Soyuz MS-11
Science & Exploration

Lung health, algae and radiation research on Space Station

24/06/2019 925 views 22 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / International Space Station
David Saint-Jacques in Sokol suit
David Saint-Jacques in Sokol suit

Join us as we look back at the past two weeks of European science on the International Space Station. These were also the last two weeks in space for NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Roscosmos astronaut Oleg Kononenko who are preparing to leave the Station at 23:25 GMT today.

Strapped inside their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft, the astronauts will travel home alongside a multitude of carefully-packed pieces experiments and pieces of equipment. Among the cargo are dosimeters from the Dosis 3D experiment that is charting radiation levels on Station.

A breath of fresh science

Anne McClain Airway Monitoring
Anne McClain Airway Monitoring

On 13 June, Anne and NASA astronaut Nick Hague conducted their final session of the Airway Monitoring experiment. This was also the very last session for this experiment in space.

Starting with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in 2015, Airway Monitoring has gathered data on how astronauts exhale nitric oxide in space. The research is helping to build a better understanding of the lung problems astronauts might develop on long spaceflights. Dust circulates indefinitely in space, increasing the chance of entering an astronaut’s lungs. Lunar dust could also cause lung inflammation and this experiment is the first to see how astronauts’ lungs cope with the change in environment.

The Airway Monitoring experiment is notable as it is the only experiment to use one of the Space Station’s airlock for research purposes. Part of the research requires the astronauts breathe while in reduced pressure so air is pumped out of the airlock during monitoring sessions.

PhotoBioreactor
PhotoBioreactor

On 20 June Nick gave some attention to the algae in German Aerospace Center DLR’s PhotoBioreactor. He provided fresh nutrients and removed excess algae in the experiment that is looking at how we can harness the power of Chlorella vulgaris to produce oxygen and food from water and carbon dioxide. Nick also took a sample of the algae and stored it in the Space Station’s –80°C freezer for analysis later on Earth.

The Electromagnetic Levitator was also powered up for another run of melting and solidifying alloys in space. Roscosmos astronaut Alexi Ovchinin configured the gas valves that allow the metals to be cast in an inert environment. Understanding the underlying physics of metal casting is complicated and factors such as gravity, and the mould used to hold the metal in place as the gas in which the metal is cast, can influence results. For example, gravity pulls on atoms in different ways and heat is transferred to the mould whereas the gas can interact with metal too. The facility was made ready for science on 19 June.

Matiss experiment
Matiss experiment

Experiments that have kept on ticking without astronaut intervention are the space storm-hunter ASIM, France's space agency CNES microbiological investigation Matiss-2, Europe’s commercial access to Space Station science ICE Cubes and the ‘air-traffic’ control for ships monitoring Vessel ID.

After the trio leave the Space Station tonight, Nick, NASA astronaut Christina Koch and Alexei will continue to orbit our planet as a trio until the arrival of Soyuz MS-13 crew. This crew includes ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and the launch, currently scheduled for 20 July 2019, marks the start of his second mission – Beyond.

Related Articles

Soyuz MS-11
Science & Exploration

Lung health, algae and radiation research on Space Station

24/06/2019 925 views 22 likes
Open item
Earth or Mars?
Science & Exploration

Getting ready for Mars – on the Space Station

27/05/2019 5322 views 95 likes
Open item
Columbus laboratory
Science & Exploration

Clocks, gravity, and the limits of relativity

23/05/2019 5517 views 135 likes
Open item
Visualising the laws of physics
Science & Exploration

Fake plastic atoms

18/12/2018 7287 views 114 likes
Open item
Neuronal deterioration of worm during ageing
Science & Exploration

Worms in space to understand muscle loss

05/12/2018 2479 views 43 likes
Open item
HESAC at its 31st meeting, 6 September 2018
Science & Exploration

New start for ESA’s exploration science advisory group

16/10/2018 358 views 2 likes
Open item
Science & Exploration

New research opportunities on International Space Station

08/02/2019 4613 views 55 likes
Open item
Sunrise seen from Space Station
Science & Exploration

The next generation of Space Station experiments

20/03/2015 6120 views 31 likes
Open item
International Space Station with ATV-2 and Endeavour docked
Science & Exploration

Calling scientists: send your experiment out of this world

28/02/2014 4022 views 28 likes
Open item
International Space Station during STS-134
Science & Exploration

Shining light on elusive dark matter

03/04/2013 11269 views 59 likes
Open item
Cell experiment in portable glovebox
Science & Exploration

Finding the key to immunity

04/02/2013 7166 views 45 likes
Open item
Installing Columbus
Science & Exploration

Five years of unique science on Columbus

12/02/2013 7741 views 42 likes
Open item
Microgravity Science Glovebox
Science & Exploration

Hooray for glovebox milestone – and faster computers

31/10/2011 1151 views 3 likes
Open item
André freezing blood samples
Science & Exploration

Keeping immune cells alive and kicking

08/05/2012 1441 views 9 likes
Open item
Lichen
Science & Exploration

The toughest life on Earth

22/06/2012 4262 views 20 likes
Open item
Setting up an experiment in the European Columbus laboratory
Science & Exploration

Astronaut Cruise control

27/02/2013 2672 views 15 likes
Open item
Zero-G takeoff
Science & Exploration

European space agencies inaugurate altered-gravity aircraft

08/05/2015 11073 views 82 likes
Open item

Related Articles

Related Links