NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) - 11.21.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) compares the effectiveness of BAM-FXTM and another commercially available nutrient solution in boosting plant growth in the microgravity environment of space. Plants can provide calories, oxygen and other vital nutrients during long-term space travel but optimal cultivation conditions are often a matter of trial and error. NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX uses an automated apparatus to control and monitor seed growth in the presence of air, water, light and two separate nutrient solutions in order to determine which one works best.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Katayoon Agahi, 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)
Katayoon Agahi, 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 (NL)

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

  • NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) determines how BAM-FXTM effects plant growth in space.
  • NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2 measures the growth of Lemon Basil seeds grown in BAM-FXTM.
  • If successful, this research could assist in the Mars mission and aid in ending world hunger.

Description

BAM-FXTM is a chemically produced growth formula that provides the plant being grown in it with vital nutrients. NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) tests the hypothesis (plants grown in BAM-FX grow five times faster than plants grown in commercial growth formula) by sending two batches of seeds. The seeds are held in a chamber, on the base of the chamber there is polyethersulfone (PES) growth foam. On top of the growth foam there is a piece of chromatography paper that is dipped in either BAM-FXTM or the commercial growth formula (control). On top of the chromatography paper there are four seeds that are glued down with guar gum. The seeds are provided with nutrients through white light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a water pump, the growth formula, and an air pump to circulate the air. For each chamber there are two LEDs, two pumps, and a camera. The LEDs are on 24/7. The air pump flows whenever the water pump is not on, and the water flow is currently undetermined.

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Applications

Space Applications
NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2 contributes to understanding of how to grow food and other resources on long-term space missions. This project also supports space exploration through its inclusion of U.S. high school students. Their participation generates interest in and enthusiasm for space-based research.

Earth Applications

Results from this experiment support development and adoption of a product (BAM-FXTM), which can potentially enhance agricultural productivity on Earth. This research also generally advances STEM education goals by including high school students. Students receive training in scientific methods, teamwork and product testing. Space experiments inspire students to take an interest in science, engineering, agriculture and other fields that help advance technology.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
NanoRacks Black Box is completely autonomous and only requires 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 one VGA photo and environmental data per day for the duration of the flight. The payload chamber needs to be returned to the researcher so its contents can be examined under an atomic force microscope. Crew interaction with NanoRacks Black Box is limited to transferring the NanoRacks from insert from the launch vehicle to the International Space Station, installation and activation.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
BAM Agricultural Solutions
Zero Gravity Solutions

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Imagery

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Mechanical block diagram of the NanoLab Module for the NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) investigation. Image courtesy of Valley Christian High School.

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Software flowchart for the NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) investigation. Image courtesy of Valley Christian High School.

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PCB schematics for the NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-The Effect of BAM-FX Nutrient Solution on Plants in Microgravity (NanoRacks-VCHS-BAM-FX-2) investigation. Image courtesy of Valley Christian High School.

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