Sally Harrington
Media Relations Office
April 6, 2010
RELEASE : 10-024
Glenn Sends Four Experiments to Space Station on STS-131 Shuttle Flight
CLEVELAND -- Four space experiments designed, fabricated, tested and managed by NASA's Glenn Research Center are aboard space shuttle Discovery, which launched on Monday at 6:21 a.m. The 13-day flight is the 33rd mission to the International Space Station.

Discovery is carrying a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks for the laboratories aboard the station. The STS-131 mission includes three planned spacewalks, with work to replace an ammonia tank assembly, retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station's exterior and switch out a rate gyro assembly on a segment of station's truss structure.

The four experiments Glenn has flying on STS-131 are:

  • Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixtures-2 Re-flight will investigate particle behavior within a solid-liquid mixture. During this process, called coarsening, small particles shrink by losing atoms to larger particles, which causes larger particles to grow. Coarsening effects strength of metal alloys such as those found in jet turbine blades. The results of this experiment conducted in station's Microgravity Science Glovebox will allow a better understanding of changes in mixtures during coarsening. This would lead to stronger and improved materials and have applications to metal alloy manufacturing.

  • Capillary Flow Experiment-2 is the second in a suite of fluid physics flight experiments that investigate capillary flows in low gravity. Data from these experiments are crucial to space exploration, especially for fluid management systems such as fuels and cryogenic fluids storage, thermal control, water recycling and materials processing. With increased understanding of this phenomenon, capillary forces can be used to control fluid orientation so that these mission-critical systems perform predictably.

  • IVGEN is a testing apparatus to generate medical quality water for injection. The IntraVenous Fluid Generation for exploration missions will demonstrate the capability to purify water to the standards required for intravenous injection, then mix the water with salt crystals to produce normal saline. Early collaborations between Glenn and NASA's Kennedy Space Center were important in the development of this prototype hardware, which will allow flight surgeons more options to treat ill or injured crew members during future long-duration space exploration missions.

  • Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment, or PACE, will verify the capability of conducting high magnification colloid experiments with the Light Microscopy Module to determine the minimum size particles which can be resolved. This module is a remotely controllable and automated facility that allows flexible scheduling and control of physical science and biological science experiments within the Fluids Integrated Rack (also designed by Glenn).

For more information about STS-131, Discovery's mission to the International Space Station, visit:

For information about the International Space Station, visit:

For more information about Glenn, visit:


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