Testing Super Foods for Space and More on Blue Origin Suborbital Flight

The microgravity LilyPond growth chamber uses capillary action to provide a stable water surface on which duckweed (and potentially other veggies, like microgreens) can grow. LED panels provide an efficient light source, and a salad spinner-like sieve helps separate the water from the plants when ready to harvest. (Credits: Space Lab Technologies)

Duckweed: it’s what’s for dinner

by Nicole Quenelle
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

EDWARDS, Calif. — It’s no surprise to most of us that regularly eating fresh produce is a great way to support a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables benefit astronauts on the International Space Station, too – and soon the Moon and beyond. Scientists are investigating sustainable ways to grow highly nutritious foods in microgravity, to give space explorers a readily available supply of daily greens.

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Cosmic Catch for Canadarm2 as Cygnus Carries Canadian Cargo to the International Space Station

The U.S. Cygnus space freighter is pictured as the Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Jessica Meir with fellow Flight Engineer Christina Koch as her back up, reaches out to grapple the 12th resupply ship from Northrop Grumman on November 4, 2019. (Credits: NASA)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (CSA PR) — On September 29, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo ship will blast off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, headed for the  International Space Station (ISS) – the orbiting science lab that has been continuously inhabited for nearly two decades.

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Cygnus to Carry Variety of Life & Physical Science Investigations to Space Station

The U.S. Cygnus space freighter is pictured as the Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Jessica Meir with fellow Flight Engineer Christina Koch as her back up, reaches out to grapple the 12th resupply ship from Northrop Grumman on November 4, 2019. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., September 25, 2020 (CASIS PR) – More than 20 payloads sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory are loaded onto Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, scheduled to launch to the orbiting laboratory no earlier than September 29 at 10:26 p.m. ET.

The launch, which will take place from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, represents Northrop Grumman’s 14th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission to the space station, contracted through NASA. This mission will deliver a multitude of research experiments to be conducted by ISS crew members over the coming months, including several physical and life science investigations. 

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Blue Origin Schedules Next New Shepard Launch for Thursday

The New Shepard (NS) booster lands after this vehicle’s fifth flight during NS-11 on May 2, 2019. (Credits: Blue Origin)

Next New Shepard Launch Will Test Key Technologies with NASA for Returning to the Moon 

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin’s next New Shepard mission (NS-13) is currently targeting liftoff for Thursday, September 24, at 10:00 am CDT / 15:00 UTC. Current weather conditions are favorable. This will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle (a record), demonstrating its operational reusability. 

You can watch the launch live at BlueOrigin.com. The pre-show begins at T-30 minutes and will provide mission details, including a special update from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

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“Mighty Mice” in Space Could Lead to New Therapies for Muscle and Bone Loss on Earth

Study mice (Credit: The Jackson Laboratory)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), September 10, 2020  (CASIS PR) – Findings from the “Mighty Mice” investigation on the International Space Station (ISS) may help “save the day” both for earthbound patients with muscle and bone loss as well as astronauts on prolonged spaceflight missions.

This week, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory, UConn Health, and Connecticut Children’s published an article in the journal  PNAS detailing results from their rodent research investigation sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

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NASA Names Robyn Gatens Acting Director for International Space Station

Robyn Gatens (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, has named Robyn Gatens as acting director of the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters. The appointment was effective Aug. 25. Sam Scimemi, the former director, has assumed new responsibilities as a special assistant for the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

“Robyn has demonstrated her leadership and strategic vision for the International Space Station and our efforts to enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy, and I am confident she will continue to do so as acting director,” said Lueders.

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NASA Administrator to Open Space Station Research and Development Conference

Jim Bridenstine (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is set to open the ninth annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 27, as the microgravity laboratory celebrates the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence in space.

The theme of this year’s conference is “From Vision to Discovery,” focusing on how the past can better inform the future. The virtual conference will take place over three separate days starting Thursday, Aug. 27, and continuing Thursday, Sept. 17, with the final session on Thursday, Oct. 22.

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Meet the Experts: A Laboratory in Space

Video Caption: Flying 400km above our heads, the International Space Station (ISS) is the world’s laboratory in space. But what kind of research is done there and how does it affect our lives on Earth? ESA expert Dr. Jason Hatton discusses notable research from the ISS and how the unique location of this facility allows us to explore never-before-seen phenomena in this episode of Meet the Experts.

Find more episodes in the series here: https://www.esa.int/Education/Expedit…

Microgravity Research in LEO Added to Top U.S. R&D Priorities for FY 2022

NASA Astronaut Bob Behnken works within the Light Microscopy Module facility on the Capillary Driven Microfluidics investigation from 1Drop Diagnostics, Inc. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Trump Administration has added microgravity research in Earth orbit as one of the nation’s key research and development (R&D) priorities for the 2022 fiscal year.

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ASCENDxSummit to Feature Multiple Discussions on Leveraging ISS U.S. National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), August 18, 2020 – At the upcoming ASCENDxSummit: Space Science & Technology online event, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) will highlight the many benefits and opportunities that exist through conducting research onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

CASIS is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, which enables and supports investigations and technology demonstrations that both advance basic and applied research as well as continue progress toward our nation’s goal of developing a market economy in low Earth orbit (LEO).

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NASA Perseveres Through Pandemic, Looks Ahead in 2020, 2021

SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — With 2020 more than half way through, NASA is gearing up for a busy rest of the year and 2021.

Following the recent successful launch of a Mars rover and safely bringing home astronauts from low-Earth orbit aboard a new commercial spacecraft, NASA is looking forward to more exploration firsts now through 2021.

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CASIS Board of Directors Welcomes New Members

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 12, 2020 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the organization that manages the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement with NASA, has inducted four new members to the organization’s board of directors.

As directors on the CASIS board, these highly decorated and scientifically diverse leaders will work with existing board members, executive staff, and NASA stakeholders to determine organizational priorities. The board seeks to ensure and enhance the ability of CASIS to optimize the use of the ISS National Lab through basic and applied space-based investigations that will continue progress toward our nation’s goal of developing a sustainable market economy in low Earth orbit.

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Genes in Space Selects Winning Student Experiment to Fly on International Space Station

Genes in Space 2020 winner Kristoff Misquitta (Credit: Genes in Space)

BOSTON, Aug. 6, 2020 (Genes in Space PR — Student Kristoff Misquitta (17) has won the sixth annual Genes in Space competition. Misquitta, who attends Stuyvesant High School in New York, NY, proposed to study drug metabolism on the International Space Station (ISS). His experiment will be performed by astronauts aboard the ISS next year.

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NASA Selects 8 Small Business LEO Platform Utilization & Microgravity Research Proposals

Experiment sample trays on MISSE-8. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected eight proposals focused on International Space Station (ISS) utilization and microgravity research under its Small Business Research Innovation (SBIR) program.

The proposals include a new module for producing pharmaceutical crystals, a multi-material 3D printing facility, systems for the automated processing of biological samples, and other projects.

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Leveraging Microgravity to Improve Medical Diagnostics – One Drop at a Time

NASA Astronaut Bob Behnken works within the Light Microscopy Module facility on the Capillary Driven Microfluidics investigation from 1Drop Diagnostics, Inc. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – What if a single drop of blood were all that is needed to provide reliable medical diagnostics in any setting on—or even off—Earth? This week, NASA astronauts Douglas  Hurley and Robert Behnken, who recently launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on the historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission, are working on an investigation from Boston-based biotech startup 1Drop Diagnostics to enhance a portable device that can run diagnostic tests from anywhere using just one drop of blood.

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