The Terry Research Lab Microgravity Project
The Terry Research Lab conducted a microgravity experiment in collaboration with NASA, which involved the use of a capsule that would be placed into a simulator of the small intestine. The simulator operated semi-autonomously during the flight. This raised overall safety by reducing human interaction and allowed for simpler in-flight procedures. The major components of the simulator consisted of a pig intestine, two pressure vessels that were actuated along a guide rail to simulate peristaltic waves in the intestine, and a heating pad to maintain a normal bodily temperature. Software controled the pressure vessels in order to move the capsules through the intestine. After a set amount of time, the capsule released a plate that was meant to attach to the intestine wall as the biosensor would. In-flight procedures involved three flight members. The first flight member used a laptop to run the software that controlled the simulator, the second member inserted the capsule, and the third member watched the simulator to observe capsule movement.
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