CU-Boulder pathogen gravity experiment to fly aboard SpaceX Dragon launching Dec. 19

By: InnovatioNews Friday December 12, 2014 Tags: Boulder, CU-Boulder, Louis Stodieck, ScanCam, SpaceX Dragon


BOULDER - The University of Colorado-Boulder will fly state-of-the-art hardware on the commercial SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launching to the International Space Station on Dec. 19.

The hardware will support experiments designed to better understand why the virulence of some pathogens increases in the low gravity of space, CU said.

The hardware was developed by BioServe Space Technologies headquartered in CU-Boulder's aerospace engineering sciences department and includes devices to assess the ability of salmonella bacteria to infect a tiny hematode host organism.

By conducting experiments in microgravity, scientists can learn more about the biochemical changes in cells and organisms that the force of gravity on Earth may be masking, said Louis Stodieck, BioServe director.

BioServe built a new automated camera system called ScanCam that will make its debut on the SpaceX-5 mission, CU said.

The system will move the camera over a list of pre-set points above the experiment to record video of how the infected nematodes behave in space.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 to manufacture and launch rockets and spacecraft and is the only commercial company with the capability to dock with ISS and return to Earth.

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