The Space Origami project was our first ever mission. The experiment did not make it to space unfortunately. But here you can learn what it was all about.
Our Mission Goal: Growing the first 3D DNA Origami Crystal in Space
DNA Crystals have great potential in nano technology and robotics, as well as biology and medical engineering.
Why in Space?
We need microgravity: sedimentation and convection forces on earth can influence crystal growth negatively, whereas they are neglectable in microgravity. We are not alone: crystallization experiments have been successfully conducted in space since the 80 ́s and are part of ongoing projects on the ISS. We would be the first: DNA origami nanostructures have not been studied in space. We will gain new insights about DNA as nanomaterial and study its potential for future applications.
We will make use of the DNA origami technique that has been invented 11 years ago: short DNA strands fold a long DNA scaffold strand into 2D and 3D objects. These objects are a thousand times smaller than a human hair is thick. In nature DNA stores genetic information – as DNA origami it becomes a versatile nanomaterial.
We are planning to use either the TangoLabs or the ICECube interface on the ISS. Therefore our experiment mustn’t be larger than 10cm x 10cm x10cm and it needs to be fully automated. We already finished the prototype design and have access to a workshop, as well as labs, where we can work.