ISS – Expedition 56 Mission patch.
Sept. 21, 2018
The Expedition 56 crew members aboard the International Space Station conducted a variety of biomedical and physical science research this week as they continued to await the arrival of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) HTV-7 resupply vehicle.
Image above: A view of the European Space Agency Columbus Lab Module, looking across into the Japanese Experiment Module. Image Credit: NASA.
As a result of inclement weather, JAXA has postponed the launch of a cargo spacecraft from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan to Saturday, Sept. 22. Live coverage of the launch will begin at 1:30 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Learn more about the science happening on station below:
Crew prepares for ACME operations
The Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment (ACME) investigation is a set of five independent studies of gaseous flames to be conducted in the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR), one of which being Electric-Field Effects on Laminar Diffusion Flames (E-FIELD Flames).
In E-FIELD Flames, an electric field with voltages as high as 10,000 volts is established between the burner and a mesh electrode. The motion of the charged ions, which are naturally produced within the flame, are strongly affected by a high-voltage electric field. The resulting ion-driven wind can dramatically influence the stability and sooting behavior of the flame. Measurements are made of electric-field strength, the ion current passing through the flame, and flame characteristics such as the size, structure, temperature, soot, and stability. Conducting the tests in microgravity allows for simplifications in the analysis, enabling new understanding and the potential development of less polluting and more efficient combustion technology for use on Earth.
Animation above: Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos works within the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) as a part of the ACME investigation.
The crew conducted maintenance on the rack in order to prepare for E-FIELD Flames to begin. Animation Credit: NASA.
This week, in preparation for E-FIELD Flames operations, crew members replaced several components including power supply, burner, igniter tip and controller, as well as installing the mesh.
Crew replaces materials for experiment run
The Atomization experiment uses a high-speed camera to observe the disintegration processes of low-speed water jets under various conditions. These observations validate a new atomization concept, developed from drop tower experiments on Earth, to correctly predict the breakup positions of a liquid stream. This information is key to improving spray combustion processes inside rocket and jet engines.
Animation above: NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor works to replace sample syringes and a water trip in preparation for an Atomization experiment run. Animation Credit: NASA.
This week, the crew replaced sample syringes and a water trap, allowing the ground team to initiate and complete an experiment run.
Samples collected, DNA sequenced as a part of BEST investigation
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) seeks to advance use of sequencing in space in three ways: identifying microbes aboard the space station that current methods cannot detect, assessing microbial mutations in the genome because of spaceflight and performing direct RNA sequencing.
Image above: View during Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) Experiment 1 Part 1. The objective is to identify bacteria directly from ISS surfaces through the swabbing and extraction of DNA from the swab using mini PCR. The DNA will undergo further sample preparation and sequencing with the Biomolecule Sequencer. Image Credit: NASA.
This week, crew members performed operations to initiate DNA sequences from samples collected on Monday of this week.
Learn more about the BEST investigation here: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/BEST_DNA_RNA
Crew conducts maintenance on camera used in sediment investigation
Binary Colloidal Alloy Test – Cohesive Sediment (BCAT-CS) studies dynamic forces between sediment particles that cluster together. For the study, scientists sent mixtures of quartz and clay particles to the space station and subjected them to various levels of simulated gravity. Conducting the experiment in microgravity makes it possible to separate out different forces that act on sediments and look at the function of each.
Understanding how sediments behave has a range of applications on Earth, including predicting and mitigating erosion, improving water treatment, modeling the carbon cycle, sequestering contaminants and more accurately finding deep sea oil reservoirs.
Video credits: NASA Johnson.
This week, the crew conducted maintenance such as adjusting the camera’s alignment, changing the battery on the camera’s flash, and refocusing the camera itself.
Other work was done on these investigations: Microbial Tracking-2, Plant Habitat-1, Plant Habitat, ISS HAM, SpaceTex-2, DOSIS-3D, Metabolic Space, Biochemical Profile, Cell Free Epigenome/Medical Proteomics, Veggie, HRF-2, MUSES, ZeroG Battery Testing, JAXA ELF, and Team Task Switching.
NASA Television: https://www.nasa.gov/live
Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment (ACME): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1651
Combustion Integration Rack (CIR): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=317
Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7687
Binary Colloidal Alloy Test – Cohesive Sediment (BCAT-CS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7668
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 (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Yuri Guinart-Ramirez, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 55 & 56.
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