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?

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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
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