Tanpopo, a dandelion in Japanese, is a plant species whose seeds with floss are spread by wind. We propose this mission to examine possible interplanetary migration of microbes, and organic compounds at the Exposure Facility of Japan Experimental Module (JEM: KIBO) of the International Space Station (ISS). The Tanpopo mission consists of six subthemes: Capture of microbes in space (Subtheme 1), exposure of microbes in space (Subtheme 2), analysis of organic compounds in interplanetary dust (Subtheme 3), exposure of organic compounds in space (Subtheme 4), measurement of space debris at the ISS orbit (Subtheme 5), and evaluation of ultra low-density aerogel developed for the Tanpopo mission (Subtheme 6). “Sample Trays” for exposure of microbes and organic materials and “Sample Aerogel Panels” for aerogel will be launched. The trays and panels will be placed on the Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM) in the ISS. The ExHAM with trays and panels will be placed on the Exposure Facility of KIBO (JEM) with the Japanese robotic arms through the airlock of KIBO. The trays and panels will be exposed for more than one year and will be retrieved and returned to the ground for the analyses.
2014 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences