Development of the Magnetic Field Apparatus 2000-01-2475
The Magnetic Field Apparatus (MFA) is a newly developed hardware system for space flight experimentation. The main goal of the MFA is to provide a platform to conduct experiments exposing plant tissues to a high gradient magnetic field (HGMF) in a microgravity environment. The MFA is being developed as a Space Shuttle middeck facility, and once completed will be classified as generic Life Science Laboratory Equipment (LSLE) and available to all NASA-sponsored investigators. The first flight of the MFA will be on STS-107 (currently scheduled for mid-2001). It will be configured to carry dry flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) seeds into space, imbibe the seeds on-orbit, and expose the emerging roots to a high-gradient magnetic field. Time-lapse digital imagery will document root development, and the hardware will support chemical fixation at the appropriate time to preserve the specimens and terminate the experiment.