Where Is Advanced Space Biology Heading?

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As Expedition 67 crew members continue to explore how microgravity affects the human body, research activities on the International Space Station do not slow down. The station's crews are also testing ways autonomous robots can assist astronauts, and are investigating how fuel behaves in a weightless space environment.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines worked Wednesday to process blood and urine samples collected from team members and put them in a science freezer for later analysis. The astronaut also configured wrist-worn sleep monitoring devices known as Actiwatches, which station residents wear periodically for research purposes. Data, including sleep-wake activity and exposure to light, explore how living in space affects an astronaut's sleep cycle.

What is Astrobiology?

Astrobiology, also known as exobiology, is an interdisciplinary field of science that studies the origins, early evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary field that studies the deterministic conditions and contingent events in which life emerged, dispersed and developed in the universe.

It addresses the question of whether extraterrestrial life exists and how humans can detect it if it does.

Astrobiology draws on molecular biology, biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, astronomy, physical cosmology, exoplanetology, geology, paleontology, and ichnology to investigate the possibility of life on other worlds and to help identify biospheres that may be different from those on Earth.

The origin and early evolution of life is an integral part of the discipline of astrobiology. Astrobiology deals with the interpretation of existing scientific data, and while speculation is entertained to give context, astrobiology primarily deals with hypotheses that fit tightly to existing scientific theories.

This interdisciplinary field covers research on the origin of planetary systems, the origins of organic compounds in space, rock-water-carbon interactions, abiogenesis on Earth. It studies planetary habitability, researches biosignatures for life detection on life's potential to adapt to challenges on Earth and in space.

If we go back to our article;

Astrobee robotic free flyers enabled today in the Kibo lab module. NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins outfitted the toaster-sized robot assistants with acoustic monitors and allowed them to fly autonomously around Kibo for a technology demonstration. The experiment tested the spacecraft systems using listening techniques to monitor their health and detect potential problems.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren started the day by configuring the video cables inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, before photographing landmarks in Europe and Asia. He then partnered with Watkins after lunch for cargo operations inside the Cygnus spacecraft. The special supply ship from Northrop Grumman will complete station duty at the end of June.

On Saturday, Cygnus is scheduled to complete the first reload of the International Space Station. Cygnus' yawed delta speed engine will be used to adjust the orbit of the space station by re-raising the orbital outpost. The maneuver will take 10 minutes 53 seconds and will raise the station's altitude by 0,7 miles. This Cygnus mission is the first to offer this advanced capability as a standard service for NASA, following a maneuver test during Cygnus' ninth resupply mission in 2018.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti studied fluid physics today in the Columbus laboratory module using distilled water and a special, low-viscosity fluid. The fluids experiment explores ways to optimize fuel management on satellites and may even provide insight into the behavior of Earth's ocean waves.

Commander Oleg Artemyev continued to partner with Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov today to learn how to exercise in weightlessness more effectively. Artemyev also charged video camera and laptop batteries, while Korsakov serviced Russian life support equipment. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev explored piloting and robotic techniques for future planetary missions, then attached a sensor to him to measure heart activity over 24 hours.

Source: NASA

📩 19/06/2022 12:33

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