Next week 128 slugs will arrive along with thousands of other tiny creatures on Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The goal of this project is to provide researchers with a better understanding of what spaceflight does for living organisms. Since squids have an immune system similar to humans, this research could investigate how to make space travel safer and easier.
Also tardigrades on space flight
Information on this subject is still scarce. Jamie Foster is the principal investigator for this experiment and concludes that research into space travel is essential to eventual commercial spaceflight. It concludes that “all animals, including humans, depend on microbes to maintain a healthy digestive system and a vital immune system.” “We don’t yet know how space travel affects these processes,” she told the BBC.
In addition to squid, about 5,000 tardigrades travel into space. These water bears are known to adapt well in difficult conditions. So space flight definitely falls into the category of “difficult conditions”. But this also allows for a better and longer view of how organisms respond to extraterrestrial forces and space travel.
Other studies in space
During the flight to the International Space Station, the SpaceX rocket takes further research and experiments with it. For example, researchers will consider using virtual reality to control robots remotely. In addition, Elon Musk’s hawk takes a few kidneys to search. The research focuses specifically on kidney stones and how they appear differently in spatial domains. Most studies are initiated by students. This trip gives them the opportunity to conduct a spatial research.