The Houston Space Health Institute’s Upcoming Mission Will Include the Launch of More Experiments into Space

Houston’s Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) will launch six more space experiments this spring. These tests will examine how space travel affects numerous human health and performance facets. The project will be undertaken jointly with MIT and CalTeach. The biomedical research will examine how space travel affects everything from memory to motion sickness. This will be done throughout the course of a 10-day stay on the International Space Station during Axiom Space’s Ax-2 mission.

Pilot John Shoffner, Commander Peggy Whitson, Mission Specialists Rayyanah Barnawi, and Ali AlQarni comprise the Ax-2 mission’s four-person crew. The team is composed of people who will be making history. This includes a private space crew’s first female commander and the first Saudi astronauts to the ISS. The TRISH Executive Director and Professor at the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine is Dr. Dorit Donoviel. According to Dorit, the findings contribute to their understanding of how the human body and mind adapt to the challenges of space travel. He added that it would be beneficial in preparing future astronauts to stay safe and healthy during longer missions.

Researchers from TRISH, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Baylor College of Medicine have all contributed to creating the six projects that will be carried aboard the mission. They want to evaluate a range of space-related issues. These issues include alterations to the eyes, brain, inner ears, and eyes’ reactions to motion. Other issues are the genetic consequences of space travel.

The research will also look into the sleep, personality, health history, team dynamics, immune-related symptoms, and sensorimotor skills of astronauts. The latter will investigate how space modifications affect an astronaut’s capacity to stand, balance, and exercise complete bodily control on the moon.

A portion of this data will be incorporated into TRISH’s Improving eXploration Platforms and ANalog Definition (EXPAND) program. Its database is intended to assist the program in improving human health during commercial space missions.

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will be used to launch Axiom’s second all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Axiom also plans to construct the first commercial space station ever.

In the coming summer, TRISH is scheduled to launch nine experiments as part of SpaceX’s Polaris Dawn mission. Polaris Dawn’s study is meant to supplement those carried out on SpaceX’s Inspiration4 all-civilian orbital mission in 2021, which TRISH funded.