material science

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An astronautical term for creating things in space. This includes growing crystals, making purer versions of chemicals, and placing medicines in nearly perfect capsule spheres. Crystals grow more perfectly without gravity, and the experiments contribute towards manufacturing computer chips and semiconductors. Growing protein crystals in space also enables deeper understanding of their structure, which contributes towards the development of drugs.

The Microgravity Science Laboratory on the space shuttle Columbia launched in October 1995 was especially used for material-science experiments, including growing crystals for 16 days.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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