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JAXA PCG (Fifth Session) has started

Last Updated: March 16, 2012

All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

The fifth session of the High Quality Protein Crystallization (JAXA PCG), which uses the Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF), has started on board Kibo.

Samples for the experiment were launched to the ISS aboard the Russian Progress (46P) cargo spacecraft at 8:06 a.m. on January 26, 2012, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and delivered to the ISS at 9:09 a.m. on January 28. After arrived at the ISS, the samples were inserted into the experiment facility by Astronaut Donald Pettit. Temperature of the experiment facility was controlled from the ground, and the experiment started at 4:28 a.m. on January 29.

In the past, JAXA performed 13 protein crystal growth experiments aboard the ISS collaborating with the Russian Federal Space Agency (four times on Kibo, and nine times on the Russian ISS module.) Through experience of past experiments, JAXA has established its original technology and procedure for sample evaluation to post-experiment data collection. JAXA now obtains experiment results which lead to other space agencies.

During this time experiment, 96 samples (48 different proteins) will be grown in the PCRF Cell Units (using two cell cartridges.) Proteins to be used for the creation of drugs for Malaria, Influenza, and or muscle dystrophy, proteins to be used for biofuel development, and proteins which dissolve nylon products, are also included in the samples.

By conducting the space experiment on Kibo, acquisition of much higher quality protein crystals is expected than the ones grown in the ground. Just like the previous experiment, proteins from Russia and Malaysia are also aboard as an international research cooperation.

The experiment will continue until the beginning of March 2012, and the samples will be returned to the ground aboard the Soyuz TMA-22 (28S) spacecraft.

See for more details of this experiment:


*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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