NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus) - 11.15.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus, and branch from a system called a mycelium, which is comparable to a plant's roots. Espoo Christian School of Finland is conducting NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus) to compare fungus mycelium grown in microgravity to that on Earth. The goal is an improved understanding of how to grow fungi in microgravity to be used for food.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Hanna Niemelä, M.A., B.A., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-20 S/N 1003

Principal Investigator(s)
Espoo Christian School , Espoo Christian School, Espoo, Finland

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Hanna Niemelä, M.A., B.A., Espoo Christian School, Espoo, Finland

Developer(s)
Espoo Christian School, Espoo, Finland
NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned
43/44,45/46

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • In the NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus), a small amount of sterile water is injected to a piece of dry wood containing dried mycelium in the growth chamber. The mycelium is expected to grow over the surface of the dried wood.
  • Photos taken every 60 minutes monitor the growing of mycelium. The injections of water take place at intervals of four days during the experiment.
  • The rest of the experiment concentrates on monitoring the rate of growth and the form of the growing hyphae.
  • Two identical units are utilized for the experiment, an on orbit unit and a ground unit placed in conditions, which imitate those of the ISS.

Description
The purpose of NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus) is to compare the growth of fungus mycelium in microgravity and on earth.  For NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus, a small amount of sterile water is injected by a pump through tubing to a piece of dry wood containing dried mycelium in a 3D printed plastic growth chamber of the sub-module. The mycelium is expected to grow over the surface of the dried wood. The growing of mycelium is monitored by photos taken every 60 minutes. The injections of water take place at intervals of four days during the experiment. The rest of the experiment concentrates on monitoring the rate of growth and the form of the growing hyphae.

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Applications

Space Applications
Future long-duration space travelers and colonists on other planets may harvest mushrooms, which are high in protein and do not always require sunlight to grow. But fungal forms and growth rates are expected to be different in microgravity. Comparing the difference between Earth-grown and space-grown fungi provides insight into how fungi behave in microgravity, with possible implications for a possible future fungi culture.

Earth Applications
The NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus experiment could lead to a greater understanding on how to grow fungus for the purpose of providing an additional food source. Also, high school students designed this investigation, increasing interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Data collection within the experiment is automated; downlink is done via scheduled STELLA/NanoRacks command window intervals for the NanoRacks Platform.  Payload is ambient and soft-stowed, but late loaded (approximately L-72 hr) and an early return.

Crew interaction is limited to transferring the NanoRacks Module from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installing the Module into a NanoRacks Platform, activating the NanoRacks Platform, data retrieval (as needed) during the mission, and destowing and returning the Module.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
NanoRacks
Espoo Christian School Fungus Growth Experiment

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Imagery

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The NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus) team from Espoo, Finland.  Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.

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The NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus) student team celebrating the successful final systems test prior to final delivery.  Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.

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Part of the science team ready to work on the NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus)   at the laboratory of microbiology of the University of Helsinki.  Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.

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The Head Scientist (left) and the Head Designer (right) packing the new unit for the NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungus Growth Experiment (NanoRacks-ECS-Funky Fungus) into the container in the tiny ISS space laboratory of Espoo Christian School. The light blue 3D printed growing chamber is clearly visible together with the tiny pump, which is attached next to the camera.  Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.

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