January 1, 2010.
The study of photosynthesis for nutrient and oxygen cycling in closed systems is vital for the future of human space explorations, as they must be self-sustainable for long durations of time. Algae and cyanobacteria are the most basic organisms known to perform photosynthesis and are also potential food sources, so it is important to explore their behavior in the conditions of space. AlgaeSat is a small satellite mission that will study the affects of microgravity and ionizing radiation on various types of algae. Growth rate and photophysiological changes will be measured Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) fluorescence. In order to choose the best suited candidates, different strains of algae will be grown in varied conditions, which is the area of focus in this study.
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)