How the International Space Station benefits humanity, explains NASA

NASA explained how the International Space Station benefits humanity on Earth. Check 5 points here.

Space is full of exciting objects, most of which are yet to be discovered. Scientists and researchers keep trying to find and explore something new. The International Space Station also contributes to the same. The Space Station is used for studies and experiments and now NASA has explained how the International Space Station benefits humanity on Earth. “With more than 20 years of experiments now being conducted on the station, more breakthroughs are materializing than ever before,” NASA said in a report. Here are 5 ways the space station benefits humanity.

1. Produce the next generation of medical scanning technology: According to NASA, in their quest to study neutron stars, the team behind the NICER telescope created and patented an X-ray source that could be turned on and off very quickly. It’s also what a neuroradiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital needed in his quest to improve CT scans. Teams at Massachusetts General Hospital and NICER worked together to create a stationary ring of these small, new modulated X-ray sources that can be mounted around the patient, triggering when necessary. This technique can decrease the amount of radiation the patient is exposed to and provide better image quality even at a lower radiation level. Limiting radiation exposure is helpful for patients on Earth now and potentially for future astronauts en route to Mars. The device has been patented and further work is underway to bring it from a prototype to a testable device.

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2. Create new drugs for disorders like Duchenne muscular dystrophy: An International Space Station study of the crystal structure of a protein associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an incurable genetic disease, has provided clues to compounds that may inhibit it. A professor at the University of Tsukuba in Tsukuba, Japan, used these clues to design several promising compounds, including TAS-205. A 2015 study verified the safety of TAS-205 for use in humans, and a small clinical trial in human patients was published in 2017. A phase 3 trial to examine the efficacy of TAS-205 in situations similar to actual clinical use began in December The research team estimates that the drug could slow the progression of DMD by half, potentially doubling the lifespan of many patients, NASA informed.

3. Applications of robotic arm technology in an automotive factory: The creation of the space station robot Robonaut led to the development of an industrial-grade robotic glove. NASA and General Motors (GM) developed a prototype Robonaut and tested it on the station, where it successfully performed simple tasks alongside astronauts. The team then reconfigured the hand-shaped part of Robonaut into a wearable device to help astronauts and autoworkers avoid fatigue and hand injuries. Originally called Robo-Glove, the device is now commercially available as Ironhand, produced by Bioservo Technologies of Sweden.

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4. Student research in space: People born after November 2000 have always experienced life with humans in space. NASA says: “Call them Generation Station, the ones for whom space has always seemed accessible, a place where scientists from all over the world conduct research. Many students from all over the world have even sent their own research or codes to the station.They have helped conduct DNA sequencing experiments as part of the Genes in Space program, or controlled robots using their code as part of the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge.Many have designed and deployed small satellites from the space station, sending their work into low Earth orbit.”

5. Better understand the basic science of the world: Numerous on-station experiments reveal new information and provide clues to long-standing scientific mysteries. This information helps researchers deepen humanity’s understanding of things like combustion or fluid physics, which can lead to improvements in everything from energy efficiency to cooling electronics. “When researchers from NASA’s FLEX study analyzed fire extinguishers by studying burning fuel droplets, they made a startling discovery: continued low-temperature ‘burning’ after the flame seemed to go out. Now known as cold flames, this combustion process is distinct from the flames that keep us warm near the campfire. Typical flames produce soot, carbon dioxide and water. Cold flames produce monoxide “Knowing more about the behavior of these chemically different flames could lead to the development of more efficient and less polluting vehicles,” NASA said.