Global balloon challenge won by LEO3 team
19 August 2016Let’s Explore Ozone - LEO3 Stratospheric Project coordinated by the members of Advanced Concepts Team won the 1st prize for the best scientific experiment in the 2016 Global Space Balloon Challenge. 2016 Global Space Balloon Challenge.
In this year LEO3 was investigating the effect of near space environment for early stress responses in various biological organisms such yeasts, Antarctic lichens and plants. Among selected species, the most resistant organisms were yeasts and lichens. NMR analysis revealed increased levels of free paramagnetic radicals in the stratospheric samples of lichens. In contrary to yeasts and lichens, plants were more sensitive to the flight conditions. Early stress response genes were screened in Arabidopsis Thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum. Interestingly, Nicotiana tabacum cells were more viable after the flight then control what means, that fast protective mechanisms might be activated inside the stressed cells.
The mission was launched in two balloon flights during the Near Space Conference organized by Copernicus Project Foundation in Torun on 16th of April 2016.