(Highlights: Week of Oct. 21, 2013) - Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 37 crew inserted plant samples into the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for the Resist Tubule study. This investigation uses the microgravity environment to examine the modifications in cellular components that are responsible for gravity resistance in plants. This knowledge will enable efficient plant production both in space and on Earth.
NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins performed an Ocular Health session, which included fundoscopy, tonometry, vision testing, ocular ultrasound and vascular compliance. The purpose of this investigation is to collect evidence to characterize the risk and define the visual changes and central nervous system changes observed during a six-month exposure to space. The study will gather information to assess the risk of Microgravity-Induced Visual Impairment/Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) and guide future research needs. Monitoring in-flight visual changes, in addition to post-flight recovery, is the main focus of this study.
The Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (Sally Ride EarthKAM) was set up to capture images of Orbital Cygnus as it undocked from the station. This was a cooperative effort between the operations support officer, students at the University of California, San Diego, and the Payload Operations Integration Center team. EarthKAM is a NASA education program that enables students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew's perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted aboard the station. This enables them to photograph the Earth's coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. More images of Orbital Cygnus can be seen here.
Dynamic Surf runs were successfully completed. This study examines Marangoni convection, a flow driven by the presence of surface tension gradient as produced by a temperature difference at the liquid/gas interface. By understanding how these fluids move, scientists can learn how heat is transmitted in microgravity, and ultimately drive the design and development of more efficient fluid flow-based systems and devices. The knowledge from Marangoni space experiment is applicable to high-performance heat exchangers and heat pipes in space and on Earth. Designing more efficient, lightweight radiators that remove unwanted heat from spacecraft is critical for long-duration space missions.
Other human research investigations continued for various crew members including Space Headaches, Reaction Self Test, Skin-B, Ocular Health, Biological Rhythms, Circadian Rhythms, Microbiome, Vascular, Skin-B, and Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight and Recovery (Pro K).
John Love, Lead Increment Scientist