Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Yup, it's that time again,

  • the International Space Station is in need of fresh cargo and experiments.

  • Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket is getting ready to launch CRS-15

  • and there are some game changing experiments

  • that will help us further our knowledge of how humans can adapt to long term space travel;

  • from material testing, muscle atrophy in worms,

  • and even grape juice fermentation...and no, it's not exactly wine.

  • Northop Grumman is a longtime favorite as far as NASA resupply missions go.

  • The company has been supplying its Antares rockets since the early 2010's and will continue to do so until at least 2023.

  • This is mostly because this low cost, two stage, middle class rocket is reliable as heck.

  • And in the last two years installed two newly built RD-181 engines to the first stage of its rocket.

  • Its latest payload capacity is now 8,000 kg,

  • helping to get to Low Earth Orbit with ease.

  • And the cargo capsule?

  • Well, Antares is rarely ever seen nowadays without the Cygnus spacecraft.

  • This is because it's another reliable craft that already delivered more than

  • 30,000 kg of critical cargo to the ISS during its first contract missions.

  • And its first launch of this year is NG-15,

  • and the capsule this time around is named after mathematician Katherine Johnson,

  • who played a critical role during the early days of human space flight.

  • The mission will be carrying a load more of exciting experiments.

  • Starting with an oldie, but a goodie.

  • Back in 2018, the Materials International Space Station Experiment - Flight Facility,

  • also known as MISSE-FF,

  • was permanently installed outside of the station.

  • It doesn't do much, just stands still in different directions for periods of time,

  • but is probably one of the most vital ongoing experiments aboard the ISS,

  • and that's because it tests various materials for the harsh environment of space.

  • We're talking literally any kind of material from paints to solar cells.

  • MISSE-FF is actually part of a longer MISSE series,

  • starting back in 2001 and to date, it's tested more than 4,000 kinds of materials.

  • Some of which have helped push our understanding of our solar panels.

  • And now they're sending up phosphor powders and composites that are used for rapid temperature measurement from 0 degrees celsius to 1,200 degrees celsius.

  • Results from this experiment can inform scientists on if phosphor composites can be used in petroleum, healthcare, and aerospace industries.

  • Ultimately, though researchers want more than materials to last in space,

  • we want humans up there too.

  • But muscle atrophy is one of the leading challenges of long-term space duration.

  • So to understand how our muscles degrade in space,

  • we're sending up some worms with our astronauts in a special device known as the NemaFlex.

  • [Dr. Siva Vanapallo] "So in terms of the animal, it's it's really small."

  • "And if you want to measure how strong it is,"

  • "you need to really figure out a way to measure all the forces, which this worm is exerting."

  • "So our lab and students have built this device,"

  • "which essentially has an array of soft colors,"

  • "and the worm as it cross to these array of this of these pillars,"

  • "we can record pictures of how much of the deflection,"

  • "which is happening, sends the result."

  • It's important to note that this isn't just any old worm either.

  • They're nematodes known as C. Elegans

  • and they are a cost effective model organism

  • to test on because they're not only flight proven,

  • but they're the first animal to have their entire genome sequenced.

  • Meaning researchers can see changes in their system pretty easily.

  • One of which is the expression of key muscle genes being reduced while the worms are in spaceflight.

  • With NemaFlex, researchers can now see if that decreased expression is related to the strength

  • the worms push out while they're going through the device.

  • And what's more? They can reproduce quickly and scientists will be able to see if this gene passed on to other generations.

  • [Dr. Siva Vanapallo] "So as a result, if we do observe that our device is able to record these changes in strength,"

  • "then it opens up tremendous opportunities in conducting experiments on different drugs"

  • "and figuring out how to maintain and improve the health of astronauts."

  • - And scientists are not only worried about how our bodies would fare in space,

  • but also how long food would last.

  • And a team in collaboration between Michael David Winery and Common Sense Solutions

  • are talking about grape juice... that will sort of be made into wine.

  • [Jeff Farthing] "We're not really looking at it as making wine."

  • "In essence, we will be making wine out there"

  • "and we're going to end up with an alcoholic beverage on our hands."

  • "It's not going to be anything that's going to be pleasant,"

  • "but it's going to be a better piece of the puzzle to do it this way,"

  • "to present to other scientists who are going to be looking at how food would be managed in outer space."

  • - Although it seems like grape juice isn't the top of everyone's nutrition list, it's a good case study for more crops.

  • The ISS team will be monitoring the fermentation process of the juice

  • to understand how microbiota will act in microgravity.

  • Microbes can determine lots of variables when it comes to fruit like their size, shape, flavor, and even yield.

  • [Jeff Farthing] - "Microbiota would just be really any microbe that's out there,"

  • "meaning bacteria or yeast."

  • "Those are the two main players in what is going to break down food."

  • "It's already been studied many, many times."

  • "We know what's happening on earth."

  • "It's what's going to happen up in space, that's what's going to be interesting."

  • - So, how do they plan to do it?

  • [Jeff Farthing] - "So we're going to make little micro fermentations."

  • "This is what we're doing it in. This is an IV bag"

  • "that's already approved for NASA."

  • "We're going to put about 200 milliliters in here, very small,"

  • "and then we're going to let the fermentation happen naturally."

  • - And throughout 15 days, several samples will be taken, and placed in a freezer

  • until the samples are ready to return to Earth for analysis.

  • Now, this is just a taste of the countless experiments astronauts are up to in the floating lab we call the ISS.

  • And this latest launch is expected to head up there in mid to late February 2021.

  • And it's always exciting, no matter how big or small.

  • Each experiment gets us closer to better understanding ourselves, our world, and the space we may one day live in.

  • Space isn't just for astronauts.

  • If you've ever wanted to send an experiment to the ISS now may be your chance.

  • The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS,

  • has officially announced they're looking for concept submissions by February 25, 2021,

  • and these can be anything like translational medicine

  • and technology demonstrations.

  • Don't miss out and don't forget to subscribe to Seeker for all your space news.

  • Thank you so much for watching.

Yup, it's that time again,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 space grape juice fermentation experiment device

Why the ISS Will Be Receiving Experiments With Worms and Grape Juice

  • 0 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/19
Video vocabulary