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NSSDCA ID: 1972-096A-12

Mission Name: Apollo 17 Command and Service Module (CSM)
Principal Investigator:Prof. Horst Buecker


The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of individual heavy nuclei of galactic cosmic radiation on biologic specimens during spaceflight outside of the magnetosphere of the earth. Specifically it was designed to study effects of high-energy/high-Z particles on a broad spectrum of biologic systems, from the molecular to the highly organized and developed forms of life. A hermetically sealed aluminum container containing a series of monolayers of selected biologic material, each of which was sandwiched between several different types of detectors of galactic cosmic radiation particles, was used. The biologic system included spores or inactive forms of the bacterium Bacillus Subtilis, dry seeds of Arabidopsis Thaliana (commonly known as European water cress), radiculae or embryos of the bean Vicia Fara, and encysted eggs of the tiny brine shrimp Artemia Saline (primitive crustacean). The biologic effects looked for were -- (1) physicochemical inactivation of molecular and cellular functions, (2) radiation-induced damage to nuclei and other subcellular systems, (3) radiation-induced mutations leading to genetic changes of biologic significance, and (4) modification of growth and development of tissues. The stacks were nuclear emulsions Ilford K2 and K5, and plastics of cellulose nitrate, and polycarbonate, as well as lithium flouride thermoluminescent dosimeters.

Alternate Names

  • Apollo17CSM/Biostack

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Federal Republic of Germany)


  • Life Science: None assigned

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Gerda H. HorneckOther InvestigatorUniversity of Frankfurt
Prof. Horst BueckerPrincipal InvestigatorDeutsche Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Selected References

  • Buecker, H., et al., Biostack experiment, in Apollo 17 Prelim. Sci. Rept., NASA SP-330, Wash., DC, 1973.
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