Qucopartex - Precious (QUANTUM) - 02.20.19

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Qucopartex - Precious (QUANTUM) observes the effects of entropy outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Materials with tight, intense crystalline structures are exposed to a space environment to observe even small changes and differences between materials aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and those on Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

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


Principal Investigator(s)
Matija Bericic, Aurora group d.o.o., Skofja Loka, Slovenia

Mojmir Wondra, Ph.D., Biotechnical Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Aurora group d.o.o., Skofja Loka, Slovenia

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
February 2018 - March 2020

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Qucopartex - Precious (QUANTUM) tests the effects of a cosmic environment on gold, quartz, beryl, and opal. The materials are specifically chosen for their structures and semi conductivity, which best allows infusion of cosmic particles.
  • The materials are maintained aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for 3 to 5 years in order to expose the various solid materials to a space environment and allow the infusion of high-energy cosmic particles.
  • Upon return, the materials undergo physical, chemical, and biological tests to determine significant differences on their deterioration, loss in stability, and entropy gain from exposure to a cosmic environment.
  • ISS samples are compared to Earth samples and also underground samples, which have less cosmic particle exposure.


Qucopartex - Precious (QUANTUM) tests gold, quartz, beryl, and opal due to their conductive and semi conductive properties. The selected materials also have rigid and consistent crystalline structures, which allow for easy observation of possible entropic changes.
Materials on the International Space Station (ISS) are exposed to bombardment of high energy cosmic particles, possibly originating outside our solar system and even from distant galaxies. Quarks in atoms of selected materials reside in their nucleus at the quantum level and are bonded with gluons or strong nuclear forces, which assure stability and certain entropy properties.
After years of bombardment on the ISS, the retrieved materials are analyzed with several physical, chemical and biological tests. Tests show any interaction between quarks, gluons and high energetic cosmic particles, which may have affected stability and entropy of crystalline structures of materials as compared to identical sample materials left in the Earth environment where there are less cosmic particles.

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Space Applications
QUANTUM studies how materials are affected by long-term exposure to the space environment aboard the ISS. As space exploration continues, understanding the effects of space environments on all materials utilized, even very small effects, is critical.

Earth Applications
QUANTUM seeks to understand entropy changes between the environment on Earth, and the environment on the ISS. Entropy affects life on Earth, possibly in ways not yet understood. Continued research in entropy may help guide Earth-based research.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Samples are to be passively exposed to the space environment then returned to the Principal Investigator upon request, between 3 and 5 years later.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Univerza v Ljubljani Biotechnical Faculty

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NASA Image: ISS056E078370 - NanoRacks Module-79, Part Number (P/N): NRP-10079, Serial Number (S/N): 1001, Barcode: 00248985J at Cupula Module window. Photo taken by Expedition 56 crew.

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NASA Image: ISS056E078371 - NanoRacks Module-79, Part Number (P/N): NRP-10079, Serial Number (S/N): 1001, Barcode: 00248985J at Cupula Module window. Photo taken by Expedition 56 crew.

+ View Larger Image