Space Stations

Axiom Space – Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 5 Update

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 13, 2022
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Axiom Space – Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 5 Update
Axiom Space - Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 5 Update
Axiom Space

The team is buzzing at Axiom Mission Control Center (MCC-A) in Houston as they assist the crew conduct groundbreaking research and integrate commercial payloads while on the International Space Station.
Today was a busy day for science with the Ax-1 crew.

Eytan Stibbe worked on the Nano ISS Antenna experiment, a deployable reflector antenna for high bandwidth communications, which was developed by the Israeli startup company NSLComm. The antenna must be tested in microgravity, as it does not hold its shape under Earth’s gravity. This test is the last qualification activity of the antenna before the 2022 launch of NSLASAT-2, an ESA (European Space Agency) satellite.

Ax-1 Commander Michael López-Alegría worked on the Modeling Tumor Organoids Experiment, a cancer stem cell proof of concept project that will leverage the accelerated aging aspects of the microgravity environment to evaluate early pre-cancer and cancer changes in stem cells.

The human body undergoes complex adaptation when exposed to extreme conditions of space travel. The Cardioprotection experiment led by Larry Connor, with contributions from crewmates like Pathy, will provide human data on the impact of spaceflight on cardiac function. These tests will reveal how to fly a more diverse population of space travelers.

With a focus on Earth observations, Mark Pathy executed his scientific study of changing planetary biology and human urbanization. Using images taken by Pathy from the cupola on the ISS, researchers from Western University in Canada will analyze and present a pictorial review of the impact of human and natural pressures on our terrestrial ecosystem.

To better prepare for long-term space missions, the Neurowellness technology demonstration includes a large helmet developed by the Israeli company Brain.Space, which the crew wears on their head to test cognitive performance and brain activity. The experiment led by Stibbe is also supported by Connor and López-Alegría.

Stibbe conducted an experiment on Fluidic Space Optics project that aims to better understand liquid polymer behavior and how microgravity affects liquid deployment and solidification of the polymer into optical lenses components. This demonstration aims to show in-space manufacturing can significantly improve the production of optics for deep space astronomy. The experiment is headed by the faculty of mechanical engineering at the Technion and in collaboration with NASA.

Also, two experiments which are carried out daily from the field of remote medicine – the Urinary Microbiome experiment by researchers Dr. Ben Boursi from the Oncology Center at Sheba Medical Center and Dr. Paul Chang at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in the United States. As well as an experiment for remote detection of the onset and development of emotional distress and stressful situations, led by Dr. Harel Baris of Sheba MC clinicians and researchers at ARC, Sheba Centre for Medical Innovation, and the Department of Psychiatry at Sheba MC and their partners at Thomas Jefferson University in the United States.

During their time on the International Space Station, the multinational crew of Ax-1 will be doing outreach activities in five languages. Today, the Axiom astronauts spoke to diverse groups all around the world about their historic mission.

Connor spoke with students at Dayton Regional STEM School students, a public independent STEM school serving students in grades 6-12 from across the Dayton community. He also connected with students and families at The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, a children’s museum, science and technology center, and zoo in Dayton, Ohio, that focuses on science and natural history. At both events, Connor answered questions on a range of issues from his research to sharing his experiences of life aboard the space station.

Stibbe spoke to reporters in Israel, discussing his mission as the first Israeli astronaut to visit the ISS.

Pathy participated in a number of events across his home country of Canada. He hosted a live talk on STEM with students at St. Patrick High School in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He answered questions from children from the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation in Montreal, Quebec. Pathy also participated in an engaging session with students from the Shawanosowe School in Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Pathy is Canada’s 2nd private astronaut and the 12th Canadian to go to space.

With the end of the fifth day of the mission, the crew has officially reached the halfway mark of their time in space.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.