NASA sends squids and tardigrades aboard the International Space Station

Space X’s next trip to the International Space Station will take a host of science experiments. There will be adorable squids and charming walkers. The take-off is scheduled for June 3.

Astronauts of the International Space Station, prepare to be flooded with the next cargo. In one May 26 news release, NASA explains that the adorable little squid will be on board the upcoming Space X flight to the International Space Station on June 3.

Of course, these delicate marine animals were not initially sent to boost troop morale: they would, in fact, allow scientists to study the effects of spaceflight on interactions between microbes and host animals. This experience is part of the study UMAMI, Which aims to better understand the effects of microgravity on animal-microbial interactions.

Analyze the relationships between microbes and hosts

« Microbes play a strategic role in developing animal tissues and protecting human health “, Confirms the NASA release. The experiment with squid is aimed at determining whether spaceflight can alter these symbiotic relationships and, if so, to identify measures that could preserve the health of astronauts who have to undertake long-term space missions. .

The experience will also provide a better understanding of how the microbes communicate with the tissues of the organism that harbor them. The information is likely to help maintain and improve interactions between microbes and humans on Earth.

Tardigrades and Cottonwoods on the International Space Station

The twenty-second X space flight to the International Space Station will host many other interesting experiences. Kidney cells-02 Examine the effects of microgravity on kidney stone formation. A very important study because astronauts have an increased risk to develop during their flights which could affect their health and mission progress.

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The project Tik TokHe will study how the cotton root structure – which varies with gravity – affects the resistance of plants. As the team notes In charge of the project, cotton cultivation consumes a lot of water and chemicals. ” We hope to reveal the root system formation properties that seed companies and scientists can exploit to improve plant resistance to drought or the amount of nutrients they need. Two factors are of great importance in the overall environmental impact of agriculture. »

But of course, a stay in space wouldn’t work if Tardigrades They weren’t in the game. These animals that measure less than a millimeter are, so to speak, The preferences of scholars In the field of space.

Tardigrades. // Source: Public Domain

It is true that Their ability to survive In the most extreme environments (from nearly zero to 150 degrees) it’s pretty cool. The Projet Cell Science-04 Also sent to the International Space Station on June 3, it will study the genes involved in evolution and survival in the extreme conditions of these interesting animals. This, in turn, will provide a better understanding of the factors that can affect astronauts’ health and the measures that could protect them.

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