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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Week Ending December 16, 2011
(Highlights: Week Ending December 16, 2011) -- Nearly 4,000 images have been received for reviewing and cataloging for the Crew Earth Observation (CEO) experiment. Recent images include: Moroni, Comoros; Lake Poopo, Bolivia; and Mediterranean Middle East cities at night. 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.

The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HREP-HICO) Experiment Payload has taken 4,645 images to-date. The most recent HICO images include Puerto Rico, the Red Sea Straits and part of the coast of Australia. The experiment analyzes the water clarity, chlorophyll content, water depth and ocean or sea floor composition for naval purposes. The Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System (HREP-RAIDS) is collecting secondary science data including nighttime atmospheric disk photometry, spectra and temperatures. Extreme Ultra Violet airglow spectroscopy and optical contamination studies will also be performed.

Dan Burbank completed the Space Sports demo as part of the Education Payload Operations (EPO). These student-designed games were brought to life in microgravity. During the design of the games, the students studied Newton's Laws. The edited video will be sent to the students' schools and posted on the Spaced Out Sports website. This experiment includes curriculum-based educational activities that demonstrate basic principles of science, mathematics, technology, engineering and geography. These activities are videotaped and then used in classroom lectures.

Burbank made successful contact with Quebec, Canada, as part of the International Space Station HAM Radio experiment (ISS HAM Radio). By utilizing ham radios, this experiment gets students interested in space exploration by allowing them to talk directly with the crews living and working aboard the space station. To date, crew members have made 120 contacts in 2011 and 686 project events since ISS HAM inception.

Burbank successfully conducted runs with new particle samples for the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment - 2 (PACE-2) with the newly-installed PACE LED Base. The PACE LED Base allows for trans-illumination of the sample, or illumination from below the sample. Trans-illumination is a new capability for the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) and provides for improved observation of the samples. PACE-2 characterizes the resolution of the Light Microscopy Module 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.

Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 29/30

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