ISS - Expedition 52 Mission patch.
Aug. 4, 2017
Image above: International Space Station crew members captured this image of Typhoon Noru as it approached the Pacific Asian coast on Aug. 1. Image Credit: NASA.
(Highlights: Week of July 31, 2017) - Three new crew members arrived at the International Space Station and immediately began work on investigations into how the human body reacts to microgravity.
Veteran ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli collected blood samples during his first full week on the space station for the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) Bone Marrow Adipose Reaction: Red Or White (MARROW) investigation. MARROW measures fat changes in bone marrow before and after exposure to microgravity. Bone marrow is a vital organ responsible for the production of all red and white blood cells. Fat cells share the same space with blood-producing cells in bone marrow and, during prolonged bed rest on Earth, can grow at the expense of blood-producing cells. Scientists want to learn whether changes in bone marrow fat in space can help explain abnormalities detected in blood cells in microgravity, specifically, the changes of red and white blood cell functions.
Image above: European Space Agency astronaut Paoli Nespoli performs an investigation into muscle atrophy in space using the Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System on the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.
In space, the bone marrow fat is measured using magnetic resonance, while red blood cell function is measured by analyzing a breath sample with a gas chromatograph, and white blood cell function is studied through the cells' genetic expression. Data from this study may lead to treatments that would enable safer human space exploration and better recovery from prolonged bed rest on Earth.
Nespoli joined NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy for research into muscle atrophy in space for the Myotendinous and Neuromuscular Adaptation to Long-term Spaceflight (Sarcolab-3) study involving the Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System (MARES). This investigation studies the adaptation and deterioration of the soleus, or calf muscle, where it joins the Achilles tendon, which links it to the heel and carries loads from the entire body. Muscle fiber samples are taken from crew members before and after flight and analyzed for changes in structural or chemical properties. MRI and ultrasound tests and electrode stimulation are conducted to help assess muscle and tendon changes caused by microgravity exposure.
Image above: NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, left, and Jack Fischer work in JAXA's (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Kibo laboratory on the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.
By understanding the mechanisms behind loss of muscle mass in space, scientists can develop countermeasures that are more effective for the crews -- pharmacological, dietary or exercise-based – and maintain or improve the health and performance of astronauts in orbit. Scientists also can gain insight into certain muscular conditions on Earth. Solutions developed for astronauts could be used for rehabilitation of patients with a variety of muscular conditions.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer worked on a study monitoring solar radiation called the Dose Distribution Inside the International Space Station-3D (DOSIS-3D) investigation. DOSIS-3D uses several active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses. The goal of the ESA investigation is to create a 3-D radiation map covering all sections of the orbiting laboratory, documenting the nature and distribution of the radiation field inside the orbiting laboratory. On Earth, flight crews and nuclear power plant workers are exposed to greater-than-average radiation. DOSIS-3D also provides insight into combining different devices for dosage monitoring and lessons in how to monitor real-time data. This could improve radiation monitoring for commercial and military airline crews, as well as other workers exposed to radiation on Earth.
Space to Ground: A Stunning Launch: 08/04/2017
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.
Progress was made on other investigations this week, including: Fine Motor Skills, Rodent Research-5, Microbial Tracking, MELFI, DELIC, ISS Ham, Food Acceptability, NanoRacks Platform-2, Meteor, MagVector, Space Headaches, SABL, Cool Flames, and Dose Tracker.
Bone Marrow Adipose Reaction: Red Or White (MARROW): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1931.html
Myotendinous and Neuromuscular Adaptation to Long-term Spaceflight (Sarcolab-3): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/738.html
Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System (MARES): http://blogs.esa.int/iriss/2015/09/07/the-mares-machine/
Dose Distribution Inside the International Space Station-3D (DOSIS-3D): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/184.html
Fine Motor Skills: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1767.html
Rodent Research-5: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2283.html
Microbial Tracking: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1920.html
ISS Ham: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/346.html
Food Acceptability: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1258.html
Space Headaches: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/181.html
Cool Flames: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1947.html
Dose Tracker: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1933.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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