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Plop sets off Toulouse to join Thomas Bisquet

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

“The Point” is part of the experiments prepared in Toulouse for Thomas Bisquet’s mission. This unique giant cell, whose behavior has been studied for several years by researcher Audrey Dussottor, will join the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

They’re called Blobby wan kenobi, numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4. These four single-celled “blobs” organisms bred in the Toulouse laboratory of the Center for Research on Animal Cognition (1), fly away this Tuesday, August 10, 2021 Head to the station International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus NG-16 cargo ship to integrate a series of experiments conducted by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Almost a first for this yellow, sticky giant cell of the little-studied class of mucous fungi in microgravity.
On the ground, she is the Director of Research at CNRS Audrey Dsottor who asks. Specializing in Physarum polycephalum, which she renamed “blob” (a reference to the 1958 American science fiction film), the Toulouse woman made her a science star, and a massive promotional tool for telling the story of the living world.

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Thomas Bisquet’s Alpha mission has been prepared in Toulouse

For Thomas Bisquet’s second mission to the International Space Station, she and the National Center for Space Studies, CNES, designed an experiment that will be carried out in parallel on Earth by thousands of schoolchildren. For the astronaut, as for the pupils, it will be a matter of seeing how the dot moves when he is alone and how it grows and connects to the four oatmeal arranged around in a square so that it feeds. And compare the results obtained under different conditions. We’ll see if microgravity causes them to take different paths. We will observe if the absence of gravity changes his perceptual abilities, if his movement is disturbed, ”explains the scientist.

Sterilization and vibration resistance tests

Before flying away, the little balls had to go through a whole series of validation steps: testing the glue they were fixed with, bleaching and 90-degree alcohol baths for sterilization, and tests to make sure they “wet` been wetted once and so wake them up they wouldn’t escape Their box, resistance to vibrations that occur during take-off … As for the box that housed them, designed with the company Toulouse Comate, it was necessary to integrate the lighting and video recording system. Everything was left for the US last April.

The box containing the “blob” was designed in Toulouse with CNES and Comat.
DDM – DDM – Michael Fiala

“Thomas Pesquet won’t see the dots. He won’t even know if his rehydration manipulation works or not. We all hope the photo-saving works!”, Sleeps Audrey Dussoutur.
While waiting for the dots to wake up (the manipulation is due to take place at the end of September on the International Space Station), the researcher and her students, Celia, Emily and Marion, are working hard to ensure that 5,000 students get their pool of experience at the start of the school year.

(1) CRCA / National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

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