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

Cleaning Up the National Anthrax Attack

Challenge CSS working alongside of the U. S. Centers for Disease Control characterized the extent of building contamination and subsequently determined that the entire 100,000 foot building and contents would need to be decontaminated. A novel method needed to be developed and implemented for cleaning the massive number of mail pouches, packages and artifacts destined…

Network Engineering Design and Support

CSS engineers and deploys large-scale networks to support multi-campus and multi-facility environments.

Red Hill Drinking Water Crisis

CSS supported the U.S. EPA Red Hill response operations in Hawaii in early 2022.

Environmental Resource Assessment & Management

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

Facilities Operations & Maintenance

We understand your facility support needs and deliver customized solutions.

Human Health Risk Assessment

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

Safety, Health, & Environmental

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

Satellite Data Applications

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

Emergency Preparedness & Response

We help our clients prepare for and protect the health and environment of communities after disasters and hazmat releases.

Earth & Space Science Support & Operations

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

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