A bumper crop of science for the ISS!

A great month for space science will be capped off 15 November with the launch of a new batch of supplies to the International Space StationAn Antares rocket will launch from Mid-America Regional Spaceport LP-0A at 0949 GMT, early in the Virginia Tidewater morning.

The 3000 kg cargo includes 12 science experiments, such as a 3D printer that recycles its own plastic, and breakthrough Parkinson’s Disease research – the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s CASIS payload is an improved version of an experiment flown aboard the ISS last year. If space-grown protein crystals can be grown large enough, and in sufficient quality to be imaged at 0.6 nm resolution – that may enough to find attack sites for drugs that could slow or stop the disease.

There are also studies about making concrete in space, making nanostructures to filter out carbon dioxide from industrial sources, and an ambitious German experiment that probes the very formation of the solar system using not much more than dust, electricity, and a 100 x 150 mm box!  Rounding this out is a Canadian VR experiment that tests how astronauts’ brains influence the sense of orientation, even without any gravity acting on the inner ear.

Payload Purpose
Refabricator Plastic manufacture / recycle
VECTION VR / flight effect on the vestibular system
EXCISS Solar system accretion / condroids
MVP-Cell 05 Concrete manufacture
CASIS PCG-16 Parkinson’s Disease / crystallography
CEMSICA Carbon dioxide filter nanostructures
6 more payloads Not yet highlighted