vendredi 5 mai 2017

Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist, week of May 1, 2017

ISS - Expedition 51 Mission patch.

May 5, 2017

Image above: International Space Station (ISS) EarthCam view of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA.

(Highlights: Week of May 1, 2017) - Bone loss in space and on Earth is the focus of a month-long investigation that began this week on the International Space Station.

Millions of Americans experience bone loss -- from disease, aging or as a result of being bed-ridden. Reducing the gravitational load on skeletal tissue can accelerate bone loss and the possibility of fractures. The condition is also found in astronauts returning from long voyages in space. New ground-based studies are using magnetic levitation equipment to simulate these gravity-related changes on bone cells. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet set up the Gravitational Regulation of Osteoblast Genomics and Metabolism (OsteoOmics) investigation to test whether magnetic levitation accurately simulates the conditions of microgravity found in space by comparing different types of bone cells from both environments.

Image above: Russian Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin prepares to eat some of the Chinese cabbage that was grown in the Veggie Plant Growth facility as part of the Veg-03 investigation. Image Credit: NASA.

This information could help scientists determine the molecular and genetic changes that take place in either scenario. If it is determined that magnetic levitation is a reasonable simulation for microgravity, future ground studies may assist in finding new ways to treat bone loss during space missions while also providing treatments for people suffering bone loss on Earth.

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer continued more research into bone health, completing a set of ultrasounds for the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint). This NASA Human Research Program study evaluates the use of high-intensity, low-volume exercise training to maintain the health of crew members -- minimizing muscle and bone loss and maintaining cardiovascular function during long-duration missions.

Animation above: European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson worked together on the OsteoOmics investigation. Animation Credit: NASA.

Ultrasound scans are used to evaluate spaceflight-induced changes in the muscle volume. When the study is complete, investigators expect to provide an integrated resistance and aerobic exercise training protocol capable of maintaining muscle, bone and cardiovascular health while reducing total exercise time over the course of a long-duration spaceflight. This will provide valuable information in support of the long-term goal of protecting human fitness for even longer space exploration missions. Data gathered from the investigation also may help scientists develop treatments to aid in muscle, bone and heart health on Earth.

Space station crew members installed a new investigation to research technologies for future space exploration missions. The Passive Thermal Flight Experiment tests thermal management technology to improve the design and performance of a reliable heat transfer system while also reducing the mass and power required to run such a system.

Image above: Crew members on the International Space Station completed a new session of the Genes in Space 2 investigation. Spaceflight causes many changes to the human body, including alterations in DNA and a weakened immune system. This study uses a new technology to study DNA in space to try and safeguard crew health. Image Credit: NASA.

Future human exploration activities will require thermal management systems for the comfort of space travelers as well as the requirements needed by various science investigations. This technology, while intended for use on future spacecraft, would also apply to a variety of needs to transfer heat or cooling on Earth.

Progress was made on other investigations, outreach activities, and facilities this week, including Fluid Dynamics in Space (FLUIDICS), Genes in Space-2 and Strata-1.

Related links:



Passive Thermal Flight Experiment:


Genes in Space-2:


Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Kristine Rainey/Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 51 & 52.

Best regards,

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