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Nanoskelton-2 Experiment Completed

Last Updated: April 12, 2011

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity-2 (Nanoskeleton-2)*, which has been performed using the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) in the Kibo laboratory, was completed.

* Principal Investigator (PI): Masahiko Abe, Professor, Tokyo University of Science

Samples for the experiment was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-133) on February 25, 2011. The experiment was performed in two sessions. The first session was performed from March 29 through April 1 and the second session was performed from April 5 through 8, 2011.
The ISS astronaut retrieved the sample bags from the CBRF and stowed them for recovery to the ground. The experiment was completed at 11:58 p.m. on April 8, 2011.

Nanoskelton is a new category of material, which has improved properties of porous materials for development of photocatalyst. Nanoskelton can be produced on the ground. This experiment tries to create a nanoskeleton, which the size of the pore (the part of the pipe-shaped hole) of the tube is widened, in the microgravity condition characterized by absence of gravity-induced convection, surfacing, and sedimentation. After the space-produced Nanoskelton samples are returned to the ground, the experiment team will compare the samples produced under artificial gravity and the samples produced in microgravity to examine effects of gravity on the production processes of the Nanoskelton materials. Using computer simulation, the team will determine the best condition for production of high quality Nanoskeleton materials.

The samples will be returned to the ground aboard the space shuttle Endeavour (STS-134 mission).

Special Message from Principal Investigator (PI)

During the experiment, the TiO2 (titanium oxide) nanoskeleton was successfully synthesized using a mixture of CTAB (Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) surfactant solution and TiOSO4 (Titanium oxysulfate)-H2SO4 solution under isothermal conditions (40 degC).
Throughout the experiment, every process of the nanoskeleton production was videoed and photographed.
The team will begin preparation for sample analysis while waiting for return of the nanoskeleton samples on the STS-134 mission.

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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