SpaceX CRS-22 to launch technology development and basic science research on the International Space Station

SpaceX CRS-22 to launch technology development and basic science research on the International Space Station

Press release from: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
Posted: Thursday May 27 2021

Several payloads are ready to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Services Resupply (CRS) mission to the in-orbit laboratory. The launch, contracted through NASA, is scheduled for no earlier than June 3, 1:29 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. This mission includes more than a dozen surveys sponsored by the ISS US National Laboratory.

Much research is in the areas of basic science and technological development, including several projects funded by other government agencies. Research in these areas of strategic interest deepens fundamental knowledge that can improve future investigations and advance technologies to bring value to our country and generate a strong market in low earth orbit. Below are some of the fundamental science and technology development surveys on SpaceX CRS-22.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, one of the 27 institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health, continues to work with the ISS National Lab to fund projects under the Tissue Chips in Space initiative. Tissue chips contain human cells grown on an artificial scaffold to model the structure and function of human tissue. This mission includes a second investigation of tissue chips in space at the University of Washington. The research team uses tissue chip systems that model the human kidney to better understand kidney stone formation, the body’s use of vitamin D, and a condition in which a person’s urine contains amounts unusually high protein. The results of this investigation could lead to new treatment options for patients on Earth.

Another investigation into this mission was funded by a solicitation from the National Science Foundation focused on transport phenomena and fluid dynamics. In this project, researchers at the University of Delaware will examine the self-assembly of colloidal particles in fluid systems, a phenomenon essential to the development of advanced electronics and nanotechnology. The number of advanced materials produced by assembling colloidal particles is increasing. Assembly can be controlled by applying external fields, such as a magnetic field, which affect the movement of particles and their organization during assembly. Carrying out self-assembly research in microgravity is advantageous because on Earth particles settle out of liquid due to gravity with a rate of sedimentation that increases as they form large and complicated structures. The colloidal particles examined in this experiment could serve as building blocks for advanced materials that control the propagation of sound and heat in electronics.

Also on this mission is an investigation by the University of Notre Dame which aims to study the fundamental physics of small-scale transport phenomena. The experiment will examine how metallic nanostructures interact with light to create a high degree of local heating and evaporation of the surrounding liquid. Specifically, the research team will examine the relationship between the geometry of the nanostructure (i.e. the size and shape of the particles and the spacing between the particles) and the process of bubble formation when the nanoparticles are excited by the light. In microgravity, convection driven by buoyancy is eliminated, allowing the team to observe bubble dynamics in detail and with unprecedented clarity. A better understanding of the evaporation process could lead to several important applications, such as the development of new highly selective anticancer therapies and new methods of desalination and water purification.

For more information on all of the ISS National Lab-sponsored research on SpaceX CRS-22, please visit our mission overview page. To learn more about the latest scientific and technological advancements aboard the ISS, register to attend the 2021 ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), which will be held virtually August 3-5. To register for free, visit www.issconference.org.

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About the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory: The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique laboratory that enables research and technological development not possible on Earth. As a public service company, the ISS National Lab enables researchers to take advantage of this multi-user facility to improve life on Earth, evolve space business models, advance scientific knowledge of the future workforce. work and develop a sustainable and scalable market in low earth orbit. Through this national orbiting laboratory, ISS research resources are available to support non-NASA science, technology, and education initiatives by U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the national laboratory of the ISS, within the framework of a cooperation agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent research environment in microgravity, a point of powerful view in low earth orbit and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit www.ISSNationalLab.org.

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