Home Science Cutting-edge experiments ride SpaceX’s 26th C

Cutting-edge experiments ride SpaceX’s 26th C

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SpaceX’s 26th Commercial Resupply Mission (CRS) international space station From NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in late November. The Dragon spacecraft will carry science experiments and technology demonstrations investigating growing plants in space, creating nutrients on demand, building in space, and more.

Here are some details of the research launched to the space station:

Big expectations for small tomatoes

A continuous source of nutritious food is essential for long-term exploration missions, and the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet may need to be supplemented with fresh food produced in space. Mn. Researchers are testing plant growth units at stations known as vegetable We have successfully grown a variety of leafy vegetables. Vege-05The next step in that work is focused on growing dwarf tomatoes.

Gioia Massa, NASA Life Science Project Scientist and VEG, said: -05 Chief Investigator. “We are also looking at the overall impact of growing, tending, and eating crops on the behavioral health of crew members. All of this will provide valuable data for future space exploration. .”

Massa adds that tomatoes can be eaten raw, are highly nutritious and widely consumed. The dwarf cherry tomato variety used in the study, Red Robin, grew well during ground trials and produced large quantities of nutritious and palatable fruit.

diagnosis on the spot

moon microscope Test an on-board medical diagnostic kit that includes a portable handheld microscope and a small, self-contained blood sample stainer. Astronauts will take a blood sample, stain it, acquire an image with a microscope, and transmit the image to the ground. On the ground, aviation surgeons use them to diagnose diseases and prescribe treatments.

“There are no significant clinical issues on the space station, but the crew is experiencing changes in their immune systems,” said NASA immunologist and principal investigator Brian Crucian. Increased stressors and reduced ability to care for crew members.This combination may increase certain clinical risks.This project will be highly miniaturized and adapted to microgravity and operational constraints. It is designed to create diagnostic lab capabilities that allow sick crews to perform blood smears, imaging, and sending images in minutes.”

The kit will not only provide diagnostic capabilities for crews in space or on the surface of the Moon or Mars, but also the ability to test water, food, and surface contamination. This hardware could also enable improved medical monitoring on future Artemis and Gateway missions.

Building larger structures

On Earth, gravity deforms large objects such as beams used in large-scale construction. Microgravity allows the fabrication of longer and thinner structures without this deformation. push out It demonstrates the technique of using liquid resin to create shapes and forms that cannot be created on Earth. A light-curing resin is injected into a pre-made flexible foam and a camera captures footage of the process. The ability to use these forms has the potential to build structures such as space stations, solar arrays, and instruments in space.

“This experiment utilizes a microgravity environment to extrude both general and complex branch geometries. It may shorten and support future space construction of large structures such as trusses and antennas.

of space exploration initiative It supports a wide range of microgravity and lunar research across science, engineering, art and design. This experiment is packed inside the Nanoracks Black Box along with several other experiments from the MIT Media Lab. ISS National Lab.

nutrients on demand

Providing adequate nutrition is a major challenge for maintaining crew health on future long-term space missions. Many vitamins, nutrients, and pharmaceuticals have expiration dates, and the ability to manufacture such compounds on demand could help maintain the health and well-being of the crew. Bionutrient-2 We test a system that produces key nutrients from yogurt, a fermented milk product known as kefir, and yeast-based beverages.

The study begins a five-year Phase 2 Bionutrition The program is led by NASA’s Ames Research Center and managed by Game Changing Development, NASA’s Space Technology and Mission Directorate.The program began with the launch of Bionutrition-1 BioNutrients-2 employs a small system with a heated incubator that promotes the growth of beneficial organisms.

“For this experiment, we’ll add follistatin, a protein therapeutic used to maintain muscle mass, and the fermented dairy products yogurt and kefir,” said NASA Ames principal investigator John Hogan. . “We are also testing a new lightweight bag system for effective microbial storage and growth in microgravity, and evaluating food-safety technology.” We plan to manipulate the strain to create up to four nutritional products.

Researchers are also working to find efficient ways to use local resources to manufacture bulk products such as plastics, construction binders and raw materials chemicals. Designed to reduce, increase self-sufficiency and extend the reach of human exploration.

Adding solar power

Two Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSA) aboard SpaceX-22 will be launched and installed in 2021. expansion Space station energy production capacity. A second set will be launched in the trunk of SpaceX-26, providing a 20-30% power increase for space station research and operations.

“The first two arrays are performing very well,” said Matt Mickle, Senior Development Project Manager at Boeing. “The solar cells are much more powerful than the previous generation. We made minor changes to the hardware for subsequent launches to improve operational efficiency.”

These arrays are the second of three packages and upgrade 50% of the station’s power channels.The deployment of solar array technology first took place in tested ROSA is used on NASA’s DART asteroid mission, gateway A lunar outpost, a key component of NASA’s Artemis mission. The iROSA program is a great example of using the space station as a testing ground for the technology and research needed to further explore space.

Relaxation of gravitational transition

Every space traveler faces a transition from one gravitational field to another. On future exploration missions, an astronaut may encounter three different gravitational fields: weightlessness while traveling through space, the gravity of another planet, and the gravity of the Earth upon return. These transitions affect spatial orientation, head-eye-hand-eye coordination, balance, and locomotion, and may cause some crew members to experience space sickness.

Falcon Goggles hardware captures high-speed video of the subject’s eyes, providing accurate data on eye alignment and balance.

“These goggles can better inform researchers about the effects of microgravity on crew members and their ability to adapt and work in the new gravity,” said Shelley Woble, Ph.D., NASA associate flight scientist. said. Human Research Program“Such a device would be invaluable for preparing astronauts for long-term exploration missions to the Moon and Mars, and could also improve similar technology on Earth.”

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