For release: 01/09/02 (for week ending 01/09/02)
Science Ops status report #: 02-005
Colloids experiment begins record 120-hour test on Space Station
The Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space began a record 120-hour test Monday aboard the International Space Station in an effort to explore these novel particles. Colloids are a system of fine particles suspended in a fluid, found in many common products and manufacturing processes on Earth.
Photo: Time-lapse photos of colloids experiment on the Space Station (Harvard University)
The Experiment on Physics of Colloids in Space began a record 120-hour test on Monday, January 7, in an effort to explore these novel particles with many common uses on Earth.
"The science team is re-examining the early stages of the crystallization of the AB-6 binary colloidal crystal alloy for a long consecutive amount of time to produce better data on its crystallization," said Mike Doherty, project manager of the colloids experiment at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. "We are looking at the crystallization process using higher resolution imaging in an attempt to unmask two different aspects of the light scattering from this sample."
A colloid is a system of fine particles. Common examples are paint, milk and ink, as well as copy machine toner, phosphors for computer screens, and anti-slip floor coatings. They are also used in manufacturing processes such as the polishing of silicon for computer chips. By using the low gravity environment of the Space Station to better understand their behavior, scientists hope to develop new materials and manufacturing processes on Earth.
Also on Monday, the Active Rack Isolation System ISS Characterization Experiment science team began a series of one-minute isolation tests with a new control program. ARIS is an experimental vibration dampening device designed to protect delicate microgravity experiments from accelerations caused by crew activity, operating equipment and other disturbances.
The crew completed checkout of equipment Monday for the Extravehicular Activity Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) experiment. Both the badge reader unit and the individual radiation badges, which will be placed in the cooling undergarments of the spacesuits checked out perfectly and the data was downlinked to the ground. One of several radiation-monitoring experiments aboard the station, EVARM will be the first to measure radiation dosage encountered by the eyes, internal organs and skin during specific spacewalks. The first use of the radiation badges during a spacewalk will be during the 8A Space Shuttle mission to the Station. The principal investigator is Ian Thomson of Thomson & Nielsen Electronics, Ltd., Ottawa, Canada. It is managed by the Canadian Space Agency and NASA's Johnson Space Center.
Carl Walz and Dan Bursch completed the first session of the Renal Stone experiment, including collection of urine over a 24-hour period and diet monitoring and logging. The experiment, managed by Johnson Space Center, is studying the risk of developing kidney stones during long-duration space flight, as well as testing a preventative drug.
Among the photography sites for the Crew Earth Observations science program this week are industrialized Southeastern Africa, lakes in the Sierra Nevadas and the Peruvian Andes, Patagonian glaciers, the Tuamotu Archipelago, biomass burning in Angola, snow and ice in the South Sandwich Islands, the Yangtze River delta, and the Eastern United States.Untended operations monitored by science teams on the ground continue with a pair of protein crystal growth experiments, a suitcase-sized collection of materials attached to the outside of the space station and vibration measuring experiments in the Destiny laboratory module.
On Monday, Jan. 7, Flight Engineer Dan Bursch removed the hard drive from the Payload MDM 2 and replaced it with a new memory card, carried to the Station on the UF-1 Space Shuttle mission in December 2001. Located in Avionics Rack 3 in the floor of the Destiny lab module, the MDM processes all ground commands to the payload racks and science experiments, as well as telemetry from racks and experiments to the ground. The Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center will be monitoring the performance of the memory card over the next four weeks.
"The new memory card is more radiation-hardened and has three times as much memory as the hard drive, so it gives us a more reliable, more flexible capability," Expedition Four Payload Operations Director Tim Horvath said.
Editor’s Note: The Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages all science research experiment operations aboard the International Space Station. The center is also home for coordination of the mission-planning work of a variety of international sources, all science payload deliveries and retrieval, and payload training and payload safety programs for the Station crew and all ground personnel.
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