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Kibo Utilization Office for Asia (KUOA)

SSAF2013 Space Experiment Report: No.2 Launch and on-board operation procedure

Last Updated: August 14, 2013

The fourth H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV4, also known as KOUNOTORI4, was successfully launched aboard an H-IIB launch vehicle from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center at 4:48 am on August 4, 2013. KOUNOTORI4, which delivers supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), docked with the ISS on August 10. (All times are Japan Standard Time, UTC +9 hrs.)

Our SSAF2013 experiment materials, of course, are among the payloads of KOUNOTORI4. The operation is expected to start at the beginning of September this year, following the planned operation procedure given below. You do not have to follow space operation procedures on the ground because some materials could hardly be obtained. You can modify the procedure by using any materials available to you.

1. First day: Watering

Take out SSAF plant cassette. Connect water syringes to watering ports and slowly inject to wet rock wool. Put the seeds into a lightproof bag and keep it at room temperature.

Image: Click to enlarge
2. 5th day: Growth check
  1. Retrieve the plant cassette from the large lightproof bag.
  2. Observe the growth of Azuki beans. (Record by video camera.)
  3. Insert the plant cassette bacl into the large lightproof bag.
3. 7th day: Final observation

On the final day of this experiment, an astronaut will conduct detailed observation to see how the Azuki beans grow in the space, under microgravity. After observing the plant cassette in all directions, he/she will take some Azuki sprouts of the cassette and then will drag, swing, and bend them.

Image: Click to enlarge

① Dragging

Image: Click to enlarge
  1. Pick one sprout from the plant cassette.
  2. Hold both ends of the sprout by both hands, and hook it to the spring balance.
  3. Slowly pull the both ends of the sprout until it breaks.

② Swinging

  1. Hold the bottom end of sprout (bean), and swing the sprout several times.
  2. Image
  3. Hold the top end of sprout, and swing the sprout several times.
  4. Image

③ Bending

  1. Hold the bottom end of sprout (bean), and swing the sprout several times.
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