Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP) - 02.20.19

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The commercially developed, owned and operated Techshot Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP) includes 2 internal carousels that simultaneously can produce up to 2 g of artificial gravity. MVP is used to conduct research in space with a wide variety of sample types, such as fruit flies, flatworms, plants, fish, cells, protein crystals and many others.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Rich Boling, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: Multi-use Variable-g Platform

Facility Manager(s)
Nathan Thomas, Techshot, Inc., Greenville, IN, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Kenneth Barton, Techshot, Inc., Greenville, IN, United States

Developer(s)
Techshot, Inc., Greenville, IN, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2017 - October 2018; March 2019 - October 2019

Expeditions Assigned
53/54,55/56,59/60

Previous Missions
Information Pending

Availability
Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview

The commercially developed, owned and operated Techshot Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP) includes 2 internal 390 mm carousels that simultaneously can produce up to 2 g of artificial gravity. MVP is used to conduct research in space with a wide variety of sample types, such as fruit flies, flatworms, plants, fish, cells, protein crystals and many others.
 
A permanent resource aboard the International Space Station (ISS), MVP is approximately the size of a microwave oven. It hosts 6 separate experiment modules on each carousel. Experiment modules launch to the station on their own and are installed in MVP by the crew for processing. Each module is customized to accommodate the sample type and experiment protocol of a given research campaign. Near real-time video and still imagery, including microscopy, can be included. Both carousels can be removed on orbit and replaced with fixed platforms for larger microgravity investigations.
 
MVP-02 is a second unit, identical to MVP that is available in 2019.
 
In addition to providing artificial gravity, the temperature inside MVP can be controlled between 14°C and 40°C and humidity can be maintained between 50% and 80%. Oxygen and carbon dioxide, levels also are monitored and recorded.
 
Techshot’s Payload Operations Control Center provides operational support of the hardware during all on-orbit activities. It can remotely command MVP and monitor its environmental parameters. Experimental data can be retrieved and distributed to the principal investigator in near real-time.
 
The experiment module shape, carousel (and fixed platform) interfaces, and power and data connections are all standardized in MVP. As future investigations are envisioned, development of other custom experiment modules may incorporate a wide range of controls and sensors so long as the size, power and data requirements fall within the interface specifications.
 
The Techshot MVP is useful for many and diverse fields of study. With its ability to provide fractional artificial gravity, some investigations are expected to help scientists understand more about how much gravity is enough to maintain crew health in space, on the Moon and on Mars.

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Operations

Facility Operations

  • The Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP) supports:
    • Drosophila research
    • C. Elegans research
    • Cultured cells research
    • Plant research
    • Aquatic animal research  
    • Protein crystal research
    • Tissue chip research
    • Fractional gravity studies.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

Results Publications

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites

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Imagery

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Techshot MVP patch.  Image courtesy Techshot, Inc.

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Prototype Techshot MVP with door closed. Image courtesy of Techshot, Inc.

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Prototype Techshot MVP with door detached and two internal carousels partially removed. Image courtesy of Techshot, Inc.

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NASA Image: ISS057E106264 -NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor mixes samples for the Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS) experiment and installs them into the Multi-use Variable-g Platform. The research utilizes the microgravity environment aboard the International Space Station to investigate the complex process of cement solidification. Results may impact possible construction processes and designs for space habitats on the surface of the Moon and Mars.

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