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NASA - Glenn Performs Space Station Science
April 11, 2008

Leroy Chiao on space stationAstronaut Leroy Chiao performs Glenn's BCAT-3 experiment aboard the space station. Credit: NASA NASA's Glenn Research Center has been a frequent contributor to experiments aboard the International Space Station. Glenn uses the space station as a test bed for technology development, demonstration, and problem resolution in the areas of life support, fire safety, power, propulsion, thermal management and more. The center also uses the space station to perform fundamental physics and life science experiments. Since the station began operating, the center has conducted numerous experiments there.

To understand the results of experiments, scientist must be able to characterize the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. Glenn provided two units designed to do just that. The Space Acceleration Measurement System-II (SAMS-II) and the Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS) arrived at the space station in April 2001 by way of the space shuttle Endeavour. SAMS-II measures accelerations caused by vehicle, crew and equipment disturbances. MAMS records accelerations caused by the aerodynamic drag created as the station moves through space, rotates or vents water.

Glenn also creates hardware required to support the operation of experiments on the station. For the past six years, Glenn has been designing and developing the Fluids and Combustion Facility. This flight hardware, which includes the Fluids Integrated Rack and the Combustion Integrated Rack, is designed to support the long-term study of fluids, flames and their behavior in space. It is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in the fall of 2008.

The racks contain most of the hardware and software necessary to conduct science experiments on the space station. They also provide power, environmental controls, data management and communications for the experiments.

Scientists could use the combustion rack to study fire prevention, detection and suppression, incineration of solid wastes, power generation, flame spread and other phenomena. Experiments performed in the fluids rack could lead to advancements in fuel management, life support and thermal control systems.

More Information:
+ Glenn ISS Research Program
>  What is Microgravity?

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