Comments on PharmaSat Nano-Satellite Orbiting 'Lab'
Interesting experiment exapnds the role of very small, autonomous experimental 'labs'. (Read
the complete story)
|"NASA provides this information regarding the relevance of PharmaSat to its other spacecraft and exploration plans:
For safe, long-duration space missions, the
debilitating effects of the environment such as bone
density loss, muscle atrophy, and a stressed immune
system must be addressed. In terrestrial medicine,
powerful recent advances in therapeutics have come
from detailed understanding of biological
mechanisms and pathways at the molecular level.
The miniaturization of the tools, methods, and liquid
volumes of modern molecular biology, as well as the
sensors, electronics, and processors necessary to
implement sophisticated analytical measurement
systems, is enabling autonomous systems that are
particularly suitable to growing and analyzing
microorganisms under challenging constraints of size
and power. The GeneSat-1 platform and derivatives
such as PharmaSat are ideal for executing a broad
spectrum of research approaches to understand
space-environment related effects in
microorganisms. It is a particularly suitable family
of platforms to evaluate potential countermeasure
The use of low-cost, small-size, autonomous
secondary payload concepts provides a means to
study biological changes of fundamentally well-
understood microorganisms and mammalian cells at
the gene/protein level. Such knowledge will be key
to the development of effective countermeasures to
the deleterious effects of long-duration space travel.
(From PharmaSat Flight Project [pdf])"
(Bill Christensen 5/9/2009 7:47:17 PM)
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