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RIBES on Bion-M1 spacecraft in orbit


Baikonur (Kazakhstan), 19-April-2013, at 10:00 GMT the KAYSER ITALIA RIBES precursor payload was successfully launched on board the BION-M1 capsule through the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

The RIBES precursor payload, made of a single BIOKON, accommodates two different Italian experiments: FOAM2, an experiment lead by Prof. Loredana Santo (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy) on shape memory epoxy foams to evaluate the feasibility of their use for building multi-functional composite structures. The experiment performs 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; DIASPACE2, an experiment lead by Dr. Antonio De Sio (Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Firenze, Italy) is an experiment using polycrystalline diamond films as dosimeters for space applications.

The RIBES precursor payload is completely autonomous from the BION-M1 spacecraft, and equipped with a battery pack to provide the necessary power to execute the experiment (i.e. heating of the foam, se
nsors and image data acquisition). The Bion-M spacecraft is designed for orbital flight in basic and applied research in space biology, physiology and biotechnology with the return of the results of experiments on Earth after 30 days in orbit.

The RIBES precursor payload was launched in the framework of an industrial Italy-Russia agreement aimed to increase the flight opportunities for life and physical sciences experiments in microgravity.