CLEVELAND — NASA’s Glenn Research Center will have several experiments and hardware aboard space shuttle Discovery as it heads to the International Space Station on its final mission.
The following Glenn-related experiments and hardware will travel to station during this 39th flight of NASA’s most flown shuttle. The mission is scheduled to launch at 4:50 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Feb. 24.
The Microheater Array Boiling Experiment will obtain data using an array of tiny instrumented heaters to map the role of the position of the liquid and vapor phases during boiling in gravity and microgravity. The research should enable the development of more efficient cooling systems on future spacecraft and on Earth.
The Nucleate Pool Boiling eXperiment will provide an understanding of heat transfer and vapor removal processes that take place during nucleate boiling from a well characterized surface in microgravity. Such an understanding is needed for optimum design and safe operation of heat exchange equipment employing phase change for transfer of heat in microgravity.
Both of these experiments will be conducted later this spring using a new Boiling eXperiment Facility, which also will be aboard and will be installed on space station.
For the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6 experiment, the space station crew will photograph colloid samples after they have been mixed to observe the resulting structure and evolution in microgravity. The experiment will measure phase separation rates in microgravity to develop underlying theory for predicting product shelf life.
Data also may lead to improvements in supercritical fluids used in rocket propellants biotechnology applications, and advancements in fiber-optics technology.
The Light Microscopy Module-Biological Technical Demonstration is a continuation of the on-orbit characterization of this remote control space microscope. The data will demonstrate further the module’s capabilities and ensure the optimization of its use aboard the station.
The Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment-2, or PACE-2, is a continuation of the highly successful Colloids Research and Development Program. Previously on station, imaging of a flat test article was demonstrated. PACE-2 will test the ability to image 3-D particles. This imaging will be done using the Light Microscopy Module and the Fluids Integrated Rack, a large, high-tech science experiment facility designed and fabricated at Glenn. It was transported to station aboard Discovery in August 2009.
The Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2 involves research that can enable the development of computational design tools, that could lead to environmentally responsible and cost-effective combustion systems, providing the U.S. with efficient, domestic power for the future.
The goal of the Structure and Liftoff in Combustion Experiment is to improve the understanding of the physical and chemical processes controlling flame structure. Microgravity research of combustion can enable the development of computational design tools that could lead to minimizing the carbon footprint and pollutant emissions while maximizing fuel efficiency.
The Burning and Suppression of Solids is a combustion experiment that will bridge the gap among material flammability tests conducted in Earth’s gravity, ground-based microgravity tests and in microgravity on station. It will involve burning common spaceflight materials to measure the effects of microgravity on the burning and extinguishing of material in space. The goal is to improve the understanding of the effects of microgravity on the flammability of materials to ensure the safety of astronauts and equipment in future spacecraft.
For the latest information on the STS-133 mission and the crew, visit: