A Long-Duration Commercial Microgravity Mouse Habitat: Waste/Odor Technologies

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bioastronautical Systems Development Co.
975 Waite Dr.
Boulder, CO 80303
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Bioastronautical Systems Development Company (BSDC) proposes to develop habitat technologies for conducting long-term commercial research with mice in microgravity. Our research addresses solicitation section B4.02 Space Commercialization for the design/development of microgravity payloads for space station applications that lead to commercial products or services. In partnership with BioServe Space Technologies, we ultimately seek to offer an efficient, long-duration, EXPRESS-rackcompatible microgravity mouse habitat that will address BioServe?s growing demands from commercial affiliates expressing an interest in conducting research with mice aboard the International Space Station. Our focus on mice stems from the facts that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies perform most pre-clinical examinations (80%) with mice, transgenic laboratory animals are nearly exclusively available in mice, and mice require fewer ISS resources (crew time, mass, volume, etc.) than rats. However, odors from mouse urine are considerably more odiferous than the urine from rats, the traditional animal used in microgravity biology studies. Therefore, this research addresses odor control and sanitation technologies for mouse waste, specifically the examination of various adsorption materials (e.g. carbon, zeolite, and bedding), separating humidity and odor control, and efficacy of a catalytic scrubber.