Scientific Return and Reporting – Mission 1 to ISS

This page provides a video archive of presentations at the annual SSEP National Conference by student researchers whose experiments were part of the SSEP Mission 1 to ISS Aquarius experiments payload. Mission 1 to ISS was the third SSEP flight opportunity.

Aquarius launched on SpaceX-D1, May 22, 2012, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, and returned to Earth on Soyuz (TMA-03M) 29S on July 1, 2012. For details on the flight profile for Aquarius, see the SSEP Mission 1 to the International Space Station (ISS) page.

Some student flight teams present at more than one annual conference, reporting out status at various stages of the life cycle of a flight experiment. It is also true that not all student flight teams attend a conference. For details on all Aquarius flight experiments, see the Selected Experiments on SSEP Mission 1 to ISS page.

 

San Marino, California

Title: Effect of Microgravity on the Antibacterial Resistance of P.aeruginosa
Oral Presentation, 3rd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2013
San Marino High School
Grade levels of Team: 10-11

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Mitchell Hee, Jennifer Jiang, Jasmine Kuo, and Annie Surman
Collaborators: Mark Liang, Kara Lukas, Elizabeth O’Neill, Nick Troung, Sara Wong, and Lauren Thai
Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: To facilitate safe continual human presence in low-earth orbit and humanity’s eventual colonization of space, it is essential to determine the necessary dosage and type of antibiotics necessary to treat an infection. In this investigation, P. aeruginosa was used as a model bacteria to understand the effect of microgravity on antibiotic resistance. By comparing a ground control experiment to a flight experiment, we sought to analyze the factors affecting the bacteria.

 

Title: Effect of Microgravity on the Antibacterial Resistance of P. aeruginosa
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
San Marino High School, San Marino Unified School District
Grade levels of Team: 10

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Martin Liu
Co-Investigators: Kristie Liu, Ryan Puri, and William Tam
Teacher Facilitator: Jo Carmona

Abstract: By growing two bacterial cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we investigate the effects of microgravity on the antibacterial resistance of bacteria. With help from Oaks Crest Institute in Pasadena, CA, we believe that microgravity will play a difference in the resistance to common antibiotics. Based on past studies, a higher resistance is expected.

 

Title: Fibroblast Division in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
San Marino High School, San Marino Unified School District
Grade levels of Team: 10

Type of Experiment: Honorable Mention Finalist, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Jennifer Jiang, Jasmine Kuo, and Kara Lukas
Co-Investigator: Natasha Garamani
Collaborator: Elyssia Widjaja
Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: The purpose of our experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on cell division and to compare the rates of cell division in the absence and presence of gravity. We have chosen fibroblasts for this experiment. The cells will be exposed to microgravity as they proliferate; simultaneously, an identical experiment will be held to serve as a control. After the experiment’s completion, we will compare the results with those of the control experiment.

 

Title: The Effects of Space Conditions on the Growth and Catabolic Actions of the Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
San Marino High School, San Marino Unified School District
Grade levels of Team: 9

Type of Experiment: Honorable Mention Finalist, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Mark Liang
Co-Investigators: Lauren Thai, Sara Wong, Mitchell Hee, Nick Truong, and Elizabeth O’Neill
Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: Students investigated the process of growth in Oyster Mushroom, and uses in microgravity. Studies were conducted to observe mycelium growth on agar plates, placed under the variables found in space (lack of gas exchange, low temperature, etc). Cultures were also placed in rye grain containers to test catabolic action of fungi on organic material, and fruiting discrepancies because of space conditions. Practical use was observed in the fungi’s ability to compete with mold and bacteria.

 

West Hills, California

Title: Microgravity Wine
Oral Presentation, 3rd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2013
Chaminade College Preparatory
Grade levels of Team: 10

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: 
Max Holden
Collaborator: Paige D’ Andrea
Teacher Facilitators: Eric Esby and Nancy McIntyre

Abstract: The student investigators from the Chaminade College Preparatory and the Medtronic Foundation studied the effects of microgravity on the rate of Carbon Dioxide production during alcoholic fermentation of grape juice. The student team prepared samples that would run concurrently on the International Space Station and in our lab in West Hills, California. The team believes that the grape juice in microgravity will ferment faster producing more carbon dioxide. Now that the team has received results back, we will present our findings.

 

Title: Microgravity Wine
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
Chaminade College Preparatory
Grade levels of Team: 9 and 10

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Max Holden and Paige D’Andrea
Teacher Facilitator: Nancy McIntyre

Abstract: The student investigators from the Chaminade College Preparatory and the Medtronic Foundation studied the effects of microgravity on the rate of Carbon Dioxide production during alcoholic fermentation of grape juice. The student team prepared samples that would run concurrently on the International Space Station and in our lab in West Hills, California. The team believes that the grape juice in microgravity will ferment faster producing more carbon dioxide.

 

Lake County, Indiana

Title: Effect of Microgravity on Reproduction of Curli Producing E. coli O157:H7 438950R
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012

Avicenna Academy of Avicenna Academy Science Community Collaboration
Grade levels of team: 5-7

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Amalia Arceo-Hosken
Collaborators: Jenna Rifai, Ameer Rifai, and Rehan Uribe
Teacher Facilitator: Nicole Gustafson

Abstract: A student team from Avicenna Academy studied the curli-producing capability of E. coli O157:H7 438950R. They designed an experiment to be carried out on the International Space Station that will determine the effect of microgravity on the little hair-like extensions on the outside of the bacteria. These curli are not manifested in each generation, but serve to aid in the bacteria’s ability to produce biofilm which increase the pathogenicity of the organism.

 

Ida County, Iowa

Title: Killifish in Space
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
OA-BCIG High School, Odebolt Arthur – Battle Creek Ida Grove Community School District
Grade levels of Team: 9-12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Jessica Gunderson
Co-Investigators: Brittanie Rigby, Austin Sadler, and Justin Sadler
Teacher Facilitator: Carol Sadler

Abstract: Our team sent dormant Killifish eggs on the SpaceX Dragon. After settling on the ISS, these eggs will be rehydrated. When results are in, we will be able to tell if the bone and muscle mass of the fish had been affected, being micro-gravity’s pulling force is no where comparable to Earth’s gravity. Another part of this testing, since these fish have kidneys, would be able to tell if, even for such a small species, these animals have kidney stones. This testing will help with the health of humans.

 

Charles County, Maryland

Title: Physiological effects of microgravity and increased levels of Radiation on wild type and genetically engineered Caenorhabditis elegans
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
Henry E. Lackey High School, Charles County Public Schools
Grade level of Team: 11

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Paul Warren
Teacher Facilitators: Lara North and Romulo Gabriel

Abstract: I am heading a team comprised of scientists from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Nottingham, JAXA, and Tohoku University to investigate the effects of microgravity and increased levels of radiation on a daf-mutated strain of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The mutation extends lifespan up to one hundred per cent on Earth. We will look at lifespan, reproductive strength, muscle defects, genomics, and proteomics for data analysis.

Scholarly Publication: Evaluation of the fluids mixing enclosure system for life science experiments during a commercial Caenorhabditis elegans spaceflight experiment, Paul Warren et al., article in press, Advances in Space Research, COSPAR.
Download paper

 

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Title: Effect of Arthrobacter on Polyethylene Decomposition Rate in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 3rd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2013
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Grade levels of Team: 10 and 12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Russell Holbert, Victoria Holbert, Brittany Velez, and Miguel Velez III
Teacher Facilitator: Paula deDiego

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to determine if a culture of the genus Arthrobacter has a noticeable increase in the decomposition of polyethylene. Arthrobacter is a genus composed of bioremediators: microorganisms that remove pollutants from the environment. These bacteria are capable of hydrolyzing polyethylene, a hydrocarbon polymer. In bringing the plastic into microgravity, we discovered this strain of bacteria colonize on the plastic in microgravity but not the ground truth.

 

El Paso, Texas

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on the Use of Cactus Mucilage for Water Purification
Oral Presentation, 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2012
El Paso Community College Transmountain Campus (EPCC)
Grade levels of Team: College Sophomore

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Naiqui Armendariz and Jesus Castor
Collaborators: Dr. Maria Arteaga, Professor of Chemistry, El Paso Community College, Transmountain Campus; Dr. Bencomo-Álvarez Alfonso Enrique, Laboratory technician of molecular-microbiology diagnostics, Centro de investigación biomédica de occidente, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México; Dr. Norma A. Alcantar, Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, University of South Florida
Teacher Facilitator: Dr. Gertrud Konings-Dudin, Assistant Professor of Biology, El Paso Community College, Transmountain Campus

Abstract: Opuntia mucilage has been shown to effectively remove chromium and other metals from contaminated water, which makes it useful as a natural flocculating agent. The flocculation process is caused by interaction of the positive metal ions with the anionic polyelectrolyte, the mucilage. Since charged particles easily agglomerate in microgravity, we expect the purification process to work in space. After removal of the mucilage, the chromium content of the remaining solution is measured with a spectrophotometer.

 

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.