miniPCR Launching to International Space Station

NASA Highlights Array of Experiments Launching on Next SpaceX Cargo Mission

(This Press Release issued by NASA highlights the upcoming launch of miniPCR to the International Space Station in the context of the Genes in Space-1 mission)

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, March 28, to discuss cutting edge science investigations launching aboard the upcoming SpaceX commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station. Experiments include the demonstration of an expandable space habitat, a student-designed DNA investigation, and other research that will inform NASA’s journey to Mars.

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Tabatha Thompson at 202-358-1100 or by 11 a.m. March 28 for dial-in information.

The briefing will include:

  • Julie Robinson, chief scientist for the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will provide an overview of the more than 250 valuable science investigations that will take place during Expeditions 47 and 48.
  • Rajib Dasgupta, NASA project and technical integration manager for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) atJohnson, and Lisa Kauke, BEAM deputy program manager at Bigelow Aerospace in Las Vegas, will discuss BEAM — a technology demonstration to study the radiation protection, thermal performance and general operations of expandable habitats in space.
  • Kenneth Savin, Kristofer Gonzalez-DeWhitt, Michael Hickey and Rosamund Smith, of Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, will discuss life science investigations focusing on musculoskeletal changes in space, which could provide insight into muscle-wasting diseases on Earth, and protein crystallization in microgravity, which could enhance the development and potency of therapeutic drugs.
  • Kasthuri Venkateswaran, principal investigator for Microbial Observatory-1 at the California Institute of Technology inPasadena, will discuss tracking and monitoring changes to microbial flora on the space station over time, which could help us understand how such microbes could affect crew health during future long duration missions.
  • Gioia Massa, principal investigator for Veg-03 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will explain how the Veggie plant growth facility will cultivate cabbage as part of the Pick-and-Eat Salad initiative to develop a sustainable food supplement for long-duration spaceflight.
  • Clay Wang, principal investigator for Micro-10 at the University of Southern California School Of Pharmacy in Los Angeles, will discuss this study of fungi in space for the purpose of potentially developing new medicine for use both in space and on Earth.
  • Anna-Sophia Boguraev, student researcher, and Scott Copeland, ISS Research, Systems & Specialty Engineering manager for The Boeing Company in Pasadena, Texas, will discuss Genes in Space-1, a student-designed experiment to test whether the polymerase chain reaction — a fast and relatively inexpensive technique that can amplify or “photocopy” small segments of DNA — could be used to study DNA alterations that astronauts experience during spaceflight.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is targeted to launch at 4:43 p.m. Friday, April 8 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft will carry crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the orbital laboratory to support the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.

This launch is the eighth contracted mission by SpaceX under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at:

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

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