NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Electroplating (NanoRacks-VCHS-Electroplating) is a NanoLab project studying the effects of microgravity on electroplating.Principal Investigator(s)
NanoRacks, LLC, Houston, TX, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)ISS Expedition Duration
September 2011 - May 2012
29/30Previous ISS Missions
NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Electroplating (NanoRacks-VCHS-Electroplating) examines bronze and gold electroplating under microgravity conditions and compares the plating roughness against ground controlled electroplated samples using an Atomic Force Microscope. Electroplating of bronze and gold films is conducted using non-toxic electroplating solutions. The materials for this experiment are bronze and plating solutions and a stainless steel anode. Nine polystyrene test tubes with 25 mL of each plating solution are in each of the two sub-modules. The electronic circuitry provides a selectable constant current source for each one of the nine plating solutions. The electroplating process is photographed with time lapse digital imagery. The electroplating solution temperature and surrounding humidity is recorded.
If it is determined that electroplating in space produces more consistent plating than plating on the ground, this could result in the start of a new commercial space plating industry.Earth Applications
A better and more consistent method of electroplating could result in the start of a new commercial space plating industry that would result in more jobs and plating applications.
NanoRacks Module-16 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. NanoRacks ModuleĖ16 returns to earth via a Russian Soyuz return capsule.Operational Protocols
Crew interaction with Module-16 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary), and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.