On June 11, Thomas Pesquet will be installing new sample cells under the supervision of the Belgian space control centre (B.USOC, Belgian User Support and Operations Centre). The European Space Agency astronaut of French nationality will replace sample cells within the Fluid Science Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. The B.USOC’s operators will support Thomas during his activity from their centre located in Uccle. This activity marks both the end of the four-month experiment “Compacted Granulars 2” and the start of the seven-month experiment “FOAM Coarsening 2”. Once the activity completed, the operator will turn on the experiment container and initiate the monitoring and control of the foaming experiment.
B.USOC is responsible for the Fluid Science Laboratory facility inside the European Columbus module, as well as the experiments carried out in there. Since mid 2018, the B.USOC’s operators consecutively completed five scientific experiments: CompGran, RUBI, FOAM-C, RUBI-X and CompGran-2.
The FOAM-C experiment studies the aging of foam, which is stirred by a magnetic piston to form fine bubbles. Using several cameras inside the experiment container, images are taken of the foam and streamed to the ground for analysis. Last year, the first mission was very successful and some of the analysed data provided the scientists with unexpected results and new questions to be answered. The upcoming succeeding FOAM-C mission will study new sample compositions and define new scenarios that will provide these answers. In order to maximize science results, multiple foams will be studied in parallel. To do so, operators have redefined the original operational concept within a short time frame.
Videos with the speakers for this mission have been conducted and are available on the B.USOC YouTube channel :
- Studying foam bubbles in space: an interview with Dr. Dominique Langevin (SHORT)
- Studying foam bubbles in space: an interview with Dr. Dominique Langevin (FULL)
- Visit of the FSL Lab with Yenn Arijs
- Visit of the Control Room with Gabriele Conti
- Stéphanie Fratta, Communication BIRA-IASB/B.USOC : stephanie (dot) fratta (at) aeronomie (dot) be
- Alice Michel, Project Manager, B.USOC : alice (dot) michel (at) busoc (dot) be