Headlines > News > Station Crew Studies Flames in Space While ATV-5 Coasts to Station

Station Crew Studies Flames in Space While ATV-5 Coasts to Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:04 pm via: NASA
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The six-member crew of Expedition 40 continued more combustion science and cargo transfers Thursday. Meanwhile, Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is in its second day on orbit slowly catching up to the International Space Station.

All week long astronauts Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst have traded days working on the long-running combustion experiment Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS-II).  It was Wiseman’s turn Thursday to set up the experiment and observe flames, their shape and length of burn time in space. The investigation takes place inside the Destiny laboratory’s Microgravity Science Glovebox while scientists on the ground observe the flames on downlink video.

BASS-II observes the characteristics of flames using different fuel samples and tests the hypothesis that some materials may burn longer with the flames spreading faster in space. Results may allow researchers to design safer, less-flammable spacecraft materials.

Gerst took part in a demonstration experiment for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Flying Classroom program. The ESA astronaut from Germany videotaped the educational investigation of basic fluid physics for the Marangoni Convection experiment.

Commander Steve Swanson worked inside the berthed Cygnus commercial cargo craft transferring cargo to and from the Harmony node. Swanson also participated in a study investigating the possible long-term risk of atherosclerosis in astronauts. The experiment named Cardio Ox analyzes a crew member’s blood and urine samples including Ultrasound scans of carotid and brachial arteries before, during and after a mission.

On the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, the three cosmonauts, including two veteran station residents, worked on their complement of science and station upkeep activities.

Upcoming commander Max Suraev was back at work transferring cargo from the new ISS Progress 56 (56P) resupply ship attached to the Pirs docking compartment. He also continued updating the station’s inventory management system to ensure his crew mates and ground controllers can locate the stowed supplies, food and gear delivered aboard the 56P.

Past station commander and current Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov continued the fan replacement work he started earlier in the week. He swapped the old fans with new low noise units throughout the space station’s Russian modules.

Flight Engineer and first timer space-flyer Oleg Artemyev worked in the Russian segment on various science and maintenance activities.

ESA’s fifth and final ATV-5 is coasting to the International Space Station destined for an August 12 docking to the Zvezda service module’s aft port at 9:34 a.m. EDT. Dubbed the “Georges Lemaître” for the 20th century Belgian astronomer, the ATV-5 is taking the long route to the station so European flight controllers can test new rendezvous sensors. Two tests of the ATV-5’s systems for ultimate collision avoidance with the station will take place Friday.

The ISS Progress 55 (55P) cargo craft which undocked from the station and was replaced by the 56P last week, has completed a series of engineering tests as it flew solo above the Earth for ten days. The 55P, loaded with trash and discarded gear, will be deorbited Thursday afternoon over the Pacific Ocean for a fiery demise.

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