ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti running the Skin-B experiment on the International Space Station during her Futura mission.
Our skin protects us, regulates our temperature and allows us to feel objects. As we grow older, our skin becomes more fragile and takes longer to heal from injuries. Astronauts lose more skin cells and age faster during spaceflight. A common complaint of astronauts is cracking skin and rashes or itchiness.
This experiment collects data on skin structure, oxygenation, hydration and elasticity. The goal is to develop a computer model of how skin ages. Results on many astronaut's skin will improve the model and could contribute to protecting people’s skin on Earth as well as in space.