There’s nothing like getting the opportunity to conduct experiments in the unique, weightlessness environment of space. Many high school and university students have already flown space station projects via NanoRacks. Click one of the following to learn more:
- Each DreamUp NanoLab is a 1U Module measuring 10cm X 10cm X 10cm.
NanoRacks Isometric View Showing the
USB Connector with Dimensions in Millimeters
- Each module can contain the following:
- A master processor that monitors and controls power to the experiment
- A programmable microcontroller
- A digital camera
- Experiment-specific electronics to monitor and control the experiment
- Students can design two different payloads, starting at $15,500 each.
- All payloads remain active for up to 30 days.
- Students get up to four interactions with ISS crew members regarding their experiments within the 30 day timeframe. Total interface time not to exceed 10 minutes across all interfaces.
- Astronauts download data within the 30-day timeframe as their schedule permits. Maximum size of collective downloads not to exceed 10 megabytes.
- NanoRacks modules are not returned to Earth.
Below are some NanoLab experiment ideas that would be perfect for the DreamUp program. Many are easy to design and implement:
- Plant Growth – Test oxygen levels and plant growth in space and compared to Earth. A 2U payload is required to provide sufficient room for the growth chambers and sensors. This experiment requires several interfaces between the environment controllers and lights in the growth chambers, sensors/cameras and micro-controllers.
- Insect Lifespan – Compare insect lifespan in space versus Earth. It can be several weeks between the time a payload leaves NanoRacks and when it arrives on the ISS. Insects must be ones that can undergo stasis so they can be hatched or revived on the ISS once it is time to start the experiment. The experimenter would need a NanoLab with a mechanism to start the experiment, provide the right food and environment for the insect, and likely the sensor would be a USB camera.
- Food Decomposition in Space – Test food decomposition in space using leftovers from an astronaut’s meal. Experimenter would need a NanoLab to hold the food sample. A USB camera could serve as the sensor or use the NanoRacks Reflective Microscope facility on board the ISS for higher magnification.
- Zero-Gravity Pendulums – Measures the effect of zero-gravity on pendulum movement. It may also be possible to study precession. We recommend including a spring resonator, along with a pendulum, as this may show similar activity to pendulums and spring resonators on Earth.
- Hatch an Egg in Space – Measure the time it takes to hatch an egg in space. The complexity of this experiment depends on the type of eggs. If using insect eggs, the payload could be combined with other experiments. Larger eggs could take longer and require additional NanoLab units to house the larger eggs, the environment controls and sensors.
- Compasses in Space – Use a magnetic compass to study three-dimensional changes in the Earth’s magnetic fields. A NanoLab with a ball compass and a USB camera would work well, while a slightly more sophisticated payload would use a magnetometer.
- Fish in Sealed Aquariums – Fly an aquarium in space and study the behavior of fish. Similar to the plant growth experiment, this payload would require a 2U NanoLab with multiple interfaces.