Analysis of a Novel Sensory Mechanism in Root Phototropism
Principal Investigator: John Z. Kiss, Ph.D., Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, OH
Payload Developer: NASA Ames Research Center
The TROPI2 Payload is a continuation of the TROPI-1 experiment performed on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2006. The TROPI2 experiment has the same science objectives and experiment operations and uses the same ARC built hardware as the TROPI-1 experiment. TROPI-1 was the first experiment to be performed on the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) in collaboration with the European Space Agency. During the experiment runs, problems were encountered with image capture of the live seedlings. In addition, the biological integrity of the frozen samples was compromised during sample transfer operations between freezers on orbit.
Due to these problems, neither video nor RNA data from fractional g levels was obtained. These software and operation problems have been corrected. TROPI2 will provide an opportunity to collect video and RNA data from two experiment runs at four g levels, particularly the fractional g levels missed in the original experiment. Fractional gravity studies are relevant to the NASA exploration initiatives since they will cover the gravity levels on the Moon and Mars.
The TROPI-2 experiment launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard STS-130 on February 8th, 2010. The specimen loaded experiment containers were transfered to ISS and placed in the EMCS on Friday, February 19th by crew member, T.J. Creamer. The first experiment run started on Monday, February 22nd and was completed on Monday, March 1st. The second experiment run started on Wednesday, March 3rd, and was completed on Tuesday, March 9th. During the photostimulation phase of the experiment runs, high resolution images were taken by the EMCS cameras and downlinked to ARC Mission Management Operations Center. The EMCS provided 1g and micro g during Run 1 photostimulation phase. During the second run's photostimulation phase, high resolution images were taken at 0.1g and 0.3g. Both experiment runs were successfully completed and all the data was provided to the Principal Investigator. At the end of each experiment run, ISS crewmembers T.J. Creamer and Jeff Williams placed the seed cassettes inside the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer on the ISS (MELFI). The Seed Cassettes will be transferred to Shuttle Middeck Glacier Freezer for return to Earth aboard STS-131 presently scheduled for April 2010.
|Principal Investigator||Dr. John Z. Kiss, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio|
|Project Manager||Mr. Kenny Vassigh, NASA, ARC|
|Deputy Project Manager||Dr. Marianne Steele, Lockheed Martin, ARC|
|Project Scientist||Dr. Robert Bowman, Lockheed Martin, ARC|
|Project Engineer||Mr. Tom Luzod, NASA, ARC|
|Operations Lead||Dr. David Heathcote, Lockheed Martin, ARC|
|Quality Assurance||Mr. Robert Burney, NASA, ARC|