lundi 16 juillet 2018

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of July 9, 2018

ISS - Expedition 56 Mission patch.

July 16, 2018

Last week, Progress, a Russian resupply spacecraft, delivered more than 5,700 pounds of crew supplies and cargo to the crew members aboard the International Space Station. Monday’s arrival of the spacecraft set a milestone for station operations by arriving with its cargo in just 3 hours and 40 minutes, or only two Earth orbits.

Image above: The Progress 43 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, headed for the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.

Read more details about scientific work last week aboard your orbiting laboratory:

Blood samples collected in support of JAXA investigations

Blood carries molecular signals released from cells inside the body. For the Cell-Free Epigenome (CFE) study, blood samples are collected from astronauts and cellular genes are analyzed. The results provide insight into how human bodies function during spaceflight. The Medical Proteomics investigation evaluates changes of proteins in blood serum, bone and skeletal muscles after space flight, and also supports identification of osteopenia-related proteins.

Image above: The Plant Habitat-1 compares differences in genetics, metabolism, photosynthesis, and gravity sensing between plants grown in space and on Earth. This investigation provides key insights on major changes occurring in plants exposed to microgravity. Image Credit: NASA.

By combining research results for mice, astronauts and ground patients, proteins related to osteopenia can be identified using the latest proteome analysis technique. It is anticipated that the use of the marker proteins related to osteopenia will be of benefit in the future for assessing the health of astronauts as well as osteoporosis patients on ground.

Last week, crewmembers collected blood samples in support of both investigations.

Experiment investigates protein associated with various diseases

Amyloid fibril is the protein aggregation that is known to be associated with various diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. To develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease, it is important to clarify the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation. In the Characterization of Amyloid Formation Under Microgravity Environment: Toward Understanding the Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases (Amyloid) investigation, researchers prepare the high-quality homogeneous amyloid fibrils using the microgravity environment, and bring back the samples to characterize the fibrillation process and intermediate structure.

Image above: Mt. Rainier as seen from the vantage point of the space station. Image Credit: NASA.

Last week, crew members transferred the Amyloid samples from a -95 degree Celsius container within the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) to a 2 degree Celsius container, then attached to the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to incubate before being placed back into MELFI.

Study examines spaceflight impact on sperm cells

The survival of multiple generations of organisms beyond the Earth requires proper function of normal sperm and eggs cells. There exists a significant knowledge gap on impacts of spaceflight conditions on the fertility-dependent functions of sperm. The goal of the Spaceflight-Altered Motility Activation and Fertility-Dependent Responses in Sperm (Micro-11) investigation is to study how sperm cells are affected by the spaceflight environment.

Image above: NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor conducts Micro-11 operations in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). Image Credit: NASA.

Last week, the crew performed five runs of the Micro-11 investigation. For each run, the Micro-11 microscope was checked out, configured and calibrated before samples were fixed and loaded into the device for imaging. Finally, the samples were stored in MELFI. There will be 13 runs conducted for the Micro-11 investigation.

Other work was done on these investigations:, CEO, HDEV, Probiotics, Space Algae, HREP-HICO, HREP-RAIDS, Biomolecule Sequencer, MICS, ACE-M-2, Made in Space-Fiber Optics, Rodent Research-7, LMM Biophysics-4, Neuromapping, MagVector, MICS, Food Acceptability, MELFI, Angiex Cancer Therapy, Biochem Profile, Repository, Atomization, SAMS-II and Manufacturing Device.

Space to Ground: Same Day Delivery: 07/13/2018

Related links:

Cell-Free Epigenome (CFE):

Medical Proteomics:

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

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF):

Spaceflight-Altered Motility Activation and Fertility-Dependent Responses in Sperm (Micro-11):




Space Algae:



Biomolecule Sequencer:



Made in Space-Fiber Optics:

Rodent Research-7:

LMM Biophysics-4:




Food Acceptability:


Angiex Cancer Therapy:

Biochem Profile:




Manufacturing Device:

Expedition 56:

Spot the Station:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Yuri Guinart-Ramirez, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 55 & 56.

Best regards,

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