NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science-America (SSEP Mission 11) (NanoRacks-NCESSE-America) - 07.26.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science-America (NanoRacks-NCESSE-America) consists of 21 microgravity experiments designed by K-12 and college students that examine biofilm formation, tissue regeneration, concrete properties, immune system response, and plant, fungi, and bacterial growth. Bound for the International Space Station (ISS), the student experiments represent winning entries in a competitive initiative that engaged over 9,000 U.S. and Canadian students in space-related research planning. The NanoRacks-NCESSE-America experiments utilize NanoRacks MixStix as miniature laboratories, which are activated by ISS crew and then eventually returned to Earth so that student teams can examine their results.
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
April 2017 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned
51/52

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-America (NanoRacks-NCESSE-America) investigation is the thirteenth 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 DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks, LLC.
  • Twenty-one experiments were selected from 1,959 student team proposals, engaging 9,870 grade 5-16 students in microgravity experiment design.
  • 12,407 grade K-12 students were engaged, and 11,428 patch designs were submitted in the community’s broader science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) 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 two-step 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 the International Space Station (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 DreamUp PBC and 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 13 flight opportunities – SSEP on STS-134 and STS-135, which were the final flights of Space Shuttles Endeavor and Atlantis; and SSEP Missions 1 through 11 to the ISS. Through SSEP Mission 11 to the ISS 142 communities from 37 states, the District of Columbia, and 4 Provinces in Canada have participated. Over 74,600 grades 5-16 students have been immersed in microgravity experiment design and proposal writing, and student teams have submitted over 16,200 flight experiment proposals. Over 200 experiments were chosen for flight through a formal 2-step review process and 174 experiments have flown to the ISS (through SSEP Mission 9). Over 112,000 more students across the entire grade K-16 pipeline were engaged in their community’s broader STEAM experience, submitting over 77,100 Mission Patch designs. Thirty-five communities have participated in 2 to 8 flight opportunities reflecting the program’s popularity and sustainable nature.
 
NanoRacks-National Center for Earth and Space Science Education-America (NanoRacks-NCESSE-America) includes the following 21 student experiments on SpaceX-12:
 
The Effects of Microgravity on Fly Ash Concrete Used in Building Structures
Riverside Secondary School, Grade 12, Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Concrete is the most widely used building material and thus would have many applications in microgravity. From building foundations to roads, concrete can be found almost anywhere and has the ability to be even more useful than it already is. This investigation studies the effect of microgravity on concrete, specifically concrete created using a mixture based on fly ash. The use of fly ash in a concrete mix reduces the amount of Portland Cement, dramatically cutting the cost as the material is a byproduct of coal production and does not need to be specifically made for concrete. According to the National Precast Concrete Association, fly ash also has many other benefits including greater strength over time, increased durability and increased workability. These benefits alongside the eco-friendly aspects make fly ash the best choice. While small amounts of fly ash are used in most concretes, it generally does not exceed 30%, because of the long curing rate and the need for additional air entraining admixtures. The study tests microgravity’s effect on the strength, durability and the drawbacks previously mentioned. If the investigation shows that fly ash concrete can have greater strength with its drawbacks negated, it would allow for a greater amount of fly ash to be used and help shift the world into a more eco-friendly direction. This also allows for fly ash concrete to be used for constructing infrastructures in microgravity settings.
 
Can Tomatosphere™ tomato seeds germinate on Earth after having been exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation for a second time of exposure?
Ecole Stonewall Centennial School, Grade 8E, Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada
Can Tomatosphere™ seeds, which have previously been exposed to a microgravity and cosmic radiation environment along with entering and exiting Earth’s atmosphere, grow on Earth after being re-exposed for a second time to similar conditions onboard the ISS? A second exposure of Tomatosphere™ seeds to microgravity and cosmic radiation has not yet been studied. The investigation determines if the growth rate and size of the tomato plant changes due to the seeds’ second exposure to these environmental changes. Tomatosphere™ seeds were chosen due to previous experience growing the seeds in the spring of 2016. The investigation expands knowledge about whether increased cosmic radiation exposure improves upon nutritious food production, which has large-scale applications for nutritious food production on Earth and in space. It also informs about deep space exploration and habitation on Mars or other planets. The hypothesis is that the Tomatosphere™ seeds exposed to space for the second time, germinate into taller and larger plants. As well, they germinate faster than the ground truth Tomatosphere™ seeds that have not been exposed to the same conditions for a second time.
 
Microgravity and Yeast
iLEAD Pacoima, Grade 6, Pacoima, California
Yeast is a simple organism that feeds on sugars and starches. Yeast reproduce asexually by budding. Budding is when a parent yeast cell begins to grow, so when the parent cell gets bigger the parent cell's nucleus divides into two. The investigation studies the influence of microgravity on this process. It is known that microgravity affects astronauts in space. Does it have an effect on fungi? Does yeast bud faster in space than on Earth due to microgravity? Yeast has a lot of uses. It makes for an excellent nutritional supplement and can be used to make alcohol. This alcoholic mixture can be distilled into nearly pure ethanol. Ethanol can be used to make fuel and as a disinfectant. In long term space travel, creating rather than transporting materials is the more viable solution. The investigation focuses on the reproduction of yeast, but it has implications that extend much farther.
 
Hydroponics in Microgravity
Oakwood School, Grade 8, North Hollywood, California
What effect does gravity, or rather the lack of gravity, have on the amount of root hairs grown on plant roots? Plant roots play a major role in getting nutrients from the outside of the plant to the insides, which then help it grow. Lettuce seeds are germinated hydroponically, because hydroponics is easier to manage in microgravity than soil, and because lettuce grows easily in hydroponic environments. 2.5 mL of hydroponic nutrient solution and 11 Lactuva sativa, heirloom, non-hybrid, non-GMO, organic, lettuce seeds are used and a 4% buffered solution of gluteraldehyde stops germination while in microgravity. The investigation is simultaneously conducted on earth as a control to allow for microgravity and gravity comparison. Upon return to Earth, both ground and flight seeds are examined under a microscope and the root hairs are counted. The knowledge gained helps to grow food on longer space missions.
 
The Effect of Microgravity on the Rate of Fermentation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Lincoln Middle School, Grade 8, Santa Monica, California
Does microgravity on the ISS affect the quantity of ethanol produced from yeast fermentation compared to the amount produced on Earth? Fermentation is a process in which a sugar solution containing yeast as catalyst is turned into alcohol (ethanol). With ethanol being a cleaner energy source, it could cut down on pollution leading to cleaner atmospheres. This experiment raises the possibility of using yeast as a catalyst for rocket fuel or as an energy source during space expeditions. To answer the question, the experiment must be tested in the MixStix while in microgravity. The first and second sections of the MixStix contain yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and the solution of Wyeast Nutrient Blend and dextrose (corn sugar) mixed with distilled water. The third and final section of the MixStix contains a sea-saltwater solution. The yeast and the sugar/nutrient solution are mixed first. The sugar allows the yeast to ferment and the nutrients allow for the yeast to survive. After two days, the third section is unclamped introducing the salt to kill off the yeast and stop the fermentation process. Upon return to Earth the amount of ethanol produced is measured. Being able to produce ethanol more efficiently in a microgravity environment could allow the use of ethanol as an alternative, less costly, and more efficient fuel source that could enhance future space exploration.
 
Can Dugesia japonica Regenerate in Microgravity through the use of stem cells?
Vista Magnet Middle School, Grades 6-8, Vista, California
Can Dugesia japonica planarian worms regenerate heads while in microgravity through the use of stem cells? Ten Dugesia japonica tails are sent into space. The objective is to compare the regeneration of Dugesia japonica on Earth to their regeneration in microgravity. The size and number of eyes, along with the head development for the 2 auricles (the tips on the sides of the heard), and both light sensing eyespots called ocelli are quantified. The hypothesis is that the ten Dugesia japonica tails sent into microgravity do not regenerate because the stem cells in the Dugesia japonica are affected.
 
Microgravity' s Effect on Immune System Response of Model Species: an interaction between Daphnia magna and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
The Aerospace & Hydrospace Engineering School at the Fairchild Wheeler Campus, Grade 12, Bridgeport, Connecticut
With the expansion of space exploration, living in outer space is no longer a dream. Even though there has been ground breaking research there are still many unknowns that are essential to living successfully in outer space. The effect of microgravity on the human immune system response is currently unknown. After astronauts have been exposed to microgravity for long periods of time, their immune system does not generate the appropriate responses to threats.
 
This project explains the interaction between the immune system of Daphnia magna (D. magna) and the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in a microgravity environment. The experiment takes place aboard the ISS. The D. magna are exposed to the bacteria for 3 days in space before being sent back to Earth for testing. The hemolymph of the D. magna is tested for a change in protein levels prior to the space experiment and after the experiment has returned to Earth. These results give insight to how microgravity influences the interaction between bacteria and the immune system.
 
How does Microgravity Affect Algae Growth?
CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, Grade 8, East Hartford, Connecticut
Is algae growth affected by microgravity? The hypothesis is that algae are not affected in microgravity. The conditions of algae growing is not considerably changed, as microgravity simply results in floating globules of algae. The information learned from the investigation assists with future space travel and space tourism, as algae can be used as both a fuel source and a food source, and astronauts could potentially grow the food and fuel while on a spaceflight.
 
Algae are reproduced very quickly and only need sunlight, or for heterotrophic algae, forms of energy like sugar. Algae are also useful to purify air and wastewater, as well as creating energy. On the ISS, heterotrophic algae are grown in the MixStix using sugar as a food source mixed with water. A preservative chemical, formalin is introduced to preserve the algae before returning to the gravity environment of Earth. Both the flight MixStix and a ground control are analyzed by measuring the amount of algae in the water of each tube, so as to see if regular growth methods of algae can be used in space.
 
Gravitational Force and Mushroom Growth
Lockhart Elementary Magnet School, Grade 5, Hillsborough County, Florida
The future of spaceflight certainly includes long trips through space to distant locations in the galaxy or beyond. Space travelers need proper nutrition including essential vitamins and minerals that are found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are, however, heavy and extremely perishable and not appropriate for space travel. Organic oyster mushrooms are a variety of mushroom that are high in protein, minerals such as zinc and iron, and many vitamins such as B, D, and C. The investigation tests mushroom growth in microgravity to determine if mushrooms could be grown and eaten on long trips beyond Earth. Certain types of mushrooms are high in critical vitamins and minerals that support high levels of energy and healthy immune systems in humans. They are also very lightweight and likely grow on a very light base. They also grow very quickly and produce an abundance of spores giving them the ability to be a sustainable food source.
 
Inhibition of P. Aeruginosa Biofilm Formation with Silver Impregnated Antimicrobial Silicone in Microgravity
University of Maryland, College Park, Grade Undergraduate Sophomores, Prince Georges County, Maryland
Proposed is a method to comparatively analyze the effect of antibacterial material on the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) biofilm in micro-gravitational conditions. Biofilms are a large concern in the medical field due to its resistance to antibiotics and ability to cause infections. Additionally, they also pose a problem in the maintenance of space instruments and astronaut health. The investigation tests the new technology of silver-based antimicrobial silicone rubber by growing P. aeruginosa biofilms on both non-modified silicone and antimicrobial silicone in the MixStix. P. aeruginosa was chosen because it is a well-studied model for general biofilm formation. Previous research has demonstrated that the lack of physical stresses in microgravity promotes biofilm formation. Though silver-based antimicrobial silicone has been shown to reduce P. aeruginosa biofilm formation by 95% in normal ground conditions, this experiment examines how it performs under low-shear conditions that are experienced in space in order to better understand its efficacy as medical implants. Furthermore, it is hoped that the data reinforce the current research surrounding space biofilm formation and determine whether or not the ion mechanism of the silver-based antimicrobial silicone can successfully prevent biofilm growth. Upon return from the ISS, the biofilm grown on both the unmodified and antimicrobial silicone is collected and compared to a ground control experiment via confocal microscopy analysis.
 
Effects of microgravity on Alcanivorax borkumensis
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Grade 10, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Does microgravity affect the ability of Alcanivorax borkumensis to degrade n-alkanes? On Earth, Alcanivorax borkumensis thrives in oil contaminated water and feeds on phosphorous and nitrogen, organic compounds that can be found within crude oils. It is adapted to living in such oil contaminated environments and is used to accelerate the degradation of oil contaminated areas. The investigation studies whether the bacterium is capable of degrading such oils in the unique conditions of microgravity, and if its process is accelerated by the low gravity conditions. The findings could help better our knowledge and understanding on how the bacterium functions and further the implications of using such a bacterium for marine rescue scenarios and oil spill cleanups, as well as oil based recycling materials within enclosed waste systems.
 
Spores in Space: The Effects of Microgravity on Endomycorrhizae
Stockton University, Undergraduate, Galloway, New Jersey
The human race is moving closer and closer to long term space travel to explore beyond the blue planet and this has posed some interesting challenges. One of the main problems faced is growing a long-lasting food supply in microgravity. While a lot of work has been done to study plant growth in space, it is believed that agriculture in microgravity can be improved by studying mycorrhizae: the mutualist relationship between plants and fungi. This relationship has been shown, on Earth, to greatly increase the productivity of agriculturally important plant species. The MixStix is used to combine Rhizophagus irregularis, a species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, and Linum usitatissimum, or flax, on the ISS, and then compare the results to a ground truth experiment. No matter the outcome of the experiment there is valuable information that can be gained that aids space travel in the future.
 
Which type of Lettuce Seed Germinates best in Microgravity?
Florence. M. Gaudineer Middle School, Grade 7, Springfield, New Jersey
Which type of Lactuca sativa (lettuce) grows best with the effect of microgravity? Many psychiatrists have recommended astronauts eat fresh foods to remind them of home. Also, fresh foods are helpful to the health of all the astronauts on the ISS. Lettuce is a fresh food source that can serve as a reminder or home, while providing health benefits. Several types of lettuce seeds, Grand Rapids, Bibb, Iceberg, and Black Seeded Simpson, are studied to determine which one germinates best in microgravity. The study assists scientists in learning how fresh lettuce can be grown and eaten in space. Initial tests on Earth determined that Black Seeded Simpson seeds grew the fastest. The seeds are arranged in gauze in the MixStix to keep them organized and separated, water is used to start the germination process, and 10% formalin in neutral buffered solution is introduced to stop germination once the experiment is complete.
 
Galaxy Eggplants
Waterford Elementary School, Grade 6, Waterford, New Jersey
How does microgravity affect the germination of eggplant seeds? The study examines the growth rate of the different seeds. The scientific name for eggplant is Solanum Melongena. The normal germination time of the eggplant on Earth is 7 to 14 days (1 or 2 weeks). The hypothesis is that growth/germination is affected because the seeds are in constant motion in the microgravity environment. Five eggplant seeds, a piece of cotton 0.1 cm² by 0.1 cm² as the substrate, gibberellic acid solution to initiate growth, and formalin to stop growth are loaded into different chambers of the MixStix. Upon return to Earth the effects of microgravity on the seeds are determined by measuring the size of the sprouts from space and the sprouts on Earth.
 
The effect of Microgravity on the Deterioration of Chlorophyll in Phytoplankton
East High School, Grade 11-12, Rochester, New York
The experiment tests how microgravity conditions affect phytoplankton chlorophyll deterioration rates. Phytoplankton is being used as the specimen because microscopic marine plants are small enough to fit in a MixStix. An abundant source of nutrients makes conditions as normal as possible. The phytoplankton are not allowed any sunlight or artificial light, only nutrients from a cocktail that is considered favorable for phytoplankton to survive. A spectrometer is used to measure chlorophyll levels. Initial chlorophyll levels are measured prior to the sample being sent into space while a second sample is kept on earth under similar storage conditions. The hypothesis is that there is a difference between the decay rates of chlorophyll in microgravity compared to gravity (Earth) conditions.
 
Gravitropism of Radish Seeds in Microgravity
J.N. Fries, Grade 7, Concord, North Carolina
The purpose of the experiment is to find the effects of varied gravitropism during germination of radish seeds. Gravitropism is a plant's response to the stimuli of gravity. The roots grow along with gravity, and the shoots grow against it. Gravitropism can affect the development of a seedling, contributing to aspects such as the length and direction of growth of the shoot and roots. Space has a varying degree of gravity in contrast to the constant gravitational pull on Earth; therefore, the seedlings grown in space may develop differently from ones grown on Earth. The direction of growth in the plant may be different, and the roots and shoot may have varying proportions. This experiment has importance, since learning about the development and growth of plants in space can one day have value, when more contributions are made to explore agriculture in space. If the gravity in space is not suitable for plant growth the plant or the environment need to be modified in some way in order to grow crops in space. The germination of radish seeds in gravity and microgravity are observed, in order to see if there is a difference between the two seedlings. The hypothesis is that the seed in microgravity has slower radicle and primary root development, but faster epicotyl and shoot development. The seedling from space may also grow in erratic directions.
 
The removal of blue-green algae cells from water in a microgravity environment
Vine Middle Magnet School, Grade 8, Knox County, Tennessee
Blue-Green algae are a form of cyanobacteria, which are found in small bodies of water such as rivers lakes and ponds. Blue-Green algae contain toxins, which can be harmful toward people. Blue-green algae cause 3 different types of toxins, which are neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, and dermatoxins. Neurotoxins affect our nervous system, hepatotoxins affect our liver and how it functions, and dermatoxins irritate our skin. Some of these can even cause death. This investigation focuses on the removal process of Blue-Green Algae using an alum and sodium aluminate mixture helping to ensure safety in microgravity environments and making water safer for human consumption. A MixStix is used to mix the alum and sodium aluminate with the blue-green algae water while on the ISS. Upon return to Earth the data is collected based on production of the floc. It is anticipated that the alum blocks the phosphorus from feeding on the bacteria, thus preventing the bacteria from growing and that there may be some difficulties with the mixtures reacting in a microgravity environment.
 
Concrete Compressive Strength
STEAM Middle School, Grade 6, Burleson, Texas
The experiment is a force reading and analysis of concrete. Concrete is made in space and on Earth. When the concrete returns to Earth, a microscope is used, as well as a force gauge, to examine the differences between the sample formed in microgravity and the sample formed on Earth. This experiment is pertinent to future missions to colonize Mars – a neighboring planet. Concrete is a common construction material used on Earth to build houses and habitats. What, if any, are the effects of microgravity on the structural integrity of concrete?
 
Effects of Microgravity on Listeria innocua Biofilm Formation
iSchool High STEM, Grade 9-11, Lewisville, Texas
Listeria biofilms have a paramount effect on society, causing an estimated 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths annually in the United States alone. Biofilms are created when a colony of bacteria is exposed to an aqueous surface. This causes the bacteria to form natural polymers of high molecular weight and sugary molecular strands collectively known as Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS). In order to understand the effects of microgravity on Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) biofilm, in connection to the food industry, the experiment consists of having Listeria innocua (L. innocua) cells exposed to two surfaces to form a biofilm: ethylene-1-octene copolymer beads and stainless steel beads. The species of bacteria to be tested is L. innocua, a non-pathogenic substitute for the more commonly known species of L. monocytogenes. The experiment is conducted inside a MixStix, with ethylene-1-octene copolymer beads, stainless steel beads, and trypticase soy broth in one volume and a colony of 10,000 L. innocua cells on a sterile bead in another volume. The results of the experiment are compared to an identical ground experiment and analyzed with a confocal microscope to observe the density, three-dimensional structure, and thickness of the L. innocua biofilms. The knowledge gained from this experiment could reduce the number of food poisoning cases, bacterial infection cases on Earth, improve understanding of biofilm sanitization, and aid in the design of equipment and spacecraft.
 
How does microgravity effect the growth of Allium cepa seeds?
Thomas Jefferson High School, Grade 11, Pharr, Texas
This investigation determines how microgravity effects the growth of Allium cepa seeds. Volume 1 of the MixStix is loaded with five dry Allium cepa seeds placed in one cotton ball. Volume 2 is filled with 1 mL of distilled water. Volume 3 contains a selected fixative, formalin, to stop the growth process. During the first week after arrival at the ISS, clamp A water is released into the volume with the seeds and cotton to begin the germination process. In the week prior to undocking, the fixative is introduced to preserve the experiment in microgravity. Upon return to Earth, observations of the seeds is done and data is collected. Observations include length of stem, observations of roots and stems, and stage of growth. If it is determined that microgravity allows for optimal seed growth, plants could be grown as a renewable food source in space. Plants could also help introduce new oxygen into space vehicles. Studying gravitropism also helps to understand how to grow plants in space and find optimal growth. Food supplies and nutrients will be less of an issue. Future space travelers will be able to travel farther and live in space for longer periods of time if they travel with their own food.
 
Chytrid Frog Fungus Survival in Space
J.L. Matthey Middle School, Grade 8, San Antonio, Texas
The chytrid frog fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is a fungus that is causing a global decline of amphibians and extinctions of some species. The fungus affects amphibians like frogs and salamanders and kills the host by infecting the layers of amphibian skin. It was discovered in 1999 but there is no cure. It is believed the chytrid frog fungus behaves differently in microgravity. The life cycle of the chytrid frog fungus is complex and is composed of several different stages. The hypothesis is that the stages of this life cycle cannot be completed in microgravity. Without feeling the force of gravity pushing down, the fungus does not know which direction to grow. If the frog fungus does not grow, then microgravity may be important in helping scientists find a cure for the fungus.

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Applications

Space Applications
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a high-impact educational outreach program that promotes STEM education throughout the United States and Canada and helps NASA achieve its participatory exploration goals. NanoRacks-NCESSE-America prepares the next generation of space professionals through an immersive STEM learning experience, which includes interaction with commercial, academic, non-profit and government partners. NanoRacks-NCESSE-America experiments also critically demonstrate the repeatability of certain space phenomena such as the directionality of root growth, thereby supporting current frameworks of understanding or identifying areas where additional testing is necessary.

Earth Applications
NanoRacks-NCESSE-America prepares U.S. and Canadian students for STEM educational pathways and careers. To date, more than 74,600 students from 37 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces have taken part in actual space research projects through SSEP. Hands-on, inquiry-based experiences with the space program inspire students to take an interest in science, engineering, agriculture and other fields that help advance technology and solve humanity’s grand challenges.

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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.

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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
NCESSE
SSEP
DreamUp

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Imagery

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SSEP Student Researchers Alexa Durand and Brenda Shen (grade 12 students at Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) conducting their research on fly ash concrete. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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SSEP Student Researchers from Stonewall-Manitoba, Canada getting their Tomatosphere research dreams ready for the ISS. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Alexii Villamar, Daniel Herrera, and Jack Sidman, SSEP Student Researchers from iLEAD Consortium, testing the effects of formalin on yeast cell integrity. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Teacher Melanie Magdaleno working with her students Koa Lee, Noah Mack, and Finn Flackett-Levin. The North Hollywood team is fine-tuning their hydroponic micronutrient experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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In the final hours of SSEP proposal writing, Alexander Chopra, Casey Christmas III, Zachary Jacobs, Samuel Kohn, and Noah Sakkour students from Santa Monica, CA are calculating, questioning, and critiquing. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Vista, California SSEP Student Researchers, Evie Currington, Isabel Camacho, Charlotte Currington, Sydney Wagner and Isabella Ansell work on their experiment at a University of California San Diego laboratory. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Teacher Luke Fatsy with students Uchenna Oguagha, Kiana Laude, Raysa Leguizamon, and Jucar Lopes, all of Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School, work on setting up their SSEP experiment for the International Space Station. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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SSEP Student Researchers from Hartford, CT test volumes in preparation for the launch of their mini-lab testing algae growth in microgravity. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Lockhart Elementary Magnet, Tampa, Florida, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program team hard at work replicating their procedures for testing the effect of microgravity on mushroom growth. Left to right: Dominic, Jimmy, Abdiel, Sirjacob, Telvin and Angelina. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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University of Maryland students, Stacey Mannuel and Colton Treadway (left to right) measure the components of the medium needed for their SSEP experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School students conducting preliminary testing using well plates and paraffin liquid. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Stockton University students Valkyrie Falciani and Danielle Ertz setting up a preliminary experiment with flax seeds in a MixStix. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Seventh graders Rudraksha Vyas, Maxwell Levy, Ian McLeer, and Elisha Acosta work to improve how to keep different types of lettuce seeds separate from one another in the MixStix. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Waterford, NJ Student Researchers are studying the trial experiments of the eggplant seeds and gibberellic acid solution in their MixStix. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Binti Mohamed (center) views live Spirulina samples through the microscope as De’aunte Johnson (left) and Tailor Davis (right) await their turns. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Concord, NC Student Researchers Collecting Ground Truthing Data for Radish Seeds in Microgravity. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Vine Middle Magnet School Students, Knox County, TN, measuring sodium aluminate. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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Danyel Archuleta, Christian Steele, and Cole Rose, 6th grade Student Researchers from Burleson ISD, work to determine the best concrete/water ratios for their experiment. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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iSchool High STEM Academy students from Lewisville, TX are busy working on their experiment for SSEP. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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SSEP Student Team from PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School run tests to analyze how microgravity affects the growth of Allium cepa seeds. Image courtesy of SSEP.

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