We’ve all heard of the “anecdotes” that bring monkeys or stars into space, so can fish survive in space? Japan’s Space Agency (JAXA) has announced that it will send fish into space for a series of test series tests aimed at helping people gain a deeper understanding of human health issues on the ground.
On July 20, 2012, the Japan Space Agency (JAXA) delivered an aquarium to the International Space Station. What is this aquarium for? While aquariums provide an easy pastime for humans on Earth, recreation is not the goal of the aquarium on the International Space Station. In fact, the researchers will use this unique facility to study the effects of microgravity on marine life. But what kind of experience is it to raise fish in space?
The aquarium, called Aquatic Habitat (AQH), was loaded into the third H-II unmanned cargo ship launched by Japan to be sent to the International Space Station and placed in a Japanese experimental module on the International Space Station. The purpose of AQH being transported to heaven is to study the impact of weightlessness on aquatic life to help people understand human health issues on the ground in greater depth.
The Aquatic Habitat, or AQH, is a Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA, facility will will will be the study of fish aboard the I National Space Station. (JAXA) JaXA is used by the Japanese Space Agency to study the aquatic habitat (AQH) of fish on the International Space Station. (Photo: NASA)
JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide slingfish to the Aquatic Habitat facility on-board the International Space Station Station station by 33/34. JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide transferred the fish to the International Space Station’s aquatic habitat facility. (Photo: NASA)
AQH consists of four main components, including two fish habitat spaces, a water cycle unit, a control unit and a CCD camera. The aquarium will automatically feed the fish, inject oxygen, control temperature, and have a sample sampling device. The automatic feeding system can program different feeding sequences as needed. In addition, the AQH-configured water circulation system can also monitor the pH of water, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, water flow rate and water pressure, biological filters and gas exchangers can be used to maintain the quality of the environmental system, special bacterial filters can purify and remove some impurities, can allow these fish to survive in space for up to 90 days. The LED lights in the AQH are used to simulate day and night replacement and provide the necessary lighting for CCD cameras, which can capture the survival of fish throughout the film. At the same time, all data can be transferred to the ground for monitoring and analysis.
The aquarium system is also equipped with a microscope to micro-fluorescent observation of fish embryos and larvae, which is not very powerful! Not only that, but AQH’s sophisticated filtration system could even allow fish to breed on the International Space Station, which means scientists can conduct multigenerational studies of fish in the sky, meaning that scientists can conduct unprecedented direct research on fish born in space for the first time.
AQH can accommodate small freshwater fish, such as freshwater fish or zebrafish, and researchers first used the aquarium to study a fish called herring. By observing the symptoms of small freshwater fish such as cyanosis in space radiation, bone degradation and muscle atrophy, it is beneficial to carry out developmental biology research. But why are so many species of fish on Earth, and the little herring alone has become the first favorite for scientists to take space for research?
The above image show show an Aquatic Habitat, or AQH, the right chamber housing Medaka fish for study. (JAXA) AQH (JAXA) loaded with herring (Photo: NASA)
This is because herring is a very ideal experimental object, mainly for the following reasons:
First, they are transparent, and researchers can observe the body’s organs directly through their transparent skin. By using fluorescent proteins labeled as bone cells and bone-breaking cells, researchers can observe changes in cells and genes during space flight. It is a great advantage to be able to observe conveniently in the space environment.
Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata Works to activate the Multi-Multi-Sin Payload Small Rack (MSPR) Hub Unit and install the Medak A Chamber in nos y microscope for observation of a Medaka sample. Koichi Wakata, a flight engineer, installed the Medaka chamber in a fluorescent microscope to observe the Medaka sample. (Photo Source: NASA)
Second, they are vertebrates. This means that they have bones and muscles, which can be studied on the effects of microgravity on muscle and skeletal systems;
Third, the herring has strong breeding power. They can multiply rapidly in microgravity, an advantage that allows researchers to study them for generations;
In addition, the herring body is light, small, easy to maintain, in line with the requirements of space experiments;
In addition to these important reasons, one of the most important reasons is that the genome of aokia has been measured. Therefore, if there is a change in the genes of herring in space, it is easy to identify the genetic changes caused by the influence of the space environment.
This time, JAXA sent herons to the sky to observe the effects of microgravity on the activity of bone cells and bone-breaking cells, and hope that the study of microgravity on the bones of herring can be explored to discover a new mechanism that may help develop a new treatment for osteoporosis in humans. On Earth, the age-related osteoporosis mechanism is a challenge, and new genes affected by microgravity found in the herring experiment could provide a good animal model for this mechanism, the researchers said. If the astronauts were to do the same, the bone density lost in space could be restored.
The experiment is significant, and this work can promote the treatment of osteoporosis and reduce bone loss in astronauts during long-term missions. Basic research with herring could ultimately benefit astronauts facing bone loss, osteoporosis sufferers, and people with reduced mobility on Earth. In fact, the entire space fish diversity experiment includes studies of the radiation effects on fish in the space environment, the degradation of fish bones, muscle atrophy and other physiological states. The researchers believe these effects are fully applicable to humans, which will help scientists better understand and solve problems with human health on Earth.
Product: Cop China
Production: Space Application Engineering and Technology Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Supervising: Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences