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JAXA PCG (Second Session) Begins

Last Updated: February 8, 2010

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

The second session of the High Quality Protein Crystallization Experiment (JAXA PCG), which uses the Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) in Kibo, began aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Protein samples for the second session of JAXA PCG were launched aboard the Progress (36P) spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0:45 p.m. on February 3, 2010.
The samples were delivered to the ISS at 1:26 p.m. on February 5. Aboard the ISS, astronauts unpacked and prepared the samples, and began the experiment at 9:30 p.m. on February 5.

In the past, JAXA performed 10 protein crystal growth experiments aboard the ISS collaborating with Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Based on those previous experiments, JAXA developed new techniques and procedures for sample evaluation, optimization of crystal growth condition, and data collection. With this new method, scientists on the ground can obtain high resolution images of high quality protein crystals.

The JAXA PCG experiment will use 96 samples (55 different proteins) placed in the Cell Units.
The samples include proteins which can be used for development of the biofuel that is expected to solve Earth's environmental issues, and proteins which can be used in development of Influenza antiviral drugs. The experiment will also use protein samples from Russian and Malaysian investigators, and commercial companies. This is the first protein crystallization experiment that tests samples from commercial companies.

The experiment will continue until the end of May 2010. The samples will be returned to the ground aboard the Soyuz TMA spacecraft (21S), on which Astronaut Noguchi will fly back to the ground.

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

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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