Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert - 01 (CSI-01) is comprised of two educational experiments that will be utilized by middle school students in the Unites States and Malaysia. One experiment is examining seed germination in microgravity including gravitropism (plant growth towards gravity) and phototropism (plant growth towards light). The second experiment is examining how microgravity affects the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, a small nematode worm. Thousands of students began participating in the experiments in February 2007.Principal Investigator(s)
University of Colorado at Boulder, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)ISS Expedition Duration:
September 2006 - October 2007
14,15Previous ISS Missions
A similar investigation, Space Technology and Research Students (STARSTM) flew on STS-93 and STS-107.
The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus Science Insert-01 (CSI-01) was the first in a series of experiments for the K-12 education program from BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. This program provided students learning opportunities based on research conducted on the ISS through downlinked imagery and data, which was distributed directly into the classroom via the internet. National standards-based curriculum materials, including teacher guidebooks, student workbooks and complementary classroom experiments, were used to ensure the greatest possible benefit to the participating students. The objective of the CSI suite of experiments was to launch small education experiments to be processed in Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) on an annual basis such that during every academic school year, a "live", on-orbit experiment is available to participating schools.
CSI-01 supported three investigations. The first examined multi-generational, long-term growth of Caenorhabditis elegans—a small nematode worm, a model organism used for detailed study of physiological processes that also affect humans. This experiment utilized two strains of C. elegans, wild type (CC1) and a balancer strain (eT1). The eT1 strain was designed to allow accumulation of mutations without such mutations being lethal to the organism. This model enabled the study of the biological effects of space radiation. The worms were grown using C. elegans maintenance medium (CeMM) and gas exchange sterile chambers, Opticells, inside the C. elegans Habitat (CHab) housed in a CGBA. At approximately one-month intervals, nematodes were automatically transferred from one chamber to a chamber with fresh CeMM. This was to ensure the nematode specimens reproduced and propagated for up to six months on orbit under nominal, well-defined environmental conditions. This C. elegans experiment involved over 5,000 middle school students (grades 6 - 9) located in Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, California, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Montana, as well as, several thousand students from Malaysia. The C. elegans experiment is part of the Orion's Quest education program. Video of the worms can be seen on the website.
The second investigation provided the opportunity for over 2,000, third-grade students to understand how gravity affects germination and plant development. Raphanus sativus, radish plants, and Medicago sativa, alfalfa plants, were germinated on orbit in a Garden Habitat (GHab). The activation for this experiment was coordinated with the participating schools in order to have their seeds germinate at approximately the same time as the germination of the on-orbit plants. Students examined both root and stem growth of the two plants on Earth and onboard the ISS. The seed germination experiment provides the opportunity for schoolchildren to participate in the investigation in conjunction with the Adventures of the Agronauts program at North Carolina State University.
The third experiment included orchids, Malaysian red sandalwood and rosewood tree seeds. These seeds were returned to Earth after approximately six months of exposure to the space environment. The orchid seeds were planted along side control seeds for radiation studies; whereas, the Malaysian tree seeds were distributed to students in Malaysia for germination experiments on Earth.
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, astronauts for the space program. In addition, scientific research with the CHab and GHab experiments is expected provide a greater understanding of the effects of space flight on biological organisms.Earth Applications
CSI-01 provides a unique educational opportunity to encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in the scientific and technical fields by participating in near real-time research activities on the ISS.
CSI-01 is a simple automated payload with a minimal crew time requirement. Fifteen minutes of crew time will be required to activate CGBA-4 following installation of CSI-01. The three cameras and a lighting assembly inside CGBA-4 will allow the ground control team to monitor the progress of CSI-01. The cameras will be used to look at the CHab and GHAB using different Fields of Views (FOVs). These cameras will provide magnification of the image at approximately 2.4 x 3.2 mm FOV. The high magnification cameras will permit the detailed study of specimen morphology and movement behavior while the low magnification camera will permit quantification of population growth. Upon completion of operations, fifteen minutes of crew time will be required to deactivate CGBA-4. CSI-01 requires data downlink on a daily basis which will be accomplished through BioServe's Payload Operations and Control Center.Operational Protocols
Once the payload is transferred from the 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 involvement. The ISS crew will implement a procedure to access the CSI on orbit and rotate the CHabs and GHab for additional imaging opportunities. BioServe will be able to monitor the experiment via data and video downlink.
CSI-01 was the first in a series of experiments targeting students with an interactive approach to increase STEM interest. CSI-01 was a multipart experiment launched into orbit on December 15, 2007 aboard STS-116 and returned approximately 90 days later on STS-117. More than 5,000 students participated in the CSI-01 experiments by observing differences detected between C. elegans grown in classrooms and inflight. Students also observed the alterations in seed germination rates along with the seed's ability to orient itself in space and ground samples (Hoehn et al 2007).
CSI-01 was integrated into the CGBA incubator where the experiment was facilitated for the duration of the mission. The CGBA is a single middeck locker insert that provides temperature control, power, and computer control to the internal experiments (Goulart et al 2004). The CSI experiments were not the first experiments to be introduced to the CGBA incubator. Previous experiments "Ladybugs in Space" and "STARS" built a successful foundation for future educational missions to be based on (Goulart et al 2005).
The first experiment associated with CSI-01 examined the long term growth of C. elegans in space by observing biological changes in response to radiation and by comparing gene expression over multiple generations grown in space. Results indicated that C. elegans exhibit normal development and movements when fed with C. elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM). CeMM was previously proven to be a sufficient food source aboard STS-107 (Szewczyk et al 2005). Although in both humans and C. elegans decreased production of myosin is observed while in space, C. elegans displayed normal movements when sufficiently fed. This finding suggests the decrease in muscular function is adaptive to microgravity, possibly relating this to human cardiac, skeletal and vascular muscles. Because movement decline was not detected throughout the entire 12 generations observed, this also suggest that there actually may be a muscular decline plateau (Oczypok et al 2012).
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Woodard S, Campbell K, Goulart C. STARS™ (Science Technology and Research Students): A Hands-on, Interactive, Scientific and Cultural Exchange Lesson. SAE International. 2005; 2005-01-3102. DOI: 10.4271/2005-01-3102.
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Woodard S, Stodieck LS, Rupert M, Goulart C. Performance of the STARS™ Life Sciences Habitats in Spaceflight and Ground Controls. SAE International. 2004; 2004-01-2394. DOI: 10.4271/2004-01-2394.
Woodard S, Hoehn A, Goulart C. Performance of the STARS life sciences payload during benchtop testing and mission simulations. International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), Vancouver. Canada. 2003; 2003-01-2530.
Woodard S, Stodieck LS, Rupert M, Goulart C. Performance of the STARS life sciences habitats in spaceflight and ground controls. 34th International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) Proceedings; 2004