Flight Systems Implementation Branch (Code SCF)
The Flight Systems Implementation Branch within the Space Biosciences Division is responsible for the design, fabrication, requirements definition, flight certification, operations and management of bioscience experiments for numerous manned and unmanned spaceflight projects. The Branch uses a multidisciplinary team approach that integrates science, engineering and operations to ensure mission success and compliance with customer requirements.
The Branch recently supported five payloads that launched July 8th, 2011 on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis during its final flight closing out the Shuttle program. The payloads ranged in scope from cell culture to plant and animal studies and positioning the flight certified Next Generation Ultrasound (USND2) device aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for the Human Research Program (HRP).
The Plant Signaling payload is the third experiment managed by Ames to use the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) on the ISS. The The branch will also be continue a collaboration with Bioserve Space Technologies by teaming on two microbiology experiments and an animal research payload. The animal payload will utilize the Ames developed Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) hardware to validate therapeutic interventions and countermeasures. The fifth payload is a follow-on to the STS-131 Space Tissue Loss experiment and collaboration with the Department of Defense and Tissue Genesis, Inc to study wound healing and tissue regeneration in space to benefit combat casualty care.
The branch future is in the support of the NASA ISS Research Program (ISSRP) and the HRP International Space Station Medical Project (ISSMP) in the areas of flight hardware/COTS certification, flight/experiment project implementation support and support for International Partner experiments. Branch personnel lead the USND 2 Project certifying the next generation ultrasound device for use on the ISS. This work built on the Branch's successful flight certification of the US Holter Monitor 2, a holter monitor which launched on board STS-126 and is currently used by the ISS crew to support HRP experiments. As the implementation support lead for the IP experiments, the branch members work closely with the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and other international partners on the agreements and coordination of ISS human research experiments.
Other HRP areas the branch supports are Exploration Medical Capabilities (ExMC) and the Life Sciences Data Archive (LSDA) project. The Branch manages and maintains the biospecimen sharing repository for non-human biospecimens and other archival materials. These materials are available to the external scientific community upon request and with approval of NASA Headquarters.
In 2012, the Branch will continue the 30+-year collaboration between the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems and NASA by managing the Biospecimen Sharing Program for the Bion-M1 mission planned for launch from Kazakhstan.