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JAXA PCG (Second Session) Completed

Last Updated: June 2, 2010

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

The second session of the High Quality Protein Crystallization experiment (JAXA PCG), which has been performed using the Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) in Kibo, was concluded today.

Experiment samples (various proteins) were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russian Progress spacecraft (36P) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 3, 2010. The experiment has been conducted for the past four months since February 5, 2010.

During the experiment, 96 samples (55 different proteins) were grown in the PCRF Cell Units. Samples from Russian and Malaysian research groups and commercial companies in Japan were included, as well as samples from Japanese research groups. This was the first Kibo experiment which used the samples from commercial companies.

The experiment was completed at 0:26 a.m. on June 2, 2010. The samples were returned to the ground aboard the Soyuz TMA spacecraft (21S), on which Astronaut Noguchi flew back to the ground.

JAXA has performed 10 protein crystal growth experiments aboard the ISS (Of ten experiments, one was performed in Kibo, and nine were performed in the Zvezda service module).
Based on the previous experiments, JAXA developed new techniques and procedures for sample evaluation, optimization of crystallization condition, and data collection. With this new method, scientists on the ground can obtain high resolution images of high quality protein crystals.

The experiment will use protein samples, which can be used in the development of the biofuel, which would solve Earth's environmental issues, or could be used in development of Influenza antiviral drugs. It is expected that many beneficial results are achieved from the experiment.

High Quality Protein Crystal Growth Experiment on board KIBO (JAXA PCG)

Astronaut Noguchi holding a sample bag containing the JAXA PCG protein samples

Astronaut Noguchi holding sample bags
containing the JAXA PCG protein samples

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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