It’s a long process. Friday, November 18, 2022 marks an important event for students at theISAE-SUPAERO of Toulouse. These were selected by theESA Academy as part of the “Orbit Your Thesis!” project. The objective is to enable students to design and deploy a scientific experiment on board the International Space Station (ISS).
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Work with Polytechnic Turin
Since 2018, ISAE-SUPAERO students have been working closely with the Turin Polytechnic. Their idea focused on cardiovascular illnesses. The scientific experiment they are sending to the ISS will thus seek to understand the behavior of cardiovascular diseases in microgravity conditions. They will also seek to know if the treatments applied on Earth can be transposed in space.
In more detail, the experiment will enable ISS astronauts and the ISAE-SUPAERO team to visualize “the flow of a fluid similar to blood in two models of diseased arteries, only one of which has been surgically repaired by placing a stent, and to compare the results with those obtained on Earth”. What for ? The purpose of the project is to know if an astronaut equipped with a stent could go into space. This would ultimately make it possible to offer more diversity in the profiles of the crews.
On Earth, there is indeed a decrease in blood pressure before the placement of a stent, but which ceases when it is installed. In the ISS, nothing is less certain! Due to a very high level of radiation in space, the presence of a metal stent could lead to the production of dangerous ions”, explains ISAE-SUPAERO.
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See you on the ISS
ISAE-SUPAERO students and two doctoral students from Turin Polytechnic worked on the project for four years. To each their own specialty, the doctoral students of Polytechnique Turin have designed the program which aligns with the scientific objectives; the ISAE-SUPAERO team developed the entire mission and the Politecnico di Torino manufactured the fluid tanks and pipes needed for the project. At the end of the four-month mission in the ISS, the latter will analyze the data collected.
This entire large team will be accompanied throughout the mission by space experts. It will also have access to “exceptional scientific resources”, such as ESA tests, transport in the CrewDragon of SpaceX and experience in the ISS. Thus, the departure for the ISS is scheduled for November 18 aboard a capsule SpaceX.
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