Teaching Kits

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars | Haematococcus pluvialis | #PLUVI

About #PLUVI

The Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity (MicroAlgae) experiments conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA scientists studied the effects of microgravity on the ability of Haematococcus pluvialis UTEX 2505 to produce astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant. A community college student, in collaboration with alumnae of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program, proposed this research. NCAS is engaging community colleges across the U.S. to conduct ground studies for comparison with the in-orbit investigation.

This kit includes the "earthbound" UTEX 2505 H. pluvialis strain, the ISS-tested strain, UTEX B 3087 H. pluvialis, and 1 Liter of MES-Volvox Growth Medium.


$260 USD/kit*

*United States Non-Profit Academic and Government Institutions and Affiliated Students/Teachers can purchase this Teaching Kit at a discounted rate of $150 USD. The discount is not available to private or commercial companies. You must have a UTEX Customer Account set up and have submitted the discount request form for approval. The discounted price will automatically be shown once you are logged into your account.

Experiment Suggestions

  • Do the two strains show any differences in their growth rates?
  • Are there differences in astaxanthin production between the two strains?
  • Are the results you see similar to those observed on the International Space Station (ISS)?

Expedition 59 crew member, Christina Koch, kneads each of the four culture bags to more evenly distribute the algae and to allow Microalgae Investigators a view of the fluid dynamics inside the bag. Large clumps of algae would indicate an early sign of stress prior to astaxanthin production. Credit: NASA

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