The BBC reports that under the agreement with NASA, more than 100 baby squid and 5,000 micro-animals and worms will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) with the US company SpaceX’s Balkan-9 missile.
Baby squid will be used as part of research on the effects of space flight on beneficial interactions between microorganisms and animals. Squid have a human-like immune system.
Scientists explain that this experiment will be useful to devise additional measures to protect the health of astronauts during long space missions.
“Animals, including humans, rely on our microbes to maintain healthy digestion and immunity. We do not fully understand how space flight transforms these beneficial contacts“Jamie Foster, the lead scientist in the experiment, says. According to him, Squid can deal with it.”These are important animal health issues“.
The squid freezes before returning to Earth.
The 5,000 slow-moving walkers will fly to ISS, which can survive in extreme conditions for most life forms. It is ideal for studying their reactions and adapting them to extreme situations.
Scientists hope to use it to understand the pressures that affect people in space.
“One of the things we really want to do is understand how slow-moving people survive and reproduce in such conditions. We hope they can understand some of the tricks they use, modify them, and protect the astronauts.Says Thomas Bootby, who is part of the research team.
Thousands of roundworms of the genus Gynecobacterium elegans also travel to the ISS and participate in studies related to muscle loss.
Scientists are looking for a solution to this problem as astronauts lose up to 40% of their muscle mass in orbit after six months.
Scientists from the Universities of Nottingham and Exeter led the study. This will help develop new methods of treating tendon dystrophy.