Scientific Return and Reporting – Mission 9 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 9 to ISS Endeavor experiments payload. Mission 9 to ISS was the eleventh SSEP flight opportunity.

Endeavor is expected to launch on SpaceX-10, NET (No Earlier Than) February 2017, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Endeavor is also slated to return to Earth on SpaceX-10, splashing down in the Pacific off the California coast, after likely one month aboard ISS.

For details on the flight profile for Endeavor, see the SSEP Mission 9 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 Endeavor flight experiments, see the Selected Experiments on SSEP Mission 9 to ISS page.

 

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Title: Red Worms Composting in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Westcot Elementary School, School District 45
Grade levels: 6 and 7

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Griffin Edward, Shania Farbehi, Vesal Farahi, Kristopher Kirkwood, Joseph Piovesan
Advisors: Rick Adam, Dr. Leigh Palmer, Professor Emeritus of Simon Fraser University
Teacher Facilitator: Matt Trask

Abstract: Our group proposed to send red worms into space hoping to gain information that could lead to deep space travel. Worms are good composters and if they grow in space, astronauts could have gardens. In space, worm cocoons will be mixed with soil and water. Then we will give them six weeks until we freeze the process. If red worms can compost then on the ISS we could have a composting toilet. (Worms turn the feces into soil.)

 

East Lyme, Connecticut

Title: Staphylococcus epidermidis Biofilms in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
East Lyme Middle School
Grade level: 7

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Ritisha Ande, Maddie Fraser, Ethan Moore,
Ethan Novick
Teacher Facilitator: Deborah Galasso

Abstract: This experiment measured formation of a biofilm by the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis on a catheter in microgravity compared to the ground truth. On U-14 freeze dried bacteria was activated with a growth media. On U-5 the growth inhibitor was introduced. The biofilm that had formed in the FME and on the catheter was harvested. A spectrophotometer was used to determine the relative bacteria counts. Our results showed that there was less biofilm formation in microgravity compared to the ground truth.

 

Hillsborough County, Florida

Title: Germination of Quinoa in Space
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
Mabry Elementary School
Grade level: 5

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Jessie Babb, Serena Bassart, Mya Metheny, Julianna Tran
Teacher Facilitator: Jessica Strauss

Abstract: This experiment was designed to investigate the effects of microgravity on the growth of Quinoa seeds. Organic seeds were placed in a growing mat in one half of the test tube while sterilized water was placed in the other. Analysis included number of seeds germinated, length of seedling roots, and dried biomass of seedlings. It was determined seedling root lengths were greater in microgravity but overall biomass was greater on Earth with equal ability to grow in either location.

 

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Title: Streptococcus mutans Production of Lactic Acid in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Grade levels: 11-12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Olivia Houle, Shelby Landress
Co-Investigators: Madison Clark, Zachary Houle
Teacher Facilitator: Paula deDeigo

Abstract: This experiment was designed to monitor lactic acid production of Streptococcus mutans in microgravity compared to the ground truth. Freeze-dried bacteria was activated with growth media on D-5. D-2 clamp B was opened containing the growth inhibitor. Analysis included a Lactic Acid Assay, Mass Pellet Test, Optical Density Test and gram staining microscopy. Our conclusion did not show a significant change in growth rate. However, there was a significant increase in the production of lactic acid in microgravity compared to the ground truth.

 

Traverse City, Michigan

Title: Growth of Blue-Green Algae in Space
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
Traverse City West Senior High School
Grade level: 10

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Sam Church, Ryan Hayes, Hayden Holmes, Robert Lohr
Teacher Facilitator: Patrick Gillespie

Abstract: This presentation is about the effects of micro gravity on blue green algae. In this experiment we found many differences between the algae that went to space and the algae that stayed on earth. Our presentation will include our purpose, procedure, data, and conclusions.

 

Jersey City, New Jersey

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Muscle Tissue Regeneration
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
Grade level: 10

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Srija Patcha, Hafeya Khokhar, Harshal Agrawal, Calvin Weaver
Teacher Facilitator: Maria Emma Osoria

Abstract: The aim of this experiment is to determine the effect of microgravity on adolescent pig muscle tissue regeneration with Tissue Regeneration Factor at 150 mg (TRF-150). Glucose levels, Protein levels, Dissolved Oxygen levels, pH levels, and SEM images of the control/Earth and experimental/I.S.S. samples were analyzed to quantify muscle tissue regeneration and compared to determine the effect of microgravity. The results, while inconclusive, support our hypothesis that microgravity enhances the effectiveness of TRF-150 during tissue regeneration.

 

Springfield, New Jersey

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on the Growth of Ryegrass Seeds
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School
Grade level: 8

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: David Ares, Jeremy Dash, Daniel Munoz
Co-Investigators: Timothy Burns, Antonio Nacci
Teacher Facilitator: Alison Gillen

Abstract: This experiment was designed to monitor the growth of Ryegrass seeds in microgravity compared to the Earth ground truth. Ryegrass seed embedded in gauze growth chamber started the germination process by the release of water at U-14. A Salt-fixative stopped the growth five days before the seeds returned to Earth. Analysis showed that the seeds in microgravity had longer roots but the germination rate was much lower than grown on Earth.

 

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on the Growth of Ryegrass Seeds
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, Springfield Public Schools
Grade level: 7

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: David Ares, Jeremy Dash, Daniel Munoz
Co-Investigators: Timothy Burns, Antonio Nacci
Teacher Facilitator: Alison Gillen

Abstract: This experiment is designed to monitor the growth of Ryegrass seeds in microgravity compared to the ground truth. Ryegrass seeds embedded on a gauze growth chamber will start the germination process by the release of water on day U-14. Concentrated salt solution will stop the growth five days before the lab returns to Earth. Analysis will include the number of germinated seeds, direction and length of root growth, and change of mass compared to the ground truth.

 

Buffalo-Niagara, New York

Title: Tuber Growth in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
PS 74 Hamlin Park Claude and Ouida Clapp Academy
Grade levels: 7-8

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Principal Investigator: Gabriella Melendez
Co-Investigators: Toriana Cornwell, Shaniylah Welch
Teacher Facilitator: Andrew Franz

Abstract: This experiment was designed to monitor the effect of Microgravity on an Upstate Abundance strand of Solanum tuberosum. 12 half inch diameter seed potatoes were sent to the ISS. Two control groups included one ground in a tube (11 potatoes) and 6 ground non-tube potatoes. Analysis included starch assay, photosynthesis test, height comparison, and chromosomal DNA comparison. Our conclusion found differences in growth were probably due to the experimental tube, not space travel. At the very least, the sample size was not enough to definitively conclude.

 

Columbia, South Carolina

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on the Turbidity of a Non-Newtonian Fluid Mixture of Cornstarch and Water
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
W.J. Keenan High School, Richland School District One
Grade level: 9

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Cedric McQueen, Ryan Mathews, Tevin Glover
Teacher Facilitator: Kirstin Bullington

Abstract: Turbidity is the measure is the measure of light that can pass through a water sample. Cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm of the corn kennel. In regular gravity, this non-Newtonian fluid is hard when you hit it hard or fast, but when you operate in a slow motion it acts like a liquid. When left to settle, the mixture separates somewhat due to gravity, so we were curious if microgravity would affect the initial mixing and then its settling.

 

North Charleston, South Carolina

Title: How Does Spaceflight Affect the Detachment of Zinc Whiskers on Raised Access Server Room Floor Tile?
Oral Presentation, 7th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2017
Palmetto Scholars Academy
Grade level: 12

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Kayla Capitan, Gabriel Voigt
Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: Zinc whiskers are hair-like protrusions that may form on zinc-galvanized or zinc-electroplated surfaces. If whiskers become airborne, they can land on and bridge electronic components, causing catastrophic electronic failures. This study focused on the detachment rate of zinc whiskers on a floor tile sample through its SSEP flight. Through systematic photographic analysis of the sample and the double-sided carbon fiber tape that surrounded the sample in the Type 1 FME, a significant number of detached whiskers were observed and analyzed.

 

Bullard, Texas

Title: Microgravity’s Effects on Solanum tuberosum Resistance to Phytophthora infestans
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Bullard High School
Grade level: 9

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Emma Rhyne, Valerie Vierkant
Co-Investigators: Emmalie Ellis, Raelee Walker
Advisor: Dr. Azghani, University of Texas at Tyler
Teacher Facilitator: Alaina Cannon

Abstract: Our experiment’s purpose is to provide information to the scientific universe about growing stable food sources in microgravity without danger. Phytophthora infestans, or the late potato blight, devastated the past. Now that humanity dares to live in space, there is a potential for it to once again wreak havoc. Our experiment tests whether Solanum tuberosum (or blight-resistant potatoes) remain blight-resistant in space by exposing S. tuberosum to Phytophthora infestans.

 

Burleson, Texas

Title: What are the Effects of Amoxicilin on E.coli in microgravity?
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Kerr Middle School
Grade level: 6

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 9

Principal Investigator: Delaney Storey
Co-Investigators: Trinity Conard, Bailey Lasater, Karis Knifely
Teacher Facilitator: Lana Sather

Abstract: The experiment was designed to investigate the effectiveness of amoxicillin in combating E. coli in a microgravity environment compared to the Earth ground truth. Protocols stated that amoxicillin would be introduced into E. coli tainted water in the type 2 FME mini-lab.

 

Title: What are the Effects of Radiation on DNA in Microgravity?
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Hughes Middle School
Grade level: 6

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Belle Davis-Hernandez, Emma Dustin, Emma Fritz, Presley Galland
Teacher Facilitator: Doug Cline

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to test the effect radiation has on DNA in microgravity. We learned that the methylation of DNA can sometimes lead to cancerous cells. The plan was to observe how the DNA in cells react to the radiation found in space. The knowledge gained from this experiment would help protect people who travel into space in the future. The knowledge gained from this could show if cancer would affect those living in space.

 

Title: Does Microgravity have an Effect on the Disintegration of Kidney Stones in Chanca Piedra?
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Academy at Nola Dunn
Grade level: 5

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Hannah Greenhill, Caleb Quisenberry, Cooper Williams
Teacher Facilitator: Riki Bunch-Pettigrew

Abstract: Through our concern about the tendency of astronauts to develop kidney stones, we designed an experiment to test whether chanca piedra would effectively dissolve kidney stones in a microgravity environment. We wanted to keep the treatment as natural as possible. We used artificial calcium oxylate kidney stones, grown ourselves, to determine the appropriate amount of chanca piedra solution, then provided a fixative. We duplicated this for our ground truth experiment. We will be looking for differences between the two experiments.

 

McAllen, Texas

Title: The Effects of the Perchlorate Ion on Solanum lycopersicum Germination in Simulated Martian Soil in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
International Baccalaureate at Lamar Academy, McAllen Independent School District
Grade level: 11

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Sabrina Benitez, Sofia Escobar, Juan Pablo Flanagan
Teacher Facilitator: Laura Nikstad

Abstract: Establishing a sustainable colony on Mars begins with exploring the effects of the perchlorate ion in Martian soil and microgravity on crop seed germination. Our Type 3 FME mini-lab will contain Martian simulated soil with Solanum lycopersicum seeds. Distilled water will be introduced to catalyze germination and after twelve days, 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin will be added to suspend any further development, allowing us to determine how plants that have evolved on Earth will respond to harsher alien conditions.

 

Bellevue, Washington

Title: Arabidopsis Germination in Martian Soil Simulant
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Open Window School
Grade level: 7

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Subi Lumala, Vivienne Rutherford, Catherine Whitmer
Teacher Facilitator: Brian Preston

Abstract: Our experiment is to see whether Arabidopsis thaliana will germinate in Martian soil simulant in microgravity. Other researchers have shown A. thaliana grows in Martian soil simulant, but the lower gravity of Mars cannot be simulated on Earth. Hence, we are using the microgravity in the ISS as an approximation of Mars’ lower gravity. We chose this experiment because of the recent news about water on Mars, and we are hoping this could help future settlers grow plants on Mars.

 

Title: Pectobacterium Hydrolyzation of Polysaccharides in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Open Window School
Grade level: 4

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Nolan Daniels, Bess Hurlock, Sonja Larson, Nathan Wen
Teacher Facilitators: Randy Hollinger, Erica Mahoney

Abstract: Our experiment would give more knowledge about bacteria behavior in space. For our experiment we are going to use a Solanum tuberosum (potato) and put it in contact with the bacteria, Pectobacterium carotovorum. When humans grow plants off world we need to know what precautions to take so the plants stay healthy. On Earth the bacteria would break down the potato’s cell structure, but we don’t know what will happen in microgravity.

 

Title: Hydroponics Germination in Microgravity
Oral Presentation, 6th Annual SSEP National Conference, June 2016
Open Window School
Grade level: 5

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 9

Co-Principal Investigators: Ava Arabshahi, Claire O’Connor, Anika Thomas
Teacher Facilitator: Danalynn Coulon

Abstract: Our project aims to study hydroponics plant germination in microgravity. Hydroponics is growing plants without dirt, and with just water and fertilizer. Our goal is to investigate if hydroponics will be able to germinate in microgravity and low-pressure conditions in space. The results of this experiment can help astronauts harvest fresh food while in space. Our ground truth experiment used alfalfa and medallion seeds and fertilizers, growing in rockwool cubes.

 

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.