среда, 17 июля 2019 г.

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of July 8, 2019

ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.

July 16, 2019

The three members of Expedition 60 currently aboard the International Space Station conducted scientific investigations last week on improved lighting, bone health, growing and enjoying food in space and more. The space station supports commercial microgravity research and development and serves as a unique asset for NASA’s Artemis program, an effort to return humans to the Moon and to go on from there to Mars.

Image above: The NanoRack CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) is a self-contained CubeSat system for deploying small satellites staged from the space station. The NRCSD-16 investigation consists of seven separate satellites: EntrySat, IOD-1 GEMS, KRAKsat, Swiatowid and Virginia CubeSat Constellation (VCC). Image Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center.

Here are details on some of the science conducted on the orbiting lab during the week of July 8:

Let there be better light

The crew set up a light meter and performed an ambient meter reading for the Lighting Effects investigation. Spaceflight exposes crew members to sleep and wake schedules not connected to sunlight, which can cause insomnia and fatigue and negatively affect crew alertness and health. Adjusting light sources to simulate a more regular day and night schedule could improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. This investigation examines the effects of changing space station lighting from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color.

Animation above: NASA astronaut Nick Hague sets up the JEM Internal Ball Camera, a free-floating, remote-controlled panoramic camera that helps crews monitor operations and provides real-time video and image downloads to remote operators. Animation Credit: NASA.

In search of stronger bones

The crew participated in a blood draw for Medical Proteomics, an investigation by the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) to evaluate changes of proteins in blood serum, bone and skeletal muscles after space flight. It also combines research results for space mice, astronauts, and patients on the ground to identify proteins related to osteopenia using the latest proteome analysis technique. Use of these marker proteins could benefit future assessment of the health of astronauts and osteoporosis patients on Earth.

Improving the menu in space

Food is critical for providing necessary calories and nutrients and has behavioral and psychological implications for astronauts. Studies on the space station have tested equipment and procedures for growing plants in space and have explored how the food supply affects the health and wellbeing of the crew. Last week saw work on several food-related investigations.

Image above: Leafy greens grown for the Veg-04 investigation to explore the viability of growing fresh food in space to support astronauts on long-term missions. The crew harvested the plants after 28 days of growth, stowing samples for analysis and taste testing the rest. Image Credit: NASA.

Crew members completed the Veg-04A investigation, harvesting and preparing half of the Mizuna leaves for return to ground for growth analysis. The crew consumed the other half of the leaves and competed surveys on the effects of growing the crop and on its taste. They also completed questionnaires for Food Acceptability, which examines changes in the appeal of the space station food supply. Whether crew members like and actually eat something may directly affect caloric intake and associated nutritional benefits and, in turn, the health of astronauts, especially on long-term missions.

Animation above: NASA astronaut Christina Koch harvests Mizuna leaves for the Veg-04 investigation. Animation Credit: NASA.

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

— Team Task Switching looks at whether crew members have difficulty switching from one task to another and the effects of such switches to reduce negative consequences and improve individual and team motivation and effectiveness.

— The ISS Experience creates short virtual reality videos from footage taken during the yearlong investigation covering different aspects of crew life, execution of science, and the international partnerships involved on the space station.

— Standard Measures captures a consistent and simple set of measures from crew members throughout the ISS Program to characterize adaptive responses to and risks of living in space.

— The Two Phase Flow investigation examines the heat transfer characteristics of flow boiling in microgravity, creating a database on the heat transfer efficiency of liquids in space that can inform design of thermal management systems for future spacecraft.

— Cerebral Autoregulation tests whether the brain’s ability to self-regulate blood flow improves in microgravity, using non-invasive tests to measure blood flow in the brain before, during, and after a long-duration spaceflight.

— The RADI N2 investigation seeks to better characterize the neutron radiation environment aboard the space station to help define the risk it poses to crew members and support development of advanced protective measures for future spaceflight.

— Genes in Space-6 determines the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in the spaceflight environment. It induces DNA damage and evaluates the entire mutation and repair process in space for the first time, using the miniPCR and Biomolecule Sequencer tools aboard the space station.

— The Actiwatch is a wristwatch-like monitor containing an accelerometer to measure motion and color sensitive photodetectors for monitoring ambient lighting to help analyze the crew’s circadian rhythms, sleep-wake patterns, and activity.

Space to Ground: Farm-to-Table: 07/12/2019

Related links:

Expedition 60: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition60/index.html

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

Lighting Effects: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2013

Medical Proteomics: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7590

Veg-04A: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7896

Food Acceptability: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7562

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), Animations (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist Expedition 60.

Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link

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