ESA astronaut Tim Peake using the Airway Monitoring setup at NASA's Johnson Space Centre that he will later use in space.
To test nitric oxide monitoring in space and assess its value as a diagnostic tool, ESA astronaut Tim Peake and other astronauts will wear a portable gasmask that analyses the molecule as he breathes. The experiment will be performed at normal Space Station pressure but also at a half-pressure in the Quest airlock to simulate the atmosphere on a lunar base.
This is the first time that Quest is being used for scientific research, its main purpose until now being for spacewalks. ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti began the experiment during her mission in 2015.
Previous ESA experiments have led to improved hospital equipment and diagnoses. The Airway Monitoring experiment will add to knowledge of using nitric oxide in our breath as a diagnostic tool. The experiment also paves the way for sending astronauts to the Moon and beyond, where they would have to live healthily self-sufficiently.