Cactus-Mediated Carbon Dioxide Removal in Microgravity (Space Tango Payload Card Cactus) - 11.21.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Cactus-Mediated Carbon Dioxide Removal in Microgravity (Space Tango Payload Card Cactus) investigation evaluates the use of the normal metabolism of cactus plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in microgravity. Researchers measure the carbon dioxide (CO2) intake, and oxygen (O2) output, of a selected form of cactus housed in a closed-loop system aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Three white LEDs cycled by software provide 16 hours of light followed by eight hours of darkness. The investigation is led by the International Space School Educational Trust in collaboration with King’s College.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Gentry Barnett, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Gentry Barnett, Space Tango, Lexington, KY, United States

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

Developer(s)
Space Tango Inc, Lexington, KY, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Earth 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 purpose of Cactus-Mediated Carbon Dioxide Removal in Microgravity (Space Tango Payload Card Cactus), is to evaluate the ability of cactus plants to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from a spacecraft atmosphere.
  • The cactus experiment is housed in a plastic tube and cap, creating a closed loop system for sampling the CO2 environment of the cactus container.

Description

In the Cactus-Mediated Carbon Dioxide Removal in Microgravity (Space Tango Payload Card Cactus) experiment, the goal is to measure the oxygen (O2) output and the carbon dioxide (CO2) intake of a selected type of cactus plant. This could be beneficial to future human space exploration if CO2 removal/O2 production can be replicated and maintained safely in a microgravity environment.
 
The cactus experiment is housed in a plastic tube and cap. The cap is punctured in two places, allowing inlet and outlet air tubing. The entry points for the tubing is sealed with hot glue. The outlet air tube is fed into the inlet port of an air pump; the outlet port of the air pump is fed into the inlet port of the K33-BLG CO2/humidity/temperature sensor. The outlet port of the K33 sensor is then fed back into the inlet air tube of the cactus container. This creates a closed loop system for sampling the CO2/humidity/temperature environment of the cactus container.
 
Additionally, the cactus experiment also includes light emitting diode (LED) lighting in the form of three white LEDs mounted to the roof of the CubeLab. These LEDs are cycled by software such that they are on for 16 hours and off for 8 hours.

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Applications

Space Applications
Natural, ongoing plant-based production of oxygen, and removal of carbon dioxide, could help contribute to an improved and safer atmosphere aboard space craft for long-term space travel.

Earth Applications
The Earth Application for this investigation has yet to be identified.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
The science is contained inside of a two-unit (2U) CubeLab attached to Payload Card-3 for cold-stow ascent. The Space Tango Payload Card Cactus investigation operates in the TangoLab, and is returned in cold stowage. The crew installs the payload card into the TangoLab, where autonomous operations occur. At the end of operations, the crew removes, conditions, and stows the hardware for return to Earth. The Payload Card is returned on the same vehicle, and turned over to the Space Tango/PI team during early return either in Houston, Texas or at the California airport.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Space Tango

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Imagery