Press Release

American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology Student Experiment to Fly as Nanoracks Payload on the ISS

By SpaceRef Editor
November 7, 2011
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American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology Student Experiment to Fly as Nanoracks Payload on the ISS

The American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB), a U.S. non-profit 501(C)(6) scientific society, announces today an agreement has been signed with Nanoracks (Houston, Texas) to fly a student space >light experiment on-board the NASA International Space Station (ISS). NanoRacks is an industry leader in low-earth orbit space services NanoRacks, LLC is working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement for the use of the U.S. National Lab. ASGSB has entered into an agreement with NanoRacks as a result of an industry partnership agreement with the Science and Technology Corporation (STC). STC is a small, high-technology company that has experience in nano-satellite and space instrument development.

ASGSB and the NASA-Ames Research Center Space Biosciences Division are collaborating to bring an interdisciplinary team of students together to address innovative problems of Space Biology and develop the student flight experiment. This past summer, a small student team was competitively-selected to study Insect Flight Aerodynamics and Biology in Altered Gravity Environments. This student experiment is being prepared to fly as the ASGSB flight opportunity with NanoRacks. The summer project brought students from aeronautics, biology and engineering together and focused on the development of a novel, imaging capability to perform quantitative aerodynamic and behavioral analysis of insect flight under altered gravity conditions. Several members of the student team are presenting scientific posters at the ASGSB meeting being held in San Jose, CA November 3rd, 2011. NASA Ames Research Center scientists Dr. Jeffrey Smith and Dr. Sharmila Bhattacharya mentored the student team. With the success of this initial pilot student project, Ames and ASGSB are now working toward a formal agreement that can expand this educational opportunity to inspire and train the next generation of gravitational and space biologists. A mid 2012 launch date is being planned.

ASGSB executive director, Cindy Martin-Brennan says “we are forging a new quadrilateral agreement with between ASGSB, a gravitational science society who fosters young scientists; NanoRacks, a commercial space service provider; STC, a private company that values investment in the next generation; and NASA scientist mentors who believe it is critical to train the next generation of scientists. I think this is the first agreement of its kind that enables hands-on space biology flight experience to the next generation of scientists and explorers”.

Jobi B. Cook
Associate Director, NC Space Grant
911 Oval Drive
Engineering Building III, Room 4172
NCSU, Campus Box 7515
Raleigh, NC 27695
919-515-5934 (Fax)

SpaceRef staff editor.