I just have to share some fantastic images of astronaut Reid Weisman actuating the fixative onto our space-grown Arabidopsis seedlings. This task was completed on-orbit on October 2. Many thanks to NASA for the outstanding photos!
The actuation for one of our pre-flight tests (called the Payload Verification Test, PVT) had issues back in May. The actuator is like a caulking gun mechanism which pushes a pin into the canister, plunging the fixative onto the petri plate inside which holds our seedlings. In May for our PVT one of the actuations stuck partway; when a tool malfunctions during PVT it is a big deal. After NASA did a bunch of further tests with the tool, it was determined that it was an isolated incident and that the tool and hardware should perform OK in flight. And it did!
Right now our four BRIC canisters are stored in the -80 freezer on the space station. At the end of the week, our BRIC-19 experiment will be packed into a cold bag for return to Earth inside the Dragon capsule. Unberthing of the Dragon is now scheduled for Saturday, October 25. Hopefully our experiment will be back to Kennedy Space Center in Florida by the end of next week.