On Monday, NASA & SpaceX launched a 'Dragon Spacecraft' equipped with a payload of essential items needed by astronauts on the International Space Station in order to continue to inhabit Earth's orbit. The rocket also included over 6400 pounds worth of new research equipment for three new experiments.
What are they?
A Cure for Parkinson's
Research carried out by the Michael J. Fox Foundation has shown that a major contributing factor to the diseases development in humans is a protein called, 'leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2)'. Earth's gravity actually inhibits the crystals growth making it extremely difficult to study, the aim is to grow large versions of this crystal protein in order for it to be analyzed in more detail back on our home planet.
Scientists hope developing a greater understanding of the protein, and exactly how it impacts the human body, could lead to a cure or preventive treatments for people showing symptoms of the crippling illness.
The Kestrel Eye (NanoRacks-KE IIM) investigation
This investigation, sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory, tests the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations, such as lowering the cost of Earth imagery in time-sensitive situations such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters.
Watch the lanuch
This device will be attached to the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility and will be used to measure the charge of cosmic rays. The data will be used to build a stronger understanding of the basic structure of the universe.
"For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth." - NASA
Have you seen 'When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions' on DVD & Blu-Ray