photograph natural and human-made events on Earth. The photographs record the Earth's surface changes over time, along with dynamic events such as storms, floods, fires and volcanic eruptions. These images provide researchers on Earth with key data to understand the planet from the perspective of the space station.

On Feb. 2, Pettit performed the Space Sakura Educational investigation for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency .The sakura, or cherry blossoms, were recorded floating in microgravity using a 3D camera to be used for an education/public out-reach video.



Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 29/30


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