Evolution of Organic Matter in Space (EXPOSE-R ORGANIC) - 11.22.16

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Evolution of Organic Matter in Space (EXPOSE-R ORGANIC) experiment monitors the survival, destruction, and chemical modification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fullerenes in space environment. 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 Pascale Ehrenfreund, Ph.D., 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)
Pascale Ehrenfreund, Ph.D., George Washington University, Washington, DC, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Z. Peeters, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Washington, DC, United States
B. Foing, ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
M. Breitfellner, ESAC, Madrid, Spain
F. Robert, Laboratoire de Minéralogie et Cosmochimie du Muséum, Paris Cedex, France
E. Jessberger, Institut für Planetologie, Münster, Germany
W. Schmidt, Institut für PAH-Forschung, Greifenberg, Germany
F. Salama, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States
M. Mumma, United States

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 Evolution of Organic Matter in Space (EXPOSE-R ORGANIC) experiment integrated into the EXPOSE‐R facility monitors survival, destruction and chemical modification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fullerenes in space environment. PAHs are highly abundant and ubiquitous compounds in the interstellar medium. Fullerenes C60 and C70 have been confirmed in the hydrogen-poor planetary nebula Tc-1 and recently also in other sources, although their abundance is estimated to be much lower compared to PAHs. Monitoring the behavior of these molecules upon space exposure will allow us to determine constraints on the photochemistry of these compounds in the interstellar medium. Since PAHs and probably fullerenes are also present in meteorites, the obtained data are also relevant for the reconstruction of events on the young planets.

Description
Information Pending

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Applications

Space Applications
The goal of the EXPOSE-R ORGANIC experiment is to investigate the evolution of organic matter in space. The effects of space conditions (with emphasis on UV radiation) on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fullerenes were measured. PAHs represent an abundant component of interstellar and circumstellar dust and have been identified in planetary environments such as meteorites. Studying their evolutionary cycle on the ISS will provide important contributions to astrophysics and astrobiology.

Earth Applications
Information Pending

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

For the purpose of studying the evolution of organic matter in space (PAHs), organic compounds (carbon polymers) are exposed for a duration of 97 weeks (~22 months), to the space environment. 11 PAHs, and 3 fullerene molecules in the form of ultra-thin films, are exposed to solar UV under vacuum or controlled atmosphere.
 
Ground control experiments of EXPOSE-R are performed at NASA Ames Research Center and the DLR MUSC Center. The samples that are returned to Earth are expected to receive a total UV radiation dose during their exposure, including direct solar irradiation of >2500h (>42.1 kJ per sample, based on ASTM E-490 AM0 standard solar spectrum between 119 and 400 nm).

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Results Publications

    Demets R, Bertrand M, Bolkhovitinov A, Bryson KL, Colas C, Cottin H, Dettmann J, Ehrenfreund P, Elsaesser A, Jaramillo E, Lebert M, van Papendrecht G, Pereira C, Rohr T, Saiagh K, Schuster M.  Window contamination on Expose-R. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2015 January; 14(1): 33-45. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550414000536.

    Bryson KL, Salama F, Elsaesser A, Peeters Z, Ricco AJ, Foing B, Goreva Y.  First results of the ORGANIC experiment on EXPOSE-R on the ISS. International Journal of Astrobiology. 2014 November 25: 1-12. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550414000597.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Bryson KL, Peeters Z, Salama F, Foing B, Ehrenfreund P, Ricco AJ, Jessberger E, Bischoff A, Breitfellner M, Schmidt W, Robert F.  The ORGANIC experiment on EXPOSE-R on the ISS: Flight sample preparation and ground control spectroscopy. Advances in Space Research. 2011; 48(12): 1980-1996. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2011.07.017.

    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-Organic Information from ESA's Erasmus Experiment Archive

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Imagery

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NASA Image: ISS018E013542 - 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 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: 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 the Zvezda Service module. Photo taken during the Russian EVA 26.

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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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