Saturday, September 28, 2019

Nickelodeon to Conduct Experiments with Slime on the International Space Station National Lab

Update (9/25) - ASTRONAUTS in SPACE are playing with SLIME on Friday, September 27! Got any questions for them? Ask them on Twitter! It's Slime Time!

To boldly go where no slime has gone before!


Nickelodeon's Slime in Space logo looks like a mission patch.

The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory has announced the aweslime news that Nickelodeon is planning to send its iconic slime to the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) National Lab for a series of science demonstrations that will educate students on the basic principles of fluid flow in microgravity versus normal gravity on Earth! The Nickelodeon Slime will blast off as part of SpaceX's 18th commercial resupply services mission (CRS-18) to the International Space Station.

Update (7/25) - Hawthorne-based SpaceX will try again today to launch a supply mission carrying about 5,000 pounds of cargo -- including some Nickelodeon green slime and a soccer ball -- to the International Space Station. The launch from Cape Canaveral had been scheduled for 3:24 p.m. California time Wednesday, but cloudy conditions never relented, forcing a one- day delay. The mission was postponed just 15 minutes before takeoff. The company will try again at 3:01 p.m. PT (6:01 p.m. EDT, 22:01 UTC) Thursday. The mission, when launched, will be the 18th International Space Station supply flight carried out by SpaceX under contract with NASA.

Update (7/25, II) - BLAST OFF! The Dragon spacecraft took flight just after 6 pm ET Thursday. It launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from a ground pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It's a routine mission for Elon Musk's space exploration company: SpaceX has for years conducted uncrewed resupply missions to the space station through contracts with NASA. The spacecraft is currently maneuvering through orbit and is scheduled to link up with the ISS on Friday. It'll depart the space station in about four weeks, carrying home about 3,300 pounds of trash and research materials.

The spacecraft is currently maneuvering through orbit and is scheduled to link up with the ISS on Friday. It'll depart the space station in about four weeks, carrying home about 3,300 pounds of trash and research materials.

"It's not all about very, very serious grown-up science," said Ken Shields, CEO of the space station national laboratory. "Ninety-nine point nine percent of what we do is exactly that, but it's also very important for us to excite, engage and motivate the next generation of technologists, the next generation of engineers, the next generation of scientists.

"We've got a very unique partnership with Nickelodeon where we're going to try to slime some stuff in space and see what happens, compare it to what happens on the ground. These are interesting sort of mechanical fluid physics demonstrations that we're going to do. We've got some other great partners that we work with as well."

The bags even have an official ISS label that says “Slime Bag”, so you know this is serious.

NASA will broadcast the Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida live on NASA TV and SpaceX will also provide a webcast.



Update (7/20) - SpaceX's CRS-18 cargo launch to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been pushed back three days to Wednesday, July 24. The launch previously was set for 7:32 p.m. Sunday during a weekend that included the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing. SpaceX didn't provide a new time, but Spaceflight Now reported the time would be approximately 6:24 p.m. Wednesday. "Falcon 9 static fire test complete -- targeting July 24 launch from Pad 40 in Florida for Dragon's eighteenth resupply mission to the @Space_Station," SpaceX posted on Twitter Friday evening.

Update (7/19) - Nickelodeon will be sending six bags of slime (aprominately two liters) to space! More information can be found in Nickelodeon's Slime in Space Instagram Story!

Below is the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory's official press release announcing the slime-tastic news!:

Rise of Private-Sector Research Onboard the ISS National Lab on Display with SpaceX CRS-18 Mission

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- SpaceX's 18th commercial resupply services mission (CRS-18) to the International Space Station (ISS) will include 17 private-sector research projects sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory. In total, the ISS National Lab is sponsoring 25 separate payloads on SpaceX CRS-18, a new high for a resupply mission.

ISS National Lab Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Christine Kretz comments, "This launch showcases both the potential of the ISS National Lab to reach a wide range of private-sector users and the increased appeal of conducting research in the unique environment of low Earth orbit."

Kretz cited several examples of the diverse private-sector research launching to the ISS National Lab on this mission:

  • AstraZeneca is sending its second payload sponsored by the ISS National Lab, this time studying monoclonal antibodies for a therapeutic to treat cancer and immune diseases.
  • adidas intends to launch multiple investigations to station, with this initial experiment examining the dynamic spinning behavior of a soccer ball in microgravity, which could help resolve information gaps in aerodynamic testing.
  • The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will launch a materials payload to evaluate the creation of novel silica forms and structures in microgravity, and results could inform future efforts to improve tire performance through the development of new manufacturing techniques on the ground.
  • Nickelodeon, the first American television network for children, plans to send its iconic slime to the orbiting lab for a series of science demonstrations that will educate students on the basic principles of fluid flow in microgravity versus normal gravity on Earth.

Also launching on SpaceX CRS-18 is the BioFabrication Facility, which will enhance bioprinting capabilities available on the space station. Additionally, two startup companies awarded through the MassChallenge startup accelerator program are sending research to the ISS National Lab to help advance the development of their new business models. These projects were funded through a MassChallenge "Technology in Space Prize" awarded in collaboration with Boeing.

SpaceX CRS-18 is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station no earlier than July 21 at 7:35 p.m. EDT.

To learn more about all payloads sponsored by the ISS National Lab on SpaceX CRS-18, please visit: https://www.issnationallab.org/launches/spacex-crs-18/

About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory:

In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation's newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.

SOURCE International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory

Related Links
https://www.issnationallab.org

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In the Nickelodeon universe, slime gets everywhere: in your face, in your hair, on your lap. The astronauts on the ISS will try to keep the slime from turning their orbital home green. They have a very specific set of experiments on the schedule.

The crew will play slime pong with hydrophobic paddles, toss slime-filled balloons, make slime bubbles and even spray each other with slime.

This will be the first ever sliming in space, Nickelodeon said in a media advisory.

We don't know who the lucky crew member will be just yet. NASA's Christina Koch and Nick Hague are currently on the ISS along with cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Three new crew members are set to arrive later in July on a Roscomos Soyuz flight.

It all sounds like fun and games, but there's an educational component. The astronauts will be demonstrating how a non-Newtonian fluid behaves in microgravity.

A non-Newtonian fluid is "a material in which its viscosity (resistance to flow) changes based on the amount of shear stress applied to it—for example, through squeezing or stirring," the ISS US National Laboratory explained in a statement:

Non-Newtonian Fluids in Microgravity: Slime in Space
Nickelodeon
PI: Dr. Mark Weislogel

This project aims to develop educational videos and other digital content on slime experiments in space. Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, a material in which its viscosity (resistance to flow) changes based on the amount of shear stress applied to it—for example, through squeezing or stirring. The videos will show International Space Station (ISS) crew members conducting slime experiments related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts commonly covered in elementary and middle school. The content is meant to spark an interest in microgravity research and help students learn about STEM topics such as fluid flow and materials engineering. The content will be shared online and on Nickelodeon’s television and streaming platforms.

Commercial Service Provider: Bionetics

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From CNN:

SpaceX will launch Nickelodeon slime and an Adidas soccer ball into space

New York (CNN Business)Nickelodeon's green slime will soon ooze its way onto the International Space Station.

In the name of STEM education, the children's television network is launching a publicity campaign that includes placing a package of slime in a SpaceX Dragon capsule and flying it to the orbiting laboratory this week.

The launch, which will include 5,500 other experiments and supplies for the six astronauts aboard the ISS, is scheduled for 6:24 pm ET Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The slime became famous for drenching unwitting competitors during Nickelodeon game shows such as "Double Dare" in the 1990s. The network says it's sending slime to the space station for educational purposes — and to spread the fun for a new generation.

"We're going to slime a couple of astronauts and put it through a couple demonstrations," said Andrew Machles, a vice president of public affairs at Viacom, which owns Nickelodeon.

He said the astronauts will capture video of how the slime moves in microgravity, and the material will be used to develop a curriculum for young students that could roll out as soon as September, Machles told CNN Business.

Scientists have long known how water behaves in space: It forms hovering blobs that can be slurped up with a straw mid-air. But it's not entirely clear how the slime will behave. It's not even clear what it's made of — Nickelodeon says the ingredients are a tightly held secret.

Machles declined to comment on the financial terms of its ISS experiment.

Joining Nicklodeon's slime aboard SpaceX's resupply will be an Adidas soccer ball.

"Observing and measuring the motion of soccer balls in microgravity improves understanding of the general behavior of free-flying objects," NASA said in its description of the payload. "This could contribute to better design and use of free-flying objects such as small robots in spacecraft."

Adidas (ADDDF) did not respond to requests for comment about its experiment. CASIS, the group that works with NASA to compile research payloads for the space station, declined to comment on the financial terms of that deal.

Also flying to the space station: the first-ever bioprinter, which could use a person's cells to "print" them new organs.

SpaceX, Elon Musk's rocket venture, routinely launches cargo missions to the space station on behalf of NASA. Wednesday's resupply trip will mark the 18th such mission for the company.

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Nickelodeon slime is packaged in food-grade pouches for shipment to the International Space Station.(Image: © International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory)

From BGR:

Astronauts on the ISS are playing with slime while waiting for new cargo shipment

Earlier this week, Japanese space agency JAXA fired off a new resupply to the International Space Station. With such a busy week aboard the ISS — new crew members also arrived this week — the shipment of science experiments and supplies has somewhat flown under the radar, but now it’s crunch time, and the resupply mission is expected to arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Saturday morning.

The cargo spacecraft from Japan is carrying over four tons of supplies for the space station, including vitals like food, along with scientific hardware and experiments. In the meantime, the crew is playing with slime. Yep, slime.

A SpaceX cargo ship delivered the green slime to the International Space Station earlier this year. The delivery was made as part of a partnership with the children’s television network Nickelodeon, and NASA is experimenting with it for its Non-Newtonian Fluids in Microgravity experiment.

The crew filmed their experiments, and video of their work will be shared with students back on Earth. While NASA’s Andrew Morgan and Christina Koch toyed with the slime newly-arrived scientist Jessica Meir dove straight into some intense cancer research.

For the moment, the ISS is a packed house, with a full nine crew members. Expedition 61 will consist of six scientists, and NASA’s Nick Hague, Russia’s Alexey Ovchinin, and newly-arrived space traveler Hazzaa Ali Almanoori of the UAE will head back to Earth aboard the Russian Soyuz crew capsule next week.

Expedition 61 is expected to last until well into 2020, perhaps wrapping up by May, when a flight from Boeing’s Starliner is expected to arrive at the space station, though those details remain hazy.

For now, the crew is focused on ensuring the safe arrival of the cargo vessel, unloading the gear, and working on new experiments. It’s busy now, but soon it’ll be back to business as usual aboard the space station.

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More Nick: Nickelodeon Unveils 'Slime City'--First-Ever Immersive Slime Experience!

Originally published: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 01:14 BST.

Additional sources: CNET (II), Inverse, KFI AM 640, WPTV, Heavy.com, The A.V. Club, Space, Bloomberg.

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