Nine Experiments to be Executed Aboard the China Space Station

VIENNA (United Nations Information Service) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), in cooperation with the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) and with the support of the Government of China, published on 28 May 2018 the 1st “Announcement of Opportunity (AO)” under the United Nations/China Cooperation on the Utilization of the China Space Station (CSS) initiative, inviting all Member States of United Nations to submit applications for conducting their scientific experiments on board the CSS.

As of 30 September 2018, which was the application deadline, a total of 42 applications from institutions in 27 countries were received, and then carefully evaluated by around 60 experts from UNOOSA, CMSA and international space community, in line with the eligibility and selection criteria outlined in the first AO. Eighteen (18) projects out of the 42 received were shortlisted, and their Principal Investigators were invited to prepare their Implementation Scheme Proposals (ISPs) for further review towards a final selection. By the submission deadline of 20 April 2019, 15 ISPs from the 18 shortlisted were received and an in-depth review in terms of technical scheme, implementation feasibility, onboard resource requirements, safety analysis, risk analysis, and financial support for their own development was executed.

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Space Tango Announces ISS Flow Chemistry Collaboration with Boston University Beeler Research Group

Joint Development of Automated, Modular Flow Chemistry Platform for Use On-Orbit

LEXINGTON, Ky., June 12, 2019 (Space Tango PR) — Space Tango announced today a collaboration with the Beeler Research Group from the Boston University Department of Chemistry to develop a fully-automated system to support chemical reactions on-orbit. The Beeler Research Group was selected by the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory to develop reactor systems for flow chemistry in space earlier this year. This work expands on existing liquid-liquid separation capabilities demonstrated last year by Mass Challenge Winner Zaiput Flow Technologies and Space Tango, on the International Space Station.

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ISS Study Shows Hypergravity Counters Bone Loss in Mice

The International Space Station as it appears in 2018. Zarya is visible at the center of the complex, identifiable by its partially retracted solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

Nature has a report about a Japanese study that showed 2G hypergravity causes increased bone and muscle growth in mice.

“We examined the influence of artificially produced 2G hypergravity on mice for bone and muscle mass with newly developed centrifuge device. We also analyzed the effects of microgravity (mostly 0G) and artificial produced 1G in ISS (international space station) on mouse bone mass,” according to the abstract.

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University of Arizona Partners With Space Tango to Test Diagnostic Tool in Space

by Marian Frank
UA College of Medicine

PHOENIX (UA PR) — Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix are partnering with Space Tango, a private aerospace company that designs, builds and operates facilities on the International Space Station, to develop an easy way to test astronauts’ health in space.

Led by Frederic Zenhausern, director of the UA Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, the project has received three independent NASA grants. The latest funding will allow researchers to develop a diagnostic tool – a miniature syringe-like device that can detect bioagents and hundreds of biomarkers in blood or saliva – and test it in space.

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Dragon Carries Experiments to ISS

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) — Early Saturday morning at 2:48 a.m. EDT, a variety of payloads managed by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory were successfully launched to the space station on SpaceX’s 17th commercial resupply services mission from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Many of the ISS National Lab investigations included on this mission are aimed at improving human health on Earth, with several focused on drug development.

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Stop Aging in Space

Nanoceria (Credit: Gianni Ciofani)

PARIS, 4 May 2019 — Wrinkles, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a clumsy brain are all natural consequences of getting old. As our cells rust over time, a key to fighting chronic disease may be in tiny, smartly designed particles that have the potential to become an anti-ageing supplement. A European experiment seeking innovative antioxidants is on its way to space.

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NASA and Blue Origin Help Classrooms and Researchers Reach Space

Blue Origin’s New Shepard reusable, suborbital rocket. (Credits: Blue Origin)

By Nicole Quenelle
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.

EDWARDS, Calif.  — “We are now on the verge of giving students and teachers the ability to build and fly affordable experiments in space. When teachers are this excited about putting experiments in space, their students can’t help but get excited about space, too.”

Elizabeth Kennick, president of Teachers in Space, does not take the opportunity to fly an experiment to space for granted. The nonprofit organization has worked with educators and engineers to design and test standard equipment for classroom-developed experiments, including 3D-printed frames, customizable processors, power adaptors and more. The equipment first flew on high-altitude balloons and more recently on a stratospheric glider. Now, thanks to support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, the equipment will fly higher than ever before: to space on the next launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.

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Hermes to Bring Asteroid Research to the ISS

Hermes Cassette-1 experiment. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Asteroid researchers on Earth will soon gain a powerful new way to remotely conduct experiments aboard the International Space Station. The device, called the Hermes Facility, is an experiment station that can communicate with scientists on the ground and give them the ability to control their studies almost as if they were in space themselves. Hermes will be carried to the space station aboard the SpaceX CRS-17 ferry flight.

Hermes is the creation of Dr. Kristen John, a researcher with the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). John and her research team developed Hermes as a way to study how samples of simulated asteroid particles behave in microgravity and the vacuum of space.
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Multiple Regenerative Medicine Payloads Ready for Flight to ISS U.S. National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 22, 2019 (CASIS PR)  – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is finalizing more than a dozen payloads for launch to the orbiting laboratory aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Many of these payloads are aimed at improving human health on Earth, with several focused on drug development and screening. Research concepts include commercial companies leveraging microgravity to improve drug delivery systems, other government agencies funding transformative science, and academic inquiry to enhance fundamental knowledge of diseases on Earth.

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Cygnus Cargo Ship Attached to International Space Station

April 19, 2019: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — After its capture this morning at 5:28 a.m. EDT, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 7:31 a.m. At the time of installation, Cygnus was flying 255 miles above the Indian Ocean just south of Singapore.

Cygnus will remain at the space station until July 23, when the spacecraft will depart the station, deploy NanoRacks customer CubeSats, then have an extended mission of nine months before it will dispose of several tons of trash during a fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

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NanoRacks Joins With MBRSC to Fly Student Research in Emirati Astronaut Mission

DUBAI, UAE, 3 April 2019 (NanoRacks PR) — To support its efforts to empower and encourage youth to take an interest in space science, The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) launched the ‘Science in Space’ competition, in coordination with NanoRacks  LLC. This initiative is under the umbrella of the UAE Astronaut Programme, where schools can apply to participate in conducting scientific experiments to study the impact of microgravity.

MBRSC will choose 15 schools based on their efforts to promote the study of STEM fields and the reasons for participating in this competition. The winning schools will be able to nominate students to attend and participate in workshops organised by MBRSC to conduct 15 scientific experiences, where students can learn how to prepare scientific experiments and its phases.

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Designing a Key to Unlock Parkinson’s Disease

HOUSTON (NASA PR)  — Parkinson’s disease affects more than 5 million people on Earth. Research on the International Space Station could provide insight into this chronic neurodegenerative disease and help scientists find ways to treat and prevent it.

The investigation, Crystallization of LRRK2 Under Microgravity Conditions-2 (CASIS PCG 16), grows protein crystals of Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) on the space station. A kinase is an enzyme that adds phosphate groups to other molecules as part of the body’s metabolic processes. People with Parkinson’s disease experience increased function of LLRK2, and genetic studies link mutations in the LRRK2 gene to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Medications that inhibit LRRK2 are in development, but without knowing the precise structure of this enzyme, such work is like making a key without knowing the shape of the keyhole it must fit.

Growing LRRK2 crystals on Earth is difficult and does not produce samples with high enough quality for researchers to determine the protein’s shape and structure –the keyhole. Protein crystals grow larger and more uniformly in space, though. Scientists can analyze the larger space-grown crystals to get a better idea of how the disease works and develop drugs – or keys – that target the condition more effectively and with fewer side effects.

This investigation builds on a previous experiment, CASIS PCG 7. For CASIS PCG 16, the crew used larger sample wells, filled the wells during flight, and monitored the LRRK2 crystals as they grew. In this video, NASA astronaut Serena Auñon-Chancellor narrates as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst uses a microscope to examine and photograph the LRRK2 crystals. Gerst interacted in real time with investigators on the ground, including scientists at the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, and University of California San Diego in La Jolla, California.

This space station research may bring those working to treat and prevent Parkinson’s disease one step closer to finding the right key.

This investigation was sponsored by the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. For daily updates on the science happening aboard the space station, follow @ISS_ResearchSpace Station Research and Technology News, or our Facebook. For opportunities to see the space station pass over your town, check out Spot the Station.

ESA’s Fly Your Thesis Program Takes to the Air

Video Caption: The Fly Your Thesis! programme gives master and PhD candidates the opportunity to fly their scientific experiment or technological research in microgravity conditions. The experiments can be related to fluid physics, chemistry, biology, material sciences, heat transfer and astrophysics.

The parabolic flight campaign takes place on the Airbus A310 Zero-G, which is operated by Novespace from Bordeaux, France. Each campaign consists of a series of three flights of 30 parabolas each. These will provide about 20s of microgravity each.

ISS National Lab Announces Request for Proposals to Access Space Flown Rodent Research Specimens

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), March 15, 2019 – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for investigators seeking biological specimens from mice to support fundamental biological and biomedical inquiries related to the effects of age on health after exposure to microgravity.

Due to a tremendous response from the research community after an initial Rodent Research Reference Mission in 2018, the ISS National Lab will provide a second opportunity to access space flown biospecimens.

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