NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms) - 11.22.16

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Microgravity affects all forms of life, from bacteria and fungi to animals and humans, but each responds in different ways. The NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms) investigation studies whether a mushroom species experiences an accelerated life cycle in microgravity. Results from this investigation benefit efforts to grow mushrooms in space for food and for decomposition of organic waste.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Lorelei Beigtol, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Carmel Christian School , Carmel Christian School, Matthews, NC, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Lorelei Beigtol, M.S., Carmel Christian High School, Matthews, NC, United States

Developer(s)
Carmel Christian School, Matthews, NC, United States
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
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned
47/48

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms) determines the effects of microgravity on fungus growth.
  • NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms uses a pumping system to deliver water, at specific time intervals, to a growth chamber containing Panellus stipticus.
  • The benefit of this research is a better understanding of fungal growth functions in microgravity, which is important toward long-term space travel and colonization.

Description

Germination is an essential part to the development of mushrooms. NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms) tests the rate at which the mushroom, Panellus stipticus, germinates. Previous studies prove an increase in virility of bacteria when exposed to microgravity, it is expected to see the same effect on fungus. The hypothesis is that the life processes of mushrooms are sped up in the presence of microgravity, resulting in increased germination rates. Bioluminescence (exhibited by Panellus stipticus), the biochemical emission of light by a living organism, is generated by an enzyme reaction involving luciferase. If the mushroom grows, the bioluminescent reaction is expected to appear in Panellus stipticus.
 
The payload consists of a custom three-dimensional printed MicroLab. The MicroLab houses a polyvinyl chloride (PVC), partially-transparent, terrarium growth chamber complete with a Gore-Tex lined ventilation system. Within this growth chamber there is a colony of bioluminescent Panellus stipticus fungus. In order to maintain the proper humidity and environment, water is pumped through vinyl tubing by an MP6 pump. The water reservoir is constructed of vinyl sheeting and tubing and assembled using vinyl adhesive. The growth chamber is photographed throughout the duration of the experiment; both with and without the presence of the camera flash light-emitting diode (LED). The lit pictures monitor fungus growth, while the dark photos detect the bioluminescent effect. The photos provide qualitative data through visual observation. Programming is achieved using PBASIC Stamp to program a custom PCB Express board, which automates and controls the experiment.

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Applications

Space Applications

Previous research has shown bacteria can grow faster and more virulent in microgravity. This investigation studies whether microgravity also speeds up the life cycle for Panellus stipticus, a bioluminescent mushroom. The investigation studies the mushroom’s germination process, which is essential to fungal growth. Results provide new understanding of how fungi grow in microgravity, which benefits efforts to use mushrooms as a food source and organic waste decomposer on future space missions.

Earth Applications
High school students at Carmel Christian School in Matthews, North Carolina, developed the investigation and fabricated the experimental setup, gaining real-world experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. The students worked with mentors to come up with ideas and build a working experiment to be flown on the International Space Station, connecting them to the space program in a unique way.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

NanoRacks Module-21 is completely autonomous and only requires the installation and removal. During actual operation, photographic data is sent to the investigators to track the progress of the experiment. The first three days have the most data transmitted (about 16 VGA quality photographs along with environmental data (humidity and temperature). Thereafter, transmission is limited to 1 VGA photo and environmental data per day for the duration of the flight.
 
Crew interaction with Module-21 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker insert from the launch vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS), installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning the air inlet filter, and data retrieval during the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
CCS STEM SSPEAR Division

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Imagery

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Carmel Chrsitian School ISS Project Team for NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School- Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms), from left to right: Jackson Hendricks, Ashley Orshowski, Sydney Studioso, Madeline Bennett, Sam Chapman, Emma Beightol, Alex Hinson, Erin Lawrence, David Tang, Caroline Bogan, Jim Lynch, Jared Weaver, Jack Crocker, Ken Alexander. Image courtesy of Darralyn Cummings.

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NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms) Microlab with extruded growth chamber. Image courtesy of Alex Hinson.

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Software team carefully reviewing the code, Jared Weaver and Ashley Orshowski for NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms). Image courtesy of Madeline Bennett.

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Jackson Hendricks examines power consumption using an oscilloscope for NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-Microgravity’s Effects on the Germination Rates of Panellus stipticus Fungus (NanoRacks-CCS-Germination Rates of Mushrooms). Image courtesy of Madeline Bennett.

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