A group of “mighty mice” were sent to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 rocket in early December, and this week they returned to Earth,media BGR reported. The mice were part of an experiment designed to test the muscle effects of the international space station’s microgravity environment. These so-called “super rats” have been genetically modified to have enhanced muscle growth, which scientists believe will help them study the effects of microgravity on their muscle and bone structure.
Resistance to the loss of muscle mass is a major concern for astronauts heading to the International Space Station. Moving in the microgravity of the International Space Station doesn’t take much effort, which means that the muscles that are often used on Earth will deteriorate in space.
To prevent this, the International Space Station is equipped to make it easier for astronauts to move in space. But scientists still hope to come up with a new way to preserve muscle mass without forcing astronauts to run on treadmills or using elastic bands and resistance devices for long periods of time.
When humans finally begin missions to other planets, such as Mars, it can be difficult to move. By looking at the loss of muscle mass in rodents, the researchers hope the data they collect will shed light on the secrets that could lead to novel solutions and keep the muscles of human astronauts strong.