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Technical Paper

Considerations in the Development of Habitats for the Support of Live Rodents on the International Space Station

2001-07-09
2001-01-2228
The animal habitat under development for the International Space Station (ISS) provides a unique opportunity for the physiological and biological science community to perform controlled experiments in microgravity on rats and mice. This paper discusses the complexities that arise in developing a new animal habitat to be flown aboard the ISS. Such development is incremental and moves forward by employing the past successes, learning from experienced shortcomings, and utilizing the latest technologies. The standard vivarium cage on the ground can be a very simple construction, however the habitat required for rodents in microgravity on the ISS is extremely complex. This discussion presents an overview of the system requirements and focuses on the unique scientific and engineering considerations in the development of the controlled animal habitat parameters. In addition, the challenges to development, specific science, animal welfare, and engineering issues are covered.
Technical Paper

Space Life Support from the Cellular Perspective

2001-07-09
2001-01-2229
Determining the fundamental role of gravity in vital biological systems in space is one of six science and research areas that provides the philosophical underpinning for why NASA exists. The study of cells, tissues, and microorganisms in a spaceflight environment holds the promise of answering multiple intriguing questions about how gravity affects living systems. To enable these studies, specimens must be maintained in an environment similar to that used in a laboratory. Cell culture studies under normal laboratory conditions involve maintaining a highly specialized environment with the necessary temperature, humidity control, nutrient, and gas exchange conditions. These same cell life support conditions must be provided by the International Space Station (ISS) Cell Culture Unit (CCU) in the unique environment of space. The CCU is a perfusion-based system that must function in microgravity, at unit gravity (1g) on earth, and from 0.1g up to 2g aboard the ISS centrifuge rotor.
Technical Paper

Accommodating Rodents During Extended Microgravity Missions

1997-07-01
972306
This study examines the current state of the art in rodent habitats as well as the next generation of rodent habitats currently under development at NASAs Ames Research Center. Space Shuttle missions are currently limited in duration to just over two weeks. In contrast to this, future life science missions aboard the Space Station may last months or even years. This will make resource conservation and utilization critical issues in the development of rodent habitats for extended microgravity missions. Emphasis is placed on defining rodent requirements for extended space flights of up to 90 days, and on improving habitability and extending the useful performance life of rodent habitats.
Technical Paper

An Evaluation of Potential Mars Transit Vehicle Water Treatment Systems

1998-07-13
981538
This paper compares four potential water treatment systems in the context of their applicability to a Mars transit vehicle mission. The systems selected for evaluation are the International Space Station system, a JSC bioreactor-based system, the vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal system, and the direct osmotic concentration system. All systems are evaluated on the basis of their applicability for use in the context of the Mars Reference Mission. Each system is evaluated on the basis of mass equivalency. The results of this analysis indicate that there is effectively no difference between the International Space Station system and the JSC bioreactor configurations. However, the vapor phase catalytic ammonia removal and the direct osmotic concentration systems offer a significantly lower mass equivalency (approximately 1/7 the ISS or bioreactor systems).
Technical Paper

Mass Transport in a Spaceflight Plant Growth Chamber

1998-07-13
981553
The Plant Generic BioProcessing Apparatus (PGBA), a plant growth facility developed for commercial space biotechnology research, has flown successfully on 3 spaceflight missions for 4, 10 and 16 days. The environmental control systems of this plant growth chamber (28 liter/0.075 m2) provide atmospheric, thermal, and humidity control, as well as lighting and nutrient supply. Typical performance profiles of water transpiration and dehumidification, carbon dioxide absorption (photosynthesis) and respiration rates in the PGBA unit (on orbit and ground) are presented. Data were collected on single and mixed crops. Design options and considerations for the different sub-systems are compared with those of similar hardware.
Technical Paper

Space Station Lessons Learned from NASA/Mir Fundamental Biology Research Program

1998-07-13
981606
Ames Research Center's Life Sciences Division was responsible for managing the development of fundamental biology flight experiments during the Phase 1 NASA/Mir Science Program. Beginning with astronaut Norm Thagard's historic March, 1995 Soyuz rendezvous with the Mir station and continuing through Andy Thomas' successful return from Mir onboard STS-91 in June, 1998, the NASA/Mir Science Program has provided scientists with unparalleled long duration research opportunities. In addition, the Phase 1 program has yielded many valuable lessons to program and project management personnel who are managing the development of future International Space Station payload elements. This paper summarizes several of the key space station challenges faced and associated lessons learned by the Ames Research Center Fundamental Biology Research Project.
Technical Paper

Fundamental Biology Research During the NASA/Mir Science Program

1995-07-01
951477
A multi-discipline, multi-year collaborative spaceflight research program (NASA/Mir Science Program) has been established between the United States and Russia utilizing the capabilities of the Russian Mir Space Station and the NASA space shuttle fleet. As a key research discipline to be carried out onboard Mir, fundamental biology research encompasses three basic objectives: first, to investigate long-term effects of microgravity upon plant and avian physiology and developmental biology; second, to investigate the long-term effects of microgravity upon circadian rhythm patterns of biological systems; and third, to characterize the long-term radiation environment (internal and external) of the Russian Mir space station. The first joint U.S./Russian fundamental biology research on-board Mir is scheduled to begin in March, 1995 with the Mir mission 18 and conclude with the docking of the U.S. shuttle to Mir in June, 1995 during the STS-71, Spacelab/Mir Mission-1 (SLM-1).
Technical Paper

Concept for a Life Support System Testbed in Space

1994-06-01
941450
The concept of a general purpose life support system testbed for use in space grew out of considerations arising from the recent consolidation of NASA's Advanced Life Support (ALS) Systems programs. Both the physical-chemical and the biological approaches to regenerative life support will require significant amounts of in-space testing in order to prepare for the final development of systems for human life support. Considerations of the technical requirements and rationales for in-space testing has led to the concept of a common testbed that will allow faster and less expensive long duration tests.
Technical Paper

Development of an In-Flight Refill Unit for Replenishing Research Animal Drinking Water

1994-06-01
941283
The Spacelab Life Sciences 2 (SLS-2) mission became NASA's longest duration Shuttle mission, lasting fourteen days, when Columbia landed on November 1, 1993. Located within the Spacelab were a total of 48 laboratory rats which were housed in two Research Animal Holding Facilities (RAHFs) developed by the Space Life Sciences Payloads Office (SLSPO) at Ames Research Center. In order to properly maintain the health and well-being of these important research animals, sufficient quantities of food and water had to be available for the duration of the mission. An Inflight Refill Unit was developed by the SLSPO to replenish the animals' drinking water inflight using the Shuttle potable water system in the middeck galley as the source of additional water. The Inflight Refill Unit consists of two major subsystems, a Fluid Pumping Unit (FPU) and a Collapsible Water Reservoir (CWR).
Technical Paper

Characterization of Condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF)

1994-06-01
941506
Life Sciences research on Space Station will utilize rats to study the effects of the microgravity environment on mammalian physiology and to develop countermeasures to those effects for the health and safety of the crew. The animals will produce metabolic water which must be reclaimed to minimize logistics support. The condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF) flown on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (SLS-2) in October 1993 was used as an analog to determine the type and quantity of constituents which the Space Station (SS) water reclamation system will have to process. The most significant organics present in the condensate were 2-propanol, glycerol, ethylene glycol, 1,2-propanediol, acetic acid, acetone, total proteins, urea and caprolactam while the most significant inorganic was ammonia. Microbial isolates included Xanthomonas, Sphingobacterium, Pseudomonas, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Chrysosporium.
Technical Paper

Development of Experiment Kits for Processing Biological Samples In-Flight on SLS-2

1994-06-01
941288
The Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (SLS-2) mission provided scientists with the unique opportunity of obtaining inflight rodent tissue and blood samples during a 14-day mission flown in October, 1993. In order to successfully obtain these samples, Ames Research Center's Space Life Sciences Payloads Office has developed an innovative, modular approach to packaging the instruments used to obtain and preserve the inflight tissue and blood samples associated with the hematology experiments on SLS-2. The design approach organized the multitude of instruments into 12 different 5x6x1 inch kits which were each used to accomplish a particular experiment functional objective on any given day during the mission. The twelve basic kits included blood processing, isotope and erythropoietin injection, body mass measurement, and microscope slides.
Technical Paper

Microgravity Flight - Accommodating Non-Human Primates

1994-06-01
941287
Spacelab Life Sciences-3 (SLS-3) was scheduled to be the first United States man-tended microgravity flight containing Rhesus monkeys. The goal of this flight as in the five untended Russian COSMOS Bion flights and an earlier American Biosatellite flight, was to understand the biomedical and biological effects of a microgravity environment using the non-human primate as human surrogate. The SLS-3/Rhesus Project and COSMOS Primate-BIOS flights all utilized the rhesus monkey, Macaca mulatta. The ultimate objective of all flights with an animal surrogate has been to evaluate and understand biological mechanisms at both the system and cellular level, thus enabling rational effective countermeasures for future long duration human activity under microgravity conditions and enabling technical application to correction of common human physiological problems within earth's gravity, e.g., muscle strength and reloading, osteoporosis, immune deficiency diseases.
Technical Paper

The General Purpose Work Station, A Spacious Microgravity Workbench

1992-07-01
921394
The General Purpose Work Station (GPWS) is a laboratory multi-use facility, as demonstrated during the Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1) flight. The unit provided particulate containment under varying conditions, served as an effective work space for manipulating live animals, e.g., rats, served as a containment facility for fixatives, and was proposed for use to conduct in-flight maintenance during connector pin repair. The cabinet has a front door large enough to allow installation of a full-size microscope in-flight and is outfitted with a side window to allow delivery of items into the cabinet without exposure to the spacelab atmosphere. Additional support subsystems include inside cabinet mounting, surgical glove fine manipulations capability, and alternating or direct current power supply for experiment equipment, as will be demonstrated during Spacelab J.
Technical Paper

Protein-based Sensors for Environmental Monitoring

2006-07-17
2006-01-2177
Biomolecules exhibit specific binding and high affinity for their ligands. These properties can be exploited to produce sensitive, specific, real-time sensors for analytes that cannot be readily monitored by other methods. Several technologies for environmental monitoring using proteins are currently being developed. We discuss specific challenges to practical application of a family of protein-based sensors derived from bacterial periplasmic binding proteins. We also present recent work to address these challenges.
Technical Paper

Single Loop for Cell Culture (SLCC) – Development and Spaceflight Qualification of a Perfusion Cell Culture System

2006-07-17
2006-01-2212
Single Loop for Cell Culture (SLCC) consists of individual, self-contained, spaceflight cell culture systems with capabilities for automated growth initiation, feeding, sub-culturing and sampling. The cells are grown and contained within a rigid cell specimen chamber (CSC). Bladder tanks provide flush and media fluid. SLCC uses active perfusion flow to provide nutrients and gas exchange, and to dilute waste products by expelling depleted media fluid into a waste bladder tank. The cells can be grown quiescently, or suspended using magnetically coupled stirrers. This paper describes the functional and safety design features, the operational modes and the spaceflight qualification processes including science validation tests, using yeast as a model organism.
Technical Paper

Integration and Synthesis in Astrobiology

2000-07-10
2000-01-2341
Astrobiology is one of the most highly integrative scientific efforts ever undertaken, relying on the synthesis of sciences from astronomy to zoology and geology to genomics to discover the thread of life in the universe. These sciences must be further integrated with the technological revolutions in biotechnology, microminiaturization and information technology to realize the vast potential offered by NASA's mission suites. This paper discusses development of the Astrobiology Roadmap and novel management approaches which attempt to bring in the best scientific and technical talent available to bear on Astrobiology's goals, while simultaneously minimizing the overhead and time to flight for Astrobiology payloads.
Technical Paper

Astrobiology Hydrothermal Vent Technology Development

2000-07-10
2000-01-2342
The study of life in extreme environments provides an important basis from which we can undertake the search for extraterrestrial life. This paper provides a description of a program focused on developing technologies which are necessary to evaluate the potential for the existence of a deep sub-seafloor biosphere.
Technical Paper

Life Sciences Research in the Centrifuge Accommodation Module of the International Space Station

2000-07-10
2000-01-2247
The Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM) will be the home of the fundamental biology research facilities on the International Space Station (ISS). These facilities are being built by the Biological Research Project (BRP), whose goal is to oversee development of a wide variety of habitats and host systems to support life sciences research on the ISS. The habitats and host systems are designed to provide life support for a variety of specimens including cells, bacteria, yeast, plants, fish, rodents, eggs (e.g., quail), and insects. Each habitat contains specimen chambers that allow for easy manipulation of specimens and alteration of sample numbers. All habitats are capable of sustaining life support for 90 days and have automated as well as full telescience capabilities for sending habitat parameters data to investigator homesite laboratories.
Technical Paper

The Telescience Support Center at NASA Ames Research Center

2000-07-10
2000-01-2362
NASA is developing a Telescience Support Center (TSC) at the Ames Research Center. The center will be part of the infrastructure needed to conduct research in the Space Station and has been tailored to satisfy the requirements of the fundamental biology research program. The TSC will be developed from existing facilities at the Ames Research Center. Ground facility requirements have been derived from the TSC functional requirements. Most of the facility requirements will be satisfied with minor upgrades and modifications to existing buildings and laboratories. The major new development will be a modern data processing system. The TSC is being developed in three phases which correspond to deliveries of Biological Research Facility equipment to Station. The first phase will provide support for early hardware in flight Utilization Flight −1 (UF-1) in 2001.
Technical Paper

Utilization of Virtual Environments for Astronaut Crew Training

2000-07-10
2000-01-2361
The development of virtual environment technology at NASA Ames Research Center and other research institutions has created opportunities for enhancing human performance. The application of this technology to training astronaut flight crews planning to go onboard the International Space Station has already begun at the NASA Johnson Space Center. A unique application of virtual environments to crew training is envisioned at NASA Ames Research Center which combines state of the art technology with haptic feedback to create a method for training crewmembers on critical life sciences operations which require fine motor skills. This paper describes such a concept, known as the Virtual Glovebox, as well as surveys other applications of virtual environments to astronaut crew training.
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