The International Space Station was again the stage for novel European science and routine operations during the first half of August. Plenty of action in the form of bubbles and sounds added to the mix in the run-up to a spacewalk and the comings and goings of visiting vehicles.
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano installed the Multiscale Boiling experiment, known affectionately as Rubi, in its new home in Europe's Columbus laboratory. It took Luca a few hours to fit the container, the size of a large shoebox, inside the Fluid Science Laboratory.
Lot - Science - Place - There—Rubi - Bubbles
A lot of science will take place in there—Rubi will generate bubbles under controlled conditions using a special heater to expand our knowledge of the boiling process. Larger bubbles in slow motion will allow scientists to observe and measure effects that are too fast and too small on Earth.
With this insight and more accurate calculations of the boiling process, products such as laptops can be improved and made more compact.
Can you hear me?
The Space Station is a labyrinth of modules running 24/7, and many astronauts have remarked upon the incessant hum that comes from living in a large spacecraft. Scientists worry that this non-stop buzz might affect the hearing of the astronauts.
Luca - NASA - Andrew - Morgan - Ears
Luca and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan lent their ears to the first session of the Acoustic Diagnostics experiment. Once a month, with headphones on, the astronauts will listen to sounds as a device records the response of their inner ears.
Detecting hearing loss in space will both help take care of astronauts' health during long missions and improve a device for testing hearing more accurately on Earth in noisy environments.
Way - Protein - Brain - Threads - Memories
As we get older, the way protein accumulates in our brain is thought to cling together in larger threads, depriving us of memories and a sharp brain. The possibility that astronauts have...
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