I apologize for the delay in writing an update. I have had several questions as to how the delay in Dragon docking impacted our studies etc. The answer is we don’t think it impacted it at all. NASA is very good about having room for large changes, such as delays in docking the Dragon capsule or delays in launch etc. Therefore, the spaceflight hardware is designed to support the mice for much longer periods of time than they think will be needed.
However, with the delay came the need to change the schedule of when the astronauts perform what duties. As I have come to realize, this is a very fluid process as unexpected changes occur fairly frequently. There might be a need to fix a piece of equipment or something takes longer to complete than was originally scheduled etc. That said, soon after the Dragon docked, all of the mice were successfully transferred to their new homes on the International Space Station. They were moved from what is called the Transporter, the hardware used to house them while they are in the Dragon, to the Habitat, the hardware which will house them during their stay on the International Space Station. The NASA vet with the assistance of remote video and the astronauts inspected all of the mice as they were being transferred. As you can imagine there are a number of regulatory requirements with sending mice into space and the mice are all very well cared for.
Our team is back in Indiana as we patiently allow bone healing to occur over time. We will send updates as we have them, but we won’t have much to report for some time.
Written by: Melissa Kacena
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.