Team Gravitron Launches Falcon9 Scale Model

Tuesday, December 16th, 2:31 EDT – Wyatt Lab Team Graviton Members celebrated the BRIC-20 spaceflight experiment by launching a scale model of the Falcon9 rocket at 2:31 pm in Bicentennial Park on Ohio University Campus. Originally, the Athens launch was set to correspond exactly with the NASA launch at the Kennedy Space Center but NASA pushed their launch back to December 19th.


Meet Colin Kruse

colinB.S. Chemistry, Ohio University (2012) 
OHIO University, Athens, OH

Colin joined Dr. Wyatt’s research group in the fall of 2014. Currently his work includes two projects: 1) analysis of RNA from plants flown on the International Space Station and 2) tool development for network analysis of gene expression data. The spaceflown plants were grown from seed in the microgravity environment of space and could prove crucial in the identification of gravity related genes. Colin currently serves as lab manager allowing him the opportunity to learn the logistics involved with supporting a large group of highly active undergraduate researchers.

Colin is also applying to graduate school with hopes of joining the Wyatt Lab as a master’s student.

Ready for Blast Off – Schedule, Activities, and Updates

_ready4scienceFollow the link below for the updated launch schedule and to learn about what the Gravitron Team is doing in preparation for BRIC-20 Blast Off. You too can get involved: sign up for email alerts, join the group call on launch day, and participate in the Athens launch of a scale model of the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. Join the fun!

And if you’re on Facebook, you can find us here:

My Plant Story – Colin Kruse

Sea Base
Colin Kruse

colinAs a boy scout, I was able to go to the high adventure camp Sea Base in the Florida Keys. While there, I was exposed to some of the most exotic and interesting plant species I have ever seen. From the mangroves that build their own islands, to the clay-red “gumbo” trees on Boy Scout Island and even the Sargasm that plagued the beaches, all of it was so new and interesting. The climax of the journey was seeing one of the few millennia old, silver thatch palms whose slow and steady growth make them one of the few trees to brave hurricane after hurricane and survive to nearly the age of the redwoods.

Ready for the Science: SpaceX CRS-5 to Launch 01/06/2015

Ready for the Science: The BRIC-20 space experiment has officially cleared the PVT project milestone and is scheduled to launch January 6th, 2014 at 2:31 EDT.

The BRIC-20 experiment will fly aboard the fifth SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services Flight (SpaceX CRS-5). Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. SpaceX CRS-5 will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station, as well as our Arabidopsis thaliana seeds.

Stay tuned for updates. And in the meantime, you may learn more about the NASA mission here.

Anatomy of a Space Experiment

How to Send Your Experiment into Space: Anatomy of a Space Experiment

Scientists studying the effects of gravity face the difficulty of designing experiments that isolate the effects of gravity. Ideally, this means conducting an experiment in the absence of gravity – no easy task while on Earth. Certainly, the best place to run a long-term gravity experiment is space or while orbiting the Earth in microgravity conditions; however, getting your experiment into space might be as hard as neutralizing gravity on Earth. This is the dilemma Dr. Sarah Wyatt faced in the search for the genes controlling the signaling pathways of plants responding to changes in gravity.

When NASA Research sent out a call for research proposals for the International Space Station (ISS), Wyatt recognized an opportunity for the Wyatt Lab to take their gravitropism research to the next level. Perhaps you have an experiment you want to run aboard the ISS? Or maybe you just want to know what it takes to get on the ISS research roster. The following briefly describes some of the major milestones in designing and deploying an experiment in space.

Figure 1: NASA BRIC-20 Major Project Milestones

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