Thursday, May 22, 2014

T-cells from space!

We are all now back in San Francisco after a successful retrieval of our samples from the Dragon capsule!
After Dragon splashed down on May 18, the boat sent to pick it up encounted very high sea levels. We didn't get our samples back until 5pm on May 20. NASA called us to a private airstrip right next to the Long Beach airport, where we waited for all the payloads and cargo to be brought from the dock. As many of the items were continuing on to Johnson Space Center in Houston, everything was loaded onto the airplane before it could be retrieved.

Millie next to her mission summary, STS-40!

Millie, Emily, and I then boarded the plane, put our samples onto dry ice, and set off for San Francisco.

This morning, we disassembled all the hardware and collected our samples. The hardware will be going back with Kayser Italia (who flew into SF) to Italy until SpaceX-5 preparation begins.

We were also able to view the SpaceX factory (unfortunately no pictures allowed) and the Endeavour shuttle exhibit while in LA.
Boarding the charter jet
Thank you Cold Stowage!

SpaceX factory in Hawthorne

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Splashdown - Baja, CA

The Hughes-Fulford Lab is now headed to Long Beach, CA!

Splashdown is projected to occur on May 18. It is approximately 5.5 hours from undocking to splashdown. A boat will go out to sea to pick up the Dragon capsule, where all the samples and payloads will be removed and stored at the appropriate temperatures. The T-cell Activation in Aging samples will be stored in a -80C freezer. The boat then takes a couple of days to return to shore and all samples are transferred to the Long Beach airport. We will pick up our samples directly from the aircraft as many of the other payloads will be flying on to Johnson Space Center in Houston.

We'll bring the samples (still in the Experiment Units) back to our lab in San Francisco. Together with Kayser Italia, who is flying in from Italy, we will disassemble all the hardware and collect the samples in tubes to freeze back. KI will be taking the hardware back to their lab in Italy to prepare for SpaceX-5.