NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-The Effects of Microgravity and Tardigrades on the Ethanol Production by Yeast (NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate) - 11.29.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-The Effects of Microgravity and Tardigrades on the Ethanol Production by Yeast (NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate) is a high school science investigation of how the microgravity environment aboard the International Space Station affects rates of fermentation. The experiment cultures fermentative microbes and an extremophile invertebrate in a glucose solution while an automated apparatus monitors temperature and byproducts produced over a period of several weeks or more. High school researchers analyze data and image downloads in real-time and also inspect the culture once the experimental apparatus returns to Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Padmashri Arvind, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Carmel Christian School , Carmel Christian School, Matthews, NC, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Padmashri Arvind, M.S., Carmel Christian School, Matthews, NC, United States

Developer(s)
Carmel Christian School, Matthews, NC, 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
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned
51/52

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-The Effects of Microgravity and Tardigrades on the Ethanol Production by Yeast (NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate) investigates if the interaction between glucose solution and yeast is altered in microgravity. This investigation is to determine if microgravity has any effect on the rate of the fermentation process.
  • NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate) determines if more or less ethanol is produced in microgravity.
  • The possible application of this research is an effective way to produce ethanol which could have various different applications, such as being used as a disinfectant.
  • Another impact is the growth rate of yeast in this research could be reflective of other fungi, leading to more investigations.

Description

The NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-The Effects of Microgravity and Tardigrades on the Ethanol Production by Yeast (NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate) experiment examines how microgravity affects the rate of fermentation of glucose solution by yeast. The data provided by the experiment about fungus growth rates in microgravity could potentially be useful in better understanding the future of the agricultural field in space. This field is continually gaining relevance due to microgravity’s apparent aid in plant growth. Two different fermentation chambers sealed with equal quantities of yeast and glucose solution are pumped into the chambers at regular intervals. One of the chambers also contain tardigrades (microscopic, extremophilic invertebrates). Two miniature peristaltic pumps, (RP-Q1 from Takasago Electric, Japan) are used to deliver the glucose solution to the two different fermentation chambers.
 
The fermentation process begins aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as soon as the glucose solution is pumped into chambers containing yeast. The ethanol and temperature sensors are then turned on periodically to gather data on the fermentation progress inside the chambers. The temperature range of 29°C to 35°C is ideal. Momentary power supply interruptions should not alter the experiment results. The experiment is designed to function for the duration of the flight onboard the ISS but could be shut down after 14 days if needed.

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Applications

Space Applications
NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate generates awareness of and excitement about U.S. and international space programs by involving high school student participation. The project gets youth thinking about real-world challenges and creates a template for further research into autonomous, sustainable production systems necessary for supporting long-term space travel.

Earth Applications
NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate advances science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education goals by offering high school students an inquiry based learning opportunity that involves space. These activities inspire students to embrace teamwork, the scientific method and next generation learning standards.

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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 data transfer of the experiment is constant throughout the entire experimental phase – about six photos per day together with text files with environmental data (ethanol concentration and temperature). The MicroLab with the payload is expected to be returned to the researchers so its content can be examined.

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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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Microlab Diagram of Rate of NanoRacks-Carmel Christian School-The Effects of Microgravity and Tardigrades on the Ethanol Production by Yeast (NanoRacks-CCS-Ethanol Production Rate). Image courtesy of Carmel Christian School.

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Carmel Christian School 2016-17 STEM Team from left to right (standing): Evan McLeod, David Tang, Joshua Keller, Devan Kransteuber, Mrs. Arvind, Jared Beightol, Jack Crocker, Zack Nielsen, JT Bicket; from left to right (sitting): Grace Lee, Shiyao Xing, Erin Lawrence, Lily King, Abby Irby, Katherine Wilkins. Image courtesy of Carmel Christian School.

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