International Space Station

Research Advancements, in prep for Mars and beyond

HOW IT WORKS: The International Space Station (1080p, 60fps)

Why Mars?

Through reading multiple articles on mankind's reasons to travel to Mars, I've found a few things that have been interesting. There is first, the realization that we might not always have Earth to call home, or at least to call home safely and comfortably. Not that Mars would be much better, but there is always the possibility of Mars being a stepping stone to other expeditions elsewhere.

Another reason is curiosity. Just like Columbus, we as a human race are attempting to go beyond our reaches and achieve something new.

Finally, is the reason that space travel tends to do something unexpected: in the preparation for this program, or project, medical, scientific, recycling, and food technology industry and inventions will increase dramatically.

Student satellite deploys from ISS

In 2015, students from a college in Denmark launched their own satellite to be retrieved by the International Space Station. On Jan. 27th, workers aboard the station were finally prepping the satellite, along with a professionally designed one, to deploy. This student-designed satellite has been built to improve autonomous programming, especially in ships, to make new trade routes safer.

Link here

Plant Growth

Expedition 44 Crew (August 2015) was first to sample leafy greens

Though this isn't a current event, it is important to remember when the crew was first able to eat vegetables and greens grown at the space station. Scott Kelly, who is still on the space station for his one-year voyage, was one to test this for the first time. Food supplementation is a critical aspect of man's journey to Mars, so the research being done on the space station in microgravity is directly related to future space missions. The first food they ate at the station was red romaine lettuce, which they cleaned with special wipes, ate half of, and froze the other half for analysis back on Earth.

Link here

Space Station Live: Cultivating Plant Growth in Space

Human Health: Blood Cells

Besides growing plants on Mars to sustain human life, it is important to also keep in mind and research effects on human bodies due to long exposure to microgravity. This is the most worrisome issue when it comes to how humans would be able to adapt. Microgravity affects many parts of the human body, as we have seen from studies conducted on SpaceLab and the International Space Station.

Recently scientists have been studying microgravity and its effects on human blood cell count and the functionality of these cells that are produced in microgravity. Bone marrow produces these cells, but is at the same time needing constant upkeep while in space. Studies are being done by taking blood cell counts pre- and post-flight to determine any changes. Also, functionality of white blood cells is measured by respiration, because the percentage of carbon dioxide in our breath showcases the effectiveness of our cells. This data is sent back to Earth to be analyzed, and then the information is collected and changes are made to insure that our astronauts are staying as healthy as possible.

Link here

Tim Kopra's Exercise Study

February 10, 11:45 pm

Tim Kopra, aboard the International Space Station, used an ultrasound machine to scan his legs for use by scientists and Sprint's study on microgravitational exercise techniques. This study will be used to determine how to most effectively use exercise equipment in space, and how to improve on that said equipment.

Link here

Study on Human Digestive System by Sergey Volkov

A link to the study conducted on Feb. 10, relating to the study of human gastrointestinal tracts and their actions and effectiveness in microgravity.

Scott Kelly Returns to Earth

Recently, Scott Kelly completed his one year mission in microgravity. Attached is a link to an interview he did with The Today Show.

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BEAM Module Connects to ISS

April 10, 2016

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft connected with the International Space Station's docking port, providing supplies for scientific research developments. However, the most notable cargo on this re-fueling mission is the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. This module is planned to release in Spring of 2016, and will shed light on the possibilities and restrictions of expandable inhabitable spaces in low gravity orbit.

This applies to Mars because of the design of the module. It is similar to the B330, another inflatable being developed by the same company. However, this ISS module is smaller. The B330 will possibly be used for space tourism as well as a sort of holding cell for astronauts traveling to Mars, so the importance of trying out the equipment and design is easily inferred.

Link here and Bigelow website here

Tim Peake Completes London Marathon

April 24

Astronaut Tim Peake broke a record today, running the fastest marathon ever completed in space. While the London Marathon was held here on Earth, Peake ran strapped to a treadmill and watched a video simulation of the track. It took him approximately three and a half hours to complete the run. He was also the official starter of the race, speaking to his competitors, saying, "I'm really excited to be able to join the runners on earth from right here on board the Space Station. Good luck to everybody running, and I hope to see you all at the finish line."

This feat demonstrates the ways in which we have improved the exercise technology over time, to allow Peake to compete in something this challenging while in a microgravity environment.

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Mars One- Colonizing Mars

SpaceX Mars Missions

NASA Orion Capsules' Journey to Mars

Kepler Telescope