SpaceX launches CU-built heart, bone health experiments to space station
Editor’s note: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket scheduled to be launched from Florida today has been delayed due to weather conditions. The launch took place on Saturday, June 3,
A SpaceX rocket was launched to launch two integrated cargo holdings at Boulder, University of Colorado at the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida Thursday, including one to examine changes in cardiovascular microvascular stem cells that might Day help fight against heart disease on Earth.
The second payload will be used for rodent studies that are testing a new treatment for bone loss in space, which has been documented in astronauts and mice. Both payloads were developed by BioServe Space Technologies, a research center at Ann and H.J Department of Aerospace Engineering Smead,
“We have a strong relationship with SpaceX and NASA, which allows us to constantly conduct our flight teams to the International Space Station,” said BioServe Director Louis Stodieck. “The low gravity of space provides a unique environment for biomedical experiments that can not be replicated on Earth, and our faculty, staff and students have a lot of experience in designing and creating custom payloads for our academic partners, government “.
The experiments will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and transported to the ISS on the Dragon spacecraft. The SpaceX CRS-11 mission launched Thursday will fulfill the BioServe 55a mission in space.
The experiments on cardiovascular cells, designed by Associate Professor Maria Kearns-Jonker of Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California, will study the low severity affecting stem cells, including physical and molecular changes. While spaceflight is known to affect the structure and function of heart cells, the biological basis of these impacts is not clearly understood, said Stefanie Countryman, associate director of BioServe.
As part of the study, researchers will compare changes in heart muscle stem cells in space with similar cells growing simultaneously on Earth, Countryman said. The researchers hope the findings could help lead to stem cell therapies to repair damaged heart tissue. The results could also confirm scientists’ suspicions that microgravity accelerates the aging process, Countryman said.
For heart cell experiments, BioServe provides high technology and cell culture materials known as BioCells that will be loaded into the shoebox-sized habitats on the ISS. The experiments will be housed in BioServe Automated Laboratory Space Bioproducts (SABL), a newly updated “smart” incubator that will reduce the handling time of astronauts passing experiments.
The second experiment, created by Dr. Chia Soo, UCLA School of Medicine, will test a new drug designed not only to block bone loss but also to rebuild.
The mice will be translated into a NASA habitat designed for space flight to the ISS. Once on board, some mice injected with the new drug will be subjected while others will receive a placebo. At the end of the experiments, the average mice will be returned to Earth in the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and transported to UCLA for further study, said Stodieck, a scientist co-investigator in the experiment.
The spatial derivatives automated laboratory (SABL)
Automated laboratory automation derivatives BioServe
In addition to two scientific experiments, BioServe launches its SABL third unit to the ISS. Two units are currently SABL to the ISS to support multiple research experiences, including three previous experiments on stem cells performed by BioServe in collaboration with Stanford University, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.
Researchers and students BioServe flew equipment and experiments aboard the NASA space shuttle mission, the ISS and Russian and Japanese government cargo rockets. BioServe previously shipped commercially loaded rocket payloads developed by SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California and Orbital ATK, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia.