The Space Industry and the world are abuzz for the most complex experiment on the space station ever. Today, Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, AKA the One Year Crew, will begin a year-long mission at the International Space Station (ISS), resulting in the longest stay by an astronaut on the ISS. As manned space missions venture beyond Earth’s orbit, the effect of space travel on the human body becomes an increasingly critical issue.
Why is Kelly so important?
This historical mission could not happen without Kelly. Why? He has an identical twin (also an astronaut) who will be on Earth for the year acting as the control in the experiment. NASA selected 10 investigations to conduct with the identical twin astronauts – but the biggest question is, upon return, will the identical twins still be identical?
The results of this study will advance what we know about human adjustment to time in space compared to Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics, but are in different environments for one year.
What does this have to do with me?
The Twins Study will be a multi-faceted cooperation between universities, corporations, and government laboratory experts—who will investigate the human physiology, behavioral health, microbiology/microbiome, and molecular/omics. Although the main goal for NASA of these long term studies is to get humans to Mars, these experiments can have real life applications here on earth.
For example, the University of California, NASA, JSC Cardiovascular Laboratory and Wyle will conduct a study that has the potential to shed light on prospective new treatments for traumatic brain injury, glaucoma, etc.
This mission is an example of SpaceCom’s goal to demonstrate the benefit of using zero gravity environments in-space capabilities to drive non-space industry productivity and profitability, thus pushing the envelope to discover the far-reaching benefits this kind collaboration can have for the human race, while providing competitive advantage for the companies involved.
SpaceCom distinctly unites public and private stakeholders involved in domestic and international space commerce with a new group of global business executives looking for competitive advantage through the application of space technology to their industries.
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