NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science-Endeavor (SSEP Mission 9) (NanoRacks-NCESSE-Endeavor) - 07.19.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) and National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) give students and teachers from grade school through university firsthand experience in real science in microgravity, in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science-Endeavor (NanoRacks-NCESSE-Endeavor) contains 21 student experiments in physical and chemical processes and life sciences. Investigations include zinc whisker detachment, effects of perchlorate in Martian soil, composting, biofilm formation, muscle tissue regeneration, and more.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Jeff Goldstein, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Jeff Goldstein, Ph.D., National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, Ellicott City, MD, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, Ellicott City, MD, 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
September 2016 - April 2017

Expeditions Assigned
49/50

Previous Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-Endeavor (NanoRacks-NCESSE-Endeavor) is the eleventh flight opportunity associated with the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC.
  • Twenty-one experiments were selected from 2,466 student team proposals, engaging 11,890 grades 5-16 students in microgravity experiment design.
  • 12,790 grade K-12 students were engaged, and 11,184 patch designs were submitted in the community‚Äôs broader STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) mission patch experience.
  • SSEP allows student teams to design an experiment with real constraints imposed by the experimental apparatus and the environmental restrictions of microgravity.
  • Students complete proposals for a flight opportunity, experience a science proposal review process, experience a flight safety review, work hands-on with the flight certified hardware loading the flight and ground truth MixStix and conducting the ground truth investigation while the flight experiment is conducted on ISS, and attend and present their results at their own science conference.

Description

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), launched by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in strategic partnership with NanoRacks, LLC, is an extraordinary commercial U.S. national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiative that to date has provided students across the United States–elementary, middle and high school students (grades 5-12), and/or undergraduates at 2-year community colleges or 4-year universities–the ability to design and propose real microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station (ISS). In 2012, SSEP was extended to international communities through the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, NCESSE’s international arm.
 
Since inception in June 2010, there have been 11 flight opportunities – SSEP on STS-134 and STS-135, which were the final flight of Space Shuttles Endeavor and Atlantis; and SSEP Missions 1 through 9 to the ISS. Through SSEP Mission 9 to the ISS 134 communities from 35 states, the District of Columbia, and 4 Provinces in Canada have participated. A total of 61,150 grades 5-16 students have been immersed in microgravity experiment design and proposal writing, and student teams have submitted 13,617 flight experiment proposals. Over 100,000 more students across the entire grade K-16 pipeline were engaged in their community’s broader STEAM experience, submitting over 57,847 Mission Patch designs. Twenty-eight communities have participated in 2-7 flight opportunities reflecting the program’s popularity and sustainable nature.
 
NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-Endeavor (NanoRacks-NCESSE-Endeavor) includes the following 21 student experiments on SpaceX-10:
 
Shells of Glass Capsules, Covered with Different Substances Reacting in Regular Water
Langevin Science School, Grade 9, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The focus of the investigation is to determine how three different capsule shells dissolve in water when coated in cornstarch (carbohydrates), gum Arabic (gum) or sucrose (carbohydrates) in a microgravity environment. Research indicates that these substances dissolve in water and that certain coatings may react “faster” or ”slower” resulting from a lack of gravity. It is predicted that starch will not be completely dissolved; gum Arabic will not dissolve at all, and sucrose will dissolve. The investigation also includes an acrylate, sodium polyacrylate, to stop the test. Sodium polyacrylate absorbs many times its size and forms a polymeric gel. The dissolving process is halted in order to examine the results of only a 60-second reaction. After the test is completed aboard the ISS, observations are made to determine which substances can be completely dissolved, which can’t be dissolved at all, or which were approaching their dissolving point. Once this knowledge is acquired, future astronauts can be sent encapsulated medication with a certain substance covering the outer shell for more effective treatment. Knowing the differences may improve how a medication is produced and delivered into space. (NRP-10009-5, S/N 1026)
 
Red Worm Composting In Microgravity
Westcot Elementary School, Grade 6-7, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Red worms are sent into space with the aim of determining how they grow and function in microgravity. On August 10, 2015, astronauts aboard the ISS harvested and ate romaine lettuce they planted in July. Red worms eat plant scraps and then excrete nutrients helping newer plants grow. This is called composting. As Patrick Cartwright said, there are many factors associated with composting: “Worms, however, are the real heroes of composting.” Astronauts lose their bone and muscle mass while in microgravity. Red worms have no bones but they do use muscles to burrow through dirt. Will microgravity impact their ability to burrow? Red worms are also a very important part of composting toilets. Composting toilets separate feces from other waste into a giant metal canister. Inside the canister, red worms then turn the waste into fertile soil that could be used to grow food. If red worms can grow (and burrow) in space, there could potentially be a fully functioning space garden with soil composted by the worms from the fecal waste produced by astronauts. Red worms in space would save the cost of transporting food into space because astronauts could grow their own food. As well, red worms could eliminate the cost of the waste capsules that are currently being used to dispose of human waste. (NRP-10009-6, S/N 1027)
 
The Effect of Microgravity on Preservation of Spam Using Lemon Juice
Lincoln Middle School, Grade 8, Santa Monica, California
Considering the numerous restrictions, food storage has often been a predicament for space travel. The purpose of this experiment is to provide insight into more nutritious yet effective methods of food preservation. For this experiment, a cylinder of “Classic Spam” is preserved with Lisbon lemon juice (citric acid). The question to be addressed is whether the preservation of spam in microgravity with citric acid, as measured by bacterial growth, differs compared to Earth. While the experiment is conducted aboard the International Space Station, the control experiment is carried out on Earth. Once the MixStix returns from orbit, both samples are compared to evaluate the hypothesis that in microgravity the growth of bacterial colonies decrease. The goal of this experiment is to contribute ideas for food storage aboard the International Space Station. (NRP-10009-6, S/N 1025)
 
Will a Biofilm Form on a Rat Catheter in Microgravity Differently than in Gravity?
East Lyme Middle School, Grade 6, East Lyme, Connecticut
The purpose of this experiment is to see if a biofilm will form differently on a rat artery catheter in microgravity from the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which is naturally occurring in the human body. If the biofilm forms thinner in space than on Earth, this will provide added information to NASA for astronaut health and information for scientists and doctors to hopefully improve catheters and reduce infection on earth. It is already known that Staphylococcus epidermidis is a bacterium that is present in the human body for all people. When someone has a catheter in his or her body, a Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm can form on it causing this skin infection. The skin disease is an acne-like rash that is red and inflamed. If a person has surgery, he or she is more likely to get a biofilm on their catheter. This happens because Staphylococcus epidermidis likes to stick to any type of plastic. After it sticks it can create a biofilm that clogs the catheter or the implant. This leads to failure and infection (Cuong and Otto 1). This experiment was chosen because many people have died from having the condition known as a Staph infection. (NRP-10009-2, S/N 1025)
 
Germination of Quinoa in Space
Mabry Elementary School, Grade 5, Hillsborough County, Florida
The investigation studies how microgravity affects the germination of quinoa seeds by comparing the number of seeds that germinate on Earth with the number of seeds that germinate in microgravity. The MixStix is loaded with Chenopodium quinoa seeds on a growth substrate and water separated by a clamp. The crew is requested to open the clamp and shake the tube gently to introduce the seeds to water beginning germination, 14 days before undock. (NRP-10009-9, S/N 1026)
 
Living Water Filters: Triops in Microgravity
North Star Charter School, Grade 5, Boise, Idaho
Scientists have wanted to send people to other planets for a long time. Pipes and plumbing will be needed, but what will clean the wastewater produced by people living in space? Triops could possibly be used in microgravity because they eat organisms like bacteria, algae, mosquito larvae and water fleas that can make water unsafe for drinking. Triops are small crustaceans that have been on Earth since prehistoric times. They are filter feeders that can remove harmful organisms from water sources. The experiment tests if Triops longicaudatus can filter bacteria out of pond water in microgravity as well as they do on Earth. After the experiment returns to Earth, analysis is conducted in cooperation with Boise Waste Water Treatment facility to determine which kinds of bacteria remain, using a Heterotrophic Plate Count method. Also to be measured is the mass of the Triops that were hatched in microgravity and compare it to the mass of the Triops that were hatched on Earth. Water is essential to life; it must be clean for drinking. If it is not clean, it can do harm to the person or animal consuming the water. If Triops could function properly in space, astronauts could release Triops into the water source to clean it. (NRP-10009-2, S/N 1026)
 
Shewanella oneidensis and Iron Ions in Microgravity
Bullis School, Grade 10, Potomac, Maryland
It is expected that the process by which Shewanella oneidensis removes metal ions from water will not differ in microgravity compared to normal gravity. Water is a necessity for human life and every day, many metals are found in important water sources. Many people do not realize how the water they are consuming is contaminated with heavy metals. Excess amounts of heavy metals can destroy vital human organs such as the brain and liver. This experiment tests how Shewanella oneidensis removes heavy metals from contaminated water, which helps future water contamination issues if the results come back as expected. First, data is collected based on the amount of iron ions present in the water before coming in contact with Shewanella oneidensis. This is collected before sent to the International Space Station (ISS). Data is also gathered for the amount of iron ions in the water after coming in contact with the bacteria. This data is collected after the experiment comes back from the ISS. Since the hypothesis states that gravity does not affect the removal process, the amount of iron ions present in the microgravity experiment are expected to be the same as the amount present in the ground experiment. When both experiments are back in the lab, the amount of iron ions in the solutions is compared to tell if Shewanella oneidensis removed iron ions differently in the two different environments and whether or not gravity affects the removal process of iron ions. (NRP-10009-5, S/N 1025)
 
Streptococcus mutans Production of Lactic Acid in Microgravity
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, Grades 10-11, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
This experiment has the potential to be successful in finding a more efficient dental care regimen for astronauts. The factor to be observed in the experiment is whether or not Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) produce more lactic acid in microgravity and if the reproduction rate of the previously stated bacteria is affected in space. Improper oral hygiene is a factor that contributes to poor health in the rest of the body. If the S. mutans prove to be a greater force in space than they do on Earth, then the aseptic habits of astronauts may need to be modified. Previous studies reinforce the hypothesis that dental caries are more likely to occur in space because of how microgravity influences S. mutans. (NRP-10009-8, S/N 1026)
 
Growth of Chlorella sorokiniana Algae in Space Traverse City
West Senior High School, Grade 10, Traverse City, Michigan
This investigation tests the growth of Chlorella sorokiniana algae to see if the growth changes when it is put in space. Chlorella sorokiniana algae produce hydrogen and oxygen and could therefore be used in space to produce oxygen to breathe, and hydrogen for fuel. The algae are loaded into the MixStix with V-DX Growth and shale, in a separate volume to be introduced just before return to earth, is formalin. The same samples are used for a ground investigation here on earth. (NRP-10009-5, S/N 1027)
 
The Effects of Microgravity on Muscle Tissue Regeneration
McNair Academic High School, Grade 12, Jersey City, New Jersey
The aim of the experiment is to analyze the potential of the drug, Tissue Regeneration Factor at 150 mg (TRF-150) to regenerate shoulder muscle tissue of an adolescent pig faster when exposed to a microgravity environment. Therefore, the analysis aforementioned determines the amount of tissue regenerated under controlled scenarios of induced harm. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of measurement are used to determine this experiment’s success. Quantitative measurements include density of the remaining tissue and amount of oxygen and glucose consumed. Qualitative analysis includes placing the tissue under a scanning electron microscope to visually determine how much of the tissue has regenerated and the pattern of the tissue regenerated. This experiment is conducted in a MixStix with a solution of formaldehyde and TRF-150 at the edges of the tube, in the middle of the tube is the tissue in question with a controlled incision made on it and a solution of glucose, proteins, oxygen and testosterone. This experiment helps determine if a microgravity environment aids in the regeneration of organic tissue. If the experiment implies the increase of the regenerative properties of TRF-150 then simulated microgravity environment can be implemented to help patients enduring a muscle injury. (NRP-10009-4, S/N 1025)
 
The Effects of Microgravity on Ryegrass Seeds
Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, Grade 7, Springfield, New Jersey
The investigation studies the effects of microgravity on the growth of Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) seeds to clarify conflicting information found during research regarding gravity’s effects on the way seeds are grown. Some research indicates that gravity affects seed growth and that roots grow in the direction of gravity. Other research indicates that gravity has little effect on the way seeds are grown. It is believed that the seeds grow in microgravity and their growth increases more than on Earth. Investigating seed growth in microgravity will assist with long durations of living in space. In a MixStix, ryegrass seeds on a gauze growth chamber are placed in volume 1, water in volume 2, and in volume 3, a concentrated salt solution to stop the growth. Ryegrass seeds take on average 5-12 days to grow, so water is introduced 14 days before return to Earth and the fixative is introduced 5 days before return to stop the growth. (NRP-10009-4, S/N 1027)
 
Tuber Transport and Subsequent Terrestrial Growth
Hamlin Park Claude and Ouida Clapp School #74, Grades 7-8, Buffalo-Niagra, New York
This project is about the transport and subsequent growth of New York State (NYS) Upstate Abundance seed potatoes because of the distinct lack of grocery stores in outer space. Plants on earth develop under the influence of gravity. Plants must support themselves against the force due to gravity. On the International Space Station, a vehicle that is in constant free fall, gravity does not hold the same effect (microgravity). It is believed that germination in small containers is necessary to eventual planetary terraforming (starting the growth process before landing on another planet). This investigation aims to grow potatoes on the International Space Station to determine if the plants are able to grow on other planets, or travel there. (NRP-10009-1, S/N 1025)
 
SLIPS in Microgravity
Arts and Technology Academy, Grade 8, Eugene, Oregon
Does Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) decrease the scale of an omniphobic surface in microgravity? An Omniphobic Surface scale is a measurement of how slippery something is. SLIPS is the world’s slipperiest substance, it is relatively new, and is based off the functionality of the pitcher plant. After it rains pitcher plants keep raindrops as a film on the edge of their mouth so that when ants walk on the rim, they slip into their stomach. SLIPS only does one thing, it makes a surface of a solid slippery so that no liquid can touch the face of the solid that’s coated. The investigation tests SLIPS in a microgravity environment to find out if it has the same properties as it does on Earth. If it does it could possibly solve frost-over for rockets at launch and in microgravity. A MixStix is used. Inside volume 1 is a cello sponge moistened with water. In Volume 2, an aluminum strip coated with SLIPS on one side; in volume 3, corn syrup. The tube is coated on the inside with SLIPS in both volume 2 and 3. In this experiment the hope is to solve frost-over on the ISS with SLIPS by finding if SLIPS can not only stay on the face of a solid but also still make liquids slip off of the solid in microgravity. (NRP-10009-7, S/N 1026)
 
The Effects of Microgravity on the Turbidity of a Non-Newtonian Fluid Mixture of Cornstarch and Water
W.J Keenan High School, Grade 9, Columbia, South Carolina
The question to be investigated is, “How does microgravity affect the turbidity of a Non-Newtonian mixture, cornstarch and water?” Turbidity is the measure of light that can pass through a water sample. When the turbidity of a mixture is higher, the temperature is higher due to absorbed heat. Cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel. In regular gravity, this non-Newtonian fluid is hard when you hit it hard or fast, but when you operate in a slow motion it acts like a liquid. When left to settle, the mixture separates somewhat due to gravity, so the investigation studies if microgravity affects the initial mixing and then its settling. A MixStix is used, in which 0.3 g of cornstarch and 8 mL of distilled water is loaded. The interactions requested are to first unclamp the MixStix and shake vigorously to create the mixture. Before leaving the ISS, the MixStix is re-clamped in its original place. That way, despite agitation during re-entry and shipment, the turbidity of the two samples is compared to determine how well the sample mixed and stayed mixed in microgravity. The same setup is used in regular gravity for comparison to determine what effect, if any, microgravity had on the non-Newtonian fluid mixture. Turbidity is measured through a myDaQ turbidity sensor and by spectrophotometer. (NRP-10009-6, S/N 1026)
 
How does Spaceflight Affect the Detachment of Zinc Whiskers?
Palmetto Scholars Academy, Grade 11, North Charleston, South Carolina
How does spaceflight affect the detachment of zinc whiskers? Metal whiskers cause large-scale damage to electronics by interfering with circuits and electronic interfaces. These tiny three dimensional crystalline structures cause great damage, although most whisker-induced failures are left unreported due to lack of understanding and proper analysis methods. Although zinc was used to mitigate tin-whisker failure modes, zinc has displayed full capability of disrupting electric circuits and creating undesired connections between these circuits, resulting in shorts. The scientific community has limited knowledge and understanding of the behavior of metal whiskers, especially of detachment and of zinc whiskers, putting this experiment at the culmination of whisker behavior and whisker failure mode comprehension. (NRP-10009-3, S/N 1027)
 
Testing the Effectiveness of Tobramycin and Loteprednol Etabonate (Zylet) on Staphylococcus Epidermidis Type of Bacterial Conjunctivitis in Microgravity
Bearden Middle School, Grades 7-8, Knox County, Tennessee
Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common infection and can affect astronauts during space travel. As space travel progresses bacterial conjunctivitis could become a problem. The hope is to address this problem by finding out if bacterial conjunctivitis is affected by a normal antibiotic treatment in microgravity and to better understand the growth and treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Understanding the growth and treatment not only allows effective treatment of future infections, but has implications on treating other bacterial infections in space as well. (NRP-10009-1, S/N 1027)
 
Microgravity’s Effects on Solanum tuberosum Resistance to Phytophthora infestans
Bullard High School, Grade 9, Bullard, Texas
Phytophthora infestans (Potato Blight) is a fungus-like protist that has caused many crop failures throughout the world, including the historical Great Potato Famine in Ireland. This protist invades the leaves and spreads to the tubers, killing the plant within days. Unless quickly disposed of, the infected plant spreads the disease throughout an entire field. Potato Blight cannot be killed, but varieties of potatoes have been discovered that are naturally resistant to the protist. The primary goal of this experiment is to determine how microgravity affects Solanum tuberosum resistance to Phytopthora infestans. Considering the potential need for future crops in space, it is important to expand our knowledge on microgravity farming. Little is known about the effect of microgravity on Solanum tuberosum, and even less is known about blight-resistant varieties. In this experiment, a sample of a blight-resistant Solanum tuberosum is exposed to P. infestans aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and compared to a control, which is conducted on Earth in normal gravity. Previous experiments have shown that members of the family Phytopthora demonstrate increased virulence in microgravity. The secondary goal of this experiment is to investigate how naturally blight-resistant varieties of S. tuberosum protect themselves from infection. This experiment provides further insight to the poorly understood resistance mechanisms of certain varieties of S. tuberosum. It is believed this experiment’s results will show the blight-resistant potato is more susceptible to P. infestans in microgravity as compared to normal gravity conditions. (NRP-10009-3, S/N 1026)
 
Does Microgravity have an Effect on the Disintegration of Kidney Stones in Chance Piedra?
The Academy at Nola Dunn, Grade 5, Burleson, Texas
Does microgravity have an effect on the disintegration of kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) in Chanca Piedra (phyllanthus niruri)? This investigation determines if Chanca Piedra helps astronauts with their frequent kidney stone issue. On Earth kidney stones are painful and stress causing, but with the frequent number in space they waste important time astronauts could be using to do their important work. Astronauts spend nine hours of their day researching and working on their projects, eight hours sleeping, and about an hour to have a meal. Also, exercising two hours a day helps astronauts prevent bone and muscle loss. In this test Chanca Piedra dissolving kidney stones in the human body is simulated in the MixStix. Eight synthetic stones are loaded into volume 1 of the MixStix, a solution of Chanca Piedra and water in volume 2, and formalin in volume 3. A control is conducted on Earth to compare how the stones dissolved in gravity vs. microgravity. The result of this experiment might reduce the amount of time astronauts deal with kidney stones. (NRP-10009-4, S/N 1026)
 
pGLO Plasmid Transfer in Escherichia coli as a Means to Track Antibiotic Resistance in Microgravity
Cesar E. Chavez High School, Grade 11, Houston, Texas
It has been proven that bacteria grow and interact much differently in space. In the past, NASA sent disease-causing bacteria into space to observe its growth. However, studies are very limited in the area of bacteria transferring genes or plasmids for antibiotic resistance in a microgravity environment. The purpose of this study is to explore this area via the transfer of the pGLO plasmid carrying a gene for ampicillin resistance among colonies of Escherichia coli. Bacterial growth and antibiotic resistance transfer is measured in a MixStix modified into a common bacterial slant. The pGLO plasmid is being used due to its nature of glowing under a UV light source making observation of transfer easily observable with a small handheld UV light and the human eye. Possible implications for this experiment could lead to modification of treatment for astronauts on missions; and possibly before missions to condition the immune system, based on how the bacteria interact in a microgravity environment. (NRP-10009-3, S/N 1025)
 
The Effects of the Perchlorate Ion in Simulated Martian Soil on Solanum lycopersicum Seed Germination in Microgravity
IB at Lamar Academy, Grade 11, McAllen, Texas
One of NASA’s many current projects, and one the general public has been waiting forever since we set foot on the Moon, is the human mission to Mars. The recent discovery of liquid water on Mars has increased our anticipation of this dream; however, along with water, it has been found that Martian soil contains high levels of magnesium perchlorate—a contaminant toxic to humans. Analyzing the results of this experiment provides insight into the effects of perchlorate, combined with microgravity, and how these unfamiliar conditions affect the possibility of ever establishing a sustainable colony on Mars. Future manned missions to Mars are in the works and questions about nutrition and sustainability must be answered. This experiment gives a greater understanding of food growth on Mars, a planet with a significantly smaller amount of gravity than Earth. On the ISS, a MixStix contains Martian simulated soil with tomato seeds and distilled water to catalyze the germination. After twelve days, a solution of 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin is added to the soil in order to halt the growth and “freeze” any viable data so that the tomato sprout can be observed on Earth and compared with the results of the control groups in order to find how plants that have evolved to fit Earth’s conditions grow and survive in conditions very different from our own. (NRP-10009-2, S/N 1027)
 
Arabidopsis Germination in Martian Soil Simulant
Open Window School, Grade 7, Bellevue, Washington
The experiment determines if Arabidopsis thaliana germinates in Martian soil simulant in microgravity. Other researchers have shown A. thaliana grows in Martian soil simulant, but the lower gravity of Mars cannot be simulated on Earth. The gravity on the ISS is almost 0 m/s2, the gravity on Mars is 3.7 m/s2, and the gravity on Earth is 9.8 m/s2. Gravity on the ISS allows testing of plant growth in an environment closer to the gravity on Mars. The experiment was chosen because of the recent news about water on Mars, and the potential to help future settlers grow plants on Mars. (NRP-10009-1, S/N 1026)

^ back to top

Applications

Space Applications
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program lets students design experiments that address real challenges of living and working in space. The program also is a key initiative for U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, educating and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers to work on the space program. Additionally, findings from student experiments such as those on bacteria growth, cell biology, food production and preservation, water quality, and seed and plant studies contribute to future experiments to benefit the space program.

Earth Applications
To date, more than 61,150 students from 35 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces have taken part in real space station research through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Many communities have joined the program more than once, reflecting its value to educators. The SSEP gives students real-world experience in scientific investigation, problem solving, teamwork, project management and many other life skills and is a unique opportunity to implement high-caliber STEM education.

^ back to top

Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
On designated operation days A=0, A+2, U-14, U-5 and U-2, where A=Arrival and U=Undock, a crew member removes the Velcro tabs to open the Module-9 lid. The crew member unclamps the fasteners on the MixStix (as directed) to mix the samples thoroughly. Repeat for all MixStix (as directed). Crew member notes the time of MixStix interaction and replaces the tubes back in Module-9. The lid is replaced and secured with Velcro tabs. The MixStix are returned to the student teams. Each team unseals their MixStix, harvests the samples and compares to their ground MixStix, analyzes the results, and presents those results at the SSEP National Conference at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites
NanoRacks
NCESSE
SSEP

^ back to top


Imagery

image
Student Researchers from Calgary, Alberta, Canada dilute hydrochloric acid to test the solubility level of gum Arabic. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Student Researchers Vesal Farahi, Joseph Piovesan, Kris Kirkwood, Griffin Edwards and Shania Farbehi from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada get ready to run more tests on worm cocoons to determine their optimal growing conditions. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Student scientists from Santa Monica, CA preparing a sample for the FME. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
The East Lyme Middle School student flight experiment team preparing for their trials of the Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm on a rat artery catheter experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Student Researchers from Hillsborough County, FL are investigating the amount of quinoa seeds, water, and preservative they will use by running trial experiments. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
North Star Charter School students Allie Garvin, Bailey and Bostyn Corrigan, and Raigan Teeter optimizing their Triops experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Bullis School students Skylar Jordan and Amanda Kay prepare their MixStix for flight to the ISS. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Fitchburg, MA student researchers examining a loaded MixStix serving as the ground truth experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Sophomores Hayden Holmes, Sam Church, Ryan Hayes, and Robert Lohr, planning how to measure results in the “Algae Growth in Space” experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Jersey City student researchers are working on tissue dissections and testing for the solubility of the selected medication for their experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Grade 7 student researchers from Springfield, NJ experimenting with optimal germination conditions for studying the effects of microgravity on the growth of grass seeds. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
From left: Shaniylah Welch (Co-investigator), Gabriella Melendez (Principal Investigator) and Toriana Cornwell (Co-investigator) examine one of the samples for Buffalo-Niagra’s SSEP experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image Garrett Price, Kobe Skidmore and Ray Newell of Arts and Technology Academy in Eugene examine properties of a solution. Image courtesy of SSEP.
+ View Larger Image


image
Columbia, SC students testing the optimal concentrations of non-Newtonian starch solution prior to launch. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Kayla Capitan and Gabriel Voigt, Palmetto Scholars Academy, examine a whiskered zinc-plated floor tile with a 30x camera zoom and an iPhone 6 Plus. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
SSEP student researchers Jack Lathrop, Mauricio Sanchez, and Alex Hoffman from Knox County, TN are swabbing the bacteria Staph. Epidermidis onto agar plates to test how different antibiotics affect the growth. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Emma Rhyne, Valerie Vierkant, and Emmalie Ellis, a team of 9th grade student researchers from Bullard, TX, practicing protocols for prepping their experiment for spaceflight. (Not pictured Raelee Walker) Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Academy at Nola Dunn students prepare to “grow” kidney stones in order to fine tune their experiment for flight. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Chavez High School SSEP Flight Team preparing pGlo Plasmid. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Juan Pablo, Sofia and Sabrina, students from McAllen, TX are conducting experiments to determine germination failure rates in tomato seeds to inform how they will pack their MixStix. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image


image
Open Window School seventh graders Vivienne Rutherford, Catherine Whitmer, and Subi Lumala conduct experimental trials with various numbers of Arabidopsis seeds in simulated Martian soil in order to optimize their MixStix flight configuration. Image courtesy of SSEP.

+ View Larger Image