Detail View: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection: Interferometer Protein Crystal Growth (IPCG) system

Name of Image: 
Interferometer Protein Crystal Growth (IPCG) system
Full Description: 
The Interferometer Protein Crystal Growth (IPCG) experiment was designed to measure details of how protein molecules move through a fluid. It was flown on the STS-86 mission for use aboard Russian Space Station Mir in 1998. It studied aspects of how crystals grow - and what conditions lead to the best crystals, details that remain a mystery. IPCG produces interference patterns by spilitting then recombining laser light. This let scientists see how fluid densities - and molecular diffusion - change around a crystal as it grows in microgravity. The heart of the IPCG apparatus is the interferometer cell comprising the optical bench, microscope, other optics, and video camera. IPCG experiment cells are made of optical glass and silvered on one side to serve as a mirror in the interferometer system that visuzlizes crystals and conditions around them as they grow inside the cell. This view shows the optical bench. The growth cell would be on the right side. The principal investigator was Dr. Alexander McPherson of University of California, Irvine. Co-investigators are William Witherow and Dr. Marc Pusey of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).
Date of Image: 
1998-01-05
Category: 
Microgravity
(MRPO) MRD-SPD Discipline(s): 
Biotechnology
(MRPO) Subject Type: 
Hardware
term: 
IPCG
facet_what: 
Russian Mir Space Station
facet_where: 
California
facet_when: 
1998
facet_when_year: 
1998
Reference Number: 
MSFC-75-SA-4105-2C
MIX #: 
0004384
NIX #: 
MSFC-0004384
MSFC Negative Number: 
0004384
UID: 
SPD-MARSH-0004384
original url: 
http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/abstracts.php?p=768