NASA Explorers S4 E6: On Station


>>CHOOSE YOUR LETTUCE LEAF! [ CHUCKLING ]>>CHEERS.>>CHEERS! [ LAUGHING ]>>DO WE GET BALSAMIC? OH, THAT’S PRETTY GOOD!>>WOW!>>THAT’S A SALAD.>>I KNOW.>>IT’S A SALAD.>>JC, THAT WAS DELICIOUS. [ CHUCKLING ]>>WELL, WHEN YOU HAVEN’T HAD A SALAD IN SIX MONTHS, IT’S DELICIOUS. [ CHUCKLING ] [ MUSIC ]>>I’M STILL STATIONED ON TWO FOR NANORACKS.>>WITH YOU ON TWO FOR NANORACKS.>>RIGHT, HOW’S YOUR VIEW? DO YOU WANT, UH, ANYTHING DIFFERENT?>>VIEW LOOKS GREAT.>>VIEW LOOKS GREAT.>>NO, THE VIEW LOOKS GREAT, THANK YOU.>>NOW THAT THE EXPERIMENT IS ABOARD THE SPACE STATION, IT’S TIME FOR THE ASTRONAUTS TO GET TO WORK. ELAINE AND PARASTOO ARE BACK IN VIRGINIA, AND THE NANORACKS TEAM IS BACK IN TEXAS WHERE THEY WILL PERFORM A GROUND-CONTROL VERSION OF THE EXPERIMENT BEING CONDUCTED BY THE CREW IN SPACE.>>THE CREW MEMBERS ARE USING THE NANORACKS PLATE READER TO READ, UH, THE PLATES. THEY’RE ANALYZING WHAT’S IN THE PLATE AND THE MIGRATION OF FLUIDS BETWEEN THE TWO CHAMBERS THAT ARE ON THE PLATES. AND SO WE HAVE OUR GROUND, UH, SAMPLES HERE. THESE ARE IDENTICAL TO THE ONES THAT ARE ON THE SPACE STATION. AND WHAT WE’RE GONNA DO IS AS THE CREW MEMBER INSERTS THE PLATES INTO THE PLATE READER ON THE SPACE STATION, WE’RE ALSO GONNA INSERT THE PLATE ONTO THE GROUND UNIT WE HAVE BEHIND ME. AND THAT’S JUST TO CONFIRM THAT WHAT WE’RE SEEING ANY EFFECTS THAT WE DO END UP SEEING IS EFFECTIVE IN THE SPACE ENVIRONMENT, UM, COMPARED TO THE GROUND UNIT. IN SUMMARY, WHAT THE PLATE READER DOES IS– IT’S CALLED A BIG FANCY WORD, IS A SPECTROPHOTOMETER. AND IT’S GOT A BIG LAMP IN IT THAT, UH, SHINES WHITE LIGHT.

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AND THEN IT’S GOT A PRISM OR A GRATING. AND THE WHITE LIGHT SHINES ON THE GRATING. AND THEN IT MOVES TO ORIENTATE WHICH– TO-TO KIND OF SEPARATE THE LIGHT INTO A WAVELENGTH. AND YOU GET TO SELECT WHICH WAVELENGTH YOU WANT TO SHINE THROUGH YOUR SAMPLES. WE HAVE SIX PLATES. EACH PLATE TAKES ABOUT FOUR MINUTES– SO IT’S ABOUT 30 MINUTES EACH. AND EVERY TIME IN BETWEEN, WE’LL BE LISTENING FOR THE CREW MEMBER TO SAY THAT THEY INSERTED THE PLATE. UH, THEN WE’LL HIT THE COMMAND HERE. ONCE THE RUN IS DONE, THE CREWMEMBER WILL COME OVER AND TAKE THE PLATE OUT, PUT THE NEW PLATE IN AND IT’LL REPEAT FOR, UH, FIVE MORE TIMES.>>STILL STATION ON THREE, PLATE 1003 IS IN THE TRAY.>>OH, YEAH. IT’S READING THE PLATE. IT’S GOT A LITTLE– THE PLATE SITS IN THERE. MOVES THE PLATE THIS WAY AND THEN THE READ HEAD MOVES THIS WAY. AND THE LITTLE “BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP” YOU HEAR, THAT’S KIND OF THE LITTLE LAMP THAT’S IN THERE. THAT TURNS THE LAMP ON. SO IT MAKES THAT LITTLE NOISE. SOUNDS LIKE BAD TECHNO MUSIC. [ MACHINE BEEPING ]>>MY CREW MATE ACTUALLY WAS THE FIRST ONE TO START THIS EXPERIMENT. AND I TOOK OVER FOR HIM AND SAID, “HEY, WHAT– “WHAT EXPERIMENT IS THIS? “WHAT ARE WE DOING?” AND HE LOOKS AT ME AND HE SAYS, “I’M NOT SURE.” SO WE CALLED DOWN, UM, TO THE GROUND, TO MISSION CONTROL.>>AND I KNOW THAT PART OF THIS IS LOOKING AT A GEL THAT CAN RELEASE THE ANTIBIOTICS KIND OF SLOW RELEASE TO A WOUND SITE. UM, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT PLATE IN THE NANORACKS READER THIS MORNING AND THEN KIND OF WHAT’S GOING ON THIS AFTERNOON.>>UM, WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR IS HOW THE DRUG MIGRATES TO THE GEL OVER TIME. WHICH IS WHY WE’RE SCANNING THE PLATES TWO TIMES A DAY FOR THIS TWO WEEK RUN.>>AH, I LIKE THAT ANSWER. THAT’S VERY COOL. THANK YOU FOR FINDING THAT OUT!>>NO PROB.>>SO THIS IS 15 DAYS. UH, IT’S TWICE A DAY AND THEY’RE TYPICALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, WHICH IS THE MORNING FOR THE CREW ON SPACE STATION. AND THEN USUALLY SOME TIME IN THE LATE MORNING, EARLY AFTERNOON HERE. BUT KYLE’S BEEN RUNNING THE SHOW. HE’S BEEN GETTING UP EVERY SIX HOURS, EIGHT HOURS, SEVEN HOURS TO DO THIS. IT’S KIND OF FUN IN A WAY. I GET TO PLAY ASTRONAUT ON THE GROUND, SO THAT’S ALWAYS FUN.>>AFTER 15 DAYS OF RUNNING THE EXPERIMENT, THE RESEARCHERS HAVE A LOT OF VALUABLE DATA ABOUT HOW HYDROGELS BEHAVE IN MICROGRAVITY. TO LEARN EVEN MORE, THE SAMPLES WILL COME BACK TO EARTH FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS. FOR THE LAST LEG OF THEIR JOURNEY, THE SAMPLES WILL RETURN TO EARTH IN THE SAME DRAGON CAPSULE THAT GAVE THEM A RIDE TO MICROGRAVITY. AFTER DRAGON SPLASHES DOWN IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN, IT’S TAKEN TO THE PORT OF LONG BEACH, WHERE NASA WILL BE READY TO RETRIEVE THE PRECIOUS CARGO.>>SPLASHDOWN FOR DRAGON WAS ON, UH, SUNDAY I BELIEVE? AND SO NASA HAS A GROUP CALLED COLD STOWAGE AND, UH, CARGO MANIFEST. AND THEY GO OUT AND PICK UP THE PAYLOADS FROM DRAGON. AND THEN THEY DISTRIBUTE IT TO PEOPLE AT LA OR WHOEVER NEEDS THEM THERE, AND THEN THEY BRING THEM ALSO HERE TO JOHNSON SPACE CENTER. UM, AND SO NOW I’M IN OUT FRONT OF THE COLD STOW OFFICE. AND I JUST PICKED UP, UH, MODEL 74, WHICH IS OUR TYMPANOGEN PROJECT. AND THEY HAND IT TO ME, AND I PUT IT IN MY COOLER. AND THEN I DRIVE IT OVER TO, UH, OUR OFFICE WHERE IT’S GONNA SIT UNTIL WE FLY UP TO, UH, THE TYMPANOGEN OFFICE IN, UH, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA TO, UH, DO THE FINAL PHASE OF THE EXPERIMENT, UH, WHICH IS REMOVING THE SAMPLES OUT OF THE– THE REACTOR MICROPLATES. WE’RE REALLY PROUD TO TAKE PART IN THIS REALLY, UH, REALLY INTERESTING EXPERIMENT.>>WHEN WE FIRST GOT OUR GELS BACK, IT WAS ALREADY EXCITING BECAUSE SPACE NEVER LOSES ITS COOL, AND SO WE HAD THESE PLATES AND WERE LIKE, “OH MY GOD! “THESE ARE WHAT “THE ASTRONAUTS TOUCHED!” AND SO WE OPENED ‘EM, AND THEY’VE BEEN TO SPACE AND BACK. AND NOW THEY’RE IN OUR LAB.

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