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Yeast Cell Growth

Yeast Cell Growth

Awty-Yeast Cell Growth sends three different strains of yeast in one growth medium to a microgravity environment. The yeast selected are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces ellipsoideus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A camera is used to determine rate of growth.

Customer Name: Awty International School
Research: Yeast Cell Growth
NanoRacks Facility: NanoLab Platform
Mission Duration: 09/2014 – 03/2015
Mission Status: In progress
More Info: From NASA Website


Research Overview
Yeast cells are used as model organisms for human cells, allowing researchers to study new medicines, the effects of microgravity, and other phenomena on Earth and in space. NanoRacks-Awty-Yeast Cell Growth in a Microgravity Environment sends three different yeast strains to the International Space Station, where they grow in the same environment with the same nutrients.

The investigation compares the cells’ growth rates, structure and respiration to yeast grown on Earth, and analyzes the cells after they return from space to determine how microgravity affects their function and behavior.

  • NanoRacks-Awty-Yeast Cell Growth in a Microgravity Environment investigates the cellular growth rate, cellular structure and the process of cellular respiration of three strains of yeast in microgravity.
  • Learning how microgravity affects the amount of carbon dioxide produced contributes to the development of air recycling and filtration for long-duration missions.
  • Using visual images taken with a camera, NanoRacks-Awty-Yeast Cell Growth in a Microgravity Environment measures the rate of growth of three different strains of yeast using the same growth media.
  • This experiment uses a standard 1.0 U (10 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm) NanoRacks Module consisting of an aluminum ArduLab. It contains a y-plate with agar and yeast. There are sensors including a temperature/humidity sensor and a carbon dioxide sensor. A camera and two bright LED lights are installed. An RTC clock has been installed to organize data as it is collected.
  • Upon return to Earth, the make-up/cell structure is analyzed to determine how microgravity affects the cells.
    Using a carbon dioxide sensor, the levels of carbon dioxide are measured to determine if a microgravity environment affects the levels of gas produced.
  • Medical research uses yeast cell studies to investigate advances/hypotheses in the effectiveness of medicines and also how the microgravity environment affects the human body.

Description
LituanicaSAT-1 is one of the two first Lithuanian satellites, and the first to transmit a Lithuanian message from space-a salutation from the Lithuanian president to all Lithuanians around the world.

The 1U CubeSat carries technology that conducts experiments such as FM voice repeater operation, taking pictures of Earth, and testing various controllers and sensors in microgravity.

The data collected asseses satellite health, attitude, and operational modes. It carries an FM transponder (uplink 145.950 MHz/downlink 435.180 MHz) and an AX.25 packet transponder (uplink 145.850 MHz/downlink 437.550 MHz). The CW beacon is on 437.275 MHz. The CubeSat was launched along with the second Cygnus spacecraft and 28 Flock-1 CubeSats aboard an Antares 120 carrier rocket flying from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island to the International Space Station.

The nanosatellite NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 is a cube, with its sides 10 centimeters long, complying with the standard CubeSat design specifications. Four communication antennas are attached to the body of the satellite.

The total mass of the body including the equipment within it is 1,090 kg. The satellite uses low cost open-source software and hardware for primary and secondary flight computers that control the payload consisting of an onboard VGA camera and FM Mode V/U Voice Repeater.

Transfer of multiple NRCDs from the launch vehicle to the JEM. Visual inspection for damage to the NRCDs. Installation of the NRCDs on the Multi-purpose Experiment Platform. Transfer to external via JEM airlock. Operation of JEM Remote Manipulating System (RMS) – grapple and position for deployment. Deployment of the NanoRacks CubeSats via NRCD operations.

Applications

Awty Yeast Cell Growth in a Microgravity Environment sends three different strains of yeast in one growth medium to a microgravity environment. The yeast selected are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces ellipsoideus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A camera is used to determine rate of growth. A temperature and humidity sensor measures the environmental conditions surrounding the yeast.

Finally, a carbon dioxide sensor compares levels of carbon dioxide being produced. It will also serve as a fail-safe to ensure the yeast are continuing to grow if camera operations are lost. Ground experiments are run simultaneously for comparison data. Cell structure is evaluated upon return to Earth.

Read more at the NASA Website

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