NASA will send life forms into space through the Artemis I mission. Here is what we know so far
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 24 May 2022, at 11:43 am Los Angeles time
NASA wants to send much smaller life forms into space through the Artemis mission and wants to observe their exposure and the effects of space radiation.
This is part of the Artemis mission that will include several launches in the coming years, with the goal of bringing people back to the moon.
Lots of experiments wanted by scientists, including the agency's Biology Experiment 1 (BioExpt-1), will fly aboard the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion system.
Among the life forms that will be taken into space by NASA are the seeds of plants, fungi, yeast and algae, before being sent to the Moon and then to Mars, not just for a few steps on the natural satellite/planet but for long-term missions.
"Each of these four experiments will help us understand a unique aspect of how biological systems can adapt and thrive in deep space," said Sharmila Bhattacharya, NASA program scientist for space biology. "Gathering information like this and analyzing it after flight will eventually help us paint the full picture of how we can help humans thrive in deep space."
"During Artemis I, Orion will travel more than 40,000 miles beyond the Moon, passing through the Van Allen Belts - areas beyond low-Earth orbit where cosmic radiation is trapped - and providing researchers with a true deep space environment for conducting these experiments," said NASA.
"We don't currently know what the effects of radiation are outside of low-Earth orbit and how that could affect our system and our biology," said Dinah Dimapilis, NASA project manager. "I'm excited to see what we can learn from these experiments, to see us go back to the Moon, and to know that I get to be a part of all of this," Sharmila also said.