Review of the European Space Agency’s Low Gravity Experiments



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Summary Review of the European Space Agency’s Low Gravity Experiments

Volume 3: ISS Increment 9







This document has been produced by the Erasmus Centre of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration Programmes of the European Space Agency.
Copyright 2007 Erasmus Centre (HME-UC), ESA.

For further information please refer to the contact details provided on the next page.

Title: Summary Review of the European Space Agency’s Low Gravity Experiments

Reference: UC-ESA-SRE-0001, Volume 3, Revision 0
Copyright © 2007 Erasmus Centre, ESA

July 2007


Authors: Enrico Ceglia (ESA), Nicole Sentse (ESA)

Layout, Cover Design and Graphics: Enrico Ceglia (ESA)

Producer: Dieter Isakeit (ESA)
Scientific Support: Eric Istasse (ESA), Hilde Stenuit (ESA), Pierre-Francois Migeotte (ESA)
Contents validated by experiment Team Members
Erasmus Centre

Directorate of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration Programmes

European Space Agency (ESA)

Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0) 71 565 6616

Fax: +31 (0) 71 565 8008
spaceflight.information@esa.int

http://www.spaceflight.esa.int/users
purpose of document

The Summary Review of the European Space Agency’s Low Gravity Experiments is intended to provide a concise, but clear, overview of the objectives and scientific results obtained from ESA sponsored low gravity research, executed on/in the five low gravity platforms and other ground based facilities supported by ESA.



Table Of Contents

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Background to ESA Low Gravity Research 1

1.2 The Five Major Low Gravity Platforms 1

1.3 Release and Structure of Summary Review Document 2

1.4 Research Cornerstones 2

1.4.1 Life and Physical Sciences Research Cornerstones 3

1.5 Erasmus Experiment Archive (EEA) 8

1.6 General Information and Advice 8



2 The International Space Station (ISS) 10

2.1 ESA Utilisation Rights and Additional Flight Opportunities 10

2.2 Increment Timeline 11

2.3 Increment 9: ESA experiments 13

2.3.1 Life Sciences 15

2.3.1.1 Biology: Molecular and cell biology 15

2.3.1.1.1 Role of microgravity on actin metabolism in mammalian cells (ACTIN) 15

2.3.1.1.2 Bone cell mechanosensitivity in weightlessness (FLOW) 17

2.3.1.1.3 The influence of weightlessness on the activation of the NF-KB protein (KAPPA) 18

2.3.1.1.4 Study of the linear energy transfer, energy and charge distribution in a human phantom in space (MATROSHKA-1) 21

2.3.1.2 Biology: Plant Biology 26

2.3.1.2.1 The influence of gravity on the cytoskeleton and the determination of the division plane in plants (TUBUL) 26

2.3.1.3 Physiology: Integrative gravitational physiology 28

2.3.1.3.1 Cardiovascular adaptation to weightlessness (CARDIOCOG-1) 28

2.3.1.3.2 The influence of prolonged microgravity on the orientation of Listing’s plane and eye-to-head coordination (ETD) 31

2.3.1.3.3 Physiological parameters that predict orthostatic intolerance after space flight (HEART) & 24-hr Pattern of blood pressure and heart rate in microgravity (CIRCA) 34

2.3.1.3.4 Low back pain in astronauts during spaceflight (LBP/MUSCLE) 39

2.3.1.3.5 Vestibular adaptation to G-transitions: Motion perception (MOP) 41

2.3.1.3.6 Directed attention brain potentials in virtual 3-D space in weightlessness (NeuroCOG) 43

2.3.1.3.7 Molecular and physiological analysis of microbial samples isolated from manned spacecraft (SAMPLE) 48

2.3.1.3.8 Sympathoadrenal activity in humans during spaceflight (SYMPATHO-1) 51

2.3.2 Physical Sciences 56

2.3.2.1 Material Sciences: New materials, products and processes 56

2.3.2.1.1 Counterdiffusion protein crystallisation in microgravity and its observation with the Protein Microscope for the ISS (PromISS-3) 56

2.3.2.2 Fundamental Physics: Physics of plasmas and solid/liquid dust particles 61

2.3.2.2.1 Atomic densities measured Radially in metal halide lamps under microGravity conditions with Emission and absorption Spectroscopy (ARGES) 61

2.3.2.3 Fluid Physics: Fluid and interface physics 63

2.3.2.3.1 Heat transfer performances of a grooved heat pipe (HEAT) 63



3 Acronyms 1


List of Figures

Figure 2‑1: ISS Programme Launch Events and Increments (July 2002 - December 2007) 12

Figure 2‑2: MATROSHKA facility uploaded hardware 23

Figure 2‑3: Dosimeter distribution in Phantom Head slice #4 24

Figure 2‑4: Asymmetry in the estimation of turn angles for virtual rotations around horizontal and vertical axes 45

Figure 2‑5: Inter-trials coherence of theta and alpha rhythms in response to a standard checkerboard pattern (a, c, e) and to the presentation of a curved tunnel (b, d ,f) on the ground before flight (a, b) in flight (c,d) and on the ground after flight (e, f) 46

Figure 2‑6: Difference in the power gain of 10 Hz activity between the recordings performed in the ISS and on Earth 46

Figure 2‑7: Mean platelet norepinephrine values (+/- SE) in 5 cosmonauts (one value was missing postflight) 54

Figure 2‑8: Platelet norepinephrine during microgravity and during HDBR expressed in percentage of basal values 54

Figure 2‑9: Geometry of the PromISS experiments. Internal volume of the reactors is 52 mm high, 19 mm wide, and 34 mm deep (left: capillary geometry; right: full reactor geometry) 57

Figure 2‑10: An internal view of PromISS without electronic boxes 58

Figure 2‑11: Example of amplitude computed image 59

Figure 2‑12: Results of an experiment with TIM in capillary geometry performed during PromISS I 60

Figure 2‑13: HEAT Experiment power profile 64

Figure 2‑14: HEAT experiment box 65




List of Tables

Table 1‑1: Fluid Physics Research Cornerstones 3

Table 1‑2: Fundamental Physics Research Cornerstones 4

Table 1‑3: Material Sciences Research Cornerstones 4

Table 1‑4: Biology Research Cornerstones 5

Table 1‑5: Physiology Research Cornerstones 6

Table 1‑6: Exobiology Research Cornerstones 7

Table 1‑7: Exploration Research Cornerstones 7

Table 2‑8: ESA Russian flight opportunities deriving from ESA/Roscosmos Framework Agreement (May 2001) 10

Table 2‑9: List of Life Sciences ESA experiments for Increment 9 13

Table 2‑10: List of Physical Sciences ESA experiments for Increment 9 13

Table 2‑11: Study design and phases 52

Table 2‑12: Plasma norepinephrine in 10 normal subjects during the adaptation and intervention periods 53




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