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2004 Annual Science Report

NASA Ames Research Center Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Interplanetary Pioneers

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

At Ames, Rothschild and co-workers have begun work on an extremely halophilic alga, Dunaliella salina , to test for radiation resistance. Kranner is investigating seeds for possible flight potential, with a current emphasis on orchids. Consolmagno is investigating meteorites with exceptionally large cracks as models for vehicles.

In conjunction with the German Space Agency (DLR) in Cologne, Germany we have conducted two ground-based studies for science and technology compatibility.

  1. The DLR has designed and built a simulation chamber to mimic the conditions as close as possible as the samples will encounter during the mission.
  2. The DLR has designed and built a sample holding rack that is a duplicate of flight rack.
  3. Two studies have been completed using the system
    1. The first was to define sample compatibility with the rack materials as well as the potential for sample cross contamination. The results showed that the samples are not harmed by the rack materials and that samples will not cross contaminate.
    2. The second was a temperature test to define the maximum and minimum temperatures that samples could withstand during pre-launch, launch, flight, and return without being harmed. Results indicated that the upper temperature limit is 50°C.
      When samples were held at —25°C for 3 months no deleterious effects could be detected. If flight operations requirements require testing at lower temperatures we will do so.