The first American research sample processed in the International Space Station's Materials Science Laboratory was opened for study March 16 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
The sample consisted of an aluminum-silicon alloy that was melted and resolidified in orbit. The experiment was controlled by commands from the ground and monitored by David Poirier, Robert Erdman and Matthew Goodman of UA's materials science and engineering department.
Scientists will compare the sample to an Earth-based recreation of the experiment conducted by Surendra Tewari of Cleveland State University in Ohio. Tewari will join the UA team to analyze and dissect the sample from orbit.