суббота, 5 октября 2019 г.

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of September 23, 2019

ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.

Sept. 30, 2019

Scientific studies recently conducted aboard the International Space Station included testing algorithms to control free-flying satellites, evaluating the flow of amyloids in microgravity and more. On Sept. 25, the Expedition 60 crew welcomed members of Expedition 61 including NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, along with a ROSCOSMOS spaceflight participant from the United Arab Emirates, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori. In addition, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-IIB rocket launched Sept. 24 for a four-day trip to bring supplies and science investigations to the station.

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

The space station provides a platform for long-duration research on the human body in microgravity and for testing technologies for traveling farther into deep space, which supports Artemis, NASA’s plans to go forward to the Moon and on to Mars.

Here are details on some of the science conducted on the orbiting laboratory during the week of Sept. 23:

Analyzing Amyloids

Image above: NASA astronaut Nick Hague works on the Ring Sheared Drop investigation in the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox as NASA astronaut Christina Koch observes. Ring Sheared Drop examines the formation and flow of amyloids in microgravity. Image Credit: NASA.

The crew set up the first sample run for Ring Sheared Drop. In microgravity, fluids float, which allows examination of the formation of amyloid fibrils where surface tension and not a container holds liquids together. Amyloids, abnormal fibrous deposits found in organs and tissues, are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Results could contribute to better understanding of and treatments for these diseases. Data on the flow of liquids without the complications associated with solid walls also could contribute to development of advanced materials.

Calling the Space Station

ISS Ham Radio provides students, teachers, parents and other members of the community an opportunity to communicate directly with astronauts using Ham radio units. Crew members conducted several ISS Ham passes including one with the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, an independent nonprofit for families of children with rare or critical illnesses, and another with Northridge Elementary School, a STEM-focused school in Longmont, CO. Some of the questions asked from the ground included how space affects body tissues, how astronauts return safely to Earth and the effects of gravity on solids and liquids. The experience sparks student interest in mathematics and science and inspires the next generation of explorers.

Steering Swarms of Satellites

Crew members performed the final science session for SPHERES hardware, SPHERES-ReSwarm, which evaluates algorithms for controlling swarms of small spacecraft. These algorithms scale easily with formation size and remain applicable to multiple mission scenarios. The next-generation satellite system known as Astrobee now takes over the free-flier role from SPHERES. Swarms of small spacecraft could become feasible in the near future and create new capabilities for Earth and space observation missions.

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

— RADI-N2, a Canadian Space Agency investigation, characterizes the neutron radiation environment aboard the space station to help define the risk to the health of crew members and provide data for development of advanced protective measures for future spaceflight. https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=874

Image above: The Microgravity Crystals investigation crystallizes a membrane protein that is integral to tumor growth and cancer survival, potentially advancing development of cancer treatments with fewer side effects. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan sets up the protein crystal samples for observing and photographing inside a microscope. Image Credit: NASA.

— The Microgravity Crystals investigation crystallizes a membrane protein that is integral to tumor growth and cancer survival.

— 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.

— Standard Measures captures a consistent set of measures from crew members to characterize how their bodies adapt to living in space.

— Actiwatch is a nonintrusive, wearable monitor that analyzes a crew member’s circadian rhythms, sleep-wake patterns, and activity.

Animation above: European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano conducts operations for MVP Cell-02, an investigation into how organisms adapt to the space environment, an important component of future space exploration. Animation Credit: NASA.

— MVP Cell-02 seeks to understand how organisms adapt to the space environment, an important component of future space exploration, using the bacterium Bacillus subtilis as a model organism.

— Rodent Research-17 (RR-17) uses younger and older mice as model organisms to evaluate the physiological, cellular and molecular effects of the spaceflight environment.

— Functional Immune analyzes blood and saliva samples to determine the changes taking place in the immune systems of crew members during flight.

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

Space to Ground: New Arrivals: 09/27/2019

Related links:

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

Expedition 61: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition61/index.html

Ring Sheared Drop: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7383

ISS Ham Radio: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=337

SPHERES-ReSwarm: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7753

SPHERES: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=303

Astrobee: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1891

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

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