Six interesting experiments conducted on the ISS currently

20 years have passed since then, as the first components of the International space station (ISS) was launched from Earth. Making a turn around the planet in 90 minutes, and at a distance of 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, the ISS has been the cornerstone of the mission of NASA for most of the last two decades. The ISS is hanging in orbit for a reason. At the station have been thousands of scientific experiments that will help us to understand life among the stars — or to understand life on Earth.

Space.com reports that ISS enough scientific equipment for over 250 different experiments at any given time. Below we will discuss six major scientific experiments which are currently underway on the space station.

Non-gravity environment for research of Parkinson’s disease

At least 10 million people living with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes a decrease in the level of dopamine in the brain and leads to such symptoms as tremor, stiffness, loss of balance and even a decrease in cognitive functions. Notable victims of the disease — actor Michael J. Fox, whose Foundation financed the research for the study and treatment of the disease.

The Fox Foundation has partnered with ISS and explores the protein produced by the gene mutation that can be associated with Parkinson’s disease. Drug therapy directed at protein LRRK2, requires additional information on its crystal structure. The lack of gravity aboard the ISS shall allow the crystals to grow more and get more uniform structure to facilitate study of the Earth using technologies of visualization in high resolution.

For the first time this experiment was sent to the ISS in 2017. The last mission of replenishment with the use of the spacecraft Northrop Grumman prestimulus Cygnus to the space station earlier this month and brought additional equipment to improve the size of crystals for the second series of experiments.

Tissue chips in space

Scientists at NASA and many others have long been studying the effects of microgravity on the human body. A new four-year project Tissue Chips in Space uses a somewhat different approach to space studies of human physiology.

Tissue chips are small chips that contain human cells grown on an artificial platform, to simulate the structure and functions of tissues and organs. The idea is that the scientists on the ISS can use the tissue chips to better understand how microgravity affects the health and diseases of humans and, possibly, to apply the results on the Ground. To date has funded five experiments, the first of which was devoted to the study of muscle atrophy in microgravity.

This program is a collaboration between the National laboratory ISS National centre for the promotion of translational Sciences, part of the National institutes of health. This month will start a new experiment, when the mission resupply SpaceX CRS-16 will make one last flight to the ISS in 2018.

Raise a glass for science

People will not be able to survive on only potatoes, when and if we reach Mars. We need a strategy for finding food, water and shelter on the red planet. Any balanced diet in space should probably include a beer if we want to survive long and strange journey through the Solar system.

Astronauts on Board the ISS is not going to brew beer on their own. Instead, they grow barley seeds provided by the company Anheuser-Busch, to determine how the grain reacts in microgravity. The seeds will show genetic changes or morphological abnormalities? View.

A series of experiments performed using Space Tango, one of the few space startups with which NASA has signed a contract to work aboard a National laboratory of the ISS. The granules are contained in one cubic laboratories the size of a Shoe box. The experimentsare expected to be completed by April 2019.

Recycling in space

Another space startup Made in Space — hit the headlines a few years ago, when sent to the ISS the first 3D printer. This gave the astronauts the ability to produce parts without making the 400-mile journey to Earth.

Now on the ISS experience a new device called Refabricator, the first integrated 3D printer and recycler aboard the space station. Refabricator recycles plastic waste into high-quality filament for 3D printer, providing material for repairs during long missions.

This tool made by the company Tethers Unlimited, which is one of the few commercial enterprises that develop additive manufacturing in space for large structures like satellites. Made in Space, for example, is developing a system Archinaut that will be able to collect satellites or other devices. It is expected that this technology will reduce the cost of launching equipment into space.

Cancer research in space

Parkinson is not the only disease that exploring astronauts. The ISS conducted numerous experiments to cancer research, including studies of protein crystallization, similar to those carried out by the Foundation of Michael J. Fox. Fox.

In addition, the project cultivates Mayo Clinic stem cells to improve our understanding of cancer resistance to chemotherapy. In another project company 490 Biotech is testing a new bioluminescent technology, which is aimed at improving efforts to find cures for cancer therapy.

In fact, on the space station, conducted a series of studies on the search for new drugs. Oncolinx Pharmaceuticals is testing a new immunotherapeutic drug, which is attached to antibodies targeted to cancer cells, increasing efficacy and reducing side effects. Another biotech company called Angiex testing anti-cancer therapies aimed at tumor blood vessels required for tumor growth.

We are star dust

Scientists are studying like Stardust into planets, in the framework of the project Experimental Chondrule Formation at the International Space Station (EXCISS). Hendry, are believed to be the oldest solid material in the Solar system and possibly the building blocks of planets and satellites.

The astronauts aboard the ISS conduct experiments that simulate possible conditions — low gravity and high energy which led to the formation of planets, passing an electrical charge through the silicate dust and turning it into chondro.

The experiment is carried out in the chamber NanoRacks with a tiny vibrating motor, shaker chamber, so that particles of dust were floating in space. Electric charge is supplied every hour, 100 times, and recorded the events on camera.

A better understanding of how the planets formed, can help in the search for inhabited worlds, as well as in understanding the origin and early history of the Earth.

What’s next?

In 20 years of its existence, the ISS has been home to numerous experiments. The space station is located literally a zoo for a variety of organisms, from regenerating worms to geckos wanting to copulate. But the experiments on the ISS is needed not only for space exploration and other forms of life: she studied human physiology. We can only guess about what will bring us the next twenty years in space.

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