1. O/OREOS: First Science Data From the SEVO Payload

    The Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses (O/OREOS) free-flying nanosatellite completed its nominal spaceflight mission in May, 2011 but continues to acquire data biweekly. The mission was the first demonstration flight of the ‘small payload initiative’ for the Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) element of NASA’s Astrobiology Program. The team of the Space Environment Viability of Organics (SEVO) payload have published a paper in a recent issue of Astrobiology detailing their first science results.

    The SEVO experiment provides the first in situ real-time analysis of the photo-stability of organic compounds and biomarkers in orbit. Spectra from the PAH thin film in a water-vapor-containing microenvironment indicate measurable change due to solar irradiation in orbit, while three other nominally water-free microenvironments show no appreciable change. The quinone anthrarufin showed high photostability and no significant spectroscopically measurable change in any of the four microenvironments during the same period.