US space agengy NASA will send 20 new experiments on its next refueling mission of the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled for April 2, officially reported today. These experiments include research to improve the healing of deep wounds of soldiers in combat, an extensive analysis of severe thunderstorms and the study of resistant materials in the harsh environment of space among others.
To take these experiments up to space, Elon Musk’s aerospace transport company, SpaceX, will launch its Dragon reusable spacecraft using a Falcon 9 rocket from the base of Cape Canaveral (Florida) on April 2, high-ranking NASA officials told reporters today in a conference call.
Among the experiments that will be conducted is the study that aims to find a cure to prevent septicemia, a widespread bacterial infection in the blood that most people with weakened immune systems and soldiers wounded in combat face. “We are in a very early phase of the research, but we aim that in five years this type of cure will be a reality and can be used to prevent sepsis,” said Elaine Horn-Ranney, President & CEO of the pharmaceutical company Tympanogen via the call conducted by NASA.
Currently there are no wound dressings that release antibiotics directly to the wound site for long enough to prevent sepsis. Thus, the objective of the scientists is to develop an optimal bandage to treat these deep wounds under the microgravity conditions offered by the International Space Station.
On the other hand, Stephanie Murphy, of Alpha Space Test, said that her company will install a private capital platform outside the orbital laboratory, called MISSE, to provide the ability to test materials, coatings and components in the space environment.
“The testing at MISSE can benefit a wide variety of industries, including the advanced manufacturing of products ranging from protective clothing for astronauts to solar cells,” said Murphy.
In addition to the aforementioned experiments, scientists will also study how the lack of gravity affects a process used to manufacture high-performance metal powder products and what are the effects of gravitational failure in the bone marrow.