We are pleased to announce that the American Society of Gravitational and Space Biology has signed with NanoRacks to launch a sophisticated student payload. The selected payload will study insect flight behavior in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. See the ASGSB release below or download the pdf.
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR GRAVITATIONAL AND SPACE BIOLOGY STUDENT EXPERIMENT TO FLY AS NANORACKS PAYLOAD ON U.S. NATIONAL LAB, THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
San Jose, California USA – November 3, 2011
The American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB), a U.S. non-profit 501(C)(6) scientific society, announces today an agreement has been signed with NanoRacks (Houston, Texas) to fly a student space flight experiment on-board the NASA International Space Station (ISS). NanoRacks is an industry leader in low-earth orbit space services NanoRacks. NanoRacks, LLC is working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement for the use of the U.S. National Lab. ASGSB has entered into an agreement with NanoRacks as a result of an industry partnership agreement with the Science and Technology Corporation (STC). STC is a small, high-technology company that has experience in nano-satellite and space instrument development. www.stcnet.com/
ASGSB and the NASA Ames Research Center Space Biosciences Division are collaborating to bring an interdisciplinary team of students together to address innovative problems of Space Biology and develop the student light experiment. This past summer, a small student team was competitively selected to study Insect Flight Aerodynamics and Biology in Altered Gravity Environments. This student experiment is being prepared to fly as the ASGSB light opportunity with NanoRacks. The summer project brought students from aeronautics, biology and engineering together and focused on the development of a novel, imaging capability to perform quantitative aerodynamic and behavioral analysis of insect light under altered gravity conditions. Several members of the student team are presenting scientific posters at the ASGSB meeting being held in San Jose, CA November 3rd, 2011. NASA Ames Research Center scientists Dr. Jeffrey Smith and Dr. Sharmila Bhattacharya mentored the student team. With the success of this initial pilot student project, Ames and ASGSB are now working toward a formal agreement that can expand this educational opportunity to inspire and train the next generation of gravitational and space biologists.
A mid 2012 launch date is being planned. ASGSB executive director, Cindy Martin-Brennan says “we are forging a new quadrilateral agreement with between ASGSB, a gravitational science society who fosters young scientists; NanoRacks, a commercial space service provider; STC, a private company that values investment in the next generation; and NASA scientist mentors who believe it is critical to train the next generation of scientists. I think this is the first agreement of its kind that enables hands-on space biology light experience to the next generation of scientists and ex-plorers”.