This NASA photo shows the mark left on a window of the International Space Station’s Cupola by a micro meteor orbital debris strike. The Space Debris Sensor will measure the orbital debris environment for two to three years, according to NASA.

Debris Sensor Among Research Projects Set for Space Station Delivery

One investigation being delivered in the next resupply mission will help researchers understand how to prevent muscle breakdown in the absence of gravity.

The next resupply mission to the International Space Station will include a sensor to measure the orbital debris environment around the station for two to three years and a project to test a drug compound and drug delivery system intended to combat muscular breakdown in space or other times of disuse, NASA reports. The mission will employ SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., no earlier than Dec. 4.

The mission will bring crew supplies, equipment, and scientific research to crew members living and working aboard the station, according to a report on that was written by Jenny Howard of the International Space Station Program Science Office.

It says the research materials that will be delivered to the station include:

Optical Fiber Production in Microgravity, a U.S. National Lab investigation sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, will demonstrate the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment. "This investigation will attempt to pull fiber optic wire from ZBLAN, a heavy metal fluoride glass commonly used to make fiber optic glass. When ZBLAN is solidified on Earth, its atomic structure tends to form into crystals. Research indicates that ZBLAN fiber pulled in microgravity may not crystalize as much, giving it better optical qualities than the silica used in most fiber optic wire. Results from this investigation could lead to the production of higher-quality fiber optic products both in space and on Earth," the report states.

The Space Debris Sensor, which will be mounted on the outside of the station. It will provide "near-real-time impact detection and recording," she reports, adding that the research could help lower the risk to humans and critical hardware from orbital debris.

An investigation that involves the design and assembly of 3-D structures from small particles suspended in a fluid medium. "Future space exploration may use self-assembly and self-replication to make materials and devices that can repair themselves on long duration missions," the report states.

The Rodent Research-6 investigation that will examine a system designed to combat muscle breakdown. "The implanted drug delivery chip will administer a compound meant to maintain muscle in a variety of disuse conditions, including microgravity. The results from the RR-6 investigations will not only help researchers to understand how to better maintain a healthy body structure in the absence of gravity, but will also increase our understanding of muscle-related diseases, disorders and injuries," it says.

The NASA photo used with this story shows the mark left on a window of the International Space Station's Cupola by a micro meteor orbital debris strike.

Product Showcase

  • Glove Guard® Clip

    Safety should never be compromised, especially when it comes to proper glove usage. The Glove Guard® clip enhances safety by encouraging employees to keep their gloves with them at all times. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries on the job. By ensuring everyone has their gloves readily available, we help promote a culture of safety and efficiency. The Glove Guard® clip is designed to withstand the toughest work environments. Constructed from robust materials made in the USA, it can endure extreme conditions, including harsh weather, and rigorous activities. Read More

  • Safety Knives

    The Safety Knife Company has developed a quality range of safety knives for all industries. Designed so that fingers cannot get to the blades, these knives will safely cut through cardboard, tape, strapping, shrink or plastic wrap or a variety of other packing materials. Because these knives have no exposed blades and only cut cardboard deep, they will not only protect employees against lacerations but they will also save product. The Metal Detectable versions have revolutionary metal detectable polypropylene knife bodies specifically for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This material can be detected and rejected by typical detection machines and is X-ray visible. Read More

  • EMSL Analytical, Inc. - Air Sampling Supplies & Testing Labs

    EMSL Analytical, Inc. operates laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for Asbestos, Mold, Silica, Lead & Metals, Bacteria, Legionella, USP , Combustion By-Products, VOC’s, Radon, PCB’s, Formaldehyde, METH/Fentanyl, Identification of Dust & Unknowns. Sampling Pumps, Cassettes, Media & Supplies available. Reach us at 1-800.220.3675 Read More