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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. 

 


 

ELITE-S2 Post-flight activities started

ELITE-S2 Post-flight activities started

Houston (Texas), 22-Mar-2013 - The post-flight ELITE-S2 body movement analysis data collection activities have been successfully started at the Johnson Space Center with the astronaut Kevin A. Ford after his permanence of 144 days in space.

Ford's TMA-06M soyuz capsule undock from the ISS had to be delayed of 24 hours due to "horrible" weather conditions at the landing site in Kazakhstan. The capsule finally landed on March,16th. Soon after his transport to Houston, Kevin Ford, who appeared in great shape, executed the two scientific protocols IMAGINE2 (S.Lucia hospital, Rome) and MOVE (Politecnico di Milano) on the ELITE-S2 Ground Model, supported by the Kayser Italia team. The protocols have been repeated few days after and then all the recorded 3D kinematic data have been made available to the principal investigators for the dedicated scientific analysis. Kevin Ford will perform the next (and last) baseline data collection by mid of May 2013.

ELITE-S2 is an Italian Space Agency (ASI) facility developed by Kayser Italia that operates on board the International Space Station since 2008.



 

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).

 


 

Final countdown : ready for the next ELITE S2 session on board the ISS

 

January, 14th 2013 – Everything is ready to support the next ELITE-S2 session at the Kayser Italia Support Center in Livorno (I). Two body movement analysis investigations sponsored  by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) will be executed tomorrow by the International Space Station commander Kevin Ford. They will be monitored on ground by different groups of scientists and engineers located in Rome, Milan and Livorno. Ford arrived on board of the station on October 2012 and since then he successfully executed two other sessions with ELITE-S2. The tomorrow session will be the last while on board the station, but Kevin Ford will continue to support the scientific investigation when he will return on the earth on March 2013.

 (Photo Credit NASA)

 


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