суббота, 20 июля 2019 г.

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of July 15, 2019

ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.

July 19, 2019

Scientific investigations conducted aboard the International Space Station last week included work on muscle health, changes to the body, and growing moss in space as well as other research. The Expedition 60 crew reached its full complement with the arrival of astronauts Drew Morgan and Luca Parmitano and cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov on Saturday, July 20. The crew also prepared for the 18th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS), currently scheduled to launch next week with supplies and additional scientific investigations. Science conducted on the orbiting lab supports commercial research and development and advances NASA’s Artemis program, which plans to return humans to the Moon and to send the first humans to Mars.

Image above: NASA astronaut Nick Hague works on maintenance for the space station’s life support hardware. Current investigations aboard the orbiting lab evaluate creating hybrid life support systems by adding biological processes to existing systems. Image Credit: NASA.

Here are details on some of the science conducted during the week of July 15:

Muscles on microgravity

The crew conducted measurements for the Myotones investigation, which observes the properties of muscles, including tone, stiffness and elasticity, during long-term exposure to spaceflight. Insight into principles of human resting muscle tone could lead to development of new treatments and rehabilitation strategies on Earth and future space missions.

Understanding aging-related processes

Some responses to spaceflight in humans and model organisms such as mice resemble accelerated aging. Rodent Research-17 (RR-17) uses mice to evaluate the physiological, cellular, and molecular effects of spaceflight and provide a better understanding of aging-related immune, bone, and muscle disease processes. Results may lead to new therapies for use in space and on Earth. The investigation uses existing Rodent Research hardware including Habitats, which the crew stowed last week.

Tiny plants, big potential

The crew performed setup and testing of the Florescence Microscope in preparation for conducting the Space Moss investigation arriving on SpaceX CRS-18. The investigation determines how microgravity affects the growth, development, and other features of moss. Tiny plants without roots, mosses need only a small area for growth, an advantage for their potential use in space and future bases on the Moon or Mars. The investigation uses the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR), a system in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) with two workspaces and a worktable suitable for a variety of science and educational missions.

Image above: This image of the International Space Station shows the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the left and at right, a variety of solar arrays, including the cymbal-shaped Ultra-Flex solar arrays attached to the Cygnus space freighter, a portion of one of the space station’s main solar arrays, and, bottom right, part of a docked Russian spacecraft’s solar array. Image Credit: NASA.

Cleaner combustion

The crew completed final runs for the Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) Flame Design, which studies the production and control of soot to optimize oxygen-enriched combustion and the design of robust, soot-free flames. Soot can adversely affect efficiency, emissions, and equipment lifetime. Flame Design is part of a series of independent ACME experiments using the space station’s Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR).

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

— Photobioreactor tests whether the biological processes of microalgae work together with existing systems to create a hybrid life support system. This approach could reduce the amount of consumables required from Earth for future long-duration missions: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7426

— 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: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7877

— Veg-04 A is a phased research project to address the need for a continuous fresh-food production system in space: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7896

— 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: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7711

Image above: The space station’s Hermes Facility enables regolith and granular material investigations with applications to asteroids, planetary science, and exploration. Hermes is reconfigurable and capable of accommodating up to four experiments at a time for long duration exposure to microgravity. Image Credit: NASA.

— The HERMES facility enables regolith and granular material investigations with applications to asteroids, planetary science, and exploration, including HERMES Cassette-1, which explores the dynamics and properties of regolith, the loosely aggregated surface on airless bodies and could provide understanding of asteroid and small body dynamics essential for future crewed and robotic missions: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7557


— 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

Space to Ground: History’s Greatest Adventure: 07/19/2019

Related links:

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

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

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

Rodent Research-17 (RR-17): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7992

Space Moss: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7892

Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1651

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=317

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/Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist Expedition 60.

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