четверг, 25 апреля 2019 г.

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of April 15, 2019

ISS — Expedition 59 Mission patch.

April 24, 2019

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station received a Cygnus commercial resupply ship from Northrop Grumman last week that brought additional science experiments to the orbiting lab. More science arrives in the next few weeks aboard a SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.

Here are details on some of the scientific investigations the Expedition 59 crew members conducted the week of April 15:

Measuring muscle changes in space

Image above: NASA astronaut Anne McClain performs a session for Time Perception in Microgravity, which investigates how crew members aboard the space station perceive time. Astronauts evaluate or reproduce the length of time they see a blue square in the center of the head-mounted display and scientists compare the results with pre- and post-flight baselines. Image Credit: NASA.

The crew collected blood samples and performed ultrasound scans and measurements for the Myotones investigation, which observes the biochemical properties of muscles, such as tone, stiffness, and elasticity, during long-term exposure to spaceflight. Results from this investigation may provide insight into principles of human resting muscle tone and lead to the development of new treatments for rehabilitation on future space missions and on Earth.

Examining how spaceflight affects antibody production

Rodent Research-12 (RR12) examines the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production and immune memory. Scientists know that spaceflight has a dramatic influence on immune response. This research looks at the effect following an actual challenge to the body’s immune system. Using a mouse model makes this possible, since the mouse immune system closely parallels that of humans. Last week, the crew set up the habitat and transferred the mice into it for the investigation.

Animation above: NASA astronaut Anne McClain works on the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF), an experimental facility that can measure thermophysical properties of high temperature melts and achieve solidification from deeply undercooled melts. Animation Credit: NASA.

Measuring perception of time and space

The accurate perception of objects in the environment is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks. Motion perception, sound localization, speech, and fine motor coordination in microgravity also depend on time perception. The Time Perception study quantifies subjective changes in a person’s perception of time during and after long-duration exposure to microgravity. The crew used a head-mounted Oculus Rift display, headphones, finger trackball, and laptop computer to perform sessions for this investigation. A program on the laptop creates visual and audio stimuli and measures the subject’s response to spatial and time perception.

A new habitat for mice in space

The crew prepared the JAXA Mouse Habitat Unit for the upcoming JAXA Mouse Mission. That mission analyzes changes in gene expression patterns in several organs and the effects on germ cell development in mice exposed to the space environment for more than 30 days. The Mouse Mission also serves as verification of the Habitat Unit, designed to house mice to and from the space station for scientific investigations. Results could provide fundamental information about how prolonged exposure to space affects humans.

Image above: Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint Jacques conducts a session of ISS HAM or Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. This program gives students around the world the experience of talking directly with crew members on the space station, inspiring them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio. Image Credit: NASA.

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

— The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras for performing combustion investigations in microgravity: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=317

— The SUBSA investigation crystallizes melts in microgravity to improve understanding of solidification phenomena and crystal production: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=308

— The ISS Experience, a virtual reality film, documents daily life aboard the space station to educate a variety of audiences about life aboard the orbiting lab and science conducted there: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7877

— Airway Monitoring analyzes exhaled air to study airway inflammation in crew members and help maintain crew well-being on future missions: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1067

— Lighting Effects studies the effects on the circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance of crew members when fluorescent light bulbs on the space station are replaced with solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2013

— Food Acceptability examines changes in the appeal of food aboard the space station during long-duration missions: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7562

— Standard Measures captures a consistent and simple set of measures from crew members throughout the ISS Program in order to characterize adaptive responses to and risks of living in space: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7711

Space to Ground: Marathon Mission: 04/19/2019

Related links:

Expedition 59: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition59/index.html

Myotones: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7573

Rodent Research-12 (RR12): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7868

Time Perception: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7504

Mouse Habitat Unit: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1537

Spot the Station: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 59/60.

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