It is a project on board the international space station, as part of the MIT Sojourner 2020 space exploration initiative project.
The Sojourner 2020 is a 1.5U 100mm x 100mm x 152.4mm unit, containing a structure with three different levels for generating microgravity. This structure allowed to generate zero gravity (immobile), lunar microgravity and Martian microgravity using a centripetal acceleration system. Each level supported 6 containers or pockets 10 mm in diameter and 12 mm deep, with the different projects. The idea of Sojourner 2020 was to “democratize” access to space exploration, by incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives oriented from art, thus allowing this field, normally dominated by scientific and engineering projects, to be permeated by initiatives that sought introduce different forms of contemporary human sensitivity, such as gender perspectives in the transhumanist context, affective links with biological diversity in the post-nature framework, and the cultural traditions of indigenous peoples observed from the complexity of post-relations. colonial, among others.
My project sought to critically explore the possibility of expanding terrestrial life off the planet. I am interested in addressing the implications that gravity has on the evolutionary process of life and how the understanding of these relationships can be applied in the design of life (Ζωή).
The development of living organisms on Earth has been capable of countless adaptations, covering a wide diversity of ecological niches and responding to multiple environmental variables, however terrestrial gravity has been a constant that has made its mark throughout the entire process. evolutionary. Our body, in this sense, can be thought of as a system or a set of systems that operate relative to the planet's gravity.
With this in mind, I decided to send a set of Phaelodactylum Tricornutum diatoms, which would be exposed to Martian microgravity and zero gravity on board the ISS. Diatoms are responsible for the production of 30% of terrestrial oxygen and have a silica structure that allows them to considerably resist UV radiation in space. The Phaelodactilum Tricornutum strain is capable of generating physical variations in the structure of silica. Changes in pH and carbon availability can determine whether the diatoms acquire a spindle, triradial, or oval morphology. The project sought to explore how gravity can affect how these microalgae change their morphology, which would be observed when comparing the sample with a ground control. These observations would be associated with the framework of the symbiotic relationships between animals and photosynthetic beings that makes possible, among other things, human life.
Sojourner 2020 was part of the twentieth commercial re-supply mission operated by SpaceX (CRS-20) that was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 on March 7 of this year at 11:50. p.m. ITS T. The aerospace vehicle consisted of a two-stage Falcon-9 reusable-powered rocket and a DragonX (C112) capsule, with nearly 2,000 kilos of cargo that was divided between scientific experiments and supply supplies for the International Space Station. The DragonX capsule operated on this mission had been used on the CRS-10 missions in February 2017 and CRS-16 in December 2018. The first phase Falcon-9 propeller had previously flown on the CRS-19 mission in December. from 2019.
The results of this project will be available soon on this platform.