NASA’s SpaceX Dragon Supply Mission Launches-Cargo Includes Tardigrades, Squids and Solar Panels

NASA’s 22nd SpaceX Freight Supply Mission has begun. Credit: NASA TV

up to date SpaceX The Dragon Supply Spacecraft is heading to the International Space Station after being launched at 1:29 pm EDT on Thursday. NASAThe Kennedy Space Center in Florida is loaded with over £ 7,300 in scientific experiments, new solar arrays, and other cargo.

A spacecraft launched by a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39A. We plan to autonomously dock at the space station around 5 am on Saturday, June 5, and stay for about a month. Report of arrival will begin at 3:30 am on NASA TV. website, And that NASA app..

SpaceX’s 22nd contract resupply mission will deliver the new ISS Rollout Solar Array (iROSA) to the space station in the trunk of the Dragon spacecraft. After the dragon docks in the space station’s harmony module, the robot’s Canadarm2 takes out the array and astronauts place them during the spacewalk scheduled for June 16th and 20th.

The scientific experiments that the dragon is providing to the space station include:

Bobtail squid

These immature dango squid (dango squid) are part of UMAMI. UMAMI is a study investigating whether space alters the symbiotic relationship between squid and the bacterium Vibrio fischeri.Credits: University of Florida Jamie S. Foster

Symbiosis of squid and microorganisms in a micro-gravity environment

Understanding Microgravity on Animal-Microbial Interactions (UMAMI) research examines the effects of space flight on molecular and chemical interactions between beneficial microorganisms and their host animals. Microorganisms play an important role in the normal development of animal tissues and the maintenance of human health. “Animals, including humans, rely on microorganisms to maintain a healthy digestive and immune system,” says Jamie Foster, UMAMI’s lead researcher. “It is not fully understood how space flight alters these beneficial interactions. In UMAMI’s experiments, these important issues in animal health were used with the glowing dango squid in the dark. We are working on. “

Dango squid, Bobtail squidIs an animal model used to study the symbiotic relationship between two species. This study will help determine if space flight changes mutually beneficial relationships. This may help develop safeguards and mitigations 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 new pathways that microorganisms use to communicate with animal tissues. Such knowledge may also help identify ways to protect and strengthen these relationships, also for the health and well-being of humans on Earth.


Cell Science-04 carries tardigrades (tardigrades) to space stations and is conducting research to identify genes involved in adaptation and survival in high-stress environments.Credits: University of Wyoming, Thomas Boothby

Tardigrade takes up space

Kumamushi, known as a water bear because of its microscopic appearance and common underwater habitat, is a small creature that withstands the harsher environment of most living organisms. Therefore, it becomes a model organism for studying biological survival under extreme conditions on the earth and space. In addition, researchers have sequenced the tardigrade genome. Example of Hypsibius He then developed a method to measure how various environmental conditions affect the gene expression of tardigrades. Cell Science-04 characterizes the molecular biology of short-term and multigenerational survival of tardigrades and identifies genes involved in adaptation and survival in high-stress environments.

This result may facilitate understanding of the stressors that affect humans in space and support the development of countermeasures. “Spaceflight can be a very difficult environment for living things, including humans, who have evolved into Earth’s conditions,” says lead researcher Thomas Boothby. “One of the things we are very keen on is learning something about how tardigrades survive and breed in these environments, and the tricks they use, and astronauts. Is to understand if they can be applied to protect. “

TICTOC cotton seedlings

Cotton seedlings for TITOC surveys ready for flight. TICTOC is studying how root structure affects the resilience, water utilization efficiency and carbon sequestration of cotton plants at an important stage in the establishment of seedlings.Credits: Simon Gilroy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tougher cotton production

Cotton that overexpresses certain genes is more resistant to stressors such as drought and, under certain stress conditions, has 20% more cotton fiber than plants that do not have that property. This stress tolerance is temporarily associated with having a fortified root system that can utilize large amounts of soil to obtain water and nutrients. Improved orbital cotton goals (TICTOC) study how root structure affects plant resilience, water utilization, and carbon sequestration at an important stage in seedling establishment. .. Root growth patterns are gravity-dependent, and TICTOC may help define which environmental factors and genes control root growth in the absence of gravity.

Cotton is used in a variety of consumer products, from clothing to bed sheets to coffee filters, but its production impacts include the use of large amounts of water and the intensive use of pesticides. “We have developed root line formation characteristics that breeders and scientists can target to improve properties such as drought tolerance and nutrient uptake, which are key factors in the environmental impact of modern agriculture. I want to clarify, “said principal investigator Simon Gilroy. A better understanding of gene expression associated with the cotton root system will enable the development of stronger cotton plants and reduce the use of water and pesticides.

Ultrasound on the spot

Butterfly IQ Ultrasound shows how to use portable ultrasound in combination with mobile computing devices in a microgravity environment. The survey collects crew feedback on the manageability and quality of ultrasound images, including image acquisition, display, and storage.

“This type of commercial off-the-shelf technology has the potential to provide critical medical features for future exploration missions beyond low earth orbit where immediate ground support is not available,” said the Integrated Manager of the Butterfly iQ Technology Demonstration. One Kadambari Suri says. Also, find out how effective the just-in-time instructions are for the crew to use the device autonomously. This technology has the potential to be applied to medical care in remote areas and isolated environments on the earth.

Developing better robot drivers

The pilot is a study of the ESA (European Space Agency) and the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), using virtual reality and tactile interfaces, or simulated touch and motion, on robotic arms and spacecraft. Test the effectiveness of remote control. Ergonomic tests for controlling robot arms and spacecraft should be performed in a microgravity environment. This is because Earth-based test designs use ergonomic principles that do not meet the conditions experienced in orbiting spacecraft. Pilote compares existing and new technologies, such as those recently developed for remote control and those used for pilots of the Canadrm2 and Soyuz spacecraft. The study also compares the performance of astronauts on the ground and during long-term space missions.The results may help optimize the ergonomics of space stations and future spacecraft workstations for missions to the Moon and missions to the Moon. Mars..

Protect the kidneys of space and the earth

Some crew members are more susceptible to kidney stones during 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 effect 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 ISS US National Laboratory and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health, analyzing the impact of microgravity on human health. It transforms it into an improvement of the earth. This study reveals important pathways for the onset and progression of kidney disease, and one in ten astronauts and on earth will develop kidney stones, or a treatment that treats and prevents kidney stones. There is a possibility of being connected.

“This study wants to identify biomarkers or’signs’ of cell changes that occur during the formation of kidney stones,” said lead researcher Ed Kelly. “This could lead to new therapeutic interventions. The rationale for doing this study on the space station is that crystallites behave in the same way that they occur in our own kidneys.”

ISS iROSA solar array

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays aimed at boosting the power of the International Space Station. The rollup array arrives at the SpaceX-22 replenishment mission.Credits: NASA / Johnson Space Center / Boeing

Bonus power

The new solar panels to the station consist of compact sections that open like long rugs. The ISS Rollout Solar Array (iROSA) is based on a previous demonstration of a rollout panel performed at the station. They are expected to provide increased energy available for research and station activities. NASA is planning a total of six new arrays to boost station power with the first pair launched on this flight. The Expedition 65 crew will begin preparing for spacewalks this summer to supplement the station’s existing rigid panels. The same solar array technology is planned to power NASA’s gateway, which is part of the Artemis program.

SpaceX CRS-22 Mission Cargo

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will send the company’s Dragon spacecraft, packed with over 7,300 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, to the space station to support Expedition 65 and 66.

These are just a few of the hundreds of studies currently underway at in-orbit laboratories in the fields of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and earth and space sciences. Advances in these areas will help maintain astronaut health during long-term space travel, and through NASA’s Artemis program, exploration of future humans and robots across low-earth orbits to the Moon and Mars. Demonstrate the technology for. NASA’s SpaceX Dragon Supply Mission Launches-Cargo Includes Tardigrades, Squids and Solar Panels

Back to top button