Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield installs Ultrasonic Background Noise Test sensors behind a rack in the Destiny Laboratory. (NASA)
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Amine Swingbed payload during installation into EXPRESS Rack 8 during Expedition 35. EXPRESS is short for Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station. (NASA)
View large image (Highlights: week of May 13, 2013) - The Expedition 36 crew installed the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Protein Crystal Growth (JAXA PGC) samples into the canister bag and returned them to Earth with the crew on 33 Soyuz. The main objective of this study is to make fine quality protein crystals in microgravity that can help in the development of new medicines.
The first test session of the Ultrasonic Background Noise Test (UBNT) was successfully completed. A crew member loaded a test file onto a Station Support Computer (SSC), which programmed the units to sample the high-frequency sounds generated by station hardware. Identifying sources of noise will help in the development of a leak locating system, which would detect the high-pitched sound of air leaking through a pressurized wall. The system would differentiate between harmless background sounds and potentially dangerous air leaks.
The ground team began testing the performance of the Amine Swingbed payload. The team will run a total of 81 test points. The investigation determines if a vacuum-regenerated amine system can effectively remove carbon dioxide from the space station using a more efficient vacuum system to minimize humidity and air loss. Conserving air and water can help NASA prolong human spaceflight missions. This can be used in Earth applications if access to a clean purge gas supply is available.
The crew completed Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) Phase 1 operations. The investigation demonstrates and tests the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically service and refuel satellites in space. The goal is to reduce risks and lay the foundation for future robotic servicing missions in microgravity. This could extend a satellite's lifespan, potentially offering satellite owners and operators years of additional service and revenue, more value from the initial satellite investment, and significant savings in delayed replacement costs. Numerous satellites in orbit today would benefit. Technology spinoffs have the potential to benefit humankind in yet-undiscovered ways.
Watch the video below to learn more about the RRM:
Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
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