Medical requirements and payload training are popping up more and more frequently in my schedule. Payload training, by they way, that's how we call experiments training. Scientific research and technological development are the reason why ISS exists, hence that's our payload!
For example, on Thursday I've had a briefing on the experiment "Microbiome". Did you know that about 9 out of 10 cells on the human body are actually... not human? They belong to the microorganisms that live inside our body and on our skin and make up what we call the microbiome. Most of them are beneficial to us: they facilitate digestion, provide Vitamin K, enhance the immune function and more. How changes in the microbiome affect our health is actually a pretty hot topic right now in medical research. This ISS experiment will study how the microbiome is affected by long-duration spaceflight.
The "microbiome" protocol involves taking samples of urine, feces and saliva at certain intervals before, during and after the mission. Body swabs are also collected to investigate the microorganism population on the skin surface.
Sample collection is often shared between experiments. For example, this week I'm doing a saliva collection every morning not only for "Microbiome", but also for "Salivary Markers", which investigates immune system dysregulation during spaceflight.
Changes in muscle strength are instead the object of a medical requirement. We take measurement of maximum strength across several joints a few times before and after spaceflight to have quantitative data on the loss of strength and the recovery time. In the picture you can see the setup to measure strength across the knee.
Now to a interruption notice: looking at my training schedule in the next couple of weeks, it looks like I will be so busy that I won't be able to write the Logbook. But I'll be back soon! In the meantime, I'll try to post shorter updates on Twitter. If you are on Twitter, you'll find me as @AstroSamantha. Sorry for the unplanned Loss Of Signal. See you on the other side!
(Trad IT) Traduzione in italiano a cura di qui:
(Trad ES) Tradducción en español aquí:
(Trad FR) Traduction en français par ici: