ISS: A science classroom for America

McPherson, Alexander; Koszelak, Stan; Jenkins, Greg; Myers, Merle; Perkey, John; Holmes, Anna; Ng, Joe
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p479
Academic Journal
The Enhanced GN2 Dewar is an extremely inexpensive, simple, high capacity system for the crystallization of macromolecules in microgravity. As many as 10,000 individual samples can be included in one experiment. The apparatus requires no power, no crew attention, and is essentially a passive container for crystallization samples held in plastic tubes. Preparation of crystallization samples is technically simple, requiring limited manual skills and training. High school students can easily assist in the fabrication of samples for the Enhanced GN2 Dewar and, in that way, directly participate in flight experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The experiments will provide a student flight experience, but at the same time also be part of an important, ongoing scientific investigation. Because not all students may be capable of participating in the flight experiments, we are also making experimental opportunities, based on the flight investigation, available to additional students. To accomplish this we created a classroom experiment in the growth and examination of protein crystals based on a simple kit. The kit contains the necessary apparatus, supplies, and biochemical materials for twenty-four individual students to participate in the classroom experience. ISS will, therefore, serve, not only as a science laboratory for researchers, but as a science classroom for America. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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