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Effect Of Weightlessness: New Scientific Experiments
June 22, 2014 00:58


New scientific experiments making it possible to investigate the effect of weightlessness on living organisms will be conducted on the ISS with mice, fish and quail eggs. This was told to the reporters by the deputy director for science of the Institute of Biomedical Problems of RAS Vladimir Sychev.

According to him, the Russian scientists are preparing the equipment for the experiment with quail eggs on the orbit within the “Incubator-2” research.”Eight experiments with quail eggs were conducted at the “Mir” station some time ago” – the scientist recalled. – “Then the research showed that the newly hatched chicks cannot adapt to the conditions of weightlessness, abnormalities in their development were also observed. Adults birds, in their turn, adapt to weightlessness well enough”. However, those days the equipment was not as perfect as it is today, and it was decided to repeat the experiment.

“The experiment is scheduled for 2016. New equipment is being created, which will keep a certain temperature and humidity in the incubator” - the scientist clarified. He also said that during the Russian experiment 16 quail eggs will be delivered to the orbit. Eight of them will be placed in a small centrifuge. The eggs will stay on the ISS for 16 days, the scientists do not plan to hatch the chicks on the orbit. “The purpose of the experiment is to understand how the developmental processes go in a space flight. To understand the impact of weightlessness” - Sychev noted. A new American module specifically for research with animals in space will be delivered to the ISS in the end of this year or the beginning of the next year. In particular, it will investigate the mice on the orbit. As Sychev told, the Americans invite Russian experts to participate in these programs.

The experiment with fish.
A joint Russian-Japanese experiment with fish “Aquarium-AQH” is currently conducted at the International Station. It is believed that the fish tolerate weightlessness easier as they stay in the water - a semblance of weightlessness. “Judging by the way they behave, not all of them are affected by the presence of the gravity vector. They swim, feed, all of them are fine. However, according to the incoming data, their muscle mass decreases, their bone mass also decreases. That is, weightlessness affect them too” – Sychev reported.

The research suggests conducting five experiments, two of them have already passed. According to Sychev, the third part of the “Aquarium” begins in November, and this will be an experiment with a butterfly fish. All the necessary equipment will be delivered to the ISS in July. Sychev stressed the importance of experiments with living organisms in space in terms of preparation for future human interplanetary flights. “In case of plants we found out that if they are provided with water, light, mineral nutrients, they grow in weightlessness in the same way they do on the Earth, that is, they do not need gravity. It still does not work with animals” - the expert said.

The second satellite “Bion-M” will be launched in 2019. The second scientific satellite of “Bion” series with living organisms on board will be lauched in 2019; it will run on the orbit of about 1 thousand km, as Sychev reported. “Today we schedule it for 2019” - he said. “There is no financing of “Bion-M” No. 2 in this year. If we have money in the next year, it will be only sufficient to start the works, the full financing of the project will begin in 2016. Three years of preparation is a very short time, we are already starting to work now”.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian science     

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