Space XCRS-22 mission to space station launches tardigrades, squid and solar panels

Cell Science-04 is conducting research to fly tardigrade or tardigrade to space stations to identify genes involved in adaptation and survival in high stress environments. Credits: University of Wyoming Thomas Boothby

The 22nd SpaceX Freight Supply Mission, which will conduct scientific research and technology demonstrations, will be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station by June 3.

The payload highlights of this supply mission are:

Tardigrades occupy the universe

Known as the tardigrade tardigrade due to its microscopic appearance and common underwater habitat, it is a small living creature that can withstand more extreme environments than most living organisms. It turns them into model organisms for studying biological survival on Earth and under extreme conditions on Earth. space .. In addition, researchers have developed a method to sequence the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius exemplaris and to measure how different environmental conditions affect the gene expression of tardigrade. Cell Science-04 characterizes the molecular biology of short-term and multigenerational survival of tardigrade and identifies genes involved in adaptation and survival in high-stress environments.

The results can help us better understand the stressors that affect humans in space and support the development of countermeasures. “Space travel can be a really challenging environment for living things, including humans evolved into the state of the earth,” says senior researcher Thomas Boothby. “One of the things we really want to do is learn about how tardigrades survive and reproduce in these environments and what tricks they use to protect astronauts. The point is to understand if they can be customized. “

These immature dango squids (Euprymna scolopes) are part of UMAMI, a study investigating whether space is changing the symbiotic relationship between squid and the bacterium Vibriofischeri. Credits: Jamie S. Foster, University of Florida

Symbiotic squids and microorganisms in weightlessness

Umami studies the effects of space travel on molecular and chemical interactions between beneficial microorganisms and their animal hosts. Microorganisms play an important role in the normal development and maintenance of animal tissues, human health and a healthy digestive system. Immune System “We don’t fully understand how space travel is changing these beneficial interactions,” said Jamie Foster, senior researcher at UMAMI. In umami experiments, we used dango squid that glowed in the dark. , Addressing these important issues in animal health. “

Dango squid, dango squid, is an animal model used to study the symbiotic relationship between two species. This study will help determine if space travel is changing mutually beneficial relationships. This can support the development of protection and mitigation measures to maintain the health of astronauts on long-term space missions. This study may also lead to a better understanding of the complex interactions between animals and beneficial microorganisms, including new ways in which microorganisms communicate with animal tissues. This knowledge can help find ways to protect and strengthen these relationships in order to improve the health and wellbeing of people on earth.

Ultrasound on site

Butterfly IQ Ultrasound demonstrates the use of portable ultrasound in combination with mobile computing devices under weightlessness. This study collects feedback from the crew on the simplicity and quality of ultrasound images, including image acquisition, display, and storage.

“This type of off-the-shelf technology has the potential to provide critical medical functions for future exploration missions beyond low-earth orbit where immediate ground support is not available,” said Kadambari Suri, integrated manager of Butterfly iQ technology demonstrations. Specified. Also find out how effective just-in-time instructions are for the crew to use the device autonomously. This technology could also be applied to medical care in remote, isolated environments on Earth.

Space XCRS-22 mission to space station launches tardigrade, octopus and solar panels

Cotton seedlings for the TICTOC survey are ready to fly. TICTOC investigates how the structure of the root system influences the resilience, the efficiency of water use and the carbon sequestration of cotton plants in an important phase of seedling colonization. Credits: University of Wisconsin-Madison Simon Gilroy

Developing better robot drivers

According to a study by ESA (European Space Agency) and the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), pilots use virtual reality and tactile interfaces or simulated touches and movements on remote robotic arms and spacecraft. Test the effectiveness of the surgery. Ergonomic tests for controlling robotic arms and spacecraft should be performed in weightlessness. This is because the design of earth-based tests uses ergonomic principles that do not meet the conditions encountered by spacecraft in orbit. Pilote compares existing and new technologies, including recently developed remote control technologies and those used by Canadarm2 and Soyuz spacecraft pilots. The study also compares the performance of astronauts on the ground and on long-term space missions. The results could help to optimize the ergonomics of workplaces in space stations and future spacecraft for missions to the moon and Mars.

Protect the kidneys of space and the earth

Some crew members become more susceptible to kidney stones during the flight, which can affect their health and mission success. The Kidney Cells-02 study uses a 3D kidney cell model (or tissue chip) to study the effects of microgravity on the formation of microcrystals that can lead to kidney stones. It is part of the Tissue Chips in Space initiative, a partnership between the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the effects of microgravity on human health. Analyze and transform it into an improvement of the earth. .. The study highlights key pathways in kidney disease development and progression that could lead to treatments for astronauts and one in ten people with kidney stones in the world. There are.

“This study aims to identify biomarkers or“ signatures ”of cellular changes that occur during formation. Kidney stone, ”said lead researcher Ed Kelly. “This could lead to new therapeutic interventions. The reason for this study on the space station is that crystallites behave as they occur in our own kidneys, like laboratories on Earth. In addition, the crystallites remain floating in the kidney tip tube and do not sink to the bottom. “

Production of stronger cotton

Cotton plants that overexpress certain genes are more resistant to stress factors such as drought and provide 20% more cotton fiber than plants that do not have this property under certain stress conditions. This stress tolerance has been tentatively linked to a strengthened root system that has access to large amounts of soil for water and nutrients. In-orbit Growing Enhanced Cotton Targeting (TICTOC) examines how root line structure affects plant resilience, water use efficiency, and carbon sequestration at key sapling stages. Root growth patterns are dependent on gravity and TICOC helps define which environmental factors and genes control root development in the absence of gravity.

Cotton is used in a wide variety of consumer products, from clothing to bedsheets to coffee filters, but the effects of its manufacture include the consumption of large amounts of water and heavy use of pesticides. “We want to characterize the root line formation that growers and scientists can use to specifically improve properties such as drought tolerance and nutrient uptake, which are important factors in the environmental impact of modern agriculture,” said lead researcher Simon Gilroy. A better understanding of gene expression associated with cotton root systems will enable stronger cotton crops to develop and reduce the use of water and pesticides.

Bonus power

New solar panels arrive at the station to increase the available energy for research and other activities on board. The ISS Rollout Solar Array (iROSA) consists of compact panels based on the technology previously proven at the station that roll up to spread out long carpets. Expedition 65 65 will begin preparations this summer to add the first pair of six new arrays to the station’s existing rigid panels.

Hearts, airlocks, asteroids: new research flies in the 21st SpaceX cargo mission

Quote: The SpaceX CRS-22 mission to the space station was acquired from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-spacex-crs-mission-space- for bears, cuttlefish and solar on May 28, 2021. Start panel (May 28, 2021) station.html

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Space XCRS-22 mission to space station launches tardigrade, octopus and solar panels

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