Particle physics experiments

A brief overview of some experiments carried out by astronauts aboard the ISS

The astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission will soon return to Earth after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Composed of four members; NASA Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, the team conducted a number of number of experiments during their stay at the orbiting station. These experiments ranged from areas of physics to biology where astronauts made major breakthroughs. Let’s take a look at the extraordinary scientific journey of the members of Crew-2.

Chili production for the taco space

This achievement of the astronauts is the most recent since they managed to cultivate the first pepper aboard the ISS. The cultivation was part of NASA’s Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04) experiment and was one of the most complex to date on the station due to the long germination and growth time. However, the astronauts are relishing the fruits of their success by recently sharing photos of the crew enjoying “space tacos” with the new ingredient.

Growing Cotton Beyond Earth

The astronauts went so far as to produce cotton in space as part of NASA’s Targeting Improved Cotton Through On-orbit Cultivation (TICTOC) space botany study. According to the agency, this study aims to determine how the structure of the root system affects plant resilience, water use efficiency and carbon sequestration during the critical phase of seedling establishment.

Put augmented reality into service for repairs

Augmented reality technology has become a new tool for ISS astronauts that is used in science experiments and orbital maintenance tasks. Astronauts wear augmented reality (AR) glasses to perform tasks without assistance from ground crews. Previously, the T2 Augmented Reality Project (T2AR) conducted during Expedition 65 demonstrated how station crew members can use AR to inspect and maintain scientific and exercise equipment needed for research and to the health of the crew, respectively.

The Molecular Muscle Experiment 2

In this experiment, astronauts study changes in human health in space using tiny C. elegans toward. Here, experts are testing a series of drugs to see if they can improve health in space, which could lead to new therapeutic targets for consideration on Earth.

The Cardinal Muscle Investigation

In the quest for a way to solve muscle mass in space, NASA launched the Cardinal Muscle investigation. It is obvious that as people get older on Earth, they lose muscle mass due to a condition called “sarcopenia”. Astronauts also experience muscle loss during spaceflight, but it happens much faster than on Earth. With this experiment, the astronauts are testing whether modified tissues grown in space could take advantage of this accelerated loss and support the development of a model to quickly assess possible drugs before human clinical trials.

Image: NASA



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