Do you ever dream of traveling to space and uncovering the mysteries of the universe? Do you often wonder about being weightless, flying through space, and getting a bird’s-eye view of our gorgeous globe from above? Have you given any thought to the mental and physical risks that living in space could have on a human, regardless of the undeniable fact that traveling through space is a fantastic adventure? You must have a comprehensive knowledge of the physical, mental, radioactive material, and space effects on the Human Body before you begin your journey.

In this blog, we will make an in-depth analysis of the reasons behind these impacts and investigate how astronauts prevent damage caused by space travel. So, if you’re ready to take the leap and learn more about what it takes to live in space, grab your spacesuit and keep reading!

Effects of lack of gravity:

New Study Reveals Surprising Effects of Space on the Human Body
Credit: NASA

Lack of gravity is a comment effect of space on the human body. Space affects astronauts’ bodies. Gravity-free environments weaken muscles and bones over time. This can cause weakness and fractures. Without gravity, blood flow disburses throughout the body, which is problematic for heart health. Astronauts may increase blood volume and lower blood pressure. The body disburses fluids, swelling the face, legs, and feet and lowering blood volume. Vision loss, headaches, and kidney stones can result from the Space effect on Human Body.

Bones and Muscles Weaken:

Gravity maintains bone density and muscle mass, but in space there is none. Hence, astronauts can lose significant bone and muscle mass in space. According to a recent study, After a year on Earth, astronauts who spent less than six months in space restored their preflight bone strength. However, prolonged spaceflights caused irreversible damage. Astronauts must exercise to preserve bone density and muscle mass to avoid fractures and osteoporosis.

New Study Reveals Surprising Effects of Space on the Human Body
Credit: NASA/David Saint-Jacques

Faces are Bloated:

When gravity is absent, fluid shifts to the upper body. Astronauts may have trouble seeing and moving due to “puffy face syndrome” caused by this change. Astronauts wear special spacesuits to distribute fluids to their legs. This process, known as lower body negative pressure, helps to alleviate the swelling.

Space Sickness:

Astronauts often experience space sickness or space adaption syndrome. When the body’s balance system adjusts to space’s lack of gravity then Nausea, vomiting, headaches, and disorientation occur. Once the body adjusts, space sickness usually passes within a few days. Astronauts can take anti-nausea medicines and balance system training to manage these problems.

Radiation-Related Space effect on Human Body!

New Study Reveals Surprising Effects of Space on the Human Body
Credit: NASA

Due to the absence of Earth’s protective magnetic field and atmosphere, astronauts are exposed to much higher radiation levels in space. Long-duration space missions, like those to Mars, carry a particularly high risk due to the astronauts’ exposure to radiation.

Particles trapped by Earth’s magnetic field, solar energetic particles from the Sun, and galactic cosmic rays are all potential sources of radiation in space. Exposure to these particles can have both short- and long-term detrimental impacts on health, and it is difficult to protect oneself from them.

Cancer and other degenerative disorders including heart disease and cataracts have been linked to space radiation exposure. The biggest factor contributing to astronauts’ health hazards is the long-term effects of radiation exposure.

Studies on animals and cells reveal that the type of radiation present in the space environment is significantly more detrimental to health than the radiation seen on Earth. This shows that astronauts’ radiation exposure during space travel may offer greater health risks than Earth-bound populations.

Astronauts are bound to comply with specific protocols to reduce their exposure to radiation while in space. They can, for instance, wear

New Study Reveals Surprising Effects of Space on the Human Body
Credit: NASA

protective clothing and use shielding materials whenever they step foot outside the spacecraft, and they can also limit the amount of time they spend outside altogether. Radiation shielding can also be built into the structure of a spacecraft to protect its occupants from harmful rays.

Conclusion:

On the whole, Prolonged exposure to less gravity, radiation, and other Space effects on Human Body can be very deadly. Some of the issues include muscle and bone loss, space sickness, and increased risk of radiation-related health consequences. However, ongoing research and technological advancements can help mitigate these risks and enable longer-duration space missions. As we continue to explore the cosmos, it’s crucial to balance our desire for exploration with the need to protect the health and safety of astronauts.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

Virgin Galactic flight is one of the most fascinating events for space enthusiasts! Therefore, it announced on Monday that it’s planning its third commercial spaceflight. The name of this space flight is Galactic 03. Virgin Galactic’s next flight 2023 would be as early as September 8. Moreover, this flight will carry three passengers who bought their tickets in the early 2000s.

 If it happens in September, it will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth spaceflight in four months. It will be showing their quick pace after a long break. It also puts them ahead of Blue Origin, which has been grounded for almost a year since a launch accident.

Virgin galactic spaceship

Virgin Galactic Space Flight 2023:

The ‘Galactic 03’ crew are among Virgin Galactic’s first customers, known as ‘Founder’ astronauts. What is more important is their assistance in this project. They have helped turn the idea of regular commercial spaceflights of Virgin Galactic into reality with their early ticket purchases.

Furthermore, crew members got their tickets back in 2005 and have been active in Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronaut community. Which has around 800 members from over 60 countries. This community offers unique experiences to inspire and enhance their spaceflight journey.

The Virgin Galactic flight 03 pilots are Nicola Pecile and Michael Masucci for VSS Unity. Besides this, Jameel Janjua is the VMS Eve Commander, assisted by Pilot Kelly Latimer.

Virgin Galactic will Have Its First Privately Funded Space Tourists!

Virgin Galactic achieved a remarkable milestone as it flew beyond the 50-mile space threshold. Besides these, it will be carrying its very first group of privately funded adventurers and lucky space sweepstakes winners. Among the passengers was Keisha Schahaff, whose exciting journey began with a win in an online contest organized by the Omaze charity.

But what makes this voyage even more captivating is that it etched its name in history by allowing a mother-and-daughter duo, Keisha Schahaff, and her daughter Anastasia Mayers. Therefore it is quite an amazing experience for Virgin Galactic to fly in space together for the very first time. Moreover, this extraordinary feat also marked a significant moment for the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. These intrepid travelers became the first to represent their island nation in the realm of space exploration.

“I kind of feel like I was born in this life for this,” Schahaff, a wellness coach, told NBC’s “Today” show.

Her daughter is a college student who aims to become an astrobiologist.

Virgin Galactic Flight Number 2- Passenger Details:

Jon Goodwin, is an 80-year-old British adventurer and former Olympic canoeist from 1972. He did something extraordinary on the Galactic 02 flight today. He reserved a spot with Virgin Galactic back in 2005 when tickets cost $200,000. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nearly a decade ago, he became only the second person with Parkinson’s to go to space today in a Virgin Galactic flight. Besides this, the flight is following NASA shuttle astronaut Rich Clifford.

What is the Virgin Galactic flight?

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, a rocket-powered space plane, had a successful launch and landing on Thursday. This mission, called Galactic 02, took off just after 11 a.m. Eastern Time from Spaceport America in New Mexico, carrying the company’s first group of tourists into space.

Galactic 02 flight
A view of VSS Unity’s nozzle after the Galactic 02 flight. Credit: Eric Berger

How far is Virgin Galactic?

The VSS Unity rocket plane separated from the carrier plane over New Mexico at about 9:20 a.m. local time. It then took the four passengers, consisting of a company instructor and three tourists, to an altitude of roughly 55 miles (88.51 km).

How fast does Virgin Galactic go?

On Virgin Galactic flight 02, the space plane reached a speedy Mach 3, three times the speed of sound, and reached an altitude of 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) before returning to Earth. Virgin Galactic confirmed a smooth landing on the runway at Spaceport America at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (1530 GMT).

Who flew on the Virgin Galactic Space flight?

Galactic 02, the flight, took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Furthermore, let us tell you about the customers too. Onboard Galactic 02 were three customers: British former Olympian Jon Goodwin and two passengers from the Caribbean, Keisha Schahaff and Anastasia Mayers.

How many people can fit in Virgin Galactic?

Virgin Galactic launched the VSS Unity spaceplane 50 miles above Earth on Thursday. This spaceplane has windows all around the cabin and can carry four tourists in its 60-foot long, 27-foot wingspan frame. Additionally, the cabin inside of Virgin Galactic Flight is designed to be minimalistic and is described as providing an elegant yet forward-looking, experience-focused concept.

What makes Virgin Galactic unique?

Virgin Galactic proudly stands as the world’s pioneer in commercial space travel, with a mission that transcends boundaries. Besides these, the aim is to unite people from all corners of the world with the boundless love, wonder, and awe that space exploration can offer. They firmly believe that spaceflight possesses a remarkable power to alter our viewpoints, advance our technology, and chart a new course for our journey as a species.

Why did Virgin Galactic drop so much?

In the second quarter, Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE 2.38%) certainly made significant strides. However, despite all their efforts, the results didn’t align with Wall Street’s high expectations. Following the release of the company’s financial figures and less-than-enthusiastic forecasts for the upcoming quarters, the stock of this space startup experienced a roughly 5% decline. It’s a clear example of anticipation not quite matching reality in the dynamic realm of space ventures.

How long does Virgin Galactic stay in space?

Key Details Information:

  • Flight Duration 60 minutes
  • Altitude Reached 55 miles (88km) above Earth
  • Notable Passengers Former Olympian, Mother-daughter pair
  • Founder Sir Richard Branson

What is the aim of Virgin Galactic?

The mission is to make human spaceflight accessible to people worldwide. Therefore, working at Virgin Galactic lets many astronomers have an inspiration present and future generations by shaping the future of space travel.

Can you go to space with Virgin Galactic?

The flight window officially opened Thursday morning, and tickets are up to $450,000.

To investigate the south polar region of the Moon during Artemis missions, NASA is looking for industry proposals for a next-generation LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle). This LTV will enable humans to travel further and carry out more science than ever before.

The Artemis crew will use the LTV to explore and sample more of the lunar surface than they could do on foot.

Instead of owning the rover, NASA will hire LTV as a service from the private sector. NASA can take advantage of private innovation.

They offer the best value to American taxpayers while meeting its goals for human spaceflight science and exploration by contracting services from business partners.

NASA is inviting proposals from the industry for the development of an advanced Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will enable astr

What is NASA Lunar Terrain Vehicle?

Astronauts to venture deeper into the Moon’s south polar region and undertake unprecedented scientific endeavors during the Artemis missions. The agency aims to push the boundaries, allowing astronauts to explore new frontiers and expand their scientific capabilities beyond previous limits.

Lara Kearney, manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said,

“We want to leverage industry’s knowledge and innovation, combined with NASA’s history of successfully operating rovers, to make the best possible surface rover for our astronaut crews and scientific researchers.”

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle will operate similarly to a hybrid of an unmanned Mars rover and an Apollo-style lunar rover.

Similar to NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers, it will support both phases driven by astronauts and phases as an unmanned mobile science exploration platform.

This will make it possible to conduct scientific even when there aren’t any crews on the lunar surface. The LTV will be used by the Artemis astronauts to travel around the lunar surface and transport research gear, increasing the lengths they can travel on each moonwalk.

NASA has specified requirements for businesses interested in creating and demonstrating the LTV under the Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services Request for Proposals, including a strategy that encourages businesses to create an innovative rover for use by NASA and other commercial customers for several years.

Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle 

In order to move supplies and scientific payloads between crewed landing sites and enable more science returns, resource exploration, and lunar exploration, engineers will be able to control the LTV remotely.

This will increase the amount of scientific study that can be conducted on the Moon during uncrewed operations, allow researchers to look into potential surface mission landing sites, and help them determine their aims and objectives for each location.

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle will need to have several systems to support both crewed and uncrewed operations to manage the peculiar environment near the lunar South Pole, which includes permanently darkened regions and prolonged periods without sunlight.

Modern communication and navigation systems, semi-autonomous driving, enhanced power management, and environmental protection are some of the more crucial systems.

How Many Lunar Rovers are on the Moon?

A total of three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRVs) were employed during different Apollo missions on the Moon. Astronauts David Scott and Jim Irwin used one LRV during Apollo 15, while John Young and Charles Duke utilized another LRV during Apollo 16.

Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, on the other hand, had access to the third LRV during Apollo 17. In each instance, the mission commander took on the role of the driver and sat in the left-hand seat of the respective LRV.

How Much Lunar Rovers Cost?

The $38 million mentioned does not represent the cost of a single unit, but rather the total expenditure for the entire project, which encompasses four units and eight variants designed for testing, development, and training purposes.

To put it into perspective, the renowned Scuderia Ferrari F1 team invested over $400 million in 2020 alone for the development and production of their Formula 1 cars.

Lunar Surface Operations:

Companies are needed to offer end-to-end services as part of the bids, from development and delivery to the lunar surface to execution of operations. Each rover must be capable of accommodating two astronauts in spacesuits, a robotic arm.

Or other devices to aid in science exploration and the harsh conditions at the lunar South Pole. Before employing the LTV with humans, the corporation will be required to successfully test it in a lunar environment.  

As of Artemis V in 2029, NASA plans to employ the LTV for crewed activities. The rover will be utilized for uncrewed and commercial tasks before the crew arrives once it landed on the lunar surface.

Space Launch Rocket Mission

The deadline for proposals for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle services contract is July 10, 2023, and the contract will be awarded in November of that same year. Through a draft call for proposals and an earlier request for information, this request for proposals has considered industry feedback.

Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts to the Moon for scientific research, and commercial gain, and to lay the groundwork for crewed missions to Mars, including the first woman and person of color. 

The basis for NASA’s deep space exploration comprises its Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, Gateway lunar terrain vehicle orbiting base, cutting-edge spacesuits and rovers, and human landing devices.

NASA has chosen Blue Origin from Kent, Washington to create a human landing system for their Artemis V mission to the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission is going to explore more of the Moon than ever before! This will help us discover new things about the Moon and prepare for future missions to Mars.

What role will Blue Origin play in NASA’s Artemis V mission to the Moon and the development of a human landing system?

For repeated astronaut trips to the lunar surface, including docking with Gateway, a space station where crew transfers take place in lunar orbit, Blue Origin will design, develop, test, and certify its Blue Moon lander to meet NASA’s requirements for human landing systems. The contract involves creating and testing a spacecraft for a trip to the moon. This will include a test run without any people on board, followed by a trip with a crew in 2029. The contract is worth $3.4 billion.

Bill Nelson:

“Today we are excited to announce Blue Origin will build a human landing system as NASA’s second provider to deliver Artemis astronauts to the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “We are in a golden age of human spaceflight, which is made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships. Together, we are making an investment in the infrastructure that will pave the way to land the first astronauts on Mars.”

Rocket and Spacecraft involved in the mission:

NASA’s Artemis V mission will send four astronauts to orbit the moon using the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. After Orion docks with Gateway, two astronauts will take a weeklong trip to the Moon’s South Pole region using Blue Origin’s human landing system. They will conduct science and exploration activities during their time there. Artemis V is a mission that will help NASA explore the moon and prepare for future missions to Mars. It will show how we can explore the moon and set up systems to support more missions in the future.

What are the benefits of involving more partners in NASA’s Artemis program to land humans on the Moon?

NASA is looking for more partners to help them land humans on the Moon as part of their Artemis program. This will make things more competitive and save money for taxpayers. It will also mean more trips to the Moon and more investment in the lunar economy. All of this will help NASA get ready for sending astronauts to Mars in the future.

What is NASA’s strategy for expanding access to space and encouraging innovation in human landing system designs?

The agency hired SpaceX to create a system for humans to land on the moon for the Artemis III mission. The agency instructed SpaceX to update its design to meet its standards for sustainable exploration and to showcase the lander during Artemis IV under the contract. NASA has made a deal with Blue Origin to create a lander meeting certain Artemis V mission requirements. This lander will be able to carry more crew members, stay on the Moon for long periods of time, and transport more materials. This means that there will be more companies available to compete for future opportunities to help NASA with their missions to the Moon.

NASA will contribute to expanding access to space for the benefit of all by encouraging businesses to develop cutting-edge human landing system concepts and designs. This will help industries come up with better ideas and designs for landing systems.

Lisa Watson-Morgan:

“Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with different approaches to how they meet NASA’s mission needs, provides more robustness and ensures a regular cadence of Moon landings,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager of, the Human Landing System Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “This competitive approach drives innovation, brings down costs, and invests in commercial capabilities to grow the business opportunities that can serve other customers and foster a lunar economy.”

What is Appendix P?

NASA released a request called Appendix P in September 2022. This is part of their work to create new and better ways to explore space. They’re looking for partners to help them with this project.

A brief introduction to the program:

NASA is planning to send astronauts to the Moon through a program called Artemis. This mission is significant because it will include the first woman and the first person of color to explore the Moon. The goal of the mission is to make scientific discoveries, reap economic benefits, and establish a base for future missions to Mars. NASA has a solid plan for exploring deep space. They’re using five important things to make it happen: the SLS rocket, Orion, Gateway, advanced spacesuits, and human landing systems.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has unveiled a virtual Mars habitat where four non-astronaut volunteers will spend a year preparing for human missions. The 160-square-meter habitat simulates Martian environmental constraints and allows the crew to work with limited resources, be isolated, and experience equipment failures. Volunteers will do simulated spacewalks, robotics, exercise, habitat care, and crop planting. NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog program 3D-printed the habitat.

Mars Dune Alpha
A working area is seen inside the Mars Dune Alpha, NASA’s simulated Mars habitat, being used as preparations for sending humans to the Red Planet, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, U.S. April 11, 2023. (REUTERS/Go Nakamura)

First, let’s discuss,

NASA’s CHAPEA!

In a recent showcase, NASA presented a simulated Mars environment where a team of four volunteers will reside for a year. The project helps the US space agency prepare for human spaceflight. In June, a group of non-astronaut volunteers is set to enter a specialized environment known as a habitat. NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has constructed a significant research facility.

According to a recent NASA announcement, 4 crew members will participate in numerous activities. These astronauts will be participating in a variety of activities and tasks during their space expedition. These activities include simulated spacewalks, robotic work, habitat maintenance, exercise, and crop cultivation.

Crew quarter inside the Mars
A Crew quarter is seen inside the Mars Dune Alpha. (REUTERS/Go Nakamura)

The lead researcher of the CHAPEA experiments Grace Douglas says: “CHAPEA was developed as a one-year Mars surface simulation with the intent that we can have crew in isolation and confinement with Mars-realistic restrictions,” Moreover, she said: “That is one of the technologies that NASA is looking at as a potential to build habitat on other planetary or lunar surfaces,” 

Now, let’s dig into,

The architecture of the isolated environment:

Scientists have developed a 160-square-meter habitat that simulates the environmental pressures that could be encountered by future visitors to Mars. The habitat simulates Mars’ harsh conditions to give visitors a taste of living there.  NASA has announced that they will be conducting activities with limited resources, experiencing equipment failures, and being isolated. These challenges will be faced as part of their ongoing efforts to explore space.

The pretend Mars house was made using 3D printers, which are machines that can print out 3D objects layer by layer. People have been using 3D printers to make bigger things, like entire houses!

simulated Mars habitat
(REUTERS/Go Nakamura)

NASA’s latest endeavor, the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA), includes the Mars habitat as one of its integral components. The upcoming project is set to feature a trio of simulated environments.

Now some might be wondering what is the,

The Motive of NASA CHAPEA:

Even though NASA is preparing to send people to Mars. They’re focusing on returning people to the Moon after 50 years! NASA will monitor volunteers’ health in the Mars habitat.

simulated Martian environment
Plant pods to grow vegetables are seen inside NASA’s simulated Mars habitat, being used as preparations for sending humans to the Red Planet, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, U.S. April 11, 2023. (REUTERS/Go Nakamura)

“And we can really start to understand how those restrictions are associated with their health and performance over that year.”  Douglas says.

The simulated Mars environment features an outdoor area that emulates the planet’s surface and surroundings while remaining within the confines of the habitat. NASA will pick individuals with strong scientific, technological, engineering, and math skills using the same criteria as astronauts.  The identities of the volunteers for the initial experiment have not been disclosed yet. Furthermore, those who are interested in participating must be within the age range of 30 to 55, exhibit good physical health, and have no issues with dietary restrictions or motion sickness. Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield shared his views with The Associated Press in 2021, stating that these requirements indicate that NASA is seeking individuals who possess qualities similar to those of astronauts, which in turn will enhance the overall quality of the experiment.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

If you are wondering is there any need of space agriculture, then your concern is right. Astronauts, and employees who work in space can’t simply make a quick visit to the grocery store, if they need any good range of healthy meal choices. That is why there is a need to have the farming concept in space too.

 And this is done to have a fresh, and healthy diet during long space missions. Astronauts must have nutrient-packed food available. Till today, they bring the majority of their needed food from Earth. And as its very common that space missions got prolonged. That is why it has become important for the researchers to cultivate plants. This cultivation will serve to enhance their diet and provides a good atmosphere like home to them too.

Today, we will highlight some of the major projects by NASA & ESA when it comes to the space agriculture research.

What Backgrounded Study has been Provided by SpaceX?

As SpaceX’s 25th cargo resupply mission for NASA (SpX-25) is all ready towards the International Space Station. It will be transporting an important space agricultural and its biology study. Furthermore, this investigation also holds the potential to revolutionize the methods that we use to cultivate and sustain crops. That is why both in the space environment and on our home planet Earth will have a better point of view about agriculture.

How SpaceX has Conduct a Study on Space Agriculture?

This experiment is known as Dynamics of Microbiomes in Space” (DynaMoS). And it centers around the investigation of small organisms that we don’t know. Moreover, the initial indications of life on Earth trace back more than three billion years.

These microorganisms that is also known as microbe. They will eventually paved the way for all the life forms thriving on our planet today. With the passage of time, these microbes have evolved to effectively to the  available resources. And soil stands out as one of the most common, and opted ecosystems that has diverse microbial communities.

Microbes that stays in the soil plays a crucial role in the carbon cycle. And that is why the circulation of other essential nutrients, which in turn supports the growth of plants. Which is an important factor for the quality sustain of all life.

The DynaMoS project has a aim to dissect the impact of microgravity in space agriculture. And other variables on the metabolic plays important role among communities of soil microorganisms. This study will particularly highlight the soil microorganism groups which is known as  chitin. It is basically a carbon polymer that ranks as the second most prevalent on our planet.

Results from the Dynamics of Microbiomes in Space (DynaMoS) investigation will compare soil samples full of microbes flown aboard the International Space Station and ground control samples at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

How Space Agriculture Pave a Way in Science Inventions & Discoveries?

As we all know that consistent efforts plays an important role in the plant growth. And they holds a good significant in space exploration. This is why paving into the microorganism communities that are found within soil takes on fundamental role in our many space explorations.

What is BPS & How it Contributes to Space Agriculture?

NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division takes the lead in driving scientific revelations. And it further facilitates the science exploration. They do it by harnessing space environments for conducting studies that is not possible on Earth.

We all know that investigating biological and physical phenomena within extreme conditions provides researchers with so much knowledge.  With the means to push forward the important scientific insights necessary for extending our reach and duration in space missions.  Aside from this, the future space agriculture’s research yield valuable insights that have practical applications here on Earth.

Dynamics of Microbiomes in Space
Four bags containing 13 tubes each, like this one filled with soil, will fly to the International Space Station as part of the Dynamics of Microbiomes in Space (DynaMoS) investigation.

Important Words by a Scientist of BPS (Biological and Physical Sciences)

Dr. Mamta Patel Nagaraja. Who is a deputy program scientist for space biology for NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences (BPS) division. He said:

“Farmers on Earth face challenges with weather changes, balancing carbon levels in soil, and other unpredictable forces, but growing crops in space is a whole different playing field.

One factor that is key is understanding how soil microbes perform and function in microgravity since they heavily affect the carbon and nutrient levels. Understanding the behavior of these microbes in spaceflight has the potential to improve agricultural production for long duration space travel. Which includes to other planets, and of course, farming right here on Earth.”

What is APH & How it Contributes to Space Agriculture?

The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) also serves as a growth chamber into the station which helps in the plant research. This system has LED lights and a micro clay substrate. That is couple with control release fertilizer. It effectively provide water, nutrients, and oxygen to the plant roots.

However, what sets APH apart is its enclosed and automated design. Which is equipped with cameras and over 180 sensors. They maintain constant communication with a ground-based team stationed at Kennedy.

Space Agriculture
John “JC” Carver, a payload integration engineer with Kennedy’s Test and Operations Support Contract, opens the door to the growth chamber of the Advanced Plant Habitat Flight Unit No. 1 for a test harvest of half of the Arabidopsis thaliana plants growing within.
Credits: NASA/Leif Heimbold

Furthermore, it demands less day-to-day attention from the crew. Automation handles aspects such as water recovery and distribution, atmospheric composition, moisture levels, and temperature regulation. APH features an expanded palette of LED light colors compared to Veggie, including red, green, blue, white, far red, and even infrared. Which further benefits the nighttime imaging capabilities.

What is BRIC LED Lights?

The Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) serves as a facility that help out in investigating the impact of space conditions on tiny organisms. Which can be cultivate in petri dishes. These organisms encompass entities like yeast and microbes. The latest iteration, known as BRIC-LED, has introduced light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to cater to biological specimens such as plants, mosses, algae, and cyanobacteria that rely on light to produce their sustenance.

Currently, BRIC-LED is undergoing tests to validate its hardware. Scientists are diligently ensuring that the LEDs remain within suitable temperature ranges for the plants while also conducting various system checks. In the near future, researchers like Dr. Simon Gilroy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will utilize this facility to carry out their studies.

When did NASA start growing plants in space?

The timeline of these space-based projects of space agriculture is as follows:

  • Advanced Plant Habitat. It commenced its journey aboard the ISS in April 2017.
  • Bion Satellites. That stary back in 1973.
  • Biomass Production System. Which embarked on its mission in April 2002 aboard the ISS.
  • Vegetable Production System (Veggie). And it took off in May 2014, finding its place aboard the ISS.

How does NASA help agriculture?

NASA Acres collaborates with various stakeholders within the agricultural domain to create data and tools derived from Earth observatories. These resources are aims at enhancing production levels. While protecting the land, water, the atmosphere, and human well-being.

What food did NASA grow in space?

NASA has achieved successful cultivation of plants. That includes lettuce and radishes, and has examined their reactions to the space environment in space agriculture research. This has a comprehensive analysis ranging from gene expression to even assessing the spiciness of the plants. NASA’s Plant Habitat-04 experiment further builds upon prior endeavors, extending to the growth of peppers within the confines of the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH).

Farming Projects by NASA
The first growth test of crops in the Advanced Plant Habitat aboard the International Space Station yielded great results. Arabidopsis seeds – small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard – grew for about six weeks, and dwarf wheat for five weeks.
Credits: NASA

What is the NASA Veggie program?

The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) stands as a plant growth setup developed and employed by NASA within the context of outer space conditions. Veggie holds a dual purpose: to furnish astronauts with a self-sustaining and lasting food source, while also offering a platform for leisure and relaxation through therapeutic gardening activities.

Space Agriculture
Zinnia plants from the Veggie ground control system are being harvested in the Flight Equipment Development Laboratory in the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy. A similar zinnia harvest was conducted by astronaut Scott Kelly on the International Space Station. Credits: NASA/Bill White

What is the Role of ESA in Space Agriculture?

On January 25, 2023, the European Space Agency (ESA) has a collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE). They held an event that united the research of space agriculture in space exploration and agri-food sectors. The goal was to collaboratively address common challenges and lay out a shared trajectory for progress.

Roscosmos Spacewalk

Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 22, as NASA gears up to provide an exciting live broadcast of a spacewalk performed by two Roscosmos cosmonauts outside the International Space Station. In order to move stuff from the Rassvet segment to the new Nauka multifunctional research module, two Roscosmos cosmonauts will perform an array of spacewalks exterior to the International Space Station in the months of April and May. NASA will broadcast the space missions live.

NASA Broadcasting Roscosmos Live

Beginning at 9:45 a.m. EDT, you can tune in to NASA TV, the NASA app, or the agency’s website to catch all the action. The highly anticipated spacewalk of Roscosmos is slated to commence around 10:20 a.m. and is anticipated to extend for up to seven hours.

The orbital station has been dedicated to a continual American human population since the establishment of NASA, which has helped humanity learn how to survive and thrive in space for lengthy intervals of time. The space station will serve as a launching pad for NASA’s upcoming major exploration initiatives, such as the Artemis lunar expeditions and, eventually, manned missions to Mars.

Astronauts in Roscosmos Spacewalks

The skilled duo undertaking this mission of Roscosmos are Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, integral members of Expedition 69. Venturing through the Poisk airlock, their objectives include retrieving essential experimental items and setting up vital contact equipment.

Sergey Prokopyev, a seasoned veteran, boasts an impressive track record of six previous spacewalks. He will be easily identifiable by his red-striped Orlan spacesuit. Dmitri Petelin, on the other hand, has successfully executed four spacewalks and will don the blue-striped spacesuit for this excursion. Attend this incredible event as these daring cosmonauts embark on their extravehicular journey to enhance the International Space Station and secure the necessary tools for ongoing operations.

Roscosmos and International Space Station

Among the key collaborators on the International Space Station (ISS) is Roscosmos. Within the ISS, there is constantly a minimum of one Russian cosmonaut. The Russian Soyuz spacecraft served as the sole path for astronauts to reach the International Space Station (ISS) between the termination of the American space travel mission in 2010 and the start of spaceflights with the Dragon capsules in 2020. At the conclusion of 2024, Roskosmos said it would stop working on the ISS mission and start building an independent orbital space station.

Roscosmos Extension in Space Lab

But later, Roscosmos declared that Russia will continue its involvement in the International Space Station as long as 2028, contradicting Yuri Borisov’s declaration from a year ago that Russia intended to withdraw from the space lab after 2024 and concentrate on developing its own orbiting outpost.

Director-General of Roscosmos Yuri Borisov claims that Russia is entering into satellites launching agreements with states in Africa, Europe, and Asia in order to promote the expansion of its aerospace sector and take all of the benefits of the aerospace sector for social and economic growth.

Roscosmos and NASA’s Deal

Russian cosmonauts will be permitted to fly on American-built spacecraft as a substitute for American astronauts being permitted to travel on Russia’s Soyuz. All this happened owing to a long-sought deal between NASA and Roscosmos regarding integrating missions to the International Space Station.

According to a declaration from Roscosmos, “the accord aligns with furtherance of the goals of Russia as well as the United States of America and will encourage the establishment of collaborative efforts under the confines of the ISS programme.” It will also make it easier to “explore the outer universe for constructive purposes,” the agency added.

 

The orion spacecraft mission’s laser communications system arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the Orion spacecraft, which will transport men around the Moon for the first time since the Apollo missions.

NASA Laser Communications Delivery
The O2O payload at Kennedy Space Center undergoing unpacking and examination. Credits: NASA / Isaac Watson

Onion Spacecraft Launching Date & Background

NASA launched the Artemis I mission on November 16, 2022, an uncrewed flight test that pushed the human-rated

Laser Communications for Artemis II
The Benefits of Laser Communications: Efficient, Lighter, Secure, and Flexible.
Credits: NASA / Dave Ryan

Orion spacecraft further into space than any previous mission.

 

The next mission, Artemis II will put all of Orion spaceflight systems to the test and pave the way for future lunar surface missions.

The Artemis II mission will also put new and improved technologies to the test, including laser communication capabilities.

The Orion Artemis II Optical Communications System, or O2O, is Orion’s laser communications terminal.

Sending & Receiving of Data Through Laser Communications 

Laser communications techniques, such as O2O, enable missions to send and receive more data in a single transmission than traditional radio wave systems, which are currently used by the majority of NASA missions. More information implies more discoveries.

Steve Horowitz, O2O project manager said,

“At 260 megabits per second, O2O is capable of sending down 4K high-definition video from the Moon,”

He added

“In addition to video and pictures, O2O will transmit and receive procedures, pictures, flight plans, and be a link between Orion spacecraft and mission control on Earth.”

After collecting data, O2O will transmit it through laser signals to one of two ground stations in Las Cruces, New Mexico, or Table Mountain, California, both of which were chosen for their low cloud coverage.

The quality of photographs and films sent from Orion via O2O will be determined in part by cloud coverage at ground stations.

Optical Infusion Effect | Orion Spacecraft

The O2O laser terminal is part of the optical infusion effort of the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN)

NASA's Laser Communications Roadmap
NASA’s Laser Communications Roadmap
Credits: NASA / Dave Ryan

program, which is testing laser communications on numerous missions.

A team of engineers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT-LL) created O2O.

This collaboration has resulted in several laser communications missions, including

  • Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD) in 2013.
  • Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) in 2021
  • Tera-Byte Infrared Delivery (TBIRD) payload in 2022.

Potential Benefits of Laser Communications Through Orion Spacecraft

The SCaN is demonstrating the benefits of laser communications for missions by testing this technology in several space regimes.

  • The O2O laser terminal underwent multiple stages of environmental testing before being sent to Kennedy to guarantee that the payload can work in the harsh environment of space.
  • O2O laser communications terminals will allow more data to reach Earth and aid scientists in their efforts to perform advanced investigations. Artemis II’s data will help NASA plan future lunar missions and build a long-term presence on the Moon and, eventually, Mars.
Artemis II Moon Mission
The O2O payload in a Kennedy Space Center cleanroom.
Credits: NASA / Isaac Watson

Now, let’s see the capability of Artemis II from different perspectives.

What Artemis II is Supposed to Do?

The approximately 10-day flight will test NASA’s foundational human deep space exploration capabilities. The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, for the first time with astronauts and will pave the way for lunar surface missions, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.

What is the Current Status of Artemis II as NASA’S Orion Spacecraft?

Artemis II stands as the second planned endeavor within NASA’s Artemis program and holds the distinction of being the initial crewed mission employing NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

The intended launch, scheduled for November 2024, will rely on the powerful Space Launch System (SLS).

NASA has recently done some research on the complex structure of the moon and found out that there is microbial life on the moon.

But, how did NASA come to this news? Let’s find out!

As we all know that the moon is a lifeless place in comparison to Earth. Without any evidence of life, glistening clouds, or flowing water.

Microbial Life on the South Pole of the Moon

However, according to a NASA expert, the moon is more complex than it first appears.

Microbial life could survive in hostile circumstances like those on the moon, according to Prabal Saxena, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Centre.

According to Prabal Saxena,

“There may be potentially habitable niches for such life on some airless bodies in relatively protected areas.”

But first, let’s find out if is there a presence of microbial life in space or anywhere is possible.

Is There Microbial Life in Space?

Microbes can be found wherever humans are present, including our homes, offices, industrial areas, the outdoors, and even in space. Bacteria and fungi inhabit these environments alongside us.

Did Microbial Life on Moon Come Up From Earth?

If these moon bacteria exist, they most certainly came from Earth and rode along with a lunar lander.

Saxena researches potential extraterrestrial life places beyond our solar system, but he has lately collaborated with a team focused on a region closer to Earth: the lunar south pole.

Ice craters and potential microbial life on the moon can be found in the lunar south pole.
Because NASA plans to land its Artemis III astronauts there in 2025, the lunar south pole has received a lot of interest recently.

There are 13 probable landing sites that have been identified by the agency.

next human moon landing

Will This Microbial Life on Moon be Helpful for NASA?

The lunar south pole has never been occupied by a human being. However, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper from NASA has revealed that it has ice in its craters, which astronauts may mine for rocket fuel.

Some areas of these craters are perpetually in the dark and in shadow. These lunar niches are therefore never exposed to the sun’s harmful radiation, making them a potential refuge for extremely virulent bacteria.

According to a recent study by Saxena,

“Importantly, recent research on the survivability of microbes exposed to conditions like those on parts of the lunar surface indicate surprising resilience of numerous microorganisms to such conditions,”

It has been said by Leonard David for Inside Outer Space.

cold traps
A map showing “cold traps” within gloomy lunar craters at the moon’s south and north poles (left and right). Blue dots indicate areas where water ice may exist at or near the surface.

Microbial Life on Earth: Deinococcus radiodurans 

For instance, scientists discovered that a bacterium known as Deinococcus radiodurans endured for a year outside the International Space Station. Additionally, tardigrades have endured outside the ISS in the harsh environment of space.

According to Saxena,

“We’re trying to figure out which particular organisms might be best suited for surviving in such regions.”

Even if bacteria don’t now exist on the moon, they most likely will if we begin to move around on its surface. According to Space.com, if Saxena and his team are correct, those bacteria might not only survive in these perpetually covered craters but also flourish and thrive there.

Is There a Microbial Life on Moon?

According to a planetary scientist from NASA, the conditions present on the south pole of the Moon have the potential to support microbial life.

Studies have revealed that specific microorganisms on our planet have the ability to survive in harsh environments. Consequently, it is seemingly fair that this resilient microbial life on Earth might have unintentionally traveled to the Moon aboard a lunar lander and currently reside there.

Can Bacteria Live on the Moon?

During the Apollo 12 mission, the camera that belonged to the Surveyor 3 probe was returned to Earth from the Moon. Upon examining the camera, scientists made an intriguing discovery. Which is the presence of a living bacterium called Streptococcus mitis. 

Conclusion:

Above mentioned data shows us that there is microbial life on Moon, and scientists will use it for future research, and findings.

On January 28, 1986, a catastrophic event occurred that shocked the world and forever changed the future of space exploration. At 11:39:13 EST (16:39:13 UTC), the Space Shuttle Challenger, with its crew of seven aboard, broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight, losing all crew members. The Challenger disaster occurred off the coast of Florida, in the Atlantic Ocean, and was caused by the failure of an O-ring seal in the right Solid Rocket Booster (SRB), due to cold weather and wind shears. The impact of this tragedy was profound, leading to the cancellation of the Teacher in Space Project and subsequent civilian shuttle spaceflights, as well as the grounding of the entire Shuttle fleet for the implementation of new safety measures.

Let’s find out,

Construction and Features:

Challenger disaster
Credit: NASA

NASA’s second Space Shuttle orbiter, Challenger (OV-099), was a Structural Test Item (STA-099). The decision to build STA-099 was made due to the low production rate of the Orbiters, which made it necessary to have a prototype vehicle that could be converted into a flight vehicle later on. The purpose of the STA-099 was to undergo structural testing to validate computational models and to show compliance with the required 1.4 factor of safety. The testing was performed to a safety factor of 1.2 times the design limit loads to prevent damage during structural testing.

NASA initially planned to convert the prototype orbiter, Enterprise (OV-101), which was used for flight testing, as the second operational orbiter. But, design changes made during the construction of the first orbiter, Columbia (OV-102), would have required considerable rework. Although STA-099’s qualification testing averted damage, NASA found that reconstructing STA-099 as OV-099 would be less expensive than refitting Enterprise.

Challenger had some design modifications as compared to its predecessor, Columbia. Most of the tiles on the payload bay doors, top wing surface, and rear fuselage surface were replaced with DuPont white Nomex felt insulation, resulting in a Thermal Protection System with fewer tiles. This change allowed Challenger to carry a more payload of 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) than Columbia. Challenger was the first orbiter to carry a head-up display system.  Scientists used the system during the descent phase of a mission. The head-up display supplied crucial information to the crew during the landing.

Moreover, it comes about

Flights and Modifications:

Challenger made its first flight on April 4, 1983, and quickly became the primary orbiter in NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet, flying more missions per year than Columbia. In fact, between 1983 and 1984, Challenger flew on 85% of all Space Shuttle missions. Challenger, Discovery, and other Space Shuttles were in heavy use during the early 1980s. It flew three missions a year from 1983 to 1985. Challenger and Discovery underwent modifications at Kennedy Space Center. The modifications allowed them to carry the Centaur-G upper stage in their payload bays. Challenger’s next mission, had STS-51-L been successful, was to deploy the Ulysses probe with the Centaur. The Ulysses probe would have studied the polar regions of the Sun.

Challenger achieved many milestones during its spaceflight career. The milestones included being the first for many groups, such as the first American woman, African-American, and Canadian in space. Challenger also completed three Spacelab missions and performed the Space Shuttle’s first night launch and landing. However, Challenger is most remembered for the tragic loss of the orbiter and its seven-member crew. The loss occurred on January 28, 1986, during mission STS-51-L.  The debris of the vessel was collected and stored in decommissioned missile silos at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Occasionally, different pieces of debris from the orbiter wash up on the Florida coast and are transported to the silos for storage. It’s worth noting that Challenger was the only Space Shuttle that never wore the NASA “meatball” logo, due to its early loss.

Here is to discuss,

What was the disaster Of Challenger?

Space Shuttle Challenger
Credit: NASA

Tragically, Challenger met its demise during its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986. The Space Shuttle was destroyed just 73 seconds into the flight, at an altitude of approximately 46,000 feet. The cause of the Challenger disaster was later determined to be an O-ring seal failure on the right solid rocket booster (SRB). The O-rings failed to seal properly due to various factors, including cold weather. A plume of flame was able to escape from the SRB due to the failed O-ring seal.

The escaping flame caused the structural failure of the external fuel tank (ET) and the SRB. The structural failure of the ET and SRB caused the vehicle to break apart. The break-up of the vehicle occurred under the stress of aerodynamic loads. The loss of the seven crew members on board was a tragic outcome of the disaster. The Challenger disaster was a significant setback for the Space Shuttle program. They grounded the Space Shuttle fleet for nearly three years as a result of the tragedy.

When it comes about,

The views of Janet Petro

Janet Petro, who is the Kennedy Space Center Director, says: “Challenger and her crew live on in the hearts and memories of both NASA and the nation,” Moreover, she added: “Today, as we turn our sights again toward the Moon and Mars, we see that the same love of exploration that drove the Challenger crew is still inspiring the astronauts of today’s Artemis Generation, calling them to build on the legacy of knowledge and discovery for the benefit of all humanity.”

Lastly,

When did the world see Challenger’s sad loss?

January 28, 1986, the world saw the Challenger’s sad loss. President Ronald Reagan appointed a special commission to investigate the cause of the disaster. The commission was tasked with developing corrective measures. Former secretary of state William Rogers led the commission. The commission included notable figures such as former astronaut Neil Armstrong and former test pilot Chuck Yeager.

The investigation found an “O-ring” seal failed in one of the two solid-fuel rockets. The O-ring was to be elastic and pliable. The O-ring did not respond as expected due to the cold temperature at launch time. The failure of the O-ring caused a breach in the seal. Hot gases escaped through the breach and damaged critical parts of the space shuttle. The damage caused by the hot gases led to the catastrophic failure of the Challenger.

As a result of the investigation, NASA suspended all manned spaceflights for more than two years while it redesigned and improved various features of the space shuttle. The commission’s recommendations led to changes in NASA’s safety protocols and a renewed focus on safety in the space program. The lessons learned from the Challenger disaster continue to inform NASA’s approach to space exploration today.

To sum it up:

Bill Nelson, NASA’s Administrator, says: “While it has been nearly 37 years since seven daring and brave explorers lost their lives aboard Challenger, this tragedy will forever be seared in our country’s collective memory. For millions around the globe, myself included, Jan. 28, 1986, still feels like yesterday,” Moreover, he says: “This discovery allows us to pause once again, to uplift the legacies of the seven pioneers we lost, and to reflect on how this tragedy changed us. At NASA, the core value of safety is – and must forever remain – our top priority, especially as our missions explore more of the cosmos than ever before.”

 

Published by: Sky Headlines