NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effects of Microgravity on Brine Shrimp (NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp) - 11.21.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effects of Microgravity on Brine Shrimp (NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp) investigates how well brine shrimp grow under different conditions in the microgravity environment of space. Brine shrimp are relevant to space exploration because their eggs can lie dormant for long periods and the shrimp can withstand a range of conditions, making them a potential renewable source of protein, calories or feed on long space journeys. NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp uses an automated apparatus to hatch the shrimp, grow them with differing levels of carbon dioxide and photograph their development for comparison with control groups on Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

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

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Valley Christian High School , Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Howell Ivy, Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA, United States

Developer(s)
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
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned
51/52

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • As the earth grows more and more populated, space farming becomes an increasingly viable option to provide food for the rising demand. Brine shrimp, due to their dormant cysts, are a popular staple in aquaponics/aquaculture and are recognized for their nutritional value. Learning if they can survive in microgravity conditions and environments with a high carbon dioxide (CO2) percentage is key to using them for space aquaponics and aquaculture.
  • The brine shrimp on the International Space Station (ISS) are observed in the microgravity, CO2-rich environment and compared to a control group. The goals of the experiment are to learn about the difference between the two and if using brine shrimp in space farming is a viable option.
  • Because of their dormant cysts, shrimp have many useful purposes in aquaponics. NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effects of Microgravity on Brine Shrimp (NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp) helps determine if they can be an integral part of space aquaculture as we grow closer and closer to approaching that field.

Description
The primary objective of NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effects of Microgravity on Brine Shrimp (NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp) is to measure the growth of brine shrimp in space and detect any differences between them and their Earth counterparts. Dormant cysts are sent to the International Space Station and then trigger their hatching, studying the time it takes for them to reach various stages and how many survive to adulthood. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to light the chamber for the camera to capture pictures, and sensors measure the temperature of the habitat. The water is filtered through a small charcoal filter periodically and injected with spirulina algae. The biological components, the spirulina algae and brine shrimp, were both obtained from Carolina Biological Supply Company, a large science supply distributor based out of Burlington, North Carolina.

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Applications

Space Applications
NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp contributes to understanding of how to grow food and other resources on long-term space missions. Brine shrimp already represent an important tool used in aquaculture that can be extended to space applications with proper testing. This project also supports space exploration through its inclusion of U.S. high school students. Their participation generates interest in and enthusiasm for space exploration.

Earth Applications
This research advances STEM education goals by including high-school students. Students receive training in scientific methods and team-work. Space experiments inspire students to take an interest in science, engineering and other fields that help advance technology.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
The NanoRacks Module is completely autonomous, as is data collection within the experiment. During the experiment, photographic data is sent to the research team. There is limited crew interaction with the NanoRacks module apart from initial powering up and associated processes. The module must be returned for examination.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery

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Experiment block diagram for NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effects of Microgravity on Brine Shrimp (NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp). Image courtesy of Valley Christian High School.

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Mechanical plan for NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effects of Microgravity on Brine Shrimp (NanoRacks-VCHS-Brine Shrimp). Image courtesy of Valley Christian High School.

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