NanoRacks-Ort-Tivon School-Determining the effect of microgravity on the rate of decay of vegetable matter (NanoRacks-OTS-Decay Rate in Space) - 11.22.16
Fresh food spoils quickly, but the ways in which plants and other natural materials decay are not well understood. NanoRacks-Ort-Tivon School-Determining the Effect of Microgravity on the Rate of Decay of Vegetable Matter (NanoRacks-OTS-Decay Rate in Space) studies how microgravity affects the decay of food plants, and whether food decays slower in space than it does on Earth. Understanding these differences could provide new methods for storing food in space. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Experiment Details
OpNom: NanoRacks Module-9 Ext S/N 1014
Ort-Tivon School , Ort-Tivon School, Tivon, Israel
Yuval Holtzman, M.A., Kiryat-Tivon, Kiryat-Tivon, Israel
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States
Ort-Tivon High School, Tivon, Israel
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Laboratory Education (NLE)
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - March 2015
- NanoRacks-Ort-Tivon School-Determining the effect of microgravity on the rate of decay of vegetable matter (NanoRacks-OTS-Decay Rate in Space) determines if vegetables decay slower in a microgravity environment. If so, vegetables may be held in a microgravity environment and last longer, in space and than on earth.
- NanoRacks-OTS-Decay Rate in Space determines the relational rate of decay of vegetable matter in microgravity.
Decay mechanisms of natural materials and foods are not fully understood. In order to make more healthy foods on Earth and also long lasting foods for space exploration, it is needed to investigate in depth the decay of foods. NanoRacks-Ort-Tivon School-Determining the effect of microgravity on the rate of decay of vegetable matter (NanoRacks-OTS-Decay Rate in Space) removes the gravity condition, which may lead to different results observed before on earth.
For the investigation, the MixStix is removed from the container, and the separator on the MixSix is removed. The MixStix is shaken vigorously for several seconds to ensure that it is mixed thoroughly. After six weeks in space, before returning back to earth, the second separator is removed in order to wash the tube with sterilizing liquid that stops the decay.
Fresh vegetables and other plant-based foods are important components of any diet, but they can be difficult to provide in space, because food can spoil soon after it is delivered on cargo resupply missions. Understanding whether vegetables decay more slowly in space can enrich crew members’ diets, providing nutrition and a taste of home for long-duration missions.
Improving food storage and minimizing decay could improve food availability, enriching the diets of people around the world, especially in poorer regions. If microgravity slows the decay rate of vegetables, space-based food stores could provide a safeguard against famine. The investigation was designed by 8th grade students at Ort-Tivon School, providing real-world experience and training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related fields.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
The MixStix are unclamped to combine different compartments, typically causing either activation or deactivation of the experiment. The MixStix are returned to the students.
A crew member removes the Velcro tabs to open the Module-9 Ext lid. The crew member unclamps the fasteners on the MixStix as directed, enabling the materials in the various chambers to flow. The crew member then shakes the MixStix (when directed) to mix the liquids thoroughly. Repeat for all MixStix. Crew member notes the time of MixStix activation and replaces the tubes back in Module-9. The lid is replaced and secured with the Velcro tabs.
Decadal Survey Recommendations
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The Ort-Tivon School group that formulated the NanoRacks-Ort-Tivon School-Determining the effect of microgravity on the rate of decay of vegetable matter (NanoRacks-OTS-Decay Rate in Space) experiment. Image courtesy of Ort-Tivon School.
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