The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) completed a successful spacewalk and deployed two more suitcases full of material samples and a bonus - 3 million Basil seeds.
The seeds were supplied by Park Seed Company, in Greenwood, S.C. After one year of in-space exposure, these seeds will be given to classrooms of students across the nation for experiments to stimulate interest in space science.
The Materials International Space Station Experiments (MISSEs) 3 and 4 caught a ride to their destination on the ISS aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery's most recent flight in July.
The suitcases, called Passive Experiment Containers (PECs), were attached to the ISS on Aug. 3 during an extravehicular activity (EVA) that lasted for five hours and 54 minutes. Space station crewmen Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter worked diligently to complete their spacewalk "to-do" lists, including the deployment of the MISSE samples.
The only way to determine how different materials will perform in space is to test them in that environment. Laboratories can simulate just one or two space environmental factors at a time. The research from MISSE will provide the insight needed to develop materials for future spacecraft and will also help researchers make materials and coatings that will last longer on Earth.
MISSE 3 was installed on one of the high-pressure tanks around the crew lock. MISSE 4 is now located on Quest's outboard end.
The MISSE Project is funded jointly by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and the Department of Defense (DOD). The Langley Research Center manages the MISSE project. Other NASA partners include NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio; Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Johnson Space Center, Houston; and Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
DOD partners are Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.; Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Va.; and Air Force Research Lab, Dayton, Ohio.
Industry partners include The Boeing Company, Chicago; Hughes Aircraft Company, Torrance, Calif.; Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md.; Loral, Seabrook, Md.; Rockwell International, Richardson, Texas; and TRW, Redondo Beach, Calif.
For more information on the MISSE project, visit:
For more information on the Seeds in Space program, visit:
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