ESA title
Science & Exploration

Ground experiments

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Cervantes Mission

The aim is to study chromosome damage in space caused by ionising radiation, which comes from the Sun or cosmic rays. Ionising radiation is strong enough to change the atomic structure of cells, so this experiment will be looking at the effect of ionising radiation at a genetic level. This experiment will use astronauts as test subjects but will not actually fly to the ISS. The research consists of analysing and comparing blood samples drawn from the astronauts pre-flight and post-flight. This experiment is linked to the GENE experiment. Principal Investigator: G. Obe (Germany).


Subject on the tilting table
Subject on the tilting table

This ground experiment is a repeat of the experiment performed on the Odissea mission by ESA astronaut Frank De Winne in 2002. It aims at predicting an astronaut’s inability to stand upright (orthostatic intolerance) for 10 minutes after having spent a long time in a weightless environment. The predictions will be based on the measurements of physical parameters such as blood pressure, electrocardiograms, and brain blood flow (measured by ultrasound). The astronauts are tested pre-flight and post-flight in a ground-based lab using a computerised tilting table. Principal Investigator: J. M. Karamaker (The Netherlands).