NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III) - 11.22.16

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Mushrooms are a good source of protein and can be grown with limited light and water, making them a promising source of food for future space missions. NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III) studies how microgravity affects the germination and growth of mushrooms cultured in a lightweight growing medium. Results improve efforts to grow edible fungi for human consumption in space.
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:

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
Valley Christian High School , San Jose , CA, United States
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned
47/48

Previous Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • New scientific information is gained on the fungal growth in microgravity versus gravity in conditions that are typically unfavorable for fungi, i.e., low humidity and high temperature when using a dry growing medium in the NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III) investigation.
  • The experiment gives information on growing fungi in microgravity. The experiment is expected to lead to further investigation on growing edible fungi for human consumption in space using a dry growing medium.

Description

NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III) examines how mycelium of the Winter polypore (Polyporus brumalis) grows in a challenging environment of high temperature and low humidity in microgravity compared to similar growing conditions on earth. The objective is to find out ways to grow fungi for human consumption in space using a dry growing medium.
 
A miniature peristaltic pump (RP-Q1 from Tagasago Electric Japan) is used to deliver water to a growth chamber. The dimensions of the pump are approximately 1 cm by 1 cm by 3 cm. The growth chamber is a 3D printed container made of plastic and its dimensions are approximately 3.5 cm by 3.5 cm by 4.5 cm. Programming and electronic interface circuitry manages the pump, timing duration, LED lighting, and photo frequency.
 
Temperature needs to be around 27ºC. Continuous power is needed a minimum of two days after the first 28 duration hours of intermittent power. Thereafter power can be momentarily interrupted without significant disruption to the experiment. The experiment is designed to function for the duration of the flight onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

^ back to top

Applications

Space Applications
Growing plants and fungi in space requires bringing soil, nutrients and water into orbit, which is heavy and costly to launch. This investigation tests a lightweight dry material that can be moistened with a small amount of water and used to grow mushrooms. The investigation studies how well mushrooms will grow in a low-humidity, high-temperature environment, which is typically unfavorable for fungal growth on Earth. Results benefit efforts to grow mushrooms as food for future space missions.

Earth Applications
A team of 11 junior high school students from Espoo Christian School in Espoo, Finland, designed and built the experiment, gaining training and experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Teachers and volunteer university students serve as mentors, inspiring the next generation of aerospace engineers and fostering a deeper connection to the international space program.

^ back to top

Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

NanoRacks Module 20 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. During actual operation, photographic and environmental data is sent to the investigators to track the process of the experiment. The payload chamber needs to be returned intact to researchers so its contents can be examined under a microscope.
 
Crew interaction with Module 20 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites
EKK

^ back to top


Imagery

image ISS Team Finland for NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III). Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.
+ View Larger Image


image
ISS Team Finland scientist Saara at the University of Helsinki for NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III). Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.

+ View Larger Image


image
The growth chamber, for NanoRacks-Espoo Christian School-Fungal Mycelium Growth III (NanoRacks-ECS-Fungal Growth III), packed with colored pieces of textile hemp.  Image courtesy of Espoo Christian School.

+ View Larger Image