Session

Session IV: Recent and Future Missions

SSC09-IV-10.pdf (652 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The mission of the PharmaSat biological microsatellite is to investigate the efficacy of anti-fungal agents in the spaceflight environment. The satellite uses autonomous, in situ bio-analytical and sample management technologies in order to culture and characterize the growth of multiple samples of yeast, which are exposed to differing levels of an anti-fungal agent during their growth cycle. The satellite uses a 10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm Cubesat-class structure with body-mounted solar panels, an ISM-band transceiver, and a simple PIC-class microcontroller for the main flight computer. PharmaSat was launched on May 19 , 2009 from Wallops Flight Facility as a secondary payload on a Minotaur launch vehicle. During the first week of operation, the primary biological experiment was conducted, and data from this experiment was downloaded thereby achieving mission success. The PharmaSat design and mission control architecture inherits many features and design strategies from the GeneSat-1 mission, which was previously developed by the same design group at NASA Ames Research Center and Santa Clara University. This paper presents the PharmaSat mission, the design of its spacecraft and ground segment, and initial flight results.

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Aug 11th, 12:45 PM

Initial Flight Results from the PharmaSat Biological Microsatellite Mission

The mission of the PharmaSat biological microsatellite is to investigate the efficacy of anti-fungal agents in the spaceflight environment. The satellite uses autonomous, in situ bio-analytical and sample management technologies in order to culture and characterize the growth of multiple samples of yeast, which are exposed to differing levels of an anti-fungal agent during their growth cycle. The satellite uses a 10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm Cubesat-class structure with body-mounted solar panels, an ISM-band transceiver, and a simple PIC-class microcontroller for the main flight computer. PharmaSat was launched on May 19 , 2009 from Wallops Flight Facility as a secondary payload on a Minotaur launch vehicle. During the first week of operation, the primary biological experiment was conducted, and data from this experiment was downloaded thereby achieving mission success. The PharmaSat design and mission control architecture inherits many features and design strategies from the GeneSat-1 mission, which was previously developed by the same design group at NASA Ames Research Center and Santa Clara University. This paper presents the PharmaSat mission, the design of its spacecraft and ground segment, and initial flight results.