Episode 540: ISS Science Update 6

On this episode of Talking Space we talk with Liz Warren, Ph.D. from NASA ISS Program Science Office Communications Integration at Johnson Space Center.

We learn about the upcoming Orbital Sciences CRS cargo launch and experiments (some from students) it will take to the ISS. We also hear about some of the effects of microgravity on the human body.  Liz says we need to keep our people healthy in space and learning how to do that has brought home some very valuable science that applies to life here on earth too.

Some experiments have an educational component to them like the NanoRacks-NCESSE-Falcon Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. With 17 experiments involving thousands of students on the ground. This is the 5th opportunity the student spaceflight program has participated in. Some of their experiments investigate fungal growth, antibiotic efficiency, seed germination, bacterial growth and space radiation. Did you know that bacteria grow faster in microgravity? Having a space station to fly to makes science experiments like we’ve been talking about possible by students in grades 5-12. Pretty incredible!

We learn that it is rather fun to train astronauts. Liz describes them as overachievers, wanting not just to do their best but to do a job better than the next guy. The astronauts want to get really good results for the Principal Investigators. From research in space there have been changes in Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that affect bone loss. There are medications now on the market from research in space that can help patients affected by bone loss due to chemotherapy.

While we were talking about the ISS, gravity came up. The Hollywood movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney named “Gravity” that is. So do you think science fiction has a place in our discussion about ISS science?

Please watch and share this video Liz spoke of. The stories told will touch, inspire and change how you look at the ISS and research done there. Please, please, please share this video. We’ve only begun to see the International Space Station’s “Benefits For Humanity”.

Benefits For Humanity: In Their Own Words http://youtu.be/HhsaKTFz0TM

NASA ISS Program Science Office web page - www.nasa.gov/iss-science/

Phone (281) 244-6187 email jsc-iss-research-helpline@nasa.gov

 Host this week: Mark Ratterman. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Emily Carney.

Special Guest: Liz Warren, Ph.D. ISS Program Science Office

Show Recorded 12/15/2013

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