Scientific Return and Reporting – Mission 7 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 7 to ISS Odyssey II experiments payload. Mission 7 to ISS was the ninth SSEP flight opportunity.

Odyssey II launched on SpaceX-8, 4:43 pm ET, April 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Odyssey II is also slated to return to Earth on SpaceX-8, splashing down in the Pacific off the California coast, on May 11, 2016.

Historical note: After a number of delays, Odyssey was set to launch June 28, 2015, aboard SpaceX-7, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Over 120 SSEP delegates were on site to see the launch from the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex. Roughly 2.5 minutes after launch the vehicle exploded with the loss of all experiments.  The experiments payload were reconstituted as Odyssey II, for launch aboard SpaceX-8.

For details on the flight profile for Odyssey II, see the SSEP Mission 7 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 Odyssey II flight experiments, see the Selected Experiments on SSEP Mission 7 to ISS page.

 

La Verne, California

Title: Tardigrade Cryptobiotic Strategies vs. Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
Damien High School
Grade level: 12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Co-Principal Investigators: Garrett Souza, David Washington, Ashwin Balaji
Co-Investigator: Richard Conti
Collaborator: Aaditya Patel
Teacher Facilitator: Charity Trojanowski

Abstract: Tardigrades can, upon introduction to extreme environments, halt all metabolic processes in order to survive, through cryptobiosis. This experiment will investigate their cryptobiotic processes by measuring viability after exposure to a microgravity environment in an ametabolic state for a prolonged period. If capable of surviving exposure to microgravity, tardigrades may help us advance human space travel, such as expeditions covering greater distances and durations, as well understand as the evolutionary, possibly extraterrestrial, origins of the organism.

 

Hillsborough County, Florida

Title: Operation Germination of Cotton Seeds
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
FishHawk Creek Elementary, Hillsborough County, FL
Grade level: 5

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Co-Principal Investigators: Karinna Crespo, Chandrika Ganduri, Casey Utsler
Teacher Facilitator: Mary Vaughn

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on the germination of cottonseeds. We have decided to use cottonseed because if seeds have already germinated on the space station, then that proves that you can grow food in space. If our cottonseed germinates, this supports that you can use cotton in space. The proposed experiment addresses the question proposed because we predict that the germination of cottonseeds will be different from space to Earth.

 

Sioux City, Iowa

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on the Binding Between Peanut Specific IgE and Peanut Protein
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
North High School, Sioux City Community Schools
Grade level: 9

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Principal Investigator: Robert Hwang
Co-Investigators: Tammy Tran, Rachel Hodgins
Advisor: Dr. Gail Bishop, University of Iowa
Teacher Facilitator: Pam Malone-Mason

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to determine the effect of microgravity on peanut allergies to see whether the lack of gravity will have a positive, negative, or neutral effect. Recently this type of allergy has become more prevalent. With more people diagnosed with peanut allergies, it is important to seek better treatments for peanut allergies sufferers.

 

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Title: How is the Growth of the Bacteria Rhizobium radiobacter Affected by Microgravity?
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Grade level: 12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Principal Investigator: Marina Good
Collaborator: Jezrielle Bruno
Teacher Facilitator: Paula deDiego

Abstract: The experiment was to examine the effects of microgravity on the growth and endotoxin production of Rhizobium radiobacter. R. radiobacter is a bacterium causing “plant cancer” (a.k.a. Crown Gall Disease). A portion of a T-DNA inserts itself into the plant’s DNA causing the plant cell to alter, expand, forming a tumor, as a result of altered cell genomes. Analysis included OD, mass pellet, LAL assay and microscopy. Results show microgravity effected some aspects of this bacteria’s morphology and endotoxin production.

 

Brookhaven, Mississippi

Title: Yeast as a Model Organism to Study COX-2 Enzyme Production in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
Brookhaven Academy
Grade level: 10

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Co-Principal Investigators: Missy Noel Clanton, Mica Bailey Stewart
Teacher Facilitators: Leslie Hood, Dr. Dianne Watson

Abstract: Yeast is used as a model organism in cancer research. Sacchharimyces cerevisiae is used in this study due to its production of COX-2 enzyme. Microarray analysis will be used to measure mRNA levels of several thousand genes in yeast, including those involved in the production of COX-2. The specific aim of this experiment is to evaluate gene expression in S. cerevisiae by microarray analysis. Statistical analysis will determine possible variances in the Earth based experiment compared to microgravity.

 

Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas

Title: Will Sunflower Seeds Grow in Microgravity?
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
Crossroads Academy of Kansas City
Grade levels: 6-7

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Principal Investigator: Saul Rodriguez
Co-Investigators: Jorge Ortiz, Kevin Alvarez
Collaborators: Michyla Westbrook-Samuels, Nautica Wiggins
Teacher Facilitator: Kristen Marriott

Abstract: Will sunflower seeds or Helianthus annuus germinate in microgravity? We think that the sunflower seeds will germinate in microgravity because, they are going to have purified water to help them germinate. We will open the clamp for the water and the seeds mix and shake for 10 seconds. We are doing this because sunflower seeds are healthy, and can be a source of food. When the FME comes down from microgravity, we will see if seeds have begun germination.

 

Johnson County, Nebraska

Title: Effect of Microgravity on Nitrogen Fixation in Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.)
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Johnson County Central High School
Grade levels: 11 and 12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Principal Investigator: Rudy Pooch
Co-Investigators: Isaac Buss, Spencer Dorsey, Keelee McClintock, Natalie Roddy, Mason Waring
Collaborators: Sara Kettelhake, Sopha Kongmanyvong, Tashayla Dorn
Teacher Facilitators: Nichole Justensen, Vicky Boone

Abstract: On Earth, legumes fixate nitrogen into soil, making it fertile. In this experiment we took red clover seeds (Trifolium pratense L), cotton, soil, and water and allowed the seeds to begin germination in microgravity to study the effect on nitrogen fixation. After planting the experiment and control in separate containers, we will test the plants throughout their entire life cycle. We believe that the nitrogen levels will be the same in plants that germinated on Earth and in space.

 

Title: Effect of Microgravity on Nitrogen Fixation in Trifolium pratense L
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
Johnson County Central High School
Grade levels: 11-12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Principal Investigator: Rudy Pooch
Co-Investigators: Isaac Buss, Keelee McClintock
Collaborators: Spenser Dorsey, Natalie Roddy, Mason Waring
Teacher Facilitator: Nichole Justesen

Abstract: On Earth, legumes fixate nitrogen into soil, making it fertile. In this experiment we took red clover seeds (Trifolium pratense L), cotton, soil and water to examine how much nitrogen is produced. After return, both the control and the experiment will be tested for nitrogen. After planting the experiment and control in separate containers, we will test the plants throughout their entire life cycle. We believe that the nitrogen levels will be the same on Earth and in space.

 

Somerset, New Jersey

Title: Evaporation Investigation
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School
Grade level: 5

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Co-Principal Investigators: Kareena Kapadia, Meghan Gajula, Natalia Arevalo
Teacher Facilitator: Maya Ghosh

Abstract: The purpose of this investigation is to find if water evaporates faster under microgravity or on Earth, since it will determine how fast our human body will sweat in the space and the lifespan of fresh produce in future colonized space. If water evaporates faster in microgravity, then astronauts need to consume more water to keep them healthy but, if water evaporates slower, then astronauts need to consume less water. Water is in all living things, vegetation, and our body.

 

Erie, Pennsylvania

Title: Using the Statocyst System to Investigate How the Vestibular System Would Provide Orientation and Balance to Living Organisms in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 5th Annual SSEP National Conference, July 2015
Iroquois School District
Grade levels: 5-8

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Co-Principal Investigators: Morgan Schnars, Aalihya Bowersox
Co-Investigators: Mackenzie Moore, Tamara Burton
Collaborators: Brandon Brieger, Jadon Spring
Teacher Facilitator: Jennifer Foutz

Abstract: The objective of this experiment is to evaluate the disruption of the statocyst system in sea stars to provide further understanding of the human vestibular system’s function providing orientation in a microgravity environment. Sea stars use a statocyst to maintain equilibrium, which is driven by gravity and similar to the Otolith organ in the human ear. Using bioenergetics principles, regeneration of amputated sea star legs will be measured to determine if energy is allocated to regrowth or orientation.

 

Burleson, Texas

Title: What are the Effects of Hydrogel Polymers when Mixed with Water in Microgravity vs. on Earth?
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
The Academy at Nola Dunn
Grade level: 6

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 7

Co-Principal Investigators: Bryston Baker, Westley Mitchell, Kylie Morton, Delaney Storey
Teacher Facilitator: Susan Mundt

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to observe the effect of polymers and if they absorbed less or more water in microgravity. Polymers are an important material as they are used in a variety of items on Earth. We hypothesized that the microgravity experiment would absorb more water than our ground truth experiment. Our experiment proved our hypothesis correct, as our microgravity experiment absorbed water completely while our ground truth experiment still contained dry polymers.

 

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.