SpaceX’s Inspiration4 crew will do ‘first-of-its-kind’ research on trip

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The crew of SpaceX’s Inspiration 4, the first all-civilian spacecraft to orbit, will be used to collect a vast amount of health data that will be used to help future humans travel beyond the planet .

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The four humans aboard the Dragon capsule are American billionaire Jared Isaacman, which launched the flight, Hayley Arsenox, a St. Jude physician’s assistant, data engineer Chris Sambrowski, and geoscientist and artist Sean Proctor.

The mission, scheduled for September 15, will orbit the planet at a distance of 575 kilometers for three days before returning to Earth, landing in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX says this is the farthest distance from Earth for any manned spacecraft since the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.


The crew will collect a range of medical data, including ECG (electrocardiograph) activity, movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, cabin noise and light intensity – which can be used to assess changes in behavioral and cognitive performance over time. will be done to help. .

Blood droplets will also be collected to monitor immune system function, and balance and perception tests will be performed before and immediately after flight to gauge the response of humans to changes in gravity.

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In collaboration with researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine, SpaceX will monitor the genetics, microbiome and other variables of the crew — with samples and data cryogenically frozen — in a planned biobank.

Finally, the crew’s organ systems will be scanned through an artificially intelligent ultrasound device currently being tested by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, providing guidance for non-medical specialists . Its purpose is to determine how much ground support is necessary for the crew to obtain clinical-level images, as well as to provide a timeline of biological changes before and after flight.

SpaceX says all of this research will have potential applications for human health on Earth and during future space flights.

Prior to the mission, the crew would have spent months in orbits and simulators to test the systems aboard the spacecraft, training for emergencies, and experiencing g-forces.

“Of the 60 procedures, the answers range from general contingency to emergency,” Isaacman said. Time. “A multi-day mission has a lot of time for a lot of things to go wrong.”

In an ideal situation, however, the spacecraft would operate autonomously, “and if automation doesn’t take care of a problem, the ground is your next layer of defense,” said Doug Hurley, commander of the previously crewed SpaceX mission. . The crew would only need to take action if the craft failed to function and ground control could not resolve the problem.

“In space you have to trust and verify,” Hurley says. “But there are no plans to do any more manual flight, unless it is required by a system failure type of scenario.”


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