Phycomyces in space : A problem in bioengineering
- Schneringer, Julie A.
- Feb 1, 1987.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Sustaining life with total automation is a difficult problem for GAS canisters. The length of time between setting the experiment and flight, the conditions of a completely sealed container, no guarantee on launch delay, orientation and the possibility of contamination all tend to exclude experiments with living matter. This experiment examines the growth of a nontoxic, everyday fungus, Phycomyces, in a microgravity environment. Data from this experiment will help define the mechanism by which plants determine the direction of gravity. The bioengineering problems were solved only after numerous tests and design changes. Phycomyces normally have a shelf life of approximately one week. Storing the fungus for two months, activating the fungus for growth and precise timing were the major obstacles. Solutions were found for storage by drying the fungus spores onto pieces of filter paper. Activation occurs when this filter paper is dropped onto the growth medium, via a solenoid system. The problem of timing is partially solved by growing more than one chamber of the fungus at different time intervals. This experiment proves that the simpler a design, the better it works.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19870010875., Accession ID: 87N20308., and NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center The 1986 Get Away Special Experimenter's Symposium; p 35-39.
- No Copyright.
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