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Arthropod model systems for studying complex biological processes in the space environment

Advances in Space Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(94)90406-5


Abstract Three arthropod systems are discussed in relation to their complementary and potential use in Space Biology. In a next biosatellite flight, Drosophila melanogaster pre-adapted during several months to different g levels will be flown in an automatic device that separates parental from first and second generations. In the same flight, flies will be exposed to microgravity conditions in an automatic unit in which fly motility can be recorded. In the International Microgravity Laboratory-2, several groups of Drosophila embryos will be grown in Space and the motility of a male fly population will be video-recorded. In the Biopan, an ESA exobilogy facility that can be flown attached to the exterior of a Russian biosatellite, Artemia dormant gastrulae will be exposed to the space environment in the exterior of the satellite under a normal atmosphere or in the void. Gastrulae will be separated in hit and non-hit populations. The developmental and aging response of these animals will be studied upon recovery. With these experiments we will be able to establish whether exposure to the space environment influences arthropod development and aging, and elaborate on some of the cellular mechanisms involved which should be tested in future experiments.

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