Autonomous Microscope for the Examination of Radiation Effects (AMERE) study
AMERE is a GSP study for a space experiment that will help quantify the risks to human explorers of exposure to the deep space radiation environment. It does this by imaging repair processes in human cells following damage by cosmic radiation. The study is lead by the Belgian company lambda-x.
Radiation poses one of the greatest potential problems for deep space exploration by humans and reliably quantifying risks for future human missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids or other deep space locations is extremely challenging.
Uncertainties about the effects of space radiation on human physiology arise primarily because of the difficulties in creating analogous environments on Earth in which to perform appropriate testing. For this reason measurements of the cellular processes that occur in response to radiation damage to human cells in situ provides a vital reference point for evaluating the long term effects of exposure to these environments.
The AMERE experiment addresses this by exposing human cells to the galactic cosmic rays in deep space and imaging the repair mechanisms that are expressed in response to the resultant DNA damage. To do this the experiment combines radiation detection, modified human cell lines in a dedicated life support system and both structured light and dark field optical microscopy in an integrated and complex system. Such a system can be applied on deep space mission, orbital platforms and planetary surface missions (e.g. on the Moon).
The AMERE study has been funded through the ESA General Studies Programme and has been led by Lambda-X with University of Gent, Canberra and Delphi Genetics.
For further information please contact:
Tel: +31 71 565 3540
Email: James.Carpenter @ esa.int