CSS is at the forefront of life sciences R&D that support both Earth and Space science. We were selected to develop an experiment payload to examine the effect of microgravity throughout the various stages of fermentation. The viticulture, or winemaking, industry has been selectively growing vine cultivars with different traits for millennia. The micro flora that coexists with the plant and fruit may be one of the key factors that influence the final product. To better understand the role and impact of microbes, a key approach would be to observe and measure the potential phenotypic and genotypic differences of the micro flora when they are exposed to a unique and/or stressful environment.  Use of the ISS provides a unique environmental stressor consistently for microbial activity to occur in the grape juice and demonstrate micro flora expression throughout the critical stages of fermentation. This research can be targeted toward improving universal crop production characteristics including yield, size, nutrition, etc. for a positive impact for use in space exploration as well as Earth application. 

The primary objective of this investigation was to induce fermentation in microgravity conditions representing a unique environmental stressor to important microbes responsible for fermentation. We hypothesized that the growth kinetics would trend differently amongst the existing populations of microbes native to the grapes, and that different microbial types would proliferate and become the dominant species in the fermenting juices when exposed to environmental stressors, and that these differences in expression would have an impact on various elements of grape juice as it ferments.

Additional Projects

Decontamination Field Tests for EPA

CSS staff helped design, plan for, and implement field tests of decontamination technologies and methods using MB for EPA’s Consequence Management Advisory Division.

Procedures, Plans, and Training to Support Emergency Response

CSS provided health and safety, field, and analytical support for EPA’s Consequence Management Advisory Division.

Analytical Chemistry Support for the US EPA National Aquatic Resource Survey

CSS chemically analyzes hundreds of water samples collected annually from the US EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS), a critical contribution to the EPA assessments of the condition of the nation’s water bodies.

Facilities Operations & Maintenance

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IT Services

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Safety, Health, & Environmental

We provide our clients with tools to protect their workforce, the public, and the environment.

Earth & Space Science Support & Operations

We deliver scientific support to advance our clients’ research goals.

Environmental Resource Assessment & Management

We apply science to address challenges affecting the nation’s natural resources.

Human Health Risk Assessment

We help advance the understanding of chemical effects on people and the environment.

Satellite Data Applications

Helping create a more environmentally sustainable, weather-ready, and secure nation through application of earth observation data  

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