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.

Related Articles


"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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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