Improving shoes, showers, 3D printing: research launching to the Space Station
by Staff Writers
Melissa Gaskill for ISS News
Houston TX (SPX) Feb 21, 2020 A variety of science investigations, along with supplies and equipment, launch to the International Space Station on the 20th SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. The Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to leave Earth March 2 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Its cargo includes research on particle foam manufacturing, water droplet formation, the human intestine and other cutting-edge investigations.
The space station, now in its 20th year of continuous human presence, provides opportunities for research by government agencies, private industry, and academic and research institutions. Such research supports Artemis, NASA's missions to the Moon and Mars, and leads to new technologies, medical treatments and products that improve life on Earth.
High-tech shoes from space
The BOOST Orbital Operations on Spheroid Tesellation (Adidas BOOST) investigation looks at how multiple types of pellets behave in this molding process. Using one type of pellet creates a foam with the same properties throughout the sole component. Using multiple pellet types can allow engineers to change mechanical properties and optimize shoe performance and comfort. Removing gravity from the process enables a closer look at pellet motion and location during the process.
Results of this investigation could demonstrate the benefits of microgravity research for manufacturing methods, contributing to increased commercial use of the space station. New processes for particle foam molding could benefit a variety of other industries, including packaging and cushioning materials.
New facility outside the space station
Airbus is collaborating with the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs to offer UN Member States the opportunity to fly a payload on Bartolomeo. Developing countries are particularly encouraged to participate, and the mission is devoted to addressing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Bartolomeo is named for the younger brother of Christopher Columbus.
Conserving water in the shower
Insight gained from this investigation also has potential applications in various uses of fluids on spacecraft, from human consumption of liquids to waste management and use of fluids for cooling and as propellants.
Studying the human intestine on a chip
A better understanding of how microgravity and other potential space travel stressors affect intestine immune cells and susceptibility to infection could help protect astronaut health on future long-term missions. It also could help identify the mechanisms that underlie development of intestinal diseases and possible targets for therapies to treat them on Earth.
Toward better 3D printing
The Nonequilibrium Processing of Particle Suspensions with Thermal and Electrical Field Gradients (ACE-T-Ellipsoids) experiment designs and assembles complex three-dimensional colloids - small particles suspended within a fluid - and controls density and behavior of the particles with temperature. Called self-assembled colloidal structures, these are vital to the design of advanced optical materials, but control of particle density and behavior is especially important for their use in 3D printing. Microgravity provides insight into the relationships among particle shape, crystal symmetry, density and other characteristics.
Functional structures based on colloids could lead to new devices for chemical energy, communication, and photonics.
Growing human heart cells
These heart cells or cardiomyocytes (CMs) could help treat cardiac abnormalities caused by spaceflight. In addition, scientists could use them to replenish cells damaged or lost due to cardiac disease on Earth and for cell therapy, disease modeling and drug development. Human cardiac tissues damaged by disease cannot repair themselves, and loss of CMs contributes to eventual heart failure and death.
Adidas, Delta Faucet prep research projects for International Space Station
Washington DC (UPI) Feb 20, 2020
NASA is preparing to send a variety of new scientific research projects to the International Space Station, including an experiment designed by the shoe company Adidas, among others. Officials from NASA, as well as representatives from several companies, outlined some of the 20 projects headed to the ISS on March 2 aboard SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft during a press briefing on Thursday. Michael Roberts, interim chief scientist for the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, s ... read more
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