Today, four astronauts headed to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of SpaceX’s 5th commercial crew mission to begin a six-month adventure in space research.
Launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Crew-5 astronauts conducted multiple research sponsored by the ISS National Lab.
Throughout the mission, astronauts will support hundreds of research and technology development investigations, many of which are sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory.
One such survey is being conducted by biotech company Lambda Vision – a company that has already launched surveys in space – whose goal is to create a protein-based artificial retina capable of restoring vision to patients with degenerative eye diseases.
“LambdaVision hopes to demonstrate that fabricating the artificial retina by building multiple thin layers of protein on a surface in microgravity improves its overall uniformity,” according to a statement.
Additionally, a Los Alamos National Laboratory study in conjunction with the ISS National Laboratory’s commercial service provider, Rhodium Scientific, accompanied the astronauts. This survey assesses gut microbes, taking a deeper look at specific gut microbes that only change in space. They could affect astronauts and future space travelers. The project is based on the preliminary study of the team on board the space station.
Over the next six months, astronauts will work on the above surveys and dozens of other space station projects as part of NASA-funded commercial resupply service missions.
“The ISS National Laboratory-sponsored projects slated for launch on upcoming missions will leverage the in-orbit laboratory for life and physical science research, advanced materials and technology development,” according to a statement.
THE GREAT TREND
As space exploration increaseshealth and safety issues are widespread, especially with regard to long space missions.
Earlier this year, Space.brain, the maker of an EEG headset, came out stealth with $8.5 million and a plan to measure the neurological activity of three astronauts aboard the ISS to assess the effects of spaceflight on the brain. Each astronaut had to participate in experiments before, during and after the mission.
To study the health and performance of astronauts during commercial spaceflight, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) from Baylor College of Medicine launched EXPAND (Enhancing eXploration Platforms and Analog Definition). This research platform collects flight data and stores it in a centralized database to improve astronaut health and find innovations that can be used on Earth.