Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Nanosatellite To Study Antifungal Drug Effectiveness In Space

Date:
May 8, 2009
Source:
NASA
Summary:
NASA is preparing to fly a small satellite about the size of a loaf of bread that could help scientists better understand how effectively drugs work in space. The nanosatellite, known as PharmaSat, is a secondary payload aboard a U.S. Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket planned for launch the evening of May 5.

The PharmaSat satellite payload sits fully assembled, covered in solar panels.
Credit: NASA/ARC/Christopher Beasley

NASA is preparing to fly a small satellite about the size of a loaf of bread that could help scientists better understand how effectively drugs work in space. The nanosatellite, known as PharmaSat, is a secondary payload aboard a U.S. Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket planned for launch the evening of May 5.

Related Articles


PharmaSat weighs approximately 10 pounds. It contains a controlled environment micro-laboratory packed with sensors and optical systems that can detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells and transmit that data to scientists for analysis on Earth. PharmaSat also will monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration the yeast and the satellite experience while circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Scientists will study how the yeast responds during and after an antifungal treatment is administered at three distinct dosage levels to learn more about drug action in space, the satellite's primary goal.

The Minotaur 1 rocket is on the launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at Wallops Island, Va. The Wallops range is conducting final checkouts. The U.S. Air Force has announced that the rocket could launch at any time during a three-hour launch window beginning at 8 p.m. EDT May 5.

"Secondary payload nanosatellites expand the number of opportunities available to conduct research in microgravity by providing an alternative to the International Space Station or space shuttle conducted investigations," said Elwood Agasid, PharmaSat project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "The PharmaSat spacecraft builds upon the GeneSat-1 legacy with enhanced monitoring and measurement capabilities, which will enable more extensive scientific investigation."

After PharmaSat separates from the Minotaur 1 rocket and successfully enters low Earth orbit at approximately 285 miles above Earth, it will activate and begin transmitting radio signals to two ground control stations. The primary ground station at SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif., will transmit mission data from the satellite to the spacecraft operators in the mission control center at NASA's Ames Research Center. A secondary station is located at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.

When NASA spaceflight engineers make contact with PharmaSat, which could happen as soon as one hour after launch, the satellite will receive a command to initiate its experiment, which will last 96 hours. Once the experiment begins, PharmaSat will relay data in near real-time to mission managers, engineers and project scientists for further analysis. The nanosatellite could transmit data for as long as six months.

"PharmaSat is an important experiment that will yield new information about the susceptibility of microbes to antibiotics in the space environment," said David Niesel, PharmaSat's co-investigator from the University of Texas Medical Branch Department of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology in Galveston. "It also will prove that biological experiments can be conducted on sophisticated autonomous nanosatellites."

As with NASA's previous small satellite missions, such as the GeneSat-1, which launched in 2006 and continues to transmit a beacon to Earth, Santa Clara University invites amateur radio operators around the world to tune in to the satellite's broadcast.

For more information and instructions about how to contact PharmaSat, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/smallsats/pharmasat.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "NASA Nanosatellite To Study Antifungal Drug Effectiveness In Space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430120746.htm>.
NASA. (2009, May 8). NASA Nanosatellite To Study Antifungal Drug Effectiveness In Space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430120746.htm
NASA. "NASA Nanosatellite To Study Antifungal Drug Effectiveness In Space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430120746.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins