Citizens in Space has announced the payload manifest for its first flight on the XCOR Aerospace Lynx spacecraft.

The experiments will be carried aboard the Lynx Cub Payload Carrier, an open-source payload carrier developed for the Lynx spacecraft by Citizens in Space. Experiments will be controlled in flight by a Citizens in Space science-mission-specialist astronaut.

The experiments announced today cover a wide range of subjects from microgravity crystallization to plant growth, antimicrobial materials for space habitats, and the interaction of water with lunar surface materials. The experimenters are equally diverse.

“Mission One includes citizen scientists working at every level, from high school to professional research labs,” said Dr. Justin Karl, Chief Payloads Officer for Citizens in Space.

The mission announced today is one of ten flights purchased by Citizens in Space. “Citizens in Space is making these flight opportunities available at no cost to citizen scientists,” Dr. Karl said. “In return, citizen scientists pledge to make their experiment designs and data openly available to the entire community. Our goal is to create a huge catalog of flight-proven experiments that future researchers can draw from.

“As science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein once said, ‘You can’t pay it back. You have to pay it forward.’”

The experiments announced today are:

  • Angelicvm Aerospace Foundation of Santiago, Chile. Crystallization Rates in Microgravity.
  • Bishop Planetarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida. Microgravity Water Electrolysis Optimization.
  • CD-SEAS of Honolulu, Hawaii. Effectiveness of Anti-Microbial Coatings in Microgravity Conditions.
  • Florida International University of Miami, Florida. Regolith Compression Mechanics in Reduced- and Micro-Gravity.
  • Flightsafety Makers of Columbus, Ohio. Characterization of Local Inertial Loading and Comparison with Avionics Data.
  • Syncleus of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Realtime Payload Conditions Monitoring.
  • NewSpace Farm LLC of Seattle, Washington. Microgravity Botany Pod Hardware Evaluation.
  • The Pinkowski Group of Montrose, Pennsylvania. Concentration Gradient Equalization Rates.
  • Terran Sciences Group of Orlando, Florida. Inter-Payload Heat Transfer Characterization.
  • Texas Southern University of Houston, Texas. Non-Fick Diffusion in Microgravity.
  • Students for the Exploration and Development of Space at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Hydrophobic Coating Effectiveness for Space Applications.
  • University High School of Orlando, Florida. Investigation of Regolith Hydration in Zero Gravity.

Citizens in Space is continuing its call for experiments. Questions and letters of intent can be submitted to Dr. Justin Karl by emailing experiments@rocketacademy.org.

Written by Astro1 on August 13th, 2015 , Citizens in Space

Citizens in Space/TSG/SEDS balloon payload

Citizens in Space announces the successful completion of a high-altitude balloon flight, the first in a series of missions to test hardware designed to fly on the Lynx spacecraft from XCOR Aerospace.

The helium balloon, which reached an altitude of 25 kilometers (82,000 feet), was launched by a team from the University of Central Florida’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Soon after launch, shifting winds carried the balloon west, rather than east, out over the Gulf of Mexico. The unexpected turn led to a scramble by UCF-SEDS students to locate the balloon, which was lost at sea for several days.

The balloon carried components from the Lynx Cub Payload Developer’s Kit, an open-source science kit available through Citizens in Space and Terran Sciences Group.

“The main goal on this flight was to test Dev Kit components by exposing them to extreme conditions,” said Dr. Justin Karl, Chief Payloads Officer for Citizens in Space. “Post-flight analysis by UCF-SEDS shows that components functioned normally throughout the flight at temperatures down to -50°C (-60°F) and atmospheric pressure below 1% of sea level. At the end, the payload survived a 17.5g water impact and an unexpected dip in salt water. These are far more extreme than the conditions we will experience during actual spaceflights on the XCOR Lynx, where payloads will ride comfortably inside the crew cabin and be subjected to only about 4g of acceleration.”

The flight also served as a launch-and-recovery test for the next Citizens in Space balloon mission, which will carry an ultra-high-definition video camera developed for the Lynx spacecraft.

“High-altitude balloons are a dime a dozen,” said Joseph Ricci, director of projects for UCF-SEDS, “Our mission was part of a larger program which will qualify hardware for use in future spaceflights.”

“This test gives us great confidence in the reliability of our Dev Kit components,” Dr. Karl said. “These components will be useful to groups at all levels, from middle-school classes to professional researchers, who want to fly experiments on the Lynx spacecraft. Anyone who’s interested in flying an experiment in space should visit citizensinspace.org or tsgaero.space for more information on our Dev Kit components and no-cost flight opportunities.”

Written by Astro1 on August 6th, 2015 , Citizens in Space, High-altitude Balloons
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