Being a long time in microgravity, astronauts cause their health damage. In particular, they have greatly weaken muscles and bones, and at the moment they can reduce the damage of regular physical exercise, and then go through a long process of restoration on Earth. It looks like rehab will be accelerated — the crew of the ISS will conduct the experiment, the results of which will help to create a drug to treat the side effects stay in weightlessness.
Scientists know that the greatest harm on the body of astronauts is applied to what is happening in their organisms the oxidation processes. In terms of the International space station they want to learn how weightlessness affects the production of reactive oxygen species that can damage DNA and protein molecules. On the basis of the obtained results will be developed antioxidants to prevent oxidation.
According to a press release from the European space Agency ESA, the materials for conducting the new study was delivered to the ISS inside the cargo capsule SpaceX Dragon. In the experiment, the station crew will take samples of living cells and add them ceramic nanoparticles, called nanoceria. They will be kept at a 30-degree temperature for six days — it is expected that the added components will protect cells from exposure to oxidation processes.
Ceramic nanoparticles (green) are mixed with cells (blue)
It is noteworthy that the cells will be divided into two groups: one will be in weightlessness conditions and the other exposed to artificial gravity inside the centrifuge. The control group of cells with ceramic nanoparticles will be on the Ground — comparing all groups, the researchers will investigate the effectiveness of nanoparticles as antioxidants.
According to representatives of the space agencies ESA, the study can give rise to the development of a method of stimulating the cells not only prevent the effects of weightlessness, but slows aging.