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NASA Astronauts Perform Space Station's First 'Spacewalk Swab' to Test Planetary Protection Concept
03.20.09
 
Janet Anderson
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034
Janet.L.Anderson@nasa.gov

Photo release: 09-019


Jake Maule, principal investigator for the Lab-on-a-Chip Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS, Exploration team, swabs a handrail on a solar array bound for the International Space Station. > Large (3072 x 2304, 180 ppi)
> Medium (516 x 387, 72 ppi)
> Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

Jake Maule, principal investigator for the Lab-on-a-Chip Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS, Exploration team, swabs a handrail on a solar array bound for the International Space Station. The work was conducted in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in December 2008. Space shuttle Discovery flew the hardware to the space station March 15, part of the STS-119 mission. The solar array's smooth, metal handrails were found to be relatively free of biological material before launch. Spacewalking NASA astronauts will test them again during installation on the orbiting research facility, to test whether biological material remains on the railing surfaces after transport to space. (NASA/KSC)


A swab study is conducted using the Lab-on-a-Chip Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS, to analyze possible biological material on a fabric gap spanner. > Large (3072 x 2304, 180 ppi)
> Medium (516 x 387, 72 ppi)
> Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

A swab study is conducted using the Lab-on-a-Chip Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS, to analyze possible biological material on a fabric gap spanner -- connective safety elements used to link handrails on the exterior of the International Space Station. Prior to their delivery to space in March during STS-199, NASA's LOCAD-PTS Exploration team studied the gap spanners and other hardware surfaces. Analysis of biological matter found on the gap spanners and other spacebound hardware will help NASA develop ways to monitor and mitigate biological contamination during future missions to other worlds. (NASA/KSC)


Jake Maule uses the Extravehicular Mobility Unit gloves at Johnson Space Center. > Large (3072 x 2304, 180 ppi)
> Medium (516 x 387, 72 ppi)
> Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

Jake Maule, principal investigator for the Lab-on-a-Chip Portable Test System or LOCAD-PTS Exploration team, uses the Extravehicular Mobility Unit gloves at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Maule studied how spacewalking astronauts working outside the International Space Station conduct work in the heavy gloves -- to help prepare them for a unique science experiment. STS-119 mission specialists Steve Swanson and Richard Arnold, assigned to install new solar array elements on the International Space Station, will also take samples of potential biological material from hardware they'll be working with in the vacuum of space. Maule and his LOCAD-PTS Exploration team, who previously sampled biological matter on the same hardware elements prior to their delivery to the station, will compare the data from the two samples, using it to help NASA establish procedures and create tools to monitor and restrict the spread of biological material on the moon and other worlds. The LOCAD-PTS laboratory device, used on the space station since March 2007, is designed to rapidly detect and identify such biological materials. (NASA/KSC)


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