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Microgravity

2001-01-24

NASA

NASA
Washington, DC, United States

This photo shows the Handheld Diffusion Test Cell (HH-DTC) apparatus flown on the Space Shuttle. Similar cells (inside the plastic box) will be used in the Observable Protein Crystal Growth Apparatus (OPCGA) to be operated aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The principal investigator is Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine. Each individual cell comprises two sample chambers with a rotating center section that isolates the two from each other until the start of the experiment and after it is completed. The cells are made from optical-quality quartz glass to allow photography and interferometric observations. Each cell has a small light-emitting diode and lens to back-light the solution. In protein crystal growth experiments, a precipitating agent such as a salt solution is used to absorb and hold water but repel the protein molecules. This increases the concentration of protein until the molecules nucleate to form crystals. This cell is one of 96 that make up the experiment module portion of the OPCGA.

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  • Title: Microgravity
  • Date Created: 2001-01-24
  • Rights: MSFC
  • Album: rlobrie1

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