European, Asian and North American astronauts have come together for a six month journey to space, where they will conduct over 200 different science experiments. These studies include medical research, tissue chip experimentation, ultrasound device tests, and other research investigations.
The quad will journey within the Falcon9 rocket, SpaceX’s third launch within the last year. Owned by Elon Musk, this privatized space-flight company has had several successful missions beforehand and was the first private company to send astronauts to the International Space Station.
The four astronauts on board are comprised of two [American] National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts named Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, one European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut named Thomas Pesquet, and one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut named Akihiko Hoshide.
They will join the Expedition 65 crew on the International Space Station, and will spend six months conducting experiments, performing technology demonstrations and gathering research. They will also deliver new science hardware and experiments.
Tissue Chip experiments are one of the research experiments that the crew is performing. This is a device that contains a system of tiny cells and organoids that simulate organ functions. The astronauts will conduct research on how cells react to different stresses and disease imitations.
Plant habitacions will also be studied by the astronauts. SpaceX has planned to grow radishes in space, studying the way gravity, soil condition, and atmosphere differences impact plant growth.
Cardinal Heart is the name of an investigation studying engineered heart tissues (EHTs) in microgravity. The astronauts will test changes in cardiovascular cells and tissues that occur in microgravity.
NASA’s new spacesuit, called the Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment or SERFE is one of the other experiments planned for the Falcon9 astronauts. NASA’s new spacesuit is meant to be exposed to a wide range of temperatures and will take place in 25 simulated eight-hour space walks.
For more on SpaceX’s Falcon9 journey, listen to this podcast.