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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights For the Week of May 21, 2012
06.05.12
 
a.  Astronaut Scott Carpenter during the 7th Mercury-Atlas flight. The first capillary fluids experiment in space is seen to the left of Carpenter's head. (NASA) The first capillary fluids experiment in space is seen to the left of astronaut Scott Carpenter’s head during the Aurora 7 Mercury-Atlas flight. (NASA)
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An image of the Vane Gap 2 (VG2) capillarity experiment performed on March 6, 2012. Another in the series of Capillary Flow Experiments-2, VG2 is investigating a condition where fluid This recent image of the Vane Gap 2 investigation shows the continuation of capillary experiments still today on the International Space Station. This Vane Gap 2 is part of the series of Capillary Flow Experiments-2 (CFE-2), investigating a condition where fluid "wicks" up the intersection of a perforated vane with the test chamber wall at certain "critical" angles. The stopwatch attached to the vessel is used to keep track of time elapsed during an individual test run. (NASA)
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Digital still camera images of a wake flame burning a 2 centimeter-diameter sphere for the BASS investigation. Shortly after ignition, a blue flame slowly spreads upstream over the sample.  (NASA) Digital still camera images of a wake flame burning a 2 centimeter-diameter sphere for the BASS investigation. Shortly after ignition, a blue flame slowly spreads upstream over the sample. (NASA)
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Digital still camera images of a wake flame burning a 2 centimeter-diameter sphere for the BASS investigation. After about a minute, the fuel becomes sufficiently heated to produce a relatively large amount a fuel vapor leading to a long and sooty flame.  (NASA) Digital still camera images of a wake flame burning a 2 centimeter-diameter sphere for the BASS investigation. After about a minute, the fuel becomes sufficiently heated to produce a relatively large amount a fuel vapor leading to a long and sooty flame. (NASA)
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Digital still camera images of a wake flame burning a 2 centimeter-diameter sphere for the BASS investigation. When the air flow is turned off, the flame again becomes dim and blue and moves far away from the sphere since there is still a high fuel vaporization rate.  The flame is then rapidly extinguished.  Flow is from bottom to top, and ignition is on the top (downstream end) of the sphere. (NASA) Digital still camera images of a wake flame burning a 2 centimeter-diameter sphere for the BASS investigation. When the air flow is turned off, the flame again becomes dim and blue and moves far away from the sphere since there is still a high fuel vaporization rate. The flame is then rapidly extinguished. Flow is from bottom to top, and ignition is on the top (downstream end) of the sphere. (NASA)
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(Highlights: Week of May 21, 2012) -- May 24 marked a 50-year milestone of capillarity fluid physics experiments in space. These investigations 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.

More tests were completed for the Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2 (FLEX-2). This is the second experiment on the space station which uses small droplets of fuel to study the special burning characteristics of fire in space. The FLEX-2 experiment studies the rate and manner in which fuel is burned, the conditions that are necessary for soot to form, and the way in which a mixture of fuels evaporate before burning. The results from these experiments will give scientists a better understanding how fires behave in space and will provide important information that will be useful in increasing the fuel efficiency of engines using liquid fuels.

Operations continued for the Burning And Suppression of Solids (BASS) investigation. BASS examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. The BASS investigation will guide strategies for extinguishing accidental fires in microgravity. BASS results contribute to the combustion computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems in microgravity and on Earth.

The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HREP-HICO) Experiment Payload has taken 5675 images to-date. The most recent HICO images include the coast of Italy, the English Channel, part of Hawaii, the coast of France and Munich, Germany. The experiment analyzes the water clarity, chlorophyll content, water depth and ocean or sea floor composition for naval purposes.

Human research investigations continued for various crew members including, Space Headaches, Vascular, Reaction Self Test, Treadmill Kinematics, Integrated Cardiovascular, and Journals.


John Love, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 30/31


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