Three National Science Foundation-backed projects will be part of a Northrop Grumman cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program.
The ISS National Laboratory said Tuesday the projects that will fly on Cygnus spacecraft for the Northrop CRS 19 mission are led by Stanford University, Emory University and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Cygnus will carry payloads for biomedical investigations, product development studies, and projects focused on new technologies for space-based research.
The ISS National Lab sponsored the three NSF projects. Stanford’s team is studying lightweight graphene aerogels produced in microgravity as compared to those created on Earth, in an aim to improve and expand the uses of thermal insulators.
Emory University researchers, meanwhile, are sending heart muscle cells into space to understand how microgravity affects their development into tissue-like structures. The findings will be used in cardiac disease modeling, which could be the basis for new heart disease treatments.
RPI’s project centers on the effectiveness of heat transfer devices in space telescopes. The investigation is part of the institute’s exploration of new methods to diagnose heat pipe malfunctions, one of the challenges in cooling next-generation electronic devices.
NASA expects the CRS 19 launch to occur Aug. 1 at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.