After nearly five decades, the US Space Agency (NASA) will again send living things to a great distance from Earth in space in 2020. This mission will be the first mission of sending living beings since the Apollo mission to the Moon.
Indeed, at the recent times, NASA has repeatedly sent humans to the International Space Station (ISS). These astronauts take turns every six months to go from ISS to Earth to work on scientific experiments.
But this mission is different. NASA designed a space vehicle the size of a children’s school bag weighing around 14 kilograms called BioSentinel. The spacecraft will bring yeast cells into orbit around the Sun.
This mission was carried out by NASA scientists to better understand how the environment impacts radiation outside the planet Earth on living things. The results of his mission will be very useful to find out how radiation affects humans in the mission to Mars in the next 2030s.
BioSentinel itself is one of 13 spacecraft incorporated in the mission of Artemis 1. Reporting from Space.com, NASA will launch it in mid-2020.
Later, BioSentinel will collect data for 9 to 12 months, the data will contain information on the long-term effects of radiation received by DNA from living things in yeast while away from Earth.
BioSentinel will carry two different varieties of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. The first type is normal yeast cells that are sufficient to hold radiation and the second type is a type of mutant that is far more sensitive because it cannot repair its DNA properly.
Can these living cells survive in extreme radiation environments? We’ll see the development of the mission later.