International Space Station (ISS) ongoing Canadian health experiments and biotechnological devices in use during David Saint-Jacques' mission

Backgrounder

At Home in Space: This is Canada's first psychosocial experiment on board the ISS. It examines how multinational crews of astronauts adapt to living together in space during long-duration missions. The findings may serve to enhance conditions for future space travel as well as for communities on Earth living or working in remote, confined, or isolated locations.

Bio-Analyzer: This new Canadian instrument will perform near real-time analysis of blood, providing data on multiple biological markers and cell counts for research purposes. It has the potential to enhance patient testing on Earth with simple, point-of-care services at any location.

Bio-Monitor: This is a Canadian bio-monitoring system, including a smart shirt, that will monitor astronauts' vital signs and support the identification and mitigation of risks to humans in space. On Earth, it has the potential to monitor the health of Canadians in remote communities with limited access to their doctors. It could also be worn by workers in hazardous environments such as mines, industrial sites or factories.

MARROW: Aims to establish if microgravity causes fat accumulation in the bone marrow and impacts the production, function and destruction of red and white blood cells. Consequences can vary from space anemia, increased sensitivity to radiation, and a weaker immune system. On Earth, discoveries will help alleviate the effects of physical inactivity and improve rehabilitation of bedridden patients, those with reduced mobility and seniors. 

TBone: This experiment studies the effects of weightlessness on bone quality, as bones age at an accelerated rate in space. Advanced 3D imaging technology measures bone density, but also bone structure and strength. The findings could help identify people on Earth who are susceptible to bone loss, like osteoporosis sufferers, and lead to personalized treatment strategies.

Vascular Echo: Building on the Vascular experiment, this follow-on study examines how and why some astronauts experience arterial stiffening in space in order to find ways of slowing vascular aging. The project will help keep astronauts' arteries healthy and benefit people who suffer from similar conditions here on Earth.

Wayfinding: This experiment aims to better understand how space affects astronauts' orientation, navigation skills and brain function. Results will improve our knowledge of medical conditions affecting movement, posture and spatial orientation skills. Among those who stand to benefit are patients on Earth experiencing vestibular dysfunctions (such as balance problems and dizziness) and neural degeneration related to aging.


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