The ability of plants to provide a source of food and recycle carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen may prove critical for astronauts who will live in space for months at a time. In addition, plants provide a sense of well-being.
NASA and the European Space Agency, or ESA, are studying how plants adapt to micro- and low-gravity environments in a series of experiments designed to determine the ability of vegetation to provide a complete, sustainable, dependable and economical means for human life support in space. As researchers continue to gain new knowledge of how plants grow and develop at a molecular level, this insight also may lead to significant advances in agriculture production on Earth.
Duchesne students studied how different wavelengths of light, representing different colors, affect photosynthesis in a species of algae in the space environment. If a preferred color is identified, people will be able to grow algae faster in space, which is useful considering algae can be very useful in producing fuel.
Partnered with Edge of Space, Sphero wants to know if your favorite BB8 robot works in space. Sphero’s education team has sought to find out how their robotics systems work in microgravity to better understand future technology in space (while also getting students excited!)
Space technology advances the future of exploration, science and our understanding of the universe. Our students are helping NASA and professionals seeks to improve our ability to access and travel through space; land in more locations throughout the solar system; live and work in deep space, and answer profound questions in earth and space sciences.
Nanorocks flew to the ISS on Space-X 4 in early 2014. The experiment chamber consists of 8 sample cells containing different populations of micro-scale particles. The samples are periodically agitated to induce low-velocity collisions. This experiment studies the collisions at the formation of the solar system that eventually created the planets and other celestial objects, like planetary rings.
Our Earth and space environment are constantly changing. Space provides a unique vantage point to collect Earth hand space science data. Contribute to our understanding of the world we live in and the space environment around us. Students can study anything from glaciers and coral reefs to monitoring humanitarian crises or studying solar activity.
MixStix are the best starter set for your in-space research. These mixture-enclosure tubes are straight forward. There are two chambers which you fill with two different materials (materials, chemicals, bacteria, yeast, food particles, and more). Once they reach space, an astronaut then activates the tube by opening the center chamber by allowing the contents to mix. Then, they return to Earth and you can study how mixing in microgravity effected your materials. Students have researched disease proteins, concrete mixing, plant seeds, and more!
NanoLabs are our most powerful platform. Imagine a box — and then think outside of the box. Any experiment you can dream of, within NASA safety precautions of course, can be done inside this box. The box is ready with power and data, and you dream up the rest! Students have studied everything from materials, plant growth to biological processes, bacteria and more.
These small satellites are about the size of a loaf of bread (or smaller!) and deploy from the International Space Station. But they come with big power. From a CubeSat you can observe climate, ship tracking, on the ground developments, and more. CubeSats are the mostly complicated of our offerings — they require a satellite bus, radios and government licenses. Are you ready to take on the challenge?
MixStix are our most basic research platform. These mixture enclosure tube allow students to test out biologicals, materials, chemicals, and more inside the chambers. Our most basic tubes allow astronauts to activate the tubes by hands, and our more advanced platform is automated, which allowed for more precise movements and measurements.
Our friends at NanoRacks made a name for themselves by standardizing research platforms — specifically with the NanoLab. Imagine a box – and whatever you can fit in that box (adhering to NASA safety!) as your research platform. Install plant chambers, electronics, biological experiments, materials, chemicals, and more. This technical document walks you through every step.