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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Third Week of October
At approximately 5 million years old, the Bigach Impact Crater is a relatively young geologic feature. At approximately 5 million years old, the Bigach Impact Crater is a relatively young geologic feature. It was photographed for the first time recently by an International Space Station crew member as part of the Crew Earth Observations experiment. (NASA)
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(Highlights: Third Week of October 2011) -- Mike Fossum completed his fifth session with the Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake and Submaximal estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions (VO2max). The experiment documents changes in maximum oxygen uptake over long-duration missions. One more session is currently planned for Oct. 27.

Fossum also completed a session of the ESA-sponsored Thermoregulation in Humans During Long-Term Spaceflight (Thermolab) in parallel to his VO2max session. The Thermolab experiment investigates how the body heats up and afterwards cools down in microgravity and then compares these temperature curves with the ones measured on the same crew member on the ground before and after the mission.

Fossum collected data for EKE as part of his VO2max session, thanks to a data sharing agreement between the two experiments. The Assessment of Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics during Physical Training (EKE) aims to make an assessment of endurance capacity and heart rate kinetics during physical training of International Space Station crew members.

Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa completed their first blood draws for the Cardiovascular Health Consequences of Long-Duration Space Flight (Vascular) investigation. Vascular is performed to determine the impact of long-duration space flight on the blood vessels of astronauts. Spaceflight accelerates the aging process and scientists must understand this to determine the need for specific countermeasures. Data will be collected before, during and after spaceflight to assess inflammation of the artery walls, and changes in blood vessel properties and cardiovascular fitness.

The second Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5: Phase Separation (BCAT-5-PhaseSep) sample was completed on Oct. 11. The evolution of phase separation was clearly visible without post processing by the science team. The Phase Separation specialty of Soft Condensed Matter Physics answers commercial questions about what model should be used for the design of and for predicting the shelf life of consumer and medical products.

Capillary Channel Flow (CCF) has completed its runs in the Microgravity Science Glovebox. The German team completed both the steady-state and transient critical flow test matrices. The Portland State University team completed a preliminary flow regime map for gas bubble separation from liquid flow in a wedge-shaped channel, consisting of 270 test points. CCF studies a critical variety of inertial-capillary dominated flows key to spacecraft systems that cannot be studied on the ground. The results will be immediately useful for the design, testing, and instrumentation for verification and validation of liquid management systems of current orbiting, design stage and advanced spacecraft for future lunar and Mars missions.

More samples were installed for the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment - 2 (PACE-2). These samples included a butterfly wing, a leaf, a bee, a fluorescent sample, and a letter from the alphabet. PACE-2 characterizes the resolution of the high magnification colloid experiments with the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) to determine the minimum size of the particles that can be resolved by the future Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE). ACE will fly samples that may have an important impact on our understanding of fundamental physics. An immediate space application for this technology demonstration is in extending the shelf-life of consumables on future long-duration missions.

The third planting for the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 05: Spiders, Fruit Flies and Directional Plant Growth (CSI-05) experiment was completed. All of the seeds have germinated. Thousands of students from around the world are participating in this experiment. CSI-05 utilizes the unique microgravity environment of the International Space Station as part of the K-12 classroom to encourage learning and interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

Through Oct. 11, nearly 17,000 images have been received for reviewing and cataloging for the Crew Earth Observation (CEO) experiment. The first-ever space station image of the Bigach Impact Crater, Kazakhstan was published on NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Earth Observatory website recently. This barely-visible impact site has eluded crews for several years now, but the excellent context view will help to acquire more detailed imagery in the future. For this experiment, station crew members photograph natural and human-made changes on Earth. These images provide researchers with key data to better understand the planet.

Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 29/30

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