NanoRacks-Del Superior High School-The Making of Tempeh in Microgravity Experiment (NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity) - 11.29.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Del Superior High School-The Making of Tempeh in Microgravity Experiment (NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity) investigates methods for making a highly nutritious food product (tempeh) from soybeans in the microgravity environment of space. This high school science project monitors specialized types of yeast as they process soybeans within an experimental setup installed aboard the International Space Station. The experiment images yeast growth in space, collects temperature and humidity data and eventually returns the yeast/soy cultures to Earth for comparison with control groups.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Del Superior High School, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Del Superior High School , Del Superior High School, Toba Samosir, Indonesia

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Eka Trisno Samosir, PGDip, Del Institute of Technology, Toba Samosir, Indonesia

Developer(s)
Del Superior High School, North Sumatera, Indonesia

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

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Del Superior High School-The Making of Tempeh in Microgravity Experiment (NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity) investigates the effect of microgravity on the fermentation of soybean by using Rhyzopus oligosporus.
  • The observation of fermentation is focused on the formation of molds by the yeast, whether the fermentation process goes faster or slower.
  • Fermented soybean is also known as one of the traditional foods in Indonesia called Tempeh. This research acts as an initial study of how to grow food in space to support space exploration in the future.

Description

Fermentation is the term used by microbiologists to describe any production process of a product by using the mass culture of a microorganism. NanoRacks-Del Superior High School-The Making of Tempeh in Microgravity Experiment (NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity) uses yeasts Rhizopus oryzae and Rhizopus oligosporus. Both yeasts use the soybeans as the source of carbohydrates and proteins needed for growth. Once the yeast grows, it binds the beans to each other and forms a solid texture. The fermented soybeans are also known as Tempeh in Indonesia. It is a traditional food in Indonesia which has been consumed by the locals since 12th to 13th century.
 
The fermentation takes place in an aerobic condition because oxygen is needed to live. There are some factors that influence the fermentation process such as temperature, aeration, nutrients, pH, etc. The fermentation runs in an observation chamber which is a milled polycarbonate tube with diameter 30 mm; length 28 mm. The optimal temperature in the compartment is around 33°C. The aeration needs 0.4 mL of water and it uses a micro-pump (Peristaltic Pumps RP-Q1) to push the water out into the soybeans in the chamber which is approximately 0.0361 mL of liquid per pulse.
 
The hypothesis for this experiment is microgravity makes the fermentation process occur faster. This statement is based on the investigation from literatures of space experiments. In order to study whether microgravity really effects the fermentation process; the same experiment is conducted on Earth where the fermentation process occurs in normal conditions. In the microgravity environment, everything moves in a constant free fall. The pumped water moves constantly and reaches the soybeans in the chamber. When the water touches the yeast on the soybeans, the fermentation starts and the molds grow. The primary data acquired are pictures and environment status during the fermentation process in space and on the ground. Software analyzes the acquired pictures to see the difference between these two conditions and also to analyze the microgravity’s effects in the fermentation of soybeans.
 
The byproduct from this experiment is carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. Since the amount of the yeast and soybean is very small, the amount of CO2 produced is not significant. Some holes are made around the chamber to release the gas. The holes are covered using Gore-Tex, a breathable fabric that can release gas. If the experiment remains on orbit for 90 days, the main impact is only the beans become rotten since the molds can only remain for two days at most and decay immediately afterwards.

^ back to top

Applications

Space Applications
NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity generates awareness of and excitement about international space programs by involving high school student participation. The project gets youth thinking about the real-world challenges of life support systems and nutrition in space.

Earth Applications
NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity advances science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education goals by offering high school students a hands-on, inquiry based learning opportunity that involves space. By combining technology, biology and a macrobiotic food source, this project demonstrates both the scientific method and the interdisciplinary nature of space-related research.

^ back to top

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 researchers so its contents can be examined under an atomic force microscope.

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites

^ back to top


Imagery

image
The full team of the International Space Station (ISS) Project Team from left bottom to upper right: Eka, Theodora, Ruth, Putry, Ari, Stanley, Ronaldo, Matthew, Oliver, Rejoel, Afner and Arico. Image courtesy of Del Superior High School.

+ View Larger Image


image
The final NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity MicroLab ready to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS). Image courtesy of Del Superior High School.

+ View Larger Image


image
Mr. Ivy, Ari, and Putry measure the amount of water needed for the tube for NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity. Image courtesy of Del Superior High School.

+ View Larger Image


image
Mr. Nadier explains the NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity MircoLab’s program to Afner. Image courtesy of Del Superior High School.

+ View Larger Image


image
Mr. Nadier explains additional information about the NanoRacks-DSHS-Making Tempeh in Microgravity MicroLab’s system. Image courtesy of Del Superior High School.

+ View Larger Image