vendredi 29 décembre 2017

Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist, week of December 18, 2017

ISS - Expedition 54 Mission patch.

Dec. 29, 2017

(Highlights: Week of December 18, 2017) - Last week aboard the International Space Station, crew members received more than 4,800 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of the more than 250 ongoing investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory from the recent SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply. In addition to unpacking tons of new research materials, the space station also welcomed three new crew members– NASA’s Scott Tingle, Roscosmo’s Anton Shkaplerov and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The crew members explored research in the fields of microbiology, animal biology and cellular biology.

Image above: The SpaceX Dragon delivered more than 2 tons of science and supplies to the International Space Station. Here, it is seen off the coast of Indonesia ahead of docking to the orbiting laboratory. Image Credit: NASA.

Arthrospira B, an ESA investigation, is an important step in making improvements in the area of closed regenerative life support systems in space, which will help in making future human exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit a reality. This week, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei retrieved four Arthrospira experiment containers and transferred them to the Columbus module, where they were assembled and installed into the Biolab Incubator. The development of these kinds of regenerative life support systems for spaceflight could also be applied to remote locations on Earth where sustainability of materials is important.

The Cell-Science Validation investigation houses an enhanced cell culture platform that provides undisturbed culture maintenance, including feedback temperature control, medical grade gas supply, perfusion nutrient delivery and removal of waste and automated experiment manipulations. This week, Vande Hei removed the Bioculture System from the SpaceX-13 delivery vehicle and installed it into EXPRESS Rack 7. This incubator supports a wide diversity of tissue, cell, and microbiological cultures and experiment methods to meet spaceflight research experiment goals and objectives.

Image above: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei prepared the Zebrafish experiment unit for the Zebrafish Muscle 2 investigation. Image Credit: NASA.

In microgravity conditions, the postural muscles undergo atrophy because of prominent decrease in their gravity-dependent activity. The Zebrafish Muscle 2, a JAXA investigation, studies muscle atrophy in microgravity. Following the arrival of SpaceX-13, Vande Hei and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba worked to prepare and transport the Zebrafish Experiment Units (EUs) into the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The results from the next three days of Zebrafish Muscle 2 operations will help to determine whether atrophy of muscles under microgravity also occurs in zebrafish, and why that muscle atrophy occurs in microgravity.

Sarcopenia, or muscle loss or atrophy, is a current problem in the health industry on Earth and in space. The Rodent Research-6 investigation studies the efficacy of both a drug compound and a nano-channel drug delivery implant, for their use in the treatment of muscle loss in future spaceflight, and in the treatment of patients with muscle wasting diseases or conditions on Earth. Vande Hei and Acaba readied the habitats in preparation for the investigation’s arrival on Dragon. Upon arrival, health checks were completed on the rodents.

Image above: Seeds for APEX-05 investigation, planted in petri dishes, are grown within the Veggie plant growth facility. Image Credit: NASA.

The Assessing Osteoblast Response to Tetranite™ in Microgravity Conditions to Induce Osteoporosis (Synthetic Bone) investigation grows bone cells in the presence of a commercially available bone adhesive, and a new product called Tetranite™. Determining how well Tetranite™ integrates with bone cell cultures can also inform general strategies for addressing bone loss in space. Last week, Acaba completed the first microscopy of four Synthetic Bone Biocells, two of which were re-inserted into the Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory (SABL) for continued incubation and growth. Results from this investigation could help to inform strategies for addressing bone loss in space.

Other work was done on these investigations: APEX-05, BRIC-LED-001, JAXA Low Temp PCG #2, Payload Card-X, STaARS BioScience-2, Cell-Free Epigenome, Lighting Effects, Marrow, Multi-Omics, Space Headaches, ACE-T-6, DOSIS-3D, MagVector, Area PADLES, BEAM, JEM Internal Ball Camera, Made in Space Fiber Optics and Personal CO2 Monitor.

Related links:

SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply:

Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI):

Rodent Research-6:

Tetranite™ in Microgravity Conditions to Induce Osteoporosis (Synthetic Bone):

Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory (SABL):



JAXA Low Temp PCG #2:

Lighting Effects:



Space Headaches:






JEM Internal Ball Camera:

Made in Space Fiber Optics:

Personal CO2 Monitor:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/John Love, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 53 & 54.


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