spaceship SpaceXAnd Falcon 9 took off a few days ago from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (USA), to International Space StationAnd Carry unconventional baggage in between your payloads, even for the most experienced astronauts: A sample of human muscle cells grown in a laboratory by scientists from the MicroAge Project.
Surprisingly enough, baggage is still the reason for bringing it on board the SpX-24. Your leaders hope you can help Understand aging better as people age
Microgravity, the perfect ally to achieve the goal
The ambitious goal of the researchers microwave (which brings together experts from various disciplines from the University of Liverpool, European space agencies and Kayser Space Ltd) is to conduct microscopic gravity experiments on the International Space Station.
With the information collected to take advantage of the special conditions of the EEI, they hope to better understand How the muscles of the elderly and astronauts respond to exercise.
“Astronauts in microgravity are losing muscle mass and strength at an accelerated rate compared to older people on Earth, providing a unique model for identifying the mechanisms underlying rapid muscle loss not only in astronauts, but also relevant to older adults.” Professor Ann McCardle says:University of Liverpool Institute of Medical Sciences and Life Cycle.
for several years, The team studied the causes of the gradual loss of muscle mass and strength that accompanies the aging process. Thanks to the special conditions found on the International Space Station and with the help of cultures, they hope to provide answers to this question.
According to the details that can be seen On the University of Liverpool website, they will send 24 independent experimental units to the space containing “Tiny” grown from human muscle cells.
Not all models will have the same fate: some will be electrically stimulated Inducing muscle contractions; Still others will be exposed to higher amounts of the protein that protects against heat shock, and that Previous studies by researchers have shown that it helps combat age-related muscle wasting.
How will the experiment process be?
When the trials are over, the muscles will freeze back to the ground. According to the UK government, which is supporting the project, the cells are the size of a grain of rice and They will be placed on 3D printed supports. To ensure that it will withstand changes in temperature, vibrations and acceleration forces during start-up, Special devices have been developed.
To prepare the test and allow the cells to grow before launch, Liverpool scientists visited the Kennedy Space Center in the United States. MicroAge Project, Funded by the British Space Agency and supported by the state operator, confirms this Its goal is to “help people live longer, healthier lives”.
When astronauts spend time in space, without the effects of gravity, their muscles weaken, just as in old age, before recovering upon their return to Earth. By studying what happens to muscle tissue in space, the team can compare the results to what happens on Earth.” University of Liverpool Science Minister George Freeman argued and added “This will help solve the mystery of why muscles weaken as we age and find ways to prevent it.”