суббота, 15 июня 2019 г.

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of June 10, 2019

ISS — Expedition 59 Mission patch.

June 14, 2019

Scientific investigations conducted on the International Space Station last week included work that could improve design of life support systems and help keep astronauts healthy on long missions. These types of investigations contribute valuable knowledge to NASA’s Artemis human exploration program. One of its goals is returning humans to the Moon by 2024 as a stepping stone to Mars.

Here are details on some of the scientific investigations the members of Expedition 59 conducted during the week of June 10:

Better management of fluids and gases

Image above: Hardware for the Capillary Structures investigation in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). This investigation studies using structures of specific shapes to manage fluid and gas mixtures and water recycling and carbon dioxide removal. This work benefits efforts to design lightweight, more reliable life support systems for future space missions. Image Credit: NASA.

The crew completed the current session for the ongoing Capillary Structures investigation, which studies using structures of specific shapes to manage fluid and gas mixtures. Current life-support systems on the space station require special equipment to separate liquids and gases, including rotating or moving devices that could cause contamination if they break or fail. This investigation looks at using different structures for water recycling and carbon dioxide removal systems, which could contribute to design of lightweight, more reliable life support systems for future space missions.

Getting their vitamins

Image above: These specially designed storage and growth packets contain engineered microbes for the BioNutrients investigation, which demonstrates a technology for on-demand production of nutrients during long-duration space missions. Image Credit: NASA.

BioNutrients demonstrates a technology to enable on-demand production of nutrients during long-duration space missions. Engineered microbes, such as yeast, generate carotenoids to supplement potential vitamin losses from food that is stored for a long time. During the five-year investigation, crew members intermittently activate specially designed storage and growth packets then freeze them for return to Earth for analysis. Last week, the crew processed eight packets for incubation and then placed them into Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

Waiting to exhale

Last week, the crew conducted the final session for Airway Monitoring. This investigation analyzes exhaled air to determine the occurrence and indicators of airway inflammation due to dust particles in the space station. During future crewed missions to the Moon and Mars, airway inflammation due to dust inhalation presents a risk, and this work helps in the development of countermeasures to that risk. It also supports crew member health on future longer-duration missions to the Moon and Mars by helping make these missions more self-sufficient in avoiding potential problems with dust inhalation.

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

— The Astrobee free-flying robots test technology for assisting astronauts with routine chores and giving ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1891

— The Photobioreactor investigation demonstrates whether the biological processes of microalgae can serve as part of a hybrid life support system. This approach would help future long-duration exploration missions reduce the amount of supplies required from Earth: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7426

Image above: NASA astronaut Anne McClain using the Liquid Exchange Device to fill the Photobioreactor with medium and algae to begin the experiment. This investigation examines creating a hybrid life support system with microalgae, which could help future long-duration exploration missions by reducing the amount of consumables required from Earth. Image Credit: NASA.

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

— Food Acceptability examines changes in the appeal of food aboard the space station during long-duration missions. “Menu fatigue” from repeatedly consuming a limited choice of foods may contribute to the loss of body mass often experienced by crew members, potentially affecting astronaut health, especially as mission length increases: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7562

— Veg-04 focuses on how light quality and fertilizer affect growth of a leafy crop, along with microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioral health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7896

— Probiotics examines the effects of beneficial bacteria or probiotics on the intestinal microbiota and immune function of crew members on long-duration space missions: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2047

— FLUIDICS uses a sphere in microgravity to represent a spacecraft’s fuel tank in order to analyze slosh and wave turbulence of a fluid. Results could support development of better fuel systems for satellites and future spacecraft: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2043

— 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: Open for Business: 06/14/2019

Related links:

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

Capillary Structures: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7329

BioNutrients: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7400

Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=56

Airway Monitoring: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1067

Artemis: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/what-is-artemis/

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

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