Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Learning How Materials Work In Space To Make Them Better On Earth

Date:
September 22, 2009
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
What's about the size of a large refrigerator, weighs a ton and may help pave the way for new and improved metals or glasses here on Earth? It's the Materials Science Research Rack -- a new laboratory on board the International Space Station.

A view of the Materials Science Research Rack.
Credit: NASA

What's about the size of a large refrigerator, weighs a ton and may help pave the way for new and improved metals or glasses here on Earth?

Related Articles


It's the Materials Science Research Rack -- a new laboratory on board the International Space Station.

This facility will allow researchers to study a variety of materials -- including metals, alloys, semiconductors, ceramics, and glasses to see how the materials form, and learn how to control their properties. The results from experiments conducted in the facility could lead to the development of materials with improved properties on Earth.

Materials science research is a multidisciplinary endeavor studying the relationships between the processing conditions and properties of materials. The research rack -- measuring 6 feet high, 3.5 feet wide and 40 inches deep -- will provide a powerful, multi-user materials science laboratory in a microgravity, or near weightless, environment. Researchers can benefit from studying materials in space because they can isolate the fundamental heat and mass transfer processes involved that are frequently masked by gravity on the ground.

The research rack will provide hardware to control the thermal, environmental and vacuum conditions of experiments; monitor experiments with video; and supply power and data handling for specific experiment instrumentation.

"Materials science is an integral part of our everyday life," said Sandor Lehoczky, project scientist for the rack at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "The goal of materials processing in space is to develop a better understanding of how processing affects materials properties without the complication of gravity causing density effects on the processes. With this knowledge, reliable predictions can be made about the conditions required on Earth to achieve improved materials."

The Materials Science Research Rack is an automated facility with two different furnace inserts in which sample cartridges will be processed to temperatures up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Initially, 13 sample cartridge assemblies will be processed, each containing mixtures of metal alloys. The cartridges are placed -- one at a time -- inside the furnace insert for processing. Once a cartridge is in place, the experiment can be run by automatic command or conducted via telemetry commands from the ground. Processed samples will be returned to Earth for evaluation and comparison of their properties to samples similarly processed on the ground.

The research rack was launched to the space station aboard space shuttle Discovery on August 28. It was installed in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory Sept. 2. The development of the rack was a cooperative effort between NASA and the European Space Agency. The rack accommodates the European Space Agency’s Materials Science Laboratory -- designed to provide controlled, materials processing conditions and advanced diagnostics. The Materials Science Laboratory has the capability to handle different furnace inserts. Metallurgical research will be conducted in the laboratory to gain a better understanding of industrial metallurgical processes, such as casting, welding and other advanced melting processes.

For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. The original article was written by Lori Meggs, AI Signal Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "Learning How Materials Work In Space To Make Them Better On Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921175008.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. (2009, September 22). Learning How Materials Work In Space To Make Them Better On Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921175008.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "Learning How Materials Work In Space To Make Them Better On Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921175008.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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