ISS - Expedition 52 Mission patch.
July 21, 2017
(Highlights: Week of July 17, 2017) - Crew members on the International Space Station spend a lot of time studying human physiology to keep future space travelers safe on long journeys and improve life for people on Earth.
Astronauts completed a session for the Effects of Long-Duration Microgravity on Fine Motor Skills (Fine Motor Skills) investigation. Fine motor skills are crucial for successfully interacting with touch-based technologies, repairing sensitive equipment and a variety of other tasks. The investigation is the first fine motor skills study to measure long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after returning to Earth’s gravity. The investigation involves a series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet and may have wide-reaching benefits for elderly patients, people with motor disorders or patients with brain injuries on Earth undergoing rehabilitation for conditions that impair fine motor control.
Image above: NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson posted this image to her Twitter account (@AstroPeggy) of her storing blood samples in the International Space Station's ultra-cold freezer for eventual return to Earth. Image Credit: NASA.
NASA is studying how spaceflight changes the body's shape and size while in orbit. The Quantification of In-Flight Physical Changes – Anthropometry and Neutral Body Posture (Body Measures) investigation collects photos and videos as well as measurements of all body segments (i.e., chest, waist, hip, arms, legs, etc.) from astronauts before, during and after visits to the space station. Body mass is also recorded.
Long-term changes in crewmembers’ bodies could require new designs for suits, clothing, and work stations to maximize health and efficiency during future space missions. The investigation also could help scientists understand the effects of prolonged bed rest, which produces physiological changes similar to those experienced in microgravity. Results could improve the Neutral Body Posture template, based on the normal curvature of the spine, which is used in a wide range of design standards for ergonomic equipment and medical care.
Space station astronauts 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.
Image above: NASA astronaut Jack Fischer takes an ultrasound of his eyes during a routine medical check. Image 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 to Ground: A Giant Leap: 07/21/2017
Video above: NASA's Space to Ground is a weekly update on what is happening on the International Space Station. Social media users can post with #spacetoground to ask questions or make a comment. Video Credit: NASA.
Other investigations showing progress this week included Magnetic 3D Cell Culture for Biological Research in Microgravity (Magnetic 3D Cell Culturing), Capillary Structures for Exploration Life Support (Capillary Structures), Cardio Ox, MELFI-2, ISS-Ham Radio, Dose Tracker and Rodent Research-5.
Fine Motor Skills: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1767.html
Body Measures: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1070.html
Magnetic 3D Cell Culturing: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1929.html
Capillary Structures: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2364.html
Cardio Ox: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/931.html
ISS-Ham Radio: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/346.html
Dose Tracker: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1933.html
Rodent Research-5: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2283.html
Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html
International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Kristine Rainey/Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 51 & 52.
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