Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 02: Silicate Garden, Seed Germination, Plant Cell Culture and Yeast (CSI-02) - 07.15.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 02 (CSI-02) is an educational payload designed to interest middle school students in science, technology, engineering and math by participating in near real-time research conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS). Students will observe four experiments through data and imagery downlinked and distributed directly into the classroom via the internet. The first experiment will examine seed germination and plant development in microgravity. The second experiment will examine yeast cells adaptation to the space environment. The third experiment will examine plant cell cultures and the fourth will be a silicate garden. The experiments conducted for CSI-02 are designed primarily to meet education objectives; however, to the maximum extent possible, meaningful scientific research is conducted to generate new knowledge into gravity-dependent biological processes and to support future plans for human space exploration. CSI-02 has the potential to impact over 15,000 middle school and high school students.
Science Results for Everyone
Participating in real-time research in space gets students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. This investigation involves more than 15,000 students who examine seed germination, yeast and plant cell cultures, and silicate gardens (small colorful gardens created by adding crystals of various salts to a sodium silicate solution) in space. The investigation compares growth on the station and on Earth of four sodium silicates mixed at various concentrations. On the ground, silicate tubes grow upward whereas in flight, tubes grow randomly in all directions.
University of Colorado at Boulder, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Laboratory Education (NLE)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2007 - April 2009
Previous ISS Missions
Space Technology and Research Students (STARSTM) was performed on STS-93 and -107. CSI-01 began during ISS Expedition 14.
- Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 02 (CSI-02) is an educational and science payload designed to interest middle school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by providing the opportunity for these students to participate in near real-time research conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS). Each experiment is designed to be easily reproducible in the classroom providing hands-on experience to the students.
- The seed germination experiment will provide the opportunity for students to begin to understand how gravity affects germination and plant development. Tomato seeds will be germinated and grown on orbit. The hardware will support plant growth for up to two-months. The students will examine both root and stem growth as well as leaf development and overall plant development via near real-time imaging that is downlinked from the hardware.
- The yeast experiment will investigate how cells adapt to the unique aspects of the space environment using the model eukaryotic organism, Saccharamyces cerevisiae. The experiment is directly designed to examine risks to the biological integrity and life-based support systems for long-term occupation of space.
- The growth of silicate crystals will be examined on Earth and in microgravity. Students will grow silicate crystals in their classrooms and analyze growth of the crystals compared to the crystals grown in space by examining near real-time imaging.
- During the mission images and video of the experiments will be downlinked from the ISS on a daily basis to the Payload Operations and Control Center (POCC) at BioServe Space Technologies - University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. The images are then provided to participating classrooms via the World Wide Web.
With the launch of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus-4 (CGBA-4) on space shuttle mission STS-116/12A.1 on December 7, 2006, BioServe initiated a new K-12 education program. Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert-02 (CSI-02) was the second payload developed for the program. The program was intended to provide teaching and learning opportunities, primarily targeted to middle school students, based on research conducted on orbit and made available through data and imagery downlinked and distributed directly into the classroom through the World Wide Web. National standards-based curriculum materials, including teacher guidebooks, student workbooks, complementary classroom experiments and so forth, are used to ensure the greatest possible benefit to the participating students. For the program, BioServe launched small education experiments that are processed in CGBA-4 on approximately an annual basis such that during every academic school year, a "live" on orbit experiment is available to participating schools. BioServe Space Technologies partnered with the nonprofit Orion's Quest education program and the Adventures of the Agronauts program at North Carolina State University to implement the educational component of CSI-02.
The CSI-02 is an educational payload designed to interest middle school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by providing the opportunity for these students to participate in near real-time research conducted on board the ISS. Each experiment was designed to be easily reproducible in the classroom providing hands-on experience to the students. The seed germination and plant development experiment provided the opportunity for younger students to begin to understand how gravity affects germination and plant development. Small seeds were germinated on orbit in BioServe developed hardware. The students examined root and stem growth and plant development from a few weeks to two months in duration. Classroom kits were available for teachers from BioServe.
The second experiment supported yeast cell growth during space flight. Yeast has been used by researchers for many years as a model organism because there are similar regulatory mechanisms between yeast and mammalian cells. Post-flight analysis of the yeast DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in life forms, is used to determine differences from the ground based controls. Future plans for the CSI-02 experiment include more detailed scientific and experimental requirements and in depth analyses for students to complete middle and high school students to complete.
The third experiment replicated and extended the Chemical Garden experiment first completed in BioServe hardware for the STARSTM STS-107 program and flight but not recovered due to Columbia's loss in February 2003. In this experiment silicate crystals was activated and grown on orbit. The previous experiment demonstrated that gravity potentially played a significant role in silicate crystal formation. While silicate crystals grown on the ground grow in an upwards direction, in space the silicate crystals grew outward and then in a rotational pattern. Growth was very different between flight and ground controls. Students were able to compare silicate crystals grown in their own classrooms to those grown in space. Observations were made by using an attached camera and lighting assembly to image all experiments once on orbit.
Influences children to continue their education in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math areas and pursue related careers. This will promote education of the next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts for the space program. In addition, scientific research with the experiments is expected provide a greater understanding of the effects of space flight on different biological systems, which could support future plans for the human exploration of the solar system.
Provides a unique educational opportunity to encourage students to pursue careers in the scientific and technical fields. Approximately 15,000 students will conduct ground controls and observe these experiments while on board the ISS, influencing these students to further their education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
This educational payload requires data downlink on a daily basis which will be accomplished through BioServe's Payload Operations and Control Center. Samples of the protein crystals will be returned on a later shuttle flight for analysis.
Once the payload is transferred from the Space Shuttle to the ISS and fully powered on, minimal crew time is required. The hardware for the experiment has been automated to allow imagery of the experiments independent of crew. The ISS crew will implement a procedure to access the CSI-02 on orbit to activate the protein crystallization experiment. BioServe will be able to monitor all three experiments via data and video downlink.
The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 02: Silicate Garden, Seed Germination, Plant Cell Culture and Yeast (CSI-02) investigation was operated during ISS Expeditions 15 – 18. This investigation consisted of four unique experiments, including the "Silicate Garden". Osmotic silicate gardens grow when a solid of a metal-ion salt is placed into a sodium silicate solution. As the salt begins to dissolve into the silicate, it develops a colloidal semi-permeable membrane of metal silicate.
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the growth of several types of silicate when gravity forces were removed. Four sodium silicates – calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MnCl2), cobalt chloride, (CoCl2) and nickel sulfate (NiSO4) – were mixed at various concentrations for study on board ISS and compared to those grown on Earth using identical sets of reaction chambers. The reaction chambers were positioned in the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) to capture still and video images of the experiment for downlink to the control center. In the ground samples the tubes grew upward regardless of the location of the semi-permeable membrane’s initial burst, whereas flight experiments exhibited tubes which grew randomly in all directions. (Cartwright 2011).
Cartwright JH, Escribano B, Sainz-Diaz CI, Stodieck LS. Chemical-Garden Formation, Morphology, and Composition. II. Chemical Gardens in Microgravity. Langmuir. 2011; 27(7): 3294-3300.
Ground Based Results Publications
Poynter J, MacCallum T, Anderson G, Rupert M, Woodard S, Goulart C, Campbell K. The Development and Testing of Visualization and Passively Controlled Life Support Systems for Experimental Organisms During Spaceflight. SAE Technical Paper. 2001; 2001-01-2288. DOI: 10.4271/2001-01-2288.
BioServe Space Technologies
NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009—CSI-02
NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009—CSI-02
Adventures of the Agronauts
Orion's Quest - Space Based Research for America's Youth
This image captures the calcium chloride from the silicate garden experiment flight and ground samples. Image courtesy of NASA.
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Tomato seeds germinating from seed plugs in the CSI-02 Garden Habitat shortly after installation in the CGBA on board the ISS. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
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The above image shows the nickel sulfate silicate garden grown during Expedition 17. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
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Cobalt chloride is seen growing in this Silicate Garden Habitat during Expedition 17. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
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