Survival and Development of Photosynthetic Oxygenic Organisms Tolerant to Space Radiation and Production of Compounds with Anti-Oxidant Properties

The Foton-M2 space mission
2005, May 31-June16

Preparing for the launch…

Rome, National Research Council (Italy).
The algae mutants are ready to be integrate in the Photo-I and Photo-II experiments.

Noordwijk, The Netherlands. At the ESTEC centre of the European Space Agency some members of the Photo team are discussing the last details before leaving to Kazhakstan: (from right) Rene Demets (ESA Project Scientist for the Foton-M2 mission), Maria Teresa Giardi (coordinator of the Photo project), Udo Johanningmeyer and Ivo Bertalan (Institute of Plant Physiology, Martin-Luther Universität, Halle-Wittemberg, Germany).

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
Preparation of the Photo-I experiment. The container is filled with the photosynthetic samples to test in Space.

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
Photo-I is integrated in the Biopan-5 facility.

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
The Photo-II experiment, together with the Liulin dosimeter mounted above, are weighted before being integrated in the capsule.

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
Photo-II is placed inside Foton-M2 capsule few hours before the launch.

…3…2…1…take off!
The launch of Foton-M2 from the Russian cosmodrome in Baikonour (Kazaksthan)

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
The Soyuz rocket with Foton-M2 approaching the launching ramp.

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
The Soyuz rocket is ready to leave the Earth and to put the satellite in orbit at 300 km from the ground.

Baikonour Cosmodrome (Kazaksthan).
May 31, 2005, 12:00 UT. The Soyuz booster rocket skyward with Foton-M2.

Foton-M2 capsule re-enters to Earth

Kazaksthan, not far from the Russian border. June 16, 2005, 07:37 UT.
The Foton-M2 capsule is back to Earth after ~16 days in Space…

…and the experiments are retrieved from the landing site.

Baikonour (Kazaksthan).
The Biopan-5 facility, retrieved from the capsule, shows the signs of the re-entry through the atmosphere.

Baikonour (Kazaksthan).
Photo-I is removed from Biopan-5.