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Payload 06 Information

Payload Flight Number:

2013 - 06

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Payload Title:

Air Spora Trapping and Recovery Operation (ASTRO)

Student Leader:
  • Jessica Sandoval
  • Department of Biological Engineering
  • Room H414
  • 450 Memorial Drive
  • Cambridge,MA 02139
  • Email:jsand@mit.edu
Faculty Advisor:
  • Christopher Carr
  • MIT Department of Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
  • MGH Molecular Biology Simches Building
  • 185 Cambridge Street
  • Boston, MA 02114
  • Email:chrisc@mit.edu
  • Office:(617) 253-0786
Payload class:
Payload ID Number:
2.15 kg
270 mA
Serial Commands:
Discrete Commands:
Payload Specification & Integration Plan
Due: 06/21/2013
Payload Integration Certification
Scheduled: 08/02/2013
Flight Operation Plan
Due: 07/26/2013
Final Flight / Science Report
Due: 12/13/2013
The goal of Air Spora Trapping and Recovery Operation (ASTRO) is to collect samples of the trace fungal spore populations present at the upper atmosphere with an efficient electrostatic trap. We will later sequence the genomes of our samples, and compare them to those of their land-based relatives. By doing so, we will be able to determine similarities and differences in genes with the corresponding land-based species. The sequences of the high-altitude organisms could potentially indicate genetic adaptations to the extreme conditions of the upper atmosphere. The long-term goal of the project is to enhance our designs and apply them to future projects, such as air spora sampling using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Our team is comprised of a student project leader, Jessica Sandoval, three undergraduate engineering students, each with a particular responsibility corresponding to a subsystem of the device, and our mentor and facilitating research scientist, Christopher Carr. Our team is highly interdisciplinary, currently involving four different MIT departments.
Payload Application:

Payload Integration Plan: