Performance of the STARS Life Sciences Payload During Benchtop Testing and Mission Simulations 2003-01-2530
BioServe Space Technologies has developed and flown a series of miniature habitats to house several different biological specimens and one biochemical experiment. This effort was in support of an educational program, Space Technology and Research Students (STARS), developed by SPACEHAB Inc. The STARS program gives students from around the world a chance to design and conduct their own spaceflight experiments. STARS-Bootes, the payload flown on STS-107, housed a Japanese Medaka fish experiment; a Chinese silkworm experiment; an American Harvester ant experiment; a Carpenter bee experiment from Liechtenstein, an Australian Orb Weaver spider experiment; and a biochemical crystal growth experiment from Israel. Each habitat was custom designed to suit each specimen's individual needs. The habitats provided passive humidity control, lighting, feeding areas, and containment as well as an artificial environment for the specimens to be observed in. Some habitats were also fitted with individual temperature and/or humidity sensors. The habitats were placed on a pallet that provides the imaging equipment, cooling/mixing fans, storage for tools, and ambient environment sensors for temperature and humidity. The habitats plus the pallet combined to form the STARS insert. The STARS insert was housed in BioServe's Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA). CGBA is a single middeck locker insert that provides temperature control, power, and computer control to the STARS insert. Test results from benchtop testing and mission simulations in preparation of flight will be presented.