Water bears are about to take a rocket ride into space

It’s not just astronauts who go into space. In NASA’s next cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS), water bears and dark Bobtel squid will also move forward.

No, those campaigns are not going to become foreign pets for the 65 crew aboard the current cruise post. Instead, they will be put to work, helping astronauts do a series of scientific research.

Water bear

Water bears are microscopic organisms known for their presence and aquatic habitat. Also called teddygrads, small organisms are known for their ability to tolerate the environment that most life forms find extremely extreme. This, of course, makes the water ideal for space-based studies on bears.

The illustration of the water bear. NASA

During their Cell Science-20 research, astronauts will aim to adapt to water bears and identify genes that exist in extreme environments.

The results of the study may help in the development of stress factors and more resistance affecting humans in space.

“Spaceflight can be a really challenging environment for organisms, including humans, that have evolved to the conditions of the earth.” Said Lead Investigator Thomas Boothby. “One of the things we want to do is understand how tardigrades survive and reproduce in this environment and we can learn something about the tricks they use and adapt them to keep astronauts safe.”

NASA astronaut and current ISS crew member Megan MacArthur spoke in the video (below) about the upcoming investigation.

I can’t wait to welcome the water bear Space station! They will be flying to the station on another ship SpaceX Commercial re-launch successfully, along with many other science experiments. https://t.co/a8C32Q0EiD pic.twitter.com/nnXeb0Qole

& mdash; Megan MacArthur (Astro_Megan) May 2, 2021

Glow-in-dark bubble squid

Meanwhile, the Bobtel Squid will be used in an experiment called UMAMI that tests the effects of spaceflight between beneficial microorganisms in molecular and chemical interactions and their animal hosts.

“Animals, including humans, depend on our microorganisms to maintain a healthy digestive system and immune system,” said Jamie Foster, Umami’s lead researcher. “We do not fully understand how spaceflight changes these beneficial interactions. Umami uses Glow-in-Dark Bubble Squid to address these important issues in animal health. “

The results of the research could lead to the development of measures that will help astronauts stay healthy on long-term space missions to Mars and back as far as possible. NASA’s work could shed more light on the complex interactions between animals and beneficial microbes, and how bacteria interact with animal tissues.

“Such knowledge helps to identify ways to preserve and enhance these relationships for better human health and well-being on Earth,” the space agency said.

There will be heads for living beings International Space Station As part of the SpaceX cargo mission, it is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday, June.

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