Update 5 a.m. ET, November 7: Northrop Grumman is now counting down the launch of the Antares rocket and Cygnus NG-18 cargo ship from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility today at 5:32 a.m. EDT (1032 GMT).
Ovarian cells from cows are headed to the space station, along with a host of other interesting science experiments.
The latest cargo from the International Space Station (ISS), coming from Northrop Grumman’s robotic Cygnus spacecraft, will blast off on an Antares rocket no later than 5:50 a.m. EDT (1050 GMT) on Sunday (November 6) From the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia. You can watch the live broadcast here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA Television. Coverage begins 20 minutes before launch.
After arriving at the International Space Station on Tuesday (November 8) and docked, the bovine cells (OVOSPACE) thrived. (Opens in a new tab)) on how microgravity affects cell growth. This may eventually have applications for human fertility treatments, trial co-lead researcher Andrew Fosso told Space.com.
“This is really our first approach, and at the moment it is an observational study,” Fosso, who is also an associate professor at Sapienza University in Rome, said during a press conference broadcast on October 25. He added that researchers will investigate potential drug interventions or edible additives to improve fertility outcomes in future studies.
Related: NASA-funded spacesuit technology may help ease menopause
Also heading to the orbital lab is a 3D printer known as the Biofabrication Facility (Opens in a new tab)which also hit space in 2019 to print some human knee cartilage (specifically, articular cartilage), and a collection of human heart cells.
“We brought [the printer] Coming back to our lab in Indiana…to add some new capabilities, like the ability to finally control the temperature of each printhead, and now we’re excited to see it launched,” said Rich Pauling, Vice President of Corporate Development for Manufacturing and Operations in Space at Redwire Space, at the same conference.
Related: Bioprinter will 3D print human tissue on the space station
After another space shipment, Pauling said, Redwire will print new cartilage and study it in the lab to prepare for potential patient transplants in the future. The blood vessels and heart tissue will also be made. Redwire also plans to test the drug’s efficacy in space on “organelles,” or miniature versions of organs.
Pauling hinted that such research would continue at Orbital Reef, a commercial Redwire-powered space station under development for aviation in the 1930s. The project is led by Blue Origin and Sierra Space, and includes partners such as Boeing and Amazon.
Some of the other experiments that debuted in space, according to NASA, include (Opens in a new tab):
- Assess how plants adapt to space: Spaceflight-exposed plants undergo changes that include adding additional information to their DNA, which regulates how genes are turned on or off but does not change the DNA sequence itself. This process is known as genetic alteration. Plant habitat -03 (Opens in a new tab) It assesses whether such adaptations in one generation of space-grown plants can be passed on to the next.
- Mudflow mixtures: Climate change and global warming are contributing to the increased incidence of wildfires. When a wildfire burns plants, the burning chemicals create a thin layer of soil that resists rainwater. Then the rain erodes the soil and can turn into catastrophic mudflows that carry heavy rocks and debris down slopes, causing massive damage to infrastructure, watersheds, and human life. Microstructure of mudflow in the post-Wildfire period (Opens in a new tab) evaluates the composition of these mudflows, which include sand, water, and trapped air.
- The first satellites from Uganda and Zimbabwe: birds -5 (Opens in a new tab) is a constellation of CubeSats: PEARLAFRICASAT-1, the first satellite developed by Uganda; ZIMSAT-1, Zimbabwe’s first satellite; and TAKA from Japan. BIRDS-5 performs multispectral observations of the Earth using a ready-to-use commercial camera and demonstrates a high-power electronic measuring instrument. The data collected can help distinguish bare land from forest and farmland and may indicate the quality of agricultural growth.
- Operating the space station: Equipment to be installed outside the station in preparation for the installation of the Roll-Out Solar Arrays (Opens in a new tab).
Elizabeth Hoyle is co-author of the book “Why am I taller (Opens in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), book on space medicine. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
#Watch #ovarian #cells #wild #experiments #launch #space #station #today