Photochemical Processing of Amino Acids and Other Organic Compounds in Earth Orbit (EXPOSE-R AMINO) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Photochemical Processing of Amino Acids and Other Organic Compounds in Earth Orbit (EXPOSE-R AMINO) experiment studies the evolution of organic molecules subjected to solar UV radiation. The EXPOSE programme is part of ESA’s research in astrobiology, i.e. the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. EXPOSE offers one to two years of exposure with full access to all components of the harsh space environment: cosmic radiation, vacuum, full-spectrum solar light including UV-C, freezing/thawing cycles, microgravity.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Hervé Cottin, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Hervé Cottin, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot , Créteil, France

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
André Brack, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire , Orléans , France
Frances Westall, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire , Orléans , France
David Tepfer, Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique , Versailles , France
Andreja Zalar, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines , Versailles , France
Sydney Leach, LERMA, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon , Meudon, France
Patrice Coll, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot , Créteil, France
Francois Raulin, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot , Créteil , France
N. Fray, France
Cyril Szopa, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin , Paris, France
M. C. Maurel, France
J. Vergne, France
Annie Chabin, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire , Orléans , France
Marylène Bertrand, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire , Orléans , France

Developer(s)
European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
October 2008 - March 2011

Expeditions Assigned
18,19/20,21/22,23/24,25/26

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview
The main objective of the Photochemical Processing of Amino Acids and Other Organic Compounds in Earth Orbit (EXPOSE-R AMINO) experiment is to study the evolution of organic molecules subjected to solar UV radiation. The exposed compounds belong to various chemical families (including amino acids, polymers, RNA) in the solid state, and also as gas mixtures simulating planetary atmospheres. The molecules selected are relevant to the study of the organic chemistry at the surface or in the atmosphere of Solar System bodies with strong ties with astrobiology, including comets, meteorites, and Saturn's moon Titan. This experiment can provide further information to help better understand the chemical evolution which has led to the origin of life on Earth, and the possibility of the emergence of life elsewhere. A secondary objective is to test the resistance of plant seeds to a mixture of vacuum, UV, and cosmic radiation. Seed survival indicates that a dormant life form could cope with the extreme conditions encountered in the interplanetary transfer of life (the panspermia theory).

Description

 

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Applications

Space Applications
EXPOSE-R contains a variety of biological samples including plant seeds, bacteria, fungi and ferns, which are exposed to the harsh space environment for 22 months, to gain a better understanding of how living things react to the conditions.

Earth Applications
Information Pending

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
In order to study photochemical processing in outer space, organic compounds such as amino acids, RNA fragments, and samples relevant to cometary and Saturn's moon, Titan, chemistry are exposed to solar UV radiation. Reference samples are kept in darkness.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Results Publications

    Carrasco N, Cottin H, Cloix M, Jerome M, Benilan Y, Coll P, Gazeau M, Raulin F, Saiagh K, Chaput D, Szopa C.  The AMINO experiment: methane photolysis under Solar VUV irradiation on the EXPOSE-R facility of the International Space Station. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2015 January; 14(1): 79-87. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550414000238.

    Bertrand M, Chabin A, Colas C, Cadene M, Chaput D, Brack A, Cottin H, Westall F.  The AMINO experiment: exposure of amino acids in the EXPOSE-R experiment on the International Space Station and in laboratory. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2015 January; 14(1): 89-97. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550414000354.

    Cottin H, Saiagh K, Guan YY, Cloix M, Khalaf D, Macari F, Jerome M, Polienor J, Benilan Y, Coll P, Fray N, Gazeau M, Raulin F, Stalport F, Carrasco N, Szopa C, Bertrand M, Chabin A, Westall F, Vergne J, Da Silva LA, Maurel MC, Chaput D, Demets R, Brack A.  The AMINO experiment: a laboratory for astrochemistry and astrobiology on the EXPOSE-R facility of the International Space Station. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2015 January; 14(1): 67-77. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550414000500.

    Vergne J, Cottin H, Da Silva LA, Brack A, Chaput D, Maurel MC.  The AMINO experiment: RNA stability under solar radiation studied on the EXPOSE-R facility of the International Space Station. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2015 January; 14(1): 99-103. DOI: 10.1017/S147355041400024X.

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Ground Based Results Publications

    Rabbow E, Horneck G, Rettberg P, Schott J, Panitz C, L'Afflitto A, von Heise-Rotenburg R, Willnecker R, Baglioni P, Hatton JP, Dettmann J, Demets R, Reitz G.  EXPOSE, an Astrobiological Exposure Facility on the International Space Station - from Proposal to Flight. Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere: The Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. 2009; 39(6): 581-598. DOI: 10.1007/s11084-009-9173-6.

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Rabbow E, Rettberg P, Barczyk S, Bohmeier M, Parpart A, Panitz C, Horneck G, Burfeindt J, Molter F, Jaramillo E, Pereira C, Weib P, Willnecker R, Demets R, Dettmann J, Reitz G.  The astrobiological mission EXPOSE-R on board of the International Space Station. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2015 January; 14(1): 3-16. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550414000202.

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Related Websites
EXPOSE-R AMINO Information from ESA's Erasmus Experiment Archive

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Imagery

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NASA Image: ISS018E013542 - Russian Cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov in the Pirs Docking Compartment (DC1) as he works with an EXPOSE-R sample tray.

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NASA Image: ISS018E039227 - One of two Expedition 18 spacewalkers on March 10 provided this close-up image of the EXPOSE-R experiment, reinstalled a short while earlier on the outside of the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The European experiment is equipped with three trays which contain a variety of biological samples.

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NASA Image: ISS021E027095 - The EXPOSE-R experiment located on the exterior of the Service Module (SM)/Zvezda.

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NASA Image: ISS026E021253 - EXPOSE-R Russian Experiment, in the Service Module (SM). Photo was taken during Expedition 26.

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NASA Image: ISS025E015290 - Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, Expedition 25 flight engineer, wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit, is photographed working near the ESA experiment EXPOSE-R instrument installed on Zvezda Service module. Photo taken during the Russian EVA 26.

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