The behavioral responses and eye movements of flatfish during parabolic fight were video recorded and analyzed frame by frame. One of 6 flat fish showed rolling behavior during microgravity period of parabolic flight. The response property of vertical eye movements was different between left and right eye to the changes of gravity during parabolic flight. The left eye showed clear vertical eye movements correspond to gravity change during parabolic flight. It was suggested that these deficit in behavior and eye movements resulted from the 90 degrees displacement of vestibular and oculomotor co-ordinate in flatfish.
Two of three ``KIBO'' assembly flights, Flight 1J/A and Flight 1J, have been successfully completed, and now ``KIBO'' is monitored and controlled by Japanese flight controllers at JAXA Tsukuba Space Center. The accomplishment of ``KIBO'' activation and the following system checkout is summarized to present that ``KIBO'' functions are normal and are ready for experiment operations.
JAXA has developed two experiment racks for utilization onboard International space station. Those racks which accommodate several multi-purpose experiment facilities (payloads) were launched on 1J/A (STS-123) mission on last March. JAXA has started several checkouts to confirm their function and influence of launch on July, 2008. This paper describes overview of multi-purpose experiments and their checkout status.
Japanese Experiment Module “KIBO” starts its operation on orbit. The KIBO had been expected to use micro gravity science experiments as well as technology developments, Education, Culture, application and even commercial activity. On the other hand, on board resource such as Crew time, up and down mass allocated to the utilization is limited. KIBO Utilization Plan has two different aspects. One is to fit into all required activities into limited resources though the coordination among the International partners. The other one is to prepare a potential utilization in the future.
Fluid physics experiment started on 22nd August, 2008 as the first science experiment on Kibo. The Physics Fluid Experimental Facility (FPEF) was launched by STS-123 and Kibo itself was constructed by STS-124. Afterwards, the FPEF was successfully installed in Kibo. Physics Fluid Experiment aims to perform a series of experiment on Marangoni convection in a liquid bridge in the microgravity. The experimental apparatus was operated by remote control from the Tsukuba Space Center. The largest difficulty in the early phase of experiment was existence of bubbles in the liquid bridge. After several days of trials, a new method was developed to rupture the bubbles with use of the Marangoni effect. A long liquid bridge was formed. A set of new data on the transition to the oscillatory flow was obtained and traveling of the hydrothermal wave was successfully observed.
Space experiment about the morphological instability on the ice disk growing in supercooled bulk water is slated in the period between November 2008 and March 2009 using the SCOF installed on the Japanese Experiment Module “KIBO” of International Space Station (ISS). A growth apparatus which is called as “ICE CELL” was developed de novo. The An ice crystals grows as a circular disk at the initial growth stage and the morphological instability occurs at the edge plane on ice disk immediately after its thickness reaches a critical value. Furthermore, a theoretical model based on the anisotropic kinetic effect is developed to explain the ice disk growth trajectories and the occurrence of morphological instability. The space experiment is carried out to confirm the newly-developed morphological instability model.
In situ observation experiments of faceted cellular array growth are carried out in transparent organic alloy, salol - t-butyl alcohol in a microgravity condition on the Japanese Experiment Module “KIBO” of International Space Station. Growth rate of the crystal, and temperature and solute concentration fields in the melt are simultaneously measured by an amplitude modulation microscope and by a Mach-Zehnder interference microscope in order to evaluate the morphological instability of the solid/liquid interface taking account of released latent heat in faceting material.
The space environment contains two main biologically important factors, i.e. space radiations and microgravity. Space radiations are well known to contain heavy particles which induce serious damage in organisms with high relative biological effectiveness as compared with low LET radiations such as X-rays and γ-rays. The tumor suppressor gene product p53 is generally thought to contribute to the genetic stability of DNA-damaged cells through p53-centered signal transduction pathways. We have already found the accumulation of p53 in the skin and muscle of rats after spaceflight. For the next stage, in the present study, we propose to investigate the gene expression of p53-regulated genes in mammalian cultured cells after exposure to space environment. Human lymphoblastoid TSCE5 cells (carrying wild-type p53) and WTK1 cells (carrying mutant p53) are frozen until launching. The cells are molten and then cultured under micro or 1 g at 37°C during 6 days in International Space Station. After re-freezing, the cells return on the Earth. The data obtained with flight samples will be compared with those of ground control samples. Finally, the experimental results from flight samples might clarify the role of p53-regulated or unknown genes in the genetic instability induced by space stressors. We expect that the data from this proposal will be useful for providing physiological protection against the serious effects of space radiation during long stays in space.
To elucidate the health problems caused by life in space, it is essential to understand the effect of microgravity on the molecular mechanisms of living cells. In our ground-based research using Xenopus A6 and A8 cell lines, suppression of ‘dome’ formation was observed in A6 cell line under simulated-microgravity conditions as compared to normal gravity conditions. Moreover, expression of various genes was affected by simulated-microgravity in A6 and A8 cell lines. These findings suggest that microgravity may affect cell morphology and gene expression during a space flight. Our studies will contribute significantly to the understanding of cellular responses and organ functions in space.
This is a kind of review paper to introduce how our developing methodology for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis is predictable to detect the biological effects of space radiation. Our biological experiments using human cultured cells in “Kibou” of International Space Station are planned to detect the following effects: i) mutagenic effects, ii) combined effects of radiation with micro gravity, and iii) radioadaptive response. After the cell recovery to the earth, we will analyze the mutagenic effects (i) in the frozen cells exposed to low-dose space radiation during the 3 months preservation in “Kibou”, determine the combined effects (II) from the mutation inductions in the cells incubated for 1 week under 1G or G in “Kibou”, and estimate the radioadaptive response (iii) from measuring the repair efficiencies of DNA double-strand breaks introduced after the recovery.
JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, has been starting the first science experiment mission in the Japanese Experiment module (JEM); nicknamed as“Kibo”, since this August. In this paper, an overview of JAXA payload operations structure, payload flight control team training, operations products and ground support systems for “Kibo” experiment operations are introduced. In addition, the hot topics on the latest “Kibo” experiment operations are also explained.