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3D Printing, Biology Research Make the Journey Back to Earth Aboard SpaceX’s Dragon

6 Apr 2020, 14:00 UTC
3D Printing, Biology Research Make the Journey Back to Earth Aboard SpaceX’s Dragon
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Christina Koch handles media bags that enable the manufacturing of organ-like tissues using the BioFabrication Facility. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — On March 9, 2020, a Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station carrying dozens of scientific experiments as a part of SpaceX’s 20th cargo resupply mission. Now, Dragon heads home. On April 7, it is scheduled to undock from station, bringing samples, hardware and data from completed investigations back to Earth on its return trip.

Here are details on some of the investigations returning to the ground for further analysis and reporting of results.

Generating a nutritional meal

Planning ways to supply food for a multi-year mission on the Moon or Mars while keeping astronauts healthy on the long trip may require making fresh food and nutrients in space. BioNutrients demonstrates a technology that enables on-demand production of nutrients needed for during long-duration space missions.

These BioNutrients packets aboard the International Space Station demonstrate a technology that enables on-demand production of human nutrients during long-duration space missions. (Credits: NASA)

The process uses microbes, such as baker’s yeast, expressly engineered to make fresh nutrients for human consumption starting from dry powdered media — food for the yeast ...

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