Space Florida Announces ISS Research Competition Winners

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Astronaut Shannon Walker activates an experiment aboard the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., NOVEMBER 29, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the state’s aerospace development organization and spaceport authority, and NanoRacks, LLC, today announced the winners of the International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition at The American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A team of 15 independent judges evaluated the proposals based on defined value in the commercial marketplace, potential for future benefits in space travel, and professional qualifications of the applicants. Four (4) winning proposals originated from the commercial field and four (4) in the area of education and research.

The winners will each receive research payload transportation to the ISS via an upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Launch is currently slated for December 2013.

The 8 Competition winners are as follows:

Cella Energy – Dr. Stephen Perusich, Cella Energy USA, KSC-SLSL, and Dr. Stephen Bennington, Cella Energy Ltd, Harwell Science Campus, OX, UK – “Evaluation of Cella Energy Hydrogen/Boron-Based Radiation Shielding Materials on the ISS”.

CSS-Dynamac, Florida & Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland – Dr. Michael Roberts, CSS-Dynamac, and Dr. Gary Stutte, Limerick Institute of Technology – “Symbiotic Nodulation in a Reduced Gravity Environment (SyNRGE 11)”.

Florida Institute of Technology, Florida – Drs. Sam Durrance, Daniel Kirk, and Hector Gutierrez – “Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life (SABOL) (A study into Alzheimer’s)”.

German Aerospace Center, Germany – Dr. Akram Abdellatif – “Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus”.

Stanford University, NASA Ames Research Center and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, California – Dr. Peter Lee, Stanford University; Dr. Sharmila Bhattacharya, NASA Ames Research Center; Dr. Rolf Bodmer, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Dr. Karen Ocorr, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute – “HEART FLIES: Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting Fly Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight – a medical experiment to understand the effects of space travel on astronaut cardiovascular systems”

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, Florida – Dr. Siobhan Malany & Dr. Steve Vasile – “Fluorescent Polarization in Microgravity: Validation of the M5 Microplate Reader Aboard the ISS”.

University of California-Davis, SciStarter.com, ScienceCheerleader.com, California– Dr. Jonathan Eisen, Ms. Wendy Brown, Ms. Darlene Cavalier, Mr. Russell Neches, Mr. Mark Severance & Summer Williams – “Comparison of the Growth Rate & DNA/RNA Quantitation of Microgravity Exposed Microbial Community Samples Collected by the Astronauts Onboard the International Space Station And by Citizen Scientists & Student Scientists at Public Venues”.

University of Central Florida, Florida – Dr. Josh Colwell, Dr. Adrianne Dove, Mr. Todd Bradley – “Collisional Evolution of Particles and Aggregates in Microgravity”.

This year’s winners will have an opportunity to work closely with NanoRacks technical personnel as they formulate payload development timetables. NanoRacks will interface with CASIS (the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) and NASA to conduct safety reviews as required for both launch vehicle payloads and the ISS. The winners will be provided with payload box units known as “NanoLabs,” in which their research will be conducted on board the ISS U.S. National Lab.

“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to be a part of this unique competition, one of many future, similar programs to promote ISS-based research,“ said Frank DiBello, President of Space Florida.

“Space Florida has opened a new chapter in utilization of the International Space Station for industrial and commercial research and we are excited to assist in the implementation of these world-class projects,” said Jeffrey Manber, Managing Director of NanoRacks LLC.