SkinCare experiment on board the ISS

The commercial SkinCare Experiment was performed during Thomas Reiter's Astrolab Mission
16 February 2007

A commercial research project, the SkinCare experiment, was performed on board the International Space Station (ISS) to investigate physiological changes of human skin in space.

The aim of this experiment was the systematic examination of the effects of space on human skin, in order to draw general conclusions on the skin ageing processes. It is expected that weightlessness and the particular environment on board the ISS during long-duration missions result in accelerated skin ageing and could finally allow the investigation of skin ageing parameters and corresponding countermeasures in much shorter time than on Earth.

ISS configuration following STS-116
ISS environment expected to result in accelerated skin ageing

During ESA’s Astrolab Mission, the physiological parameters of human skin were measured and recorded every two weeks for the duration of three months. The measurements were performed by non-invasive instruments that were technically adapted and qualified for the assignment on board the ISS by the company Kayser-Threde GmbH of Munich, Germany.

“It was the first application of these measurement instruments in space and our expectations were completely fulfilled. The customers and we are very satisfied with the technical performance of the devices and now looking forward to the results,” says Dr Michael Massow, managing director of ISS Lab Ruhr GmbH, ESA’s Commercial Agent for Biotechnology, Health, Food and Nutrition. The skin measurement devices will remain on board the ISS and will be available for further experiments.

Read more about the official results of the SkinCare Experi-ment on the ISS in the next issue of ‘SPACE FOR BUSINESS’

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