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GeneSat-1
03.26.07
 
The 11-pound (5-kilogram) GeneSat-1, carrying bacteria inside a miniature laboratory, was launched on Dec. 16, 2006, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. It was a secondary payload on an Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket that delivered the Air Force TacSat 2 satellite to orbit. GeneSat-1 began to transmit data on its first pass over the mission's California ground station. The very small NASA satellite has proven that scientists can quickly design and launch a new class of inexpensive spacecraft -- and conduct significant science.

The Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., teamed up with industry and local universities to develop the fully automated, miniature GeneSat spaceflight system that provides life support for small living things.

Overview:

The 11-pound (5-kilogram) GeneSat-1, carrying bacteria inside a miniature laboratory, was launched on Dec. 16, 2006. It was a secondary payload on an Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket that delivered the Air Force TacSat 2 satellite to orbit. GeneSat-1 began to transmit data on its first pass over the mission's California ground station.

The very small NASA satellite has proven that scientists can quickly design and launch a new class of inexpensive spacecraft -- and conduct significant science.

According to GeneSat scientists, GeneSat-1 is NASA's first fully automated, self-contained biological spaceflight experiment on a satellite of its size. The cost to develop the GeneSat satellite class, launch the first spacecraft and operate it was a fraction of what it normally costs to conduct a mission in space, GeneSat researchers observed.

Researchers noted that knowledge gained from GeneSat-1 would help scientists understand how spaceflight affects the human body. GeneSat-1's onboard micro-laboratory includes sensors and optical systems that can detect proteins that are the products of specific genetic activity.

The Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., teamed up with industry and local universities to develop the fully automated, miniature GeneSat spaceflight system that provides life support for small living things.

Media contact:
John Bluck
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650-604-5026
Email: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Key Mission People
John Hines
GeneSat Project Manager, NASA Ames + Read More

Bruce Yost
GeneSat-1 mission manager

Professor Chris Kitts, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.
GeneSat-1 partner.


Related links:

GeneSat-1 Mission Dashboard

Bigelow Spacecraft Carries NASA 'GeneBox' to Orbit

GeneSat-1 Payload Assembly

GeneSat Interview