Educational & Humanitarian projects on ISS Russian Segment

Chrophyl Experiment

Experiment Chrophyl forms part of the scientific research program performed by Brazilian Astronaut Marcos C. Pontes (BSA) on the Russian Segment of the ISS in the frame of CENTENARIO Brazilian Soyuz Mission Project. The Brazilian Space Agency is a customer of the preparation and implementation of the research program.


Observation of the chlorophyll chromatography process in zero-g conditions with an educational view.


Transmission of a mixture of pigments through a layer of colorless sorbent and registration of colored areas of chromagrams.

Science Hardware Used:

CCM kit which includes:

  • Experimental chambers (2 pc)
  • CCM flash card
  • CCM registration sheets

Two labeled sealed experimental chambers are used in the experiment. Each chamber contains a sheet of chromatographic paper and a syringe filled with a chlorophyll solution. Chlorophyll is produced from leaves of a Brazilian plant and dissolved in ethyl alcohol. The chlorophyll chromatography activation is performed through solution injection to the chromatographic paper. As molecules in chlorophyll pigments have different characteristics (such as size and dissolubility), they move with different velocities over the paper sheet under the effect of solvent (ethylene glycol in this case). Chlorophyll has different pigments (carotenes, xanthophylls, chlorophyll and chlorophyll b) of a typical color. When chlorophyll solution passes through chromatographic paper, molecules of each of pigments behave differently, that results in a phenomenon similar to a "rainbow". As the gravity influences the capillary effect, different chromatograms will be received in zero-g conditions and on the ground. To register the chlorophyll chromatography process, photography performed by onboard aids of the Russian segment is used.

Flight Hardware Used

  • Camera Nikon D1 .

Experiment Results:

Information on the chlorophyll chromatography recorded on the flash card and registration sheets.

ISS Crew