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Russian Capusle BION-M1 ready with new physical science experiments


March, 26th 2013 – It continues the preparation for the launch of the russian BION-M1 capsule that will carry on two italian physical science experiments, FOAM2 and DIASPACE2 developed by Kayser Italia and the universities of Rome and Florence. 

FOAM2 is an experiment on shape memory epoxy foams to evaluate the feasibility of their use for building multi-functional composite structures. The experiment shall simulate the actuation of simple devices in micro-gravity conditions, where three different configurations (loaded and unloaded compression, bending) are chosen during the memory step of the foams so as to produce their recovery on board. FOAM2 shall support the study and the development of shape memory polymer foams that can be used in aerospace for different applications: from light actuators to structural parts with reduced size during shipping. 

DIASPACE2 is an experiment using polycrystalline diamond films as dosimeters for space applications. The capability of diamond films to detect low doses has been demonstrated down to the mGys range. Dosimeters based on diamond substrates shall support the fabrication of versatile dosimeters to monitor astronauts, environment and experiments in space. 

The Kayser Italia payload is a precursor of RIBES, a payload concept that allows the execution of experiments in the areas of life science and physical science on board free flyer capsules and space stations. It aims to demonstrate the validity of the payload concept as a general solution suitable for the execution of physical and life science experiments on board BION/FOTON capsules, as well as on others, like the USA Space-X/Dragon and the Chinese Shenzhou and Tiangong capsules. 

The launch of BION-M1 is scheduled for April, 19th 2013 from the Baikonur cosmodrome (Kazakhstan).