Press Release

NASA Nanosatellite Launch Scheduled, Team Available for Interviews

By SpaceRef Editor
April 24, 2009
Filed under ,

NASA engineers and project scientists are ready for the May 5 scheduled launch of the PharmaSat nanosatellite and will be available for interviews from 10 a.m. PDT to noon PDT on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

News media interested in participating should contact Rachel Prucey at 650-604-0643 by 4 p.m. PDT, Monday, April 27, 2009.

The PharmaSat nanosatellite will fly as a secondary payload aboard the U.S. Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket that will launch out of NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at Wallops Island, Va. PharmaSat is about the size of a loaf of bread and weighs approximately 10 pounds. It contains a controlled environment micro-laboratory packed with sensors and optical systems that can detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells and transmit that data to scientists for analysis on Earth. PharmaSat will also monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration the yeast and the satellite experience while circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. PharmaSat’s primary goal is to help scientists better understand how effectively drugs work in space by studying how yeast responds to an antifungal treatment.

The PharmaSat team members who will be available for interviews include:

– Elwood Agasid, PharmaSat project manager from NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
– David Niesel, PharmaSat’s co-investigator from the University of Texas Medical Branch Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Galveston, Texas
– Karolyn Ronzano, PharmaSat deputy project manager from NASA Ames
– Bruce Yost, PharmaSat mission manager from NASA Ames
– Macarena Parra, PharmaSat project scientist from NASA Ames.

For the more information about PharmaSat and other small satellite missions, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.