Abstract There is a large body of evidence that microgravit- or immobilization-induced bone loss is mainly related to osteoblastic cell impairment. Osteoblasts are sensitive to increased mechanical stress and could therefore be responsible for unloading-induced bone changes. However, the nature of osteoblast involvement remains unclear. The effects of the space environment on cells have been studied extensively, but little information about anchorage-dependent cell cultures of the 25 different cell types flown in space has been published. We studied the effects of long-term weightlessness on the cell shape of cultured osteoblasts during the Russian Bion 10 space-flight. This experiment required the development of special automatic culture devices (the plunger-box culture system) finalized with the constructors. Multiple feasibility experiments were performed to allow osteoblast culture for 6 days in microgravity. The study revealed plunger-box biocompatibility; optimization of ROS 17/2.8 (mammalian adherent cells) culture under closed conditions (without gas exchange); and transport of viable cells for 5 days. During the 6 days of microgravity, the growth curves of ground controls and cells in space were roughly similar. Alkaline phosphatase activity was enhanced twofold in microgravity. ROS 17/2.8 cell morphology began to change significantly after 4 days of microgravity; they became rounder and covered with microvilli. At the end of the flight, the cells exhibited mixed morphological types, piling cells, stellar shape, and spread out cells, resembling ground controls or 1g flight controls (centrifuge). We demonstrated that ROS 17/2.8 cells were viable during a 6 day automatic culture in space and were sensitive to space related conditions. They adapted their structure and function to this environment, characterized by loss of mechanical stimuli.