Encyclopedia Astronautica
Genesat



zgenesat.jpg
Genesat
American biology satellite. One launch, 2006.12.16. Genesat was a NASA Ames nanosatellite launched as a secondary payload.

A collaboration of NASA, industry, and local universities resulted in this fully-automated, miniaturized spaceflight system that provided life support, nutrient delivery, and performed assays to monitor genetic changes of E. coli bacteria in space conditions.

Genesat had the following characteristics:

Total Mass (Satellite + PPOD): 6.8 kg (4.6 + 2.2 kg)
Satellite Power (on-orbit average): 4 - 5 W
Satellite Volume: 3 "Cubes" (14" x 4.5" x 4.5") including antenna
Mission Duration: > 21 days (Experiment Duration ~ 100 hours)
Reentry: > 21 days (Experiment Duration ~ 100 hours)

The GeneSat-1 Team at Ames Research Center designed and developed the miniature biological stasis, growth, and analysis systems along with the necessary life support (culturing) capabilities to study gene and protein expression in model small/micro organisms. The system was fully self-contained and autonomous, and transmitted results to Earth, requiring no specimen return. The main project components were technology demonstration subsystems including quantitative fluorescent imagers, microfluidic networks, liquid arrays for the replicate study of multiple genetic constructs, and miniature environmental control and power management systems.

Future technology modules would enable small gene/protein array analyzers, imaging systems, and small spacecraft systems that could be carried as secondary payloads on planned missions, and specific reference-experiment protocols designed for the study of genetic changes arising from the unique space environment. Near-term plans included support for mammalian cell cultures, to allow characterization of gene/protein profiles of these highly relevant systems.

The use of low-cost, small-size, autonomous secondary payload concepts provided a means to study biological changes of fundamentally well understood microorganisms and mammalian cells at the gene/protein level. Such knowledge would be key to the development of effective countermeasures to the deleterious effects of long-duration space travel.

At the core of the GeneSat-1 demonstration platform was an integrated analytical fluidics card assembly. It included a media pump, valves, microchannels, filters, membranes, and wells to maintain the biological viability of various microorganisms. An integrated thermal control system maintained the biological specimens at physiological temperatures. The internal environment was monitored via a suite of sensors, and finally, expressions of genetic signals were detected by a miniaturized optical detection system.

First Launch: 2006.12.16.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Minotaur Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. Proposed growth versions would use surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Minotaur 1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Orbital launch vehicle consisting of a surplus Minuteman M55A1 first stage, Minuteman SR19 second stage, and new Orion 50XL third stage, Orion 38 fourth stage, and optional HAPS fifth stage for velocity trim and multiple payload deployment. Payload 580 kg to an 185 km, 28.5 degree orbit from Cape Canaveral; 310 kg to a 740 km sun-synchronous orbit from Vandenberg. More...
  • Minotaur American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. The Minotaur 4 version used surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA Ames American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Ames, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use