Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Levitating Furnace Holds Promise For Future Experiments

Date:
July 17, 1998
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center--Space Sciences Laboratory
Summary:
A unique levitation furnace that flew on the Space Shuttle in 1998 is being eyed for upgrades to fly on future Shuttle and International Space Station missions.

July 15, 1998: A unique levitation furnace that flew on the Space Shuttle in 1998 is being eyed for upgrades to fly on future Shuttle and International Space Station missions.

"TEMPUS on MSL-1 provided it was operationally reliable," said Dr. Ivan Egry, the project scientist at the German Space Agency (DLR). "I am really surprised at how much scientific data we are still squeezing out of it."

Egry spoke Tuesday morning to the third Biennial Microgravity Materials Science Conference sponsored by NASA.

TEMPUS - built by the DLR and used jointly by DLR and NASA - is the German acronym for containerless electromagnetic processing in weightlessness. That, simply put, is what TEMPUS does. An electromagnetic coil inside the TEMPUS facility positions metal samples with about 1/1,000th the force needed on the ground to work against gravity and keep the samples from touching the container walls. A second coil pumps in radio wave energy - a bit like a microwave oven - to melt the sample.

This approach is vital in a number of research areas because touching the container walls will instantly cool the sample and levitation on the ground often involve forces great enough to disturb the sample. Scientist don't want either to happen when they are trying to make precise measurements of fundamental properties that can help them refine manufacturing processes on Earth.

TEMPUS flew on the Microgravity Sciences Laboratory-1 mission in 1998, and on the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) in 1994. Data are still being analyzed, but Egry gave a preview Tuesday, including benchmark data that will let scientists correct the surface tension measurements for one type of metal, and make the first-ever reliable viscosity measurements.

"Many things were surprising," Egry said when asked about the data from TEMPUS. Among them were the first experimental measurements of the electrical conductivity of cobalt-palladium in both its liquid and solid states.

TEMPUS demonstrated its value by making repeat measurements that matched very closely with one another. Consistency is crucial when one is trying to establish basic physical properties. For example, one line of experiments involved cooling metals, such as zirconium, far below their normal freezing point and then recording the point where they froze, how much heat they gave off, and other details. The zirconium sample was put through 120 melt/freeze cycles.

"It's really amazing to see how one undercooling cycle follows the other," Egry said as he showed a graph showing precise repeatability in the data.

All told, the MSL-1 mission hosted 22 experiments comprising 197 hours of test run and 437 melting cycles.

Spurred by this success, DLR is looking at adapting TEMPUS to fly on Spacelab, and to incorporate better sample handling and video capabilities, and a broader temperature range. DLR also is looking at an Advanced TEMPUS that would allow scientists to replace samples in orbit - so the furnace would not have to be brought back - and add other improvements to enhance the science.

Editor's Note: The original news release, with images and related links, can be found at: http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/msad15jul98_2.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center--Space Sciences Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center--Space Sciences Laboratory. "Levitating Furnace Holds Promise For Future Experiments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980717084816.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center--Space Sciences Laboratory. (1998, July 17). Levitating Furnace Holds Promise For Future Experiments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980717084816.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center--Space Sciences Laboratory. "Levitating Furnace Holds Promise For Future Experiments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980717084816.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

NASA (Aug. 15, 2014) Carbon Observatory’s First Data, ATV-5 Delivers Cargo, Cygnus Departs Station and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins