Crew Researching Mice – Human Impacts

Mice and microbe research are underway aboard the space station.
Aurora and Night Sky
Mice and microbe research are underway aboard the International Space Station.

Microbe and mice research continue on ISS. The aurora and the night sky above Earth’s atmosphere are pictured from the space station. A portion of the station’s solar arrays and a pair of nitrogen/oxygen recharge system tanks are pictured in the foreground.

The three orbiting crew members living on the International Space Station today explored the effects of microgravity on mice and microbes to understand how living in space impacts humans. Cargo transfers are also underway on the orbital complex after the arrival of the latest resupply ship.

A pair of life science experiments observing mice are being worked today to research how the weightless environment of space impacts bones, muscles and the immunity system. For the Rodent Research-5 study today, NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer observed how drug therapies on mice may offset the negative health impacts of spaceflight. The duo also set up gear for a new study, the Multi-Omics Mouse experiment, which will be launched on the next Space Dragon mission and will evaluate the impacts of space environment and prebiotics on astronauts’ immune function.

The crew also collected saliva samples and stowed them in a science freezer for later microbe analysis on Earth. Station surfaces were also swabbed and air samples were taken to help scientists identify the microbes living on the station and how they may change on orbit.

Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin continued unloading the 3,000 pounds of food, fuel and supplies delivered last week aboard the Progress 67 resupply ship. The veteran station cosmonaut also had some time set aside to update the station’s inventory system and check on Russian science experiments.


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AURORA LIGHTS AND SCIENCE FROM ISS

The aurora is pictured as the International Space Station orbits Earth during a nighttime pass.

Viewing an aurora lights display while passing over earth on the night side is nothing less than spectacular. Read on about the exciting scientific research and experimentation that continues. Not only are the crew of the International Space Station improving life in space, they are constantly streamlining and saving the space program money with the latest innovations.

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The aurora is pictured as the International Space Station orbits Earth during a nighttime pass.

NASA is planning human spaceflight missions further out into space and is learning how astronauts adapt to life off Earth for months and years at a time. The International Space Station provides the laboratory environment for numerous studies into how the human body reacts when exposed to microgravity.

Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet, from the European Space Agency, is wearing the new SkinSuit to study its ability to offset the effects of living in space including back pain and spine-stretching. The unique, tailor-made suit squeezes the body from the shoulder to the feet mimicking the force felt on Earth. Pesquet is evaluating the SkinSuit’s comfort, range of motion and its functionality while exercising.

Lighting is also very important when living in space since the daily sunrise and sunset cycle that guides life on Earth no longer applies. The crew is participating in tests helping researchers understand how new station lights that can be adjusted for intensity and wavelength are affecting crew sleep patterns and cognitive performance.

The cosmonauts, Oleg Novitskiy, Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov, were conducting their own set of human research experiments today. The trio collected blood and saliva samples to explore how the immune system and bone mass is affected in outer space. The samples were stowed in a U.S. science freezer for later analysis on Earth.

With aurora lights being viewed above, the Orbital ATK is getting ready for launch in March with more cargo for ISS. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is moved to its launch pad prior to its launch on the Orbital ATK CRS-6 mission in 2016. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

NASA, Orbital ATK and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are now targeting launch of Orbital ATK’s seventh commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station on March 19 during a 30-minute window that opens at approximately 10:56 p.m. EDT. This date takes into account space station operations, payload processing, and range availability. Orbital ATK has contracted with ULA for an Atlas V rocket for the mission, which will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Please note: When multiple articles are published regarding singular/similar events during a specific time period, Universal Digest will combine detail into one article. This is still mostly unedited material written by the same author.

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