RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Saudi Space Authority (SSC) has revealed the scientific experiments that will be conducted during the flight of Saudi astronauts Rayana Barnawi and Ali Al-Qarni, as part of their mission to the International Space Station (ISS). ISS) in the second quarter of this year.
The Space Research Center (SSC) announced that during the mission the two astronauts will conduct 11 groundbreaking science research experiments in microgravity. The results will enhance the Kingdom’s international position in the fields of space exploration and service to humanity. It will also confirm the role of Saudi research centers in making a scientific impact in this field.
The center said that Saudi experiments in space range from human research and cellular sciences to artificial rain in microgravity. The Supreme Council for Science also said that in the artificial rain experiment, where water vapor is condensed onto plankton and salt atoms in microgravity, which simulates the cloud seeding process used in Saudi Arabia and many other countries to increase precipitation. Led by Dr. Ashraf Farahat, this experiment is for King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and will help scientists and researchers design new ways to provide the right conditions for humans, including generating artificial rain, to enable life in space colonies on the surface. Moon and Mars. The experiment will also help improve researchers’ understanding of rain seeding technology, which will help increase precipitation in many countries, God willing.
To better understand the impact of time in space on human health, Nebula Research and Development in Saudi Arabia, led by Dr. Badr Shira, will bring six experiments aboard the International Space Station for astronauts to conduct. These trials will use new neuroscience tools, including measuring blood flow to the brain and electrical brain activity, assessing intracranial pressure using non-invasive pupillary diagnostics, and monitoring changes in the optic nerve over time. Better monitoring of neurological health could help make spaceflight safer in the future and would allow the development of rapid and non-invasive monitoring techniques, as well as earlier intervention and the development of countermeasures. Blood and biological samples will also be taken to evaluate spaceflight-related multimole biomarkers and to map changes in the length, structure, and epigenetics of chromosomes and telomeres.
The cellular science experiments conducted by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) and its team of scientists Dr. Khalid Abukhabar, Dr. Wijdan Al-Ahmadi and Dr. Edward Hitti will study the inflammatory response of human immune cells in microgravity. More specifically, the research will focus on changes in mRNA degradation, a process that can turn off inflammation. Furthermore, the response to treatment will be simulated using the same cellular model. The crew will take RNA samples for analysis on the ground, where experimenters will monitor RNA expression patterns, and where thousands of mRNA half-lives will be measured. The findings should contribute to a better understanding of health in space and the discovery of potential biomarkers or treatments for inflammatory diseases both in space and on Earth.
In addition to these experiments, three educational outreach experiences will be conducted in real time aboard the International Space Station with students across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Mawhiba, Riyadh and Misk Schools. The aim of these experiments is to improve students’ knowledge of space science and its contribution to improving the quality of life on Earth, by combining ground experiments with those conducted by the Saudi crew on board the International Space Station in real time. Students will be able to see how the environment in which experiments are conducted can have a real impact on the results. This real-time interaction will allow the students to communicate with the Saudi crew directly as they perform the same experiments, on the ground and in space simultaneously.
Through high-quality educational and training programs, participation in scientific experiments, international research, and future space missions, C-Sec’s efforts aim to educate future astronauts and engineers, which will help raise the Kingdom’s status and achieve the Kingdom’s goals. Kingdom Vision 2030.
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