June 6, 2011
Astronaut James D. Halsell, Jr., mission commander, uses a Hi-8mm camcorder to videotape the Hand Held Diffusion Test Cells (HHDTC), in the Spacelab Science Module aboard the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Columbia. Each test cell has three chambers containing a protein solution, a buffer solution and a precipitant solution chamber. Using the liquid-liquid diffusion method, the different fluids are brought into contact but not mixed. Over a period of time, the fluids will diffuse into each other through the random motion of molecules. The gradual increase in concentration of the precipitant within the protein solution causes the proteins to crystallize.
Topics: Health Medical Pharma, Separation processes, Laboratory techniques, Phase changes, James D. Halsell, Spacelab, Space science, crystallization, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle program, Protein