Published: Dec. 21, 2020

This video was created to explain how scientists and engineers work together to keep people who will travel to space (astronauts) safe from the harsh environment in space.  The video was made using only the 1000 most common words in the English language, and pictures, of course.  This video was presented at the Fall 2020 AGU meeting. We hope, at this level, that very young learners and people learning the English language will be able to understand more about this blended science and engineering project.

Research Professor Delores Knipp talks about work done by graduate student, Valerie Bernstein, and undergraduate student, Kaiya Wahl, to determine when bags of yeast cells traveling beyond Earth’s atmosphere would be exposed to harsh space environments.   During the Artemis-I Moon mission bags of yeast cells will be exposed: 1) to a relatively safe space environment inside Earth’s magnetic cover (magnetosphere), and 2) to the harsher environment of the Sun’s wind and the very fast particles (cosmic rays) from other stars.  The cosmic rays can damage the insides of living cells that provide the instructions for how a cell should properly function and multiply.  The science team was able to tell the engineers for this mission (Dr. Luis Zea and others) the dates during the next three years that the Artemis spacecraft and its bags of yeast would be most exposed to cosmic rays.

  • Dr. Delores Knipp is a Research Professor in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department and a Research Associate with the Space Weather Technology Research and Education Center (SWxTREC) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU).
  • Ms. Valerie Bernstein is a Ph D candidate in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department.
  • Ms. Kaiya Wahl is senior-level undergraduate in the CU’s Creative Technology and Design Engineering Department.
  • Dr. Luis Zea is an Assistant Research Professor in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department focusing on bioastronautics.  He is a Co-Investigator of the Artemis-I Mission Team.